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).

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

The MBA program has foundation or prerequisite requirements that can be met before matriculating or while a graduate student.  This foundation consists of courses in accounting, economics, and statistics.  Some applicants will already meet some or all of these requirements.  For those who do not, the University of Maine offers accelerated online courses in accounting (BUA 400) and economics (ECO 410) for students without prior courses in these areas.  The business school requires a statistics course, but will accept a statistics course taken in the student’s undergraduate major.  If a student has not already had a statistics course in his or her undergraduate program, the student may take a statistics course from the University of Maine or elsewhere (online is a possibility).  Once matriculated, the Business School offers non-credit tutorials in finance, marketing, and management for those who need this background knowledge.

Admission to Dual Program

Students apply on the UMaine Graduate School website completing applications for both the MSIS and MBA programs simultaneously. Virtually identical information is submitted on both applications but completing two applications facilitates review by two separate faculties. The two units require only one standardized admissions test—either the GMAT (usually taken by MBA applicants) or the GRE (usually taken by MSIS applicants). The directors (graduate coordinators) of the two programs in consultation with their faculties independently review the application and make a recommendation to each other and to the graduate school concerning admission of an applicant to the joint program. Each unit tracks the progress of the student in meeting their course requirements within the 45 credit program.  Note: Both the MSIS and MBA graduate programs allow a student to submit a GRE Waiver Request and, if qualified, may be granted a waiver.

Admission to the University of Maine MSIS/MBA Dual Degree is competitive. In its admission process, graduate faculty advisors consider the potential of applicants to complete the programs successfully and achieve positions of leadership in the private or public sectors. For all of our graduate programs we are generally seeking students that score at the mean or above on the GMAT exam or on the verbal, quantitative and analytical segments of the GRE exam and in the 50th percentile or above on the exam overall. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

At a minimum an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the previous curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.

All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation must be received before a formal acceptance will be issued typically. 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 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term.


Because the student will receive two degrees, a program of study for each degree must be developed and approved by the 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.
Programs of Study: Each student’s program of study will be designed to meet the requirements of both degrees in which they are enrolled. However the dual degree program gives the student, and his or her advisor or advisory committee, some latitude to devise a program that supports the needs of the student.
Failure to complete one program: Should a student withdraw from one of the two graduate programs, he or she can complete the other according to the full requirements of that degree program.

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 505 – Formal Foundations for Information Science 3 BUA 601 Statistical Analysis & Modeling for Organizational Operations 3
SIE 507 – Information Systems Programming 3 BUA 605 Creating & Capturing Value in the Digital Economy 3
SIE 515 – Human Computer Interaction 3 BUA 609 Financial Statement Analysis 3
SIE 525 – Information Systems Law 3 BUA 620 Law, Business and Society 3
SIE 550 – Design of Information Systems 3 BUA 626 Management of Contemporary Organizations 3
II. Elective Courses BUA 649 Management Policy 3
Three BUA required courses from the right column count toward electives in the MSIS degree 9 BUA 651 Financial Management 3
Two MSIS elective courses from the list below 6 One BUA elective* 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

*Note that the one BUA elective listed under the MBA program will revert to a required BUA core course within a year or so. At that time there will be 8 MBA required core classes and no MBA elective in the dual degree.

** 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 can begin the MBA program in any semester.  Generally there is no proscribed sequence of courses, except:
i. The program’s capstone course (BUA 649) should be taken near the end of the program.
ii. Course prerequisites must be completed prior to taking a course.

Students can begin the IS graduate programs any semester. Generally there is no proscribed sequence of courses, except:
i.    Course prerequisites must be completed prior to taking a course.

MSIS Elective Courses

(courses the MSIS program has allowed as program electives)

Students must NOT assume that any combination of the following 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. Students may propose additional graduate courses than those listed below 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.

Note: These are not normally approved as additional electives for Dual Degree masters students since a large number of BUA courses are already included in the dual program.
BUA 561 – Knowledge Management and Decision Support Systems (3 credits)
BUA 664 – Databases and Data Mining in Industry (3 credits)
BUA 668 – Electronic Commerce (3 credits)

Computer Science
Any formally approved 400 level COS courses and above

EDT 520 – Methods of Teaching with Computer Technology (3 credits)
EDT 537 – Foundations of Distance Education (3 credits)
EDT 545 – Information Security in the Educational Environment (3 credits)

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Any formally approved 400 level ECE courses and above

INT 601 – Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)

Only formally approved regular 500 and 600 level courses.

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

MBA Elective Courses

(Courses the MBA program will allow as program electives)

BUA 454 — Derivatives
BUA 455 – International Corporate Finance
BUA 460 – Leadership (with permission)
BUA 561 — Knowledge Management and Decision Support Systems (3 credits)
BUA 596 — International trip
BUA 645 — Special Topics (e.g., Climate Change, leadership, negotiations)
BUA 652 – Financial Institutions
BUA 653 — Investments
BUA 664 – Databases and Data Mining in Industry (3 credits)
BUA 668 – Electronic Commerce (3 credits)
BUA 695 — MBA internship
BUA 698 – Independent Study

ENG 516 — Perspectives on Technical Editing and Information Design
ENG 518 — Communication about Innovation
ENG 515 — Approaches to Reports, Proposals, and Grants in Academic and Workplace Settings

SPI 503 International relations
SPI 573 Global Politics
SPI 590 Conflict and Extremism
SPI 590 Politics of Development
SPI 590 Research Methods and Methodology
SPI 590 International Development in Practice

ECO 405 Sustainable Energy Economics & Policy
ECO 422 Rural Economic Development
ECO 450 International Environmental Economics and Policy
ECO 488 Quantitative Analysis and Forecasting

Course Descriptions

For individual graduate course descriptions along with their prerequisites, see  Graduate Catalog (select current catalog year and then Graduate Courses > Prefix (for example SIE  or BUA) > Filter.)