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Curriculum & Academic Program Requirements


Master of Science  Information Systems

Curriculum & Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) consists of 30 credits, all earned in course work. The program consists of five three-credit required core courses and a minimum of fifteen additional credits from a list of elective courses approved for the program drawn from a range of disciplines. If some required courses are duplicative of courses that may have been taken in the student’s undergraduate degree program, those courses need not be repeated, and the student will select in consultation with the MSIS Graduate Coordinator and the Steering Committee additional approved courses to arrive at the total of 30 credit hours.

Although copied below, the official degree requirements may be found in the Graduate Catalog under Graduate Programs, Certificates and Specializations > Information Systems.

Required Courses:

The following five courses must be taken and all count toward the graduate degree unless they were counted in a student’s undergraduate program.

SIE 505 – Formal Foundations for Information Science (3 credits)
SIE 507 – Information Systems Programming (3 credits)
SIE 515 – Human Computer Interaction (3 credits)
SIE 525 – Information Systems Law (3 credits)
SIE 550 – Design of Information Systems (3 credits)
For the course descriptions, see MSIS courses or see Graduate Catalog > Graduate Courses > Prefix (for example SIE  or BUA) > Filter.

Elective Courses:

Students must take at least fifteen additional credits that are approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee from the following approved elective course listings in order to arrive at the total required of 30 credits. Students should NOT assume that any combination of the following courses will be approved by the Steering Committee. Students should obtain approval of their full program of study prior to taking elective courses to ensure that they count towards their degree requirements. Students may propose additional graduate courses than those listed below be included on their program of study on a case-by-case basis or added to the list. The MSIS Steering Committee assesses the reasonableness of such requests and makes the final decision on whether specific additional courses serving the objectives of the MSIS program and the needs of the student may be included.

Some of the elective graduate courses listed may require prerequisites in addition to the minimum required for general admission to the MSIS graduate program. Some schools and departments grant enrollment preference to graduate students in their own graduate programs so check with the relevant department or college as appropriate. A student with an undergraduate degree in a specific field (e.g. business, computer science, education, engineering or new media) will have likely an easier time meeting graduate course prerequisites in that field than a student from another undergraduate field.


BUA 561 – Knowledge Management and System Support Systems Credits: 3
BUA 664 – Databases and Data Mining in Industry Credits: 3
BUA 668 – Electronic Commerce Credits: 3

Computer Science

Any formally approved 400 level COS courses and above


EDT 520 – Methods of Teaching with Computer Technology (3 credits)
EDT 545 – Information Security in the Educational Environment (3 credits)

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Any 400 level ECE courses and above


INT 400 – Pop! Tech: The Impact of Technology on Society (3 credits)
INT 601 – Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)


Any formally approved regular 500 and 600 level courses.

Spatial Information Science and Engineering

SIE 509 – Principles of Geographic Information Systems Credits: 3
SIE 510 – Geographic Information Systems Applications Credits: 3
SIE 512 – Spatial Analysis Credits: 3
SIE 516 – Virtual Reality: Research and Applications Credits: 3
SIE 554 – Spatial Reasoning Credits: 3
SIE 555 – Spatial Database Systems Credits: 3
SIE 557 – Database System Applications Credits: 3
SIE 558 – Real-Time Sensor Data Streams Credits: 3
SIE 559 – Geosensor Networks Credits: 3
SIE 570 – Spatial Cognition and Computing Credits: 3
SIE 571 – Pattern Recognition and Robotics Credits: 3
SIE 580 – Ontology Engineering Principles Credits: 3
SIE 590 – Information Systems Internship Credits: 3-6

For descriptions of the above elective courses and potential additional electives, see Graduate Catalog > Graduate Courses > Prefix (for example SIE  or BUA) > Filter.

Detailed Requirements:

  • Programs of Study are approved for each student by the Steering Committee for the MSIS graduate program. This committee consists of the MSIS Graduate Program Coordinator and two additional graduate faculty members in the department or affiliated with the program.
  • Each student’s Program of Study must include the five required core courses with the remainder of courses to be selected from an approved course list maintained by the department or proposed by the student and assessed for possible approval. The list is regularly updated and includes appropriate courses drawn from across campus. Each student’s Program of Study must be approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • At least 15 credits of the 30 required on a student’s program of study must be at the 500 level or above.
  • Up to two courses may be taken at other universities by distance methods or otherwise if contained on the student’s graduate program of study and approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • Up to two graduate courses may be transferred into the student’s graduate program of study if taken prior to admission to the Graduate School, the courses did not count towards the student’s undergraduate degree requirements, and the courses are approved by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • The MSIS Graduate Coordinator serves as the advisor for each student admitted to the program and the MSIS Steering Committee serves as the graduate committee for each student in the program.
  • All students must complete the entire M.S. graduate program of study within a six-year period (as established by the Graduate School).

Graduate Certificate in Information Systems

The Graduate Certificate in Information Systems is available to those students who complete the fifteen credits of required courses listed above under the MS Information Systems graduate degree program. All of the required courses should be available to the student through distance technologies at least once within any one year period. If one of the courses has been waived due to previous course work or acquired skills, students will be required to take an appropriate replacement course as specified by the graduate coordinator in consultation with the MSIS graduate faculty. With rare exceptions, students desiring to acquire the Graduate Certificate in Information Systems should apply for formal admission to the MS Information Systems program. If a student is unable to complete the full MS within a reasonable period of time (such as due to the inconvenience of traveling to campus to complete some courses), the student may request of the graduate coordinator that they be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Information Systems in lieu of completing the MSIS.

Lab Facilities

Students have access to state-of-the-art computer labs and software. MSIS students are also provided with shared work space and a student lounge in Room 137 Boardman Hall. The department maintains a range of database, GIS, statistical and programming software for teaching and research support. Compilers and software development environments are available for common programming languages including C++, and Java, fast prototyping environments such as Visual Basic, and Prolog. The department has educational site licenses for Oracle, ESRI software, Intergraph GIS and CAD software, Smallworld GIS, Idrisi and Mapinfo.