Connecting people, information, and technology is at the core of the academic and research programs here at the School of Computing and Information. The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree program builds on that by preparing students for careers as information professionals, including systems analysts and designers, database developers and managers, information security experts, and more. This 36-credit program can be completed in three semesters (depending upon course schedules) of full-time study or as many as four years of part-time study.

Our 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. The School allows you to design a course of study under the direction of your advisor that meets your individual needs. Many students use this general track option to sample multiple areas of the curriculum, while other 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.

All MSIS students will complete a practicum experience. This will provide students with opportunities to gain practical experience, to acclimate to the corporate or industry worlds, and to build connections for future career searches. MSIS students can take IS 2980: Practicum after completing 18 credits of coursework.

Because this University is in a major urban center, there are numerous practicum 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.

Statute of Limitations

The normal full-time course load is 9 to 12 credits per term; thus a full time student will complete the program in three or four terms. Those needing to complete the degree program in one academic year (three consecutive terms) must be available for both day and evening courses. The normal part-time course load is six credits per term, which permits part-time students to complete the program in six terms.

The MSIS degree program must be completed within four years of the first term in which courses were taken after admission.

Exceptions to the four-year limit due to extenuating circumstances must be approved by the School’s faculty via a student petition.

Residence Requirements

Full-time study on campus is considered most beneficial to the student, but we recognize that many students hold jobs or have other off-campus responsibilities that make full-time study impossible. Degree requirements, therefore, can be met by full- or part-time study or a combination of both. While the school endeavors to offer a wide variety of courses (day and evening), it cannot offer as full and rich a program of studies to those who are constrained by personal obligations.

To maintain active student status, students must register for at least three credits during one of the terms of the calendar year. It is recommended that part-time students register for at least six credits during two of the three terms of the academic year to maintain reasonable progress through the program.

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