How good should I be at statistics if I plan to get a degree in Information Science?

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In answer to the captioned question succinctly, it depends on the learning institution’s curriculum. Mathematics, including calculus, statistics, algebra, and geometry, might be part of the General Requirements. Regardless of your major, colleges and universities have set courses you must take before proceeding to the core classes. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

How difficult is statistics?

The query above also infers that if a student struggles with statistics before college, which could be detrimental to information science.

This post will look at examples of information science programs that include mathematics, notably statistics, in the study plan. As explained below, learning institutions want students at the undergraduate level to have a well-rounded education. For this reason, many curricula include English composition, a foreign language, social or natural sciences, mathematics, and others. These General Requirements are unavoidable.

Chances are, if you’re pursuing information science, you’ve taken math, algebra, calculus, geometry, or trigonometry during high school. According to Cuemath, The Math Experts, statistics will not be a chore for individuals with basic math skills. Statistics is about concepts and formulas to analyze data. This area of math involves using critical thinking and problem-solving techniques to arrive at a solution.

Bachelor’s Degree in Information Science

The College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado, Boulder, offers a B.S. with a core course titled – Statistics for Information Science.  Students learn about the concepts and techniques for quantifying data and how to summarize and interpret statistical data.  Other topics cover statistical distributions, normal distribution, hypothesis testing, statistical significance, and linear regression.

Another course, Quantitative Reasoning, encroaches on statistics as it deals with quantifying and analyzing different types of data, foundational concepts in discrete mathematics, probability, and predictive modeling. Discrete math typically involves algorithms and is more prevalent in computer science programs.

The University of Wisconsin System has a B.S. in Information Science and Technology with less emphasis on statistics. Their General Education Requirements do not list any mathematics courses. However, one of the 120-credits program has a three-credit class in Data Science that provides an introduction to visualization and data analysis using statistics to create graphical representations of the data.

The Department of Information Science at the University of North Texas-Denton offers a B.S. in this major. Included in the school’s Core Curriculum requirements are three hours of mathematics. Of the twelve courses from which to choose, you could avoid statistics. Or if this branch of math is a strength, you have these choices:

  • Elementary Probability and Statistics
  • Elementary Probability and Statistics with Algebra Review
  • Survey of Mathematics with Applications: covers probability, statistics, algebra, and logic

Instead, you could opt for Business Calculus, College Math for Business, Pre-calculus, or Trigonometry.

You do not need good grades in statistics to enter the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The B.S. in Information Science doesn’t have a course in statistics. Database Concepts and Applications class explores relational database theory, indexing, and the programming language – SQL or Structured Query Language.

A university that requires proficiency in statistics is the Department of Information Science at Cornell in Ithaca, New York. All information science majors must take Computing Using Python (CS 1110), a Calculus course, and one Statistics course selected from a list of fourteen. The school’s B.A. and B.S. in Information Science require CS 1110, calculus, and statistics. Students must attain a C grade or better to receive credit for the core work.

The University of Michigan’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences Department of Media and Information offers a B.A. in Information Science. Although you do not need statistics, applicants require at least three years of preparatory mathematics in high school, including two years of algebra and one year of geometry. Some academics opine that statistics may come easier to those who do well in algebra.

Why is Statistics Vital?

You may not need to be an A student in statistics, but those who feel at ease with the subject will likely do better studying information science. Computers do most of the compilation and sorting of data; however, a keen understanding helps the scientist interpret the data. Experts define information science as a multidisciplinary field that incorporates computer science, cognitive science, informatics, technology, engineering, and more. It is the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, protection, and dissemination of information. All of which don’t demand excellence in statistics, but a background in it will be beneficial.

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