MSIS and MBA Dual Degree

MSIS and MBA Dual Degree Requirements

The dual degree program consisting of the Master of Science in Information System (MSIS) and the Maine Business School (MBS) Master of Business Administration (MBA) is intended for students interested in combining business skills with technological skills in order to meet the demands of the workplace. The course of study normally takes two years. It leads to two master’s degrees: one in Information Systems and one in Business.

Students are required to complete the requirements for a master’s degree in both programs.  Six hours of MSIS courses can be counted as MBA electives and nine MBA credits can be counted as MSIS electives (i.e., a total of 15 credits can be double counted). As a result a total of only 45 hours is required to complete both degrees (rather than the 60 usually required for two completely independent masters degrees). Each unit tracks the progress of the student in meeting their course requirements within the 45 credit program.

The dual degree may be pursued either live or via distance technology. Neither program requires a thesis.

Application Process for Dual Program

Students apply on the UMaine Graduate School website completing applications for both the MSIS and MBA programs. Completing two applications facilitates review by two separate faculties. The MSIS application currently requires less documentation.  The graduate coordinators of the two programs in consultation with their faculties independently review the application to their program. They make a recommendation to the graduate school concerning admission of an applicant to their leg of the joint program.

MSIS applications processed through the Graduate School are accomplished on a rolling basis and no strict deadlines apply. However, to be considered for Fall admission, completed applications should be received typically 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term.

To apply for admission to the MSIS degree program, students submit:

  • Completed online application indicating the MSIS degree program
  • Transcripts of all previous college or university work
  • Your current resume which should include contact information for three references
  • A brief essay
  • $65 application fee

For detailed requirements, please read all the comments that follow including the Advising notes.

International students also submit:

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (TOEFL minimum of 80 or IELTS 6.5.)
  • Waived for native English speakers and students graduating from an English-speaking or ESL programs.
  • WES or ECE certified transcript translation.
  • Certificate of Finances
  • Copy of passport or visa

International applicants should also review the Office of International Programs page for more information on Visas, financial statements, and other requirements, or to contact an international advisor. All applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Professional Recommendations

Recommenders listed in your resume should be able to comment on your academic strengths, work ethic, responsibilities, accomplishments, career advancement, managerial experience, or ability to be successful in a dual degree program. These references may or may not be contacted depending on circumstances. Please provide mailing address, phone, and email contact information as appropriate.

Application Essay Prompt

Submit an essay describing your motivation for pursuing a dual degree. The essay is evaluated not only for content, but also for intrinsic writing quality and strengths. Your essay should be no more than two pages. Please state in the essay that you are applying for the MSIS/MBA Dual Degree program.

Application Fees

Application fees are waived for:

  • Graduates of University of Maine System Schools
  • Veterans of the US Armed Forces
  • Fulbright Scholars
  • Participants in select programs (eg. IRT/McNair)

Minimum Admission Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year U.S. accredited college or university with a 3.0 cumulative or higher GPA, or three-year international equivalent university with comparable academic performance.

Admission to the University of Maine MSIS/MBA Dual Degree program is competitive. Dual Degree applicants are jointly reviewed by both academic departments. It is possible that a student will gain admission to one program but not both. All applications are reviewed holistically – exceptional career or leadership experience may offset weak scores in some applicants. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis. Among other considerations, reviewers assess the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully. Conditional or provisional admission is available.


Because the student will receive two degrees, a program of study for each degree must be developed and approved by each respective graduate coordinator or unit committee.  Thus students in the dual-degree program will have two advisors, one from Information Systems and one from Business. They will also complete two separate but integrated Programs of Study. They will also eventually submit an application for graduation for each separate degree.

(1) Programs of Study: Complete and file a program of study (POS) for each degree that meets the requirements of that specific degree. That is, one POS for the MSIS and another for the MBA. Indicate on each POS with an * those courses that are to be double counted toward both degrees. While each POS must list ten courses, eight courses from the MBA program are required and seven from the MSIS are required for a total of 15 courses (45 credits). Rather than 20 courses for both degrees (60 credits), five of the courses count in both programs. Even with double counting of some courses, the dual degree program still provides the student, and his or her advisor or advisory committee, some flexibility to devise a program that supports the specific needs of the student. For further guidance in preparing the MSIS POS, see notes 6, 3, and 4 under MSIS Advising Notes.

(2) Waived Courses: Waived courses are required courses that need not be taken because the student has already covered the subject matter of the course in previous courses. See the SCIS Course Waiver Form. If a course is waived, another course is taken in its place with approval of the Graduate Coordinator in consultation with the faculty. In some instances, the replacement course is prespecified. For instance if SIE 507 is waived, the replacement course is SIE 508 unless that subject matter as well has already been covered in previous coursework by the student.

(3) Failure to complete one degree program: Should a student withdraw from one of the two graduate programs, he or she may complete the other by accomplishing the full requirements of that degree program.

(4) Course enrollment – There is no need to enroll in courses in both graduate programs each semester. Enrollment in one is sufficient to maintain your active status in both programs.

(5) On-Leave Status – If you decide to enroll in no courses in either program for one or more regular academic year semesters, your are required to submit a Request for On-Leave Status. If you fail to submit such a request, you are assumed to have left the program by the Graduate School.

(6) Consecutive Dual Degrees – Although not typical, under current graduate school rules, a dual graduate degree may also be pursued consecutively rather than concurrently. Thus, a student might pursue and finish the MSIS degree prior to pursuing the MBA degree and still be able to double count some course in both graduate degrees. The opposite also holds. However, maximization in double counting is not assured through pursuit of consecutive degrees since requirements are not coordinated from the outset and requirements may change over time.

(7) Applications for Graduation – You must file a separate Application for Graduation for each of the graduate programs based on the Programs of Study filed for each. As such, you may graduate from one of the dual degree programs prior to the other.

Course Curriculum Requirements

For a student enrolled in the dual degree program in Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS), the required curriculum is as follows:

MSIS Credits MBA Credits
I. Required Courses I. Required Courses
SIE 507 – Information Systems Programming 3 BUA 601 Strategic Data Analysis 3
SIE 550 – Design of Information Systems 3 MBA 609 Financial Statement Analysis 3
SIE 515 – Human Computer Interaction 3 MBA 626 Management of Contemporary Organizations 3
SIE 525 – Information Systems Law 3 MBA 637 Global Supply Chain Networks 3
SIE 505 – Formal Foundations for Information Science 3 MBA 651 Financial Management 3
II. Elective Courses MBA 670 Managerial Marketing 3
(a) Three BUA or MBA required courses from the right column count toward electives in the MSIS degree 9 MBA 649 Strategic Decision Making 3
(b) Two MSIS elective course (not BUA or MBA courses) 6 BUA 680 Foundations of Business Intelligence 3
II. Elective Courses
Two SIE required courses from the left column count toward electives in the MBA degree 6
Total 30 Total 30
Total beyond MBA Required* 21 Total beyond MSIS Required* 24

* The total of course credits required equals 21 + 24 = 45 credits to complete the two graduate degrees rather than 60 credits.

Sequence of Courses
Students may begin both the MBA and MSIS programs in any semester.  Generally there is no prescribed sequence of courses, except that course prerequisites must be completed prior to taking a course.

MSIS Elective Courses

Admitted students must NOT assume that any combination of the MSIS elective courses will be approved by the MSIS 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. For instance, additional BUA courses are not typically approved as MSIS electives since a large number are already included in the dual program. Students may propose additional graduate courses to those listed in the MSIS curriculum to be included on their program of study on a case-by-case basis. 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.

Course Descriptions

For courses offered within the School of Computing and Information Science, see the MSIS course descriptions along with prerequisites and sample syllabi. For any additional individual graduate course descriptions along with their prerequisites applicable to the MSIS program, see  Graduate Catalog (select current catalog year and then Graduate Courses > Prefix (for example SIE  or BUA) > Filter.)