Handbook and Policies

Undergraduate Student Handbook

The Undergraduate Student Handbook covers university and iSchool policies and procedures that are relevant to the undergraduate BSIS program. If you have a question that isn’t covered in the handbook, contact your advisor for more information.

InfoSci Academic Policies

Every student in the Information Science major must follow the policies of the program and college. If you have questions about a policy, please contact your advisor.

Required Number of Credits:
InfoSci students are required to take 45 credits within the major. 30 credits of which must be approved major coursework with the INST prefix. Students must take 15 credits of approved upper-level [300-400 level] electives.

Benchmark and Major courses:
Students who have declared InfoSci as their major, must take benchmark and InfoSci core courses at UMD.

Benchmark Courses Taken Concurrently with Major Courses:
All InfoSci students are required to the Benchmark Policy outlined by the program. There are two sets of Benchmark Requirements:

Benchmark I

  • MATH115 or higher
  • PSYC100

Benchmark II

  • STAT100
  • INST126 or equivalent
  • INST201

Failure to complete benchmark courses with a C- or better within two attempts will result in being dismissed from the major.  

*Due to the University transitioning to Pass/Fail grading for the Spring 2020 semester a grade of ‘P’ will satisfy the benchmark requirement.*

Benchmark Overlap Policy

If you began the InfoSci program before Fall 2019:

InfoSci students must complete all benchmark courses with a C- or higher before progressing to InfoSci Core Courses. When preparing to schedule for 300-level core classes you must:

  • have completed successfully completed ALL benchmark classes; OR
  • must also be enrolled in ALL your remaining benchmark classes that same semester

If you began the InfoSci program Fall 2019 or later:

InfoSci students must have successfully completed ALL Benchmark I courses before registering for 300-level core classes. Only your remaining Benchmark II courses can be taken with your first semester of major core classes.

Benchmark Courses and InfoSci Major Electives

All Benchmark courses must be completed with a C- or higher before InfoSci students can register for Upper-level Major Elective courses. 

Violation of these policies will result in being dismissed from the major.

Major Electives:

In order to apply non-INST UMD courses towards the InfoSci major elective requirements, students must take courses that are approved by the InfoSci program after declaring InfoSci as their major. Students must obtain approval for non-INST courses before enrolling in them in order for them to be counted as major electives.

Declared InfoSci Students:

Students that declare InfoSci as their major must complete all benchmark courses prior to enrolling in major electives.

Advanced Placement Credits:

Advanced Placement (AP) credits that have been accepted and transferred to UMD successfully may be used to satisfy corresponding InfoSci benchmark requirements.

Exceptions to Policies

College of Information Studies takes requests for exceptions to academic policy seriously. We consider exception requests in extraordinary and rare cases only in which a problem is “out of the control of a student and not predictable”. It is your responsibility to know and adhere to all academic policies. A complete guide to the University of Maryland’s academic policies can be found here.

A written explanation detailing the reasons behind the request is mandatory. Click here for the Policy Exception Form. Take the time before submitting a request to develop a clear, thoughtful, and concise presentation. Requests are not guaranteed and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests generally take between 5 – 10 business days to process and are reviewed in the order they are received.

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