Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)


The MS-IS degree includes pre-IS business foundations courses, advanced courses, and electives. If you enter the program with prior business coursework, you may be able to complete your degree in as few as 45 credits (51 credits are required if none of the business foundations courses have been satisfied).

Program Prerequisite

Prerequisite skills: Programming familiarity; proficiency in using office productivity tools, such as Excel.

Prerequisite Pre-IS Courses

Pre-IS courses generally precede other courses. These courses, totaling 6 credit hours, cover some “basics” relating to business. Students may have satisfied these pre-IS requirements through prior coursework.

Program Components


  • Advanced courses: 30 credits
  • Elective courses: 15 credits

Advanced and Elective Courses

The 10 advanced and five elective courses total 45 credit hours and may not be satisfied by undergraduate coursework. Transfer credits 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 (nine 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 graduate director to select a customized and appropriate sequence of courses.


View MS-IS program curriculum summary

Areas of Emphasis


This area of emphasis offers a focus on managing an organization’s cybersecurity policies and processes. You’ll gain further expertise in the areas of risk management, disaster recovery, security tools, and policy development.

Data 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, visualization, and analytics, as well as 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 by integrating IT infrastructure, IS applications, and business 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-IS 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 10–11 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-IS in two to three years.

Curricular Practical Training

Students attending the MBA or MS-IS 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