Program Description

MSIS Program Mission Statement

The MSIS program mission is to:

  • Prepare students for advanced careers in computing industry,
  • Help computing industry working professionals advance their careers through graduate continuing education,
  • Provide educational and research resources to serve the community and industry, and
  • Conduct high quality and innovative research to advance information technology and to bring economic opportunities to the state and the nation.

The Information Systems program prepares participants to be effective users, designers, and developers of information systems, people who can add value to processes and products in organizations. The program also helps participants improve their professional writing, presentation, and teamwork abilities.

M.S. in Information Systems Program Educational Objectives

Produce graduates who (during the first several years following graduation):

1) Are capable of analyzing and identifying requirements for rapidly changing computing problems and information technology environments
2) Are capable of designing and implementing solutions for rapidly changing computing problems and information technology environments
3) Have good communication skills and are able to effectively work in teams
4) Are capable of gazing the impact of computing on society, and possess knowledge of the ethical, social and professional implications/responsibilities of their work
5) Engage in life-long learning to adapt to innovation and change, and are successful in their professional work

M.S. in Information Systems Student Outcomes

Graduates of the MSIS program will attain by graduation time:

a) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline.
b) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution.
c) An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs.
d) An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal.
e) An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities.
f) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
g) An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society.
h) Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development.
i) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.
j) An understanding of processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within a specific application environment.

Admission Requirements

1. General Admission Requirements

Each applicant for admission to the M. S. in Information Systems program must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, and must satisfy at least TWO of the following criteria:

  • Score at the mean or above on the verbal GRE
  • Score at the mean or above on the quantitative GRE
  • Score at the mean or above on the analytical writing portion of the GRE
  • Score at the mean or above on the Miller Analogies Test
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or above
  • Have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and/or the Professional Engineering exam

Also, foreign nationals must score at the mean or above on the TOEFL, and must have met all CITE admission criteria prior to registering for the first semester of courses.

Applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds are welcome. In addition to the admission requirements stated above, an applicant wishing to major in Information Systems must have the following credentials and abilities:

  • Ability to write structured programs in a high level language and familiarity with computer systems
  • Basic mathematical ability. College algebra with a grade of B would minimally meet this requirement
  • Ability to use computer software for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, telecommunications, and data management
  • Ability to write a coherent, grammatically correct report

2. Program Requirements

Prospective students without the skills outlined above should take the following courses or their equivalent before entering the degree program:

  • Computer Systems and Programming
    CS 110 or equivalent
  • Mathematical Maturity
    College algebra or IE 610 Statistical Design
  • Communication Skills
    This need will normally be addressed by requirements within the program. In some cases, additional work may be required.

3. Admission Process/Materials

To apply to the Marshall University Graduate College, visit the Graduate Admissions website. You can apply online or use a PDF form. Refer to the Graduate Application menu item on the left of the page at that site.

If you are from outside the US, you may find Marshall’s International Student Information website a useful resource.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 36 graduate credit hours at the graduate level, including at least 24 credit hours at Marshall University. The degree consists of 27 credit hours of required courses and 9 hours of approved elective courses.

Required Courses:

  • IS 600 – Management Information Systems (3 hrs)
  • IS 605 – Systems Analysis Techniques (3 hrs)
  • IS 610 – Systems Design (3 hrs)
  • IS 621 – Information Structures 1 (3 hrs)
  • IS 622 – Information Structures 2 (3 hrs)
  • IS 623 – Database Management (3 hrs)
  • EM 660 – Project Management (3 hrs)
  • TE 698 – Comprehensive Project Formulation
  • TE 699 – Comprehensive Project (3 hrs) – after completion of minimum 27 hours

Electives

Three or more elective courses approved by the student’s advisor complete the program. In addition to Information Systems courses, these may include courses offered by other disciplines and by other institutions.

Comprehensive Project

The Information Systems degree program culminates with the comprehensive graduate project. This project is not a traditional graduate thesis with a research orientation, but rather a real life industry-type project in which the student undertakes an assignment that requires synthesis of all of the course work and its application to a typical problem from a relevant subject area.

Satisfactory completion of the project for the Information Systems degree program will require:

  • Approval of the problem by the faculty committee
  • A sensible solution to the problem based on principles of the field
  • An effectively written, well documented report that presents the solution
  • An oral presentation of the project

Each student must complete a final project that addresses the information system development cycle of analysis, design, and implementation. Where possible, a system should be developed for a local industry, governmental agency, business, college, or hospital, etc. Students receive credit for the final project by registering for TE 699.

Sample Information Systems Plan of Study (Full-Time)

Below is a potential listing of course offerings and schedule of when to take them for a full-time (9 credit hours a semester) student. Note: Courses may be offered in other semesters than indicated below so please work closely with your advisor in developing a coursework plan.

Year 1

Fall Semester
Spring Semester
IS600 – Management Information Systems 3 IS610 – Systems Design 3
IS605 – Systems Analysis 3 IS622 – Information Structures II 3
IS621 – Information Structures I 3 Elective 3

Year 2

Fall Semester
Spring Semester
IS623 – Database Management 3 TE699 – Final Project II 3
IS656 – Communication and Network Technologies 3 EM660 – Project Management 3
TE698 – Final Project I 3 Elective 3

Things to keep in mind when designing an IS Plan of Study.

  • IS605 and IS621 are usually ONLY offered in the Fall semester.
    Likewise, IS610 and IS622 are ONLY offered in the Spring semester.
  • IS622 is a pre-requisite of IS623 so you want to arrange your schedule so that you’ve
    completed both data structures courses before taking IS623.
  • Elective options vary in availability from year to year.

Sample Information Systems Plan of Study (Part-Time)

Below is a potential listing of course offerings and schedule of when to take them for a part-time (under 9 credit hours a semester) student. Note: Courses may be offered in other semesters than indicated below so please work closely with your advisor in developing a coursework plan:

Year 1

Fall Semester
Spring Semester
IS605 – Systems Analysis 3 IS610 – Systems Design 3
IS621 – Information Structures I 3 IS622 – Information Structures II 3

Year 2

Fall Semester
Spring Semester
IS623 – Database Management 3 EM660 – Project Management 3
IS656 – Communication and Network Technologies 3 IS600 – Management Information Systems 3

Year 3

Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TE698 – Final Project I 3 TE699 – Final Project II 3
Elective 3 Elective 3

Things to keep in mind when designing an IS Plan of Study.

  • IS605 and IS621 are usually ONLY offered in the Fall semester.
    Likewise, IS610 and IS622 are ONLY offered in the Spring semester.
  • IS622 is a pre-requisite of IS623 so you want to arrange your schedule so that you’ve
    completed both data structures courses before taking IS623.
  • Elective options vary in availability from year to year.

Program-Related Links

www.aitp.org – Association of Information Technology Professionals
www.gita.org – Geospatial Information and Technology Association
www.itaa.org – Information Technology Association of America
www.opengis.org – Open GIS Consortium
www.urisa.org – Urban and Regional Information Systems Association