Master of Science in Information Science

The Master of Science in Information Science program explores the junction of information, networks, and human behavior. We provide students with the skills and knowledge to model and design systems that are accountable, resilient, trustworthy, sustainable, and ethical. Our graduates design, build, manage, and protect the systems and networks that make information useful and accessible. They enjoy the limitless potential for exciting careers in virtually every industry—health care, finance, law, manufacturing, government, higher education, and more. The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree program prepares students for careers as information professionals, including systems analysts and designers, database developers and managers, information security experts, and more. This 36-credit program may be completed in three semesters of full-time study or as many as four years of part-time study  (depending upon course schedules).

Admission Deadlines: January 15 of each year for international and July 15 of each year for domestic applicants. Apply now.

Admission Requirements and Program Details

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The Curriculum

The MSIS program offers a rigorous course of study that is also flexible, so that the specific needs of individual students can be met.

Required Core Courses

All MSIS students are required to take the following five courses. Students would have to submit a petition to the faculty to waive any required core course. 

INFSCI 2150 - Information Security and Privacy
INFSCI 2300 - Human Information Processing
INFSCI 2591 - Algorithm Design
INFSCI 2710 - Database Management
TELCOM 2310 - Applications of Networks

The Department allows you to design a course of study under the direction of your advisor that meets your individual needs. Many students use this general option to sample multiple areas of the curriculum. Students will take seven elective courses from the department’s standard graduate course offerings.

All MSIS students have the option to have experiential learning through opportunities to gain practical experience, to acclimate to the corporate or industry worlds, and to build connections for future career searches. MSIS students can do a one term co-op or take IS 2980: Practicum after completing 18 credits of coursework. Because Pitt is in a major urban center, there are numerous opportunities with major corporations available to our students. Previously, students have found satisfying experiences with corporations such as: PPG Industries, Alcoa Corporation, BNY Mellon Corporation, WQED, Lockheed-Martin, FedEx Ground, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Heinz World Headquarters.

Specializations

Some students choose to focus on a defined specialization. Our specializations—big data analytics, database and web systems, geoinformatics, human-centered computing, information security, and telecommunications and distributed systems—have been created to meet the specific needs of different industry and academic sectors, while still providing the necessary foundational knowledge of the general program of study. Details are below.

Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics Required classes

Students in the Big Data Analytics specialization must take the following three required courses.

INFSCI 2140 - Information Storage and Retrieval
INFSCI 2160 - Data Mining
INFSCI 2595 - Machine Learning

Big Data Analytics Electives

Students in the Big Data Analytics specialization must take two electives from the following list:

INFSCI 2125 - Network Science and Analysis
INFSCI 2410 - Introduction to Neural Networks
INFSCI 2440 - Artificial Intelligence
INFSCI 2750 - Cloud Computing
INFSCI 2801 - Geospatial Information Systems
INFSCI 2809 - Spatial Data Analytics

Database and Web Systems

Database and Web Systems Required Classes

Students in the Database and Web systems specialization must take the following three required courses:

INFSCI 2560 - Network and Web Data Technologies
INFSCI 2711 - Advanced Topics in Database Management
INFSCI 2801 - Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)

Database and Web Systems Electives

Students in the Database and Web Systems specialization must take two Electives from the following list:

INFSCI 2140 - Information Storage and Retrieval
INFSCI 2750 - Cloud Computing
INFSCI 1525 - Curating Digital Data (counts toward the maximum of 6 credits in upper-level undergraduate classes)

Geoinformatics

Geoinformatics Required Courses

Students in the Geoinformatics specialization must take the following three required courses:

INFSCI 2160 - Data Mining
INFSCI 2801 - Geospatial Information Systems (GIS)
INFSCI 2809 - Spatial Data Analytics

Geoinformatics Electives

Students in the Geoinformatics specialization must take 2 electives from the following list:

INFSCI 2140 - Information Storage and Retrieval
INFSCI 2415 - Information Visualization
INFSCI 2595 - Machine Learning
INFSCI 2711 - Advanced Topics in Database Management
INFSCI 2750 - Cloud Computing
TELCOM 2700 - Introduction to Wireless Networks

Human Centered Computing

Human Centered Computing Required Courses

Students in the Human Centered Computing specialization must take the following three required courses:

INFSCI 2415 - Information Visualization
INFSCI 2430 - Social Computing
INFSCI 2470 - Interactive System Design

Human Centered Computing Electives

Students in the Human Centered Computing specialization must take two electives from the following list.*

INFSCI 1430 - User Experience Engineering*
INFSCI 1450 - Game Design*
INFSCI 1470 - Immersive Media Technologies*
INFSCI 2440 - Artificial Intelligence
INFSCI 2460 - Spatial Reasoning for GIS

*Counts toward the maximum of 6 credits in upper-level undergraduate classes

Information Security

Information Security Required Courses

Students in the Information Security specialization must take the following three required courses:

INFSCI 2160 - Data Mining
INFSCI 2621 - Security Management and Computer Forensics
TELCOM 2821 - Network Security

Information Security Electives

Students in the Information Security specialization must take 2 electives from the following list:

INFSCI 2170 - Cryptography
INFSCI 2430 - Social Computing
INFSCI 2595 - Machine Learning
INFSCI 2620 - Developing Secure Systems
INFSCI 2750 - Cloud Computing

Telecommunications and Distributed Systems

Telecommunications and Distributed Systems Required Courses

Students in the Telecommunications and Distributed Systems specialization must take the following three required courses:

TELCOM 2120 - Network Performance
TELCOM 2700 - Introduction to Wireless Networks
TELCOM 2821 - Network Security

Telecommunications and Distributed Systems Electives

Students in the Telecommunications and Distributed Systems specialization must take two electives from the following list:

INFSCI 2125 - Network Science and Analysis
INFSCI 2160 - Data Mining
INFSCI 2595 - Machine Learning
INFSCI 2621 - Security Management and Computer Forensics
INFSCI 2750 - Cloud Computing
INFSCI 2170 - Cryptography
TELCOM 2321 - Wide Area Networks
TELCOM 2010 - Computer Networking Laboratory

Additional Approved Electives

Students may select two courses from the department’s standard graduate course offerings, including independent study and practicum experiences. Students may also pursue opportunities that fall outside of the department’s standard graduate course offerings such as the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education cross-registration, doctoral seminars, courses offered in other Pitt graduate departments, or undergraduate upper-level coursework in information science or computer science (1100-1999).

The additional approved electives may not exceed six credits and require advisor approval prior to enrollment.