Peter Fox, Tetherless World Constellation Chair, is head of ITWS.

The Information Technology and Web Science program at Rensselaer has been ranked No. 1 among 35 undergraduate programs at national colleges and universities by College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources.

“If you’re interested in this growing field, you can expect plenty of opportunities,” stated College Choice. “Computer and information technology is expected to grow at double-digit rates in the years ahead as cloud computing, big data, mobile computing, and computer networks all expand at a rapid pace.”

The ranking of the top 35 schools was based on each school’s reputation in the field and its return on investment. College Choice compiled data from U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and, as well as a survey of freshmen attitudes about academic reputation, financial aid offerings, and cost, published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. The survey also took into account graduate success rates in the post-college job market.

“Rensselaer’s IT programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Web Science, cover topics such as trust, privacy, and future Web development,” stated College Choice in its description of Rensselaer. “More than 20 concentration options are available, including areas like arts, medicine, and artificial intelligence.”

Rensselaer first offered a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in 1998, and in 2010 became the first university in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree program devoted to the emerging interdisciplinary field of Information Technology and Web Science (ITWS). ITWS combines technical courses and courses in human computer interaction, the social implications of information technology, communications, management, leadership, team building, and web science. Students can pair their IT degree with another field of study to form a dual major.

“We are delighted that the dedicated efforts of our ITWS leadership, instructional faculty, and staff have achieved this high level of national recognition,” said Curt M. Breneman, dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer, within which the ITWS program is housed. “Under the leadership of director and chaired professor Peter Fox, the ITWS program has set new standards of excellence, technical rigor, and return on investment that underpin this ranking.”

Rensselaer also offers a variety of extracurricular opportunities for undergraduate ITWS students, including research experience and involvement in Science Ambassadors or the Gamma Nu Eta honor society.