Master of Science in Information
Systems (MS-IS) STEM

About the program

The STEM designated Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS) 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 is available for on-campus based learning in the hybrid learning format.

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 importance 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.

Developing IT leaders

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

SPU’s School of Business, Government, and Economics 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 you with opportunities for extensive group work and group interaction. Hands-on application of information technology is emphasized. The objectives of the information systems management (IS) program are to develop your 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 MS-IS program develops readiness to act as a purpose-driven IT leader. The curriculum keeps up to date on the changing demands placed upon information systems managers. Current topics emphasized in this program include data analytics, cyber security, 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. 

The 45-credit curriculum consists of core courses and elective courses. A minimum of 45 credits must be earned, at least 36 of which must be completed at SPU. That is, you may transfer a maximum of three courses (9 credits) from other AACSB accredited institutions with the approval of the SBGE associate dean for graduate programs.

Core courses

The core courses total 30 credit hours and develop a whole IS function,  business, and ethics integration view. You may not fulfill these courses by undergraduate coursework. Transfer credit will be given only for graduate-level courses covering the same body of knowledge from other AACSB institutions.

Elective courses (15 credit hours)

By selecting specific sets of elective courses, you can tailor the degree to meet your individual needs.  Current emphasis areas include data analytics, cyber security, and program management.

Business foundation courses

Prerequisite business foundation coursework includes 4 credits — BUS 6130, 6164. This coursework may be satisfied by prior coursework or may be completed at SPU. Familiarity with programming or web development and frequently used office productivity software (including spreadsheets and databases) are also prerequisites.

Many students have covered some or all of this subject matter in an undergraduate program. In the following circumstances, coursework completed at the undergraduate level prior to admission to the program may fulfill one or more business foundation courses.

If you earned a bachelor’s degree within seven years* of admission to the program that included courses covering the same body of knowledge as foundations courses:

  • Courses in which you earned a minimum grade of “B” may fulfill foundation courses with comparable content. (See below if the grade was less than B.)
  • A course taken for pass/no credit cannot fulfill a foundation course requirement.
  • To fulfill the BUS 6170 requirement, a course must have been completed with a minimum grade of "B" within three years of admission to the program.

If you completed a bachelor's degree more than seven years prior to admission to the program, 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 considered fulfilled.
  • If you do not successfully complete the competency exam, you must take the graduate course or complete it via credit by examination for which tuition and an examination fee are charged.

Admission requirements

Generally, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies, at least a 295 GRE score or at least 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 on your résumé.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Current rèsumè as evidence of a substantive work experience. You will need at least one full year, continuous full-time, post-bachelor’s degree experience at the time of application. More is preferred. This is a significant factor in the admission decision process. Applicants with less than one year of post-baccalaureate professional work experience, but who are otherwise strong candidates and are currently employed in a meaningful professional role, may be considered.
  • Official transcript(s) from colleges or universities attended. Include the transcript from the institution that granted your bachelor’s degree with the posted degree appearing on the transcript. Also send official transcripts for all institutions attended following your undergraduate degree, as well as any other schools where you earned credits that may be used to request waivers of business foundation courses.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. GRE scores above 295 (150 verbal; 145 quantitative) are preferred. For the GRE, the SPU school code is 4694. The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) may also be accepted, and scores above 500 (25 verbal; 30 quantitative; 4.4 analytical writing) are preferred. For the GMAT, the SPU school code is C9FD273.
    • The GRE/GMAT requirement is waived for applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.5, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and 3 years of experience, or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and 5 years of post-baccalaureate professional work experience. The GMAT/GRE is also waived for applicants already possessing an advanced degree from an accredited university.
  • Personal statement (3–4 pages), responding to the essay questions listed in the online application.
  • Two professional letters of recommendation(optional); find the forms in the online application.

Language Proficiency

SPU considers you to be a native English speaker if both your primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States (other than Puerto Rico).

If you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to demonstrate English proficiency, regardless of English language studies or academic history.

To demonstrate language proficiency, submit:

  • an official TOEFL score of at least 86 on the iBT
  • an official IELTS score of at least 6.5, or
  • an official Duolingo score of 110.

Otherwise, strong applicants with a TOEFL score of 68-85 (IELTS 6.0) may be probationally or conditionally admitted with the requirement to successfully complete SPU approved ESL coursework prior to or at the outset of enrollment and continuing as needed.

You may be exempted from the English proficiency testing requirement if you have earned baccalaureate or advanced degrees at Seattle Pacific University, at another regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or at an accredited university in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, or New Zealand.

International applicants

In addition to the requirements above, international students must submit:

  • Official financial statement reflecting financial support equivalent to the cost of the first year of graduate study. Complete the Declaration of International Student Finances form (PDF) and send it to the address listed on the form, along with an original bank statement and copy of your passport (front and back).
  • For non-US transcripts, provide a transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES) or Foundation for International Services Inc. (FIS). (A course-by-course evaluation is needed to determine if any business foundations have been satisfied.) In addition to the evaluation report, all Official transcript(s)s must be submitted in English. International applicants are responsible for all translation costs associated with translation. 

Conditional admission

You may request conditional admittance into the School of Business, Government, and Economics under these conditions:

  • You are a student who needs an F-1 visa to study in the United States.
  • You have graduated from an accredited four-year institution. Your transcript must show completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • You have achieved at least a 3.0 GPA on the U.S. 4.0 scale.
  • You have a minimum of at least one year, continuous full-time, post-bachelor’s degree experience at the time of application. You will be required to submit a résumé with job titles, duties, start date, and end date (month and year). Internships and job training are not accepted as full-time employment.

If approved, you will receive a Conditional Letter of Admission from SPU. Conditional admission assures that you will be considered for admission, if you satisfy all admission requirements at the time of your intended enrollment.

Please complete this form to request conditional admission to a graduate program in the SPU School of Business, Government, and Economics. 

Prequalified students

Qualified individuals may take up to five courses if they have an undergraduate degree (as evidenced by an Official transcript(s) from an accredited institution); a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0; and a minimum of one year full-time post-baccalaureate work experience (as evidenced by a current résumé).

Prequalified students must apply for admission to take additional courses. Prequalified status does not guarantee full admission at a later date.

Application deadlines

Your application for admission, application fee, and personal statement must be received by the dates listed below. Recommendation letters, transcripts and test scores must arrive before an admission decision can be made.

  • Autumn Quarter: August 1 
  • Winter Quarter: November 1
  • Spring Quarter: February 1
  • Summer: May 1

International applicants with F1 visa

International applicants who do not need an F1 visa may adhere to the above deadlines. The following deadlines apply to those who do require an F1 visa.

  • Autumn Quarter: June 1 
  • Winter Quarter: September 1
  • Spring Quarter: December 1
  • Summer: Admission not available


Admission materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions, please contact the SBGE graduate program coordinator: