Our Master of Science in Information Science degree program offers six specializations—as well as a general one—to allow you to customize your education to your specific interests and career goals.

In the MSIS program, you have the option to follow a general course of study. Many students like the flexibility encouraged by this general program of study – often, employers are looking for those with the broadest range of knowledge and experience. You can take a sampling of courses from each of the curricular areas: cognitive, foundations, and systems and technology. In consultation with your academic advisor you will choose courses that meet the following minimum 36 credit requirement.
  • Six credits of course work in the Formal or Applied Foundations area
  • Eighteen credits of course work in the Systems and Technology areas (INFSCI 2500 required, unless equivalent has already been taken)
  • Six credits in the Cognitive Science or Cognitive Systems areas. INFSCI 2300 is recommended as the first course in this area. INFSCI 2130 may be used to meet this requirement with permission of the advisor.
  • Six credits of electives. Students may pursue a thesis or a practicum as one of the elective options. Students should know that a thesis is not a requirement of the MSIS degree program.
Click here for the current plan of study.

Big Data: sets of data that are so large and complex, that it is difficult to use them effectively and efficiently.

Our specialization emphasizes big data analytics and provides students with the essential in-depth knowledge of techniques and technologies relevant for big data management. Coursework will cover the design and maintenance of infrastructure to efficiently store, easily access, and transfer over wide area networks, extremely large amounts of data.

The Big Data challenge involves three major dimensions: data size, data rate and data diversity. This specialization will prepare students to address real-life problems along each dimension. Digital data is everywhere and employers from a wide range of sectors—healthcare, finance, place-based retail, manufacturing, and transportation, to name just a few—will be looking to build workforce capacity to enhance their productivity and competitive position in global markets.

Lead Faculty

Marek Druzdzel
Hassan Karimi
Prashant Krishnamurthy
Vladimir Zadorozhny

Pre-requisites for this Specialization

Students must have taken IS 2500 Data Structures or an equivalent as well as a course in the JAVA programming language prior to entering the this specialization.

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits below must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Note: Recommended courses have been pre-approved to fulfill the following academic areas. You may choose classes from outside of the list of recommended courses and are encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Click here to view to the current plan of study.

Storage and distribution subsystems are fundamental components of any information system. As information moved to digital form, storage systems evolved into various forms of database systems. In the environment we call the World Wide Web, people interact with databases and information storage systems through web protocols using web-based interfaces to facilitate distribution.

We have a strong specialization in database and web systems and technologies. The database coursework consists of classes covering both fundamental concepts of modern database management systems (DBMSs) and advanced issues that typically arise in the context of large-scale-enterprise data management. Coursework is focused on developing practical skills in building and administering realistic database systems, data integration, data warehousing, and Web-based data management. Database research projects offer tremendous opportunities for students in specialties including scalable architectures for wide-area environments with heterogeneous information servers, query optimization in highly distributed databases, and wireless and mobile databases.

The web systems coursework introduces current Web technologies including XML, and new distributed architectures for service provision. Hands-on projects will teach you technologies that can be applied to solve an organization’s information processing needs.

If you specialize in database and web systems, career options include positions such as a systems analyst, systems architect, database administrator, data steward, senior programmer/analyst, design analyst, and Web services manager.

Lead faculty

Vladimir Zadorozhny

Prerequisites

Students should have an undergraduate data-structures course in addition to the standard MSIS admissions prerequisites. While this course can be taken after admission, it would require that 13 courses rather than 12 be taken to complete the degree. Students are also encouraged to have programming experience in more than one language (C or C++ and Java are the ideal combination).

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Click here to view the current plan of study.

The goal of the Geoinformatics specialization is to provide students with both the breadth and depth of knowledge in geoinformatics required for solving real-world problems. With an emphasis in geoinformatics, the graduates of this specialization in the MSIS degree program will gain the unique knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate the design, development, and deployment of complex systems and applications in a rapidly emerging geoinformatics profession. Graduates will be able to deploy and manage geoinformation systems in industry, conduct research in geotechnologies, and pursue PhD research in geoinformatics.

Of the 36 credits required to obtain the MSIS degree, students must take 12 credits in geoinformatics or geoinformatics-related courses.

Lead Faculty

Stephen Hirtle
Hassan Karimi

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits below must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Note: Recommended courses have been pre-approved to fulfill the following academic areas. You may choose classes from outside of the list of recommended courses and are encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Click here to view the current plan of study.

Human centered computing (HCC) is concerned with the development and management of systems in which the central focus is the user. The systems should be: aware of the user, easy to use, ubiquitous, and intelligent. In the final analysis, human centered systems improve workplace satisfaction, capitalize on information in the environment, and act on behalf of the user.

This specialization will provide you with foundational knowledge in three important aspects of human-centered systems—understanding humans and their information needs (covered by a set of cognitive courses), modeling humans and their needs (covered by a set of selected foundation courses) and system-building (covered by systems courses). You will have the opportunity to pursue specialized coursework in specific content areas, such as Web interfaces, information visualization, information storage and retrieval, intelligent systems, and Web 2.0 systems, where issues of usability engineering are critical to the success of a project.

The career opportunities for HCC experts include usability specialists, web site designers, information architects, ergonomic specialists, as well as the developers of other kinds of user-centered systems.

Lead Faculty

Peter Brusilovsky
Michael Lewis

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits below must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Note: Recommended courses have been pre-approved to fulfill the following academic areas. You may choose classes from outside of the list of recommended courses and are encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Click here to view the current plan of study.

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information is widely recognized for our excellence in cybersecurity research and education. Since 2004 when we were first designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) to our recent top ten ranking (#7) out of more than 400 institutions of higher education, our school has been at the forefront of emerging trends in the Cybersecurity field.

Home to the Laboratory for Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS), led by James Joshi, LERSAIS has been central to the establishment of a premier research program on security and the development of high quality education in security and information assurance at Pitt. LERSAIS focuses on various cybersecurity research areas such as Security, Privacy, & Trust Models for Emerging Applications, Networks and Information Systems Survivability; Wireless information assurance, Applied Cryptography and Network security, Security and Privacy of Cloud Computing and Social Networks, and Critical Infrastructure Protection. In 2014, we were re-designated a a CAE-IA/Cyber Defense Education and Research (i.e., for both CAE and CAE-REsearch). This most recent designation reflects Pitt’s ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria and contributes to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.

In recognition of the leading-edge research in information assurance and cybersecurity conducted by LERSAIS faculty, the school has received more than $2 million in funding for projects and education from the NSF, Department of Defense (DoD), Cisco and other agencies. Learn more about LERSAIS: www.sis.pitt.edu/lersais.

Lead Faculty

James Joshi

Prerequisites

Students must have taken INFSCI 2500 Data Structures or the equivalent prior to entering the Security Specialization.

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits below must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Note: Recommended courses have been pre-approved to fulfill the following academic areas. You may choose classes from outside of the list of recommended courses and are encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Click here to view the current plan of study.

In the Telecommunications and Distributed Systems (TDS) specialization, you will focus on one of the fastest growing Information Technology fields. Distributed computing involves the study of information systems in which the data and computational processing is spread over more than one computer—usually in a network. Networking is critical to efficient communication among widely distributed participants and has become the backbone of industries ranging from Telecommunications firms to healthcare systems. Thanks to the Internet and more powerful computation/communication devices, industry and society are demanding more pervasive networks, more efficient and effective information systems, and more professionals trained to design and manage these complex and vital systems.

With this specialization, students will gain the knowledge and skills to face the challenges of deploying, designing, and managing distributed applications across networked systems. Graduates will be able to design and manage client-server and peer-to-peer systems, manage network-based information systems, and design networks and systems that are secure.

Lead Faculty

Prashant Krishnamurthy

Prerequisites

Students interested in this specialization are expected to have successfully completed significant coursework in programming (at least equivalent to INFSCI 2500) in order to meet the prerequisites for several courses in the specialization. TELCOM 2000 is also a prerequisite for this specialization.

Plan of Study

Any changes to the distribution of credits below must be requested, in advance, through petition to the faculty.

Note: Recommended courses have been pre-approved to fulfill the following academic areas. You may choose classes from outside of the list of recommended courses and are encouraged to discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Click here to view the current plan of study.