Master of Science in Information
Systems Management (MS-ISM)


The MS-ISM degree requires 51 credits – including pre-ISM courses, advanced courses, and electives. It is possible to waive the two pre-ISM courses if you enter the program with undergraduate credits in certain subject matter, reducing the number of credits needed for graduation to 45.

Program Prerequisite

To be admitted to the MS-ISM program, you must show familiarity with programming or web development. Skills in word processing, spreadsheets, and databases are also a prerequisite.

Program Components


  • Pre-ISM Courses: 6 credits
  • Advanced Courses: 30 credits
  • Elective Courses: 15 credits

Pre-ISM Courses

Pre-ISM courses generally precede and are sometimes prerequisites to other courses. These courses, totaling 6 credit hours, cover what is generally referred to as the “basics” relating to business-oriented information systems management. Students may have satisfied these pre-ISM requirements through prior coursework.

Advanced and Elective Courses

The 10 advanced and five elective courses total 45 credit hours and may not be satisfied by undergraduate coursework. Transfer credit from other institutions will be given only for graduate level courses from AACSB accredited schools covering the same body of knowledge. Students may transfer a maximum of three courses (9 credits) from other graduate programs. Acceptance of transfer credit is determined by the director of graduate studies.

Elective course offerings will vary each year based on student interest and relevance of subject matter to the information systems community. Consult the Program Coordinator to select a customized and appropriate sequence of courses.


View a summary of the MS-ISM program curriculum.

Areas of Emphasis

Data Management & Analytics

This area of emphasis offers a focus on managing the mountains of data that organizations use and enabling management to make sense of that data.  You’ll gain further expertise in the areas of data management, data visualization, data analytics, and business intelligence.

Systems Integration

This area of emphasis focuses on ensuring the free 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 emphasis 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.

Program Management

This area of emphasis offers a focus on ensuring the successful development and implementation of an organization’s information systems. You’ll gain further expertise in the areas of project management, organizational structures and behavior, as well as strategy and system development standards.

Program Schedule and Timeline

You may apply to the MS-ISM program in any quarter. (View a list of application deadlines per quarter.) Evening and select weekend courses are designed to accommodate working professionals. Courses generally meet one evening per week for 10 to 11 weeks.

Time to complete the degree depends on previous business/IT coursework taken and number of classes taken per quarter (including summers). Typically you will take one or two classes per quarter. On average, students complete the MS-ISM in two to three years.

Curricular Practical Training

Students attending the MBA or M.S.-ISM program on an F-1 Visa are strongly encouraged to include BUS 6969 Practice of Business as one of their five electives.  Completing a project in cooperation with an enterprise under the sponsorship of a faculty member is similar to doing an internship.  Students have an opportunity to apply the knowledge gained from a significant amount of their prior coursework to a meaningful project for a business.  This constitutes a very valuable opportunity for international students to become more familiar with U.S. business practices and meets the criteria for Curricular Practical Training.

“The project management training was especially helpful in preparing me to lead major projects at our organization. The combination of the other classes gave me a balanced education that has allowed me to work across business functions, and provide value where I otherwise would not have been able to.”
Jason Wood, 2012 MS-ISM Graduate
Chief Information Officer, Benaroya Research Institute