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M.S. - Information Systems Management
MS - ISM Program Management Track
MS - ISM Systems Integration Track
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Course Descriptions
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Master of Science in Information Systems Management (MS-ISM)

McKenna Hall

We live in a society that is increasingly dependent upon the exchange of information and information services. More and more organizations recognize that their information resources are high-value assets of strategic significance and they rely upon rapid access and evaluation of accurate information for their survival.

Today’s successful businesses can no longer maintain their strategic advantage without competent leadership from their IT organizations. This program develops those leaders with a strong balance of management, technology, and leadership skills needed to handle complex globally integrated systems.

The application of information technology and information systems is changing not only the way organizations do business but also organizational structures. Competition and cooperation in our global, networked, and dynamic environment has created a need for people who can work together in teams and apply information technology and information systems to meet organizations' information requirements.

The MS-ISM program serves managers who want to apply information technology and information systems to solve important problems in organizations. It also serves systems analysts and designers with computer science backgrounds who need to understand the broader role of information systems in organizations. The program prepares a student to integrate information systems and business processes as a project manager, an information manager, and, ultimately, as a CIO.


This program develops IT leaders who will apply information technology and information systems to solve important problems in organizations. Students are prepared to lead and manage the integration of information systems and business processes as a project manager, an information manager, and, ultimately, as a CIO.

SPU's School of Business and Economics (SBE) is committed to providing an applied, experiential, and collaborative learning environment in which information systems and Christian faith, ethics, and character are integrated.

A team-centered educational approach provides students with opportunities for extensive group work and group interaction. Hands-on application of information technology is emphasized. The objectives of the information systems management (ISM) program are to develop students' ability to do the following:

  • Provide values-based leadership in the planning, development, and management of information systems.
  • Effectively integrate information systems with business strategies, processes, and decision making.
  • Evaluate the effects of information systems on organizations and personnel, and assist in managing the resultant transitions.
  • Communicate effectively, work in teams, and self-assess personal abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.


The ISM curriculum consists of pre-ISM foundations courses, advanced courses, and elective courses. (Some IT skills are also prerequisite.)

All ISM courses are 3 quarter credits. A minimum of 36 credits (12 courses) must be completed at SPU.

The curriculum keeps up-to-date on the changing demands placed upon information systems managers. Current topics emphasized in this program include outsourcing models, large-scale integration projects, security and ethics, knowledge management and business intelligence, and other related special topics such as health informatics, retail information systems, manufacturing information systems, and others.


Students must show familiarity with programming or web development — and also have skills in word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.


Foundation courses in accounting and operations management (6 credit hours) cover basic business concepts that must be understood to achieve the program's objectives.

Many students have covered some or all of this subject matter in an undergraduate program. If so, it is possible to waive Pre-ISM courses on the following basis:

  • If you have a bachelor's degree earned within seven years of admission to the program that included courses covering the same body of knowledge as foundation courses. To qualify, a minimum grade of B or better must have been received in the undergraduate course. Courses taken pass/no credit will not waive the foundation course requirement.
  • If your bachelor's degree was completed more than seven years prior to admission, or if the grade in the undergraduate course is below B but not below C+, you may take a competency examination in the subject. Competency tests must be completed within the year following your date of admission to the program. If the competency examination is successfully completed, the applicable foundation course will be waived. If not, you must take the course or complete it via credit by examination for which tuition and an examination fee are charged.


Advanced courses total 30 credit hours. These courses may not be waived and transfer credit from other institutions will be given only for graduate-level courses covering the same body of knowledge. Students may transfer a maximum of three courses (9 credits) from other institutions with the approval of the School of Business and Economics Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.

ELECTIVE COURSES (15 credit hours)

Elective course offerings will vary each year based on your interest and relevance of subject matter to the information systems community.

To gain the most out of the ISM degree, you are encouraged to specialize in one of two tracks. The Systems Integration Track is more technically focused providing for a mastery of integrating systems and information in an organization. The Program Management Track is more managerially focused on the complexities of managing people, projects, programs, and systems.


This track focuses on ensuring the flow of information in a business, enabling the implementation and management of the business strategy and operations.

Accomplishing this calls for the integration of the IT infrastructure, IS applications, and business data supporting the business world using today’s and tomorrow’s technology.

The Systems Integration Track provides you with a focus on the strategic, technological, financial, and organizational issues and matching these issues with the right technology, applications, and data across the enterprise. This track builds on the core courses in information systems management and requires three of the following courses:

  • ISM 6255  Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence
  • ISM 6335  IT Engineering Management
  • ISM 6313 IT as a Strategic Advantage
  • ISM 6345  Distributed Applications
  • ISM 6910  Seminar in Info Systems Management
  • ISM 6930  ISM Consulting Practicum


This track provides you with a focus on ensuring the successful development and implementation of an organization's information systems. The focus is to gain further expertise in the areas of project management, organizational structures, and behavior, as well as strategy and system development standards. In addition to the core ISM courses, you will choose three of the following courses:

  • BUS 6360 Innovation and Change Management 
  • BUS 6365 The High Technology Enterprise
  • BUS 6367 Project Management
  • ISM 6335  IT Engineering Management
  • ISM 6910  Seminar in Info Systems Management
  • ISM 6930  ISM Consulting Practicum


Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies, at least a 295 GRE total score (150V; 145Q) or a 500 GMAT total score (25V, 30Q, and 4.4AW), and evidence of at least one year of continuous, full-time, substantive work experience after receipt of the bachelor's degree.

The GRE/GMAT requirement is waived for applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above and five years of post-baccalaureate professional work experience (or three years managerial experience). The GRE/GMAT is also waived for applicants already possessing an advanced degree from an accredited university.

A TOEFL score of 90 or above on the iBT version is preferred for international (ESL) applicants.

Submission of two letters of recommendation from employers and a three- to four-page personal statement that responds to essay questions available from the School are optional, but strongly encouraged.


Qualified individuals may take up to two pre-ISM courses if they have an undergraduate degree (as evidenced by an official transcript from an accredited institution); a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0; and a minimum of one year full-time work experience (as evidenced by a current résumé).

Pre-qualified students may not take advanced or elective courses. If they wish to continue in a graduate program, they must apply for admission. Pre-qualified status does not guarantee full admission at a later date.


The School of Business and Economics admits students for all three academic quarters, as well as Summer Session.

The application for admission, $50 application fee, and personal statement (essay) must be received by the dates listed below. Recommendation letters, transcripts, and test scores must all arrive before an admission decision can be made.


Quarter/Starting Month

Application Deadline


August 1


November 1


February 1


May 1

Application Deadlines for International Students


Quarter/Starting Month

Application Deadline


June 1


September 1


December 1


(Not open to international students)



Admission into the ISM program at Seattle Pacific University is administered by the School of Business and Economics. All correspondence and admission materials should be directed to the associate graduate director.

Questions or requests for an admission application may be directed to the associate graduate director at 206-281-2753, faxed to 206-281-2733, or emailed to For more information, visit


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