Career Guide to JMU Majors:
Integrated Science & Technology
Admission and Progression Standards:
Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.
Description of MajorIntegrated Science and Technology (ISAT) is offered as a major and minor at JMU. The program in ISAT provides a curriculum that integrates the study of science, mathematics and technology with principles of business to develop a graduate with unique professional qualifications. The graduate might be described as a person who is able to solve technologically based problems in a real world context. The use of the computer as a problem-solving tool is a central feature of the curriculum along with an emphasis on the collaborative (team) approach to working projects. The program is specifically designed to engage the student in the sciences in a non-intimidating manner, leading the student through the practice of science while learning the underlying analytical methods and scientific principles. Scientific theory is thus combined with a hands-on practice that is designed to motivate and stimulate interest as well as impart learning. The ISAT Department also offers minors in Materials Science, Environmental Information Systems, Science Technology and Society, and Environmental Management.
Tell me more about this field of study
The past several decades have brought remarkable developments in science and technology, impacting our lives and our society and irreversibly altering the world. Fundamental changes will continue at an explosive pace, affecting how businesses and governments operate and posing great challenges and opportunities. Those who understand science and technology and are able to use and manage it wisely will play a major role in guiding economics and politics alike. There is a critical need for individuals who understand the mutual dependence between specialists and integrators, who are not intimidated by complexity and uncertainty, who can locate opportunity within disorder, and are committed to taking a longer and broader view. The quality of life in our society, and human progress globally, will depend on the integration of scientific knowledge, technological capabilities, ethical principles, and an understanding of cultural similarities and differences. The women and men who will rise to positions of leadership in business, government, industry and education in the 21st century will be those professionals who understand and can apply this understanding to these strategic areas.
During the freshman and sophomore years, the ISAT program provides a basic science and mathematics curriculum foundation. Students are introduced to science, its methods and applications, and are provided the analytical skills to understand issues in contemporary science and technology. In the junior year, students pursue a core group of classes called strategic sectors. These sectors, developed from national critical technologies lists, represent areas of current strategic importance in the world economy. The strategic sectors are as follows: Energy, Environment, Information/Knowledge Management, Applied Biotechnology, Engineering/Manufacturing, and Telecommunications. A concentration is offered in each sector. The concentration is a 12‑hour sequence of courses capped by a six‑hour thesis. The Energy sector provides students with a broad understanding of the principal aspects of energy supply and use, with an emphasis on sustainable energy development and increased efficiency. In the Environment sector, students learn an appreciation and understanding of the nature of environmental concerns in today’s society, especially in the areas of energy, engineering and manufacturing, industry, and resource management. Information and Knowledge Management acquaints students with the central role that information and knowledge management has in technology and society. The Engineering/Manufacturing sector provides students with the technical skills needed to perform various design and engineering functions in a manufacturing enterprise. The Applied Biotechnology sector provides students with the understanding of the interdependent roles of science and technology by focusing on advances in the life sciences in the past 20 years. Telecommunications provides instruction and examples in the design, development, and management of telecommunications. An overview of the regulatory issues encountered in the telecommunications industry includes regulation of emerging services and technologies, First Amendment issues, ownership and distribution of new information forms, and limitations and uses of technology.
Common majors or minors that complement this major
The ISAT major is considered too demanding to be paired with another major but minors that could complement this major include Art, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Geographic Science, Computer Science, Materials Science, or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
The successful ISAT student is characterized by a general interest in science and math, without an intense interest in a particular field of science, or in math. ISAT students enjoy learning about and using the computer as a problem solving tool. They have good interpersonal skills and enjoy solving problems in groups. Their interests tend to be broad rather than narrowly defined.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.
Who employs graduates?
Agricultural Industries, Biotechnology Firms, Chemical Companies, Colleges/Universities, Consulting Firms, Energy Companies, Engineering Firms, Environmental Agencies, Federal and State Government Laboratories, Food Companies, Hospitals, Medical Centers, Manufacturing Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Pollution Control Agencies, Private Research Firms, and Telecommunication Companies.
The ISAT student coordinator and faculty assist students in finding appropriate internships that complement their academic studies. The ISAT curriculum also includes laboratory investigations, independent projects, cooperative learning groups, and off‑campus experiences in addition to classroom discussions.
What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
Careers in Energy
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Forensic Science Technicians
Industrial Production Managers
Industrial Safety and Health Engineers
Information Security Analysts
Information Technology Project Managers
Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
Regulatory Affairs Specialists
Solar Energy Systems Engineers
Telecommunications Engineering Specialists
Wind Energy Engineers
Wind Energy Project Managers
A broad range of resources on career fields, internships, and job search information is also available in the Career & Academic Planning Resource Center.
Make an appointment with a CAP career counselor to learn more about this major and your career options.
A few titles from our Resource Center related to this field include:
© Career & Academic Planning, James Madison University, 2013