Master of Science Degree in Information Systems

MSIS flyerThe Master of Science in Information Systems(MSIS) is designed to provide managers and professionals the necessary technical and managerial skills needed to fulfill the responsibilities of senior professional and project management positions in the Information Systems/Technology field.

The MSIS degree program has a Professional Option (PMSIS) designed for current IS/IT professionals.

Admission to the Program 

In addition to applying to the University, prospective students must submit a separate graduate program application to the College of Business & Economics. Applicants are admitted to the MSIS program based on a comprehensive review by the department of information systems of: their work experience reflected in a resume and two letters of recommendation from persons who have supervised the applicant's work that documents a minimum of two years' full-time professional level work experience in a business information system setting for the Professional Option, or three years' full-time professional level work experience in a management, professional, and/or operations setting for the Executive Option; and a minimum GMAT score of 500.


Requirements for the MSIS Degree


Quarter (Previously Enrolled Students Only)

University catalog

A total of 45-48 units of 500 level courses are required.

Required Common Core Courses (12 units)



Information Systems (4).



Communication and Information Services (4)



IS/IT Policy and Strategy (4)

Important message regarding WPE/GWAR: The University policy is that all the graduate students should take the WPE (Writing Proficiency Exam)/GWAR (Univ 400 - Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement) within the first three terms of their graduate program.

Comprehensive Examination (0 units)

Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination (BUS 596) the quarter they complete all course work on their program and must comply with college and departmental requirements. 

MSIS Professional Option

The MSIS, Professional Option (PMSIS) is designed for managers and professionals working in the business information systems field. The option offers information systems professionals the background knowledge needed to move into senior planning, consulting, and project management positions.

Additional Requirements for the PMSIS Option (33 units)
A total of 33 additional units of 500 level courses are required.
PMSIS Option Required Courses (9 units)


IS/IT Architecture (4)



Software Engineering (4)



Graduate Directed Study (1)

PMSIS Option Elective Courses (24 units)
Select 24 units (six courses) with prior graduate adviser approval.
MSIS Executive Option

The MSIS Executive Option (EMSIS) is designed for working executives, managers, and professionals who are interested in a career redirection or change into the business information systems/technology field. It is designed to provide persons currently employed in business and other types of organizations in management and operations positions, the education needed to obtain the professional and managerial knowledge and skills needed for senior level positions in information systems/information technology (IS/IT) user and support organizations, such as: consulting, user management, development planning and management, and data center operations.

Additional requirements for the EMSIS Option (36 units)
A total of 48 additional units of 500 level courses are required.
Required Courses (12 units)


Application Programming (4)



Analyses and Logical Design I: Data/Object Structures (4)



Analysis and Logical Design II: Methodology (4)

Electives (24 units)

Select 24 units (six courses) with prior graduate adviser approval.

Certificate Program in Advanced Information Systems

The Department of Information Systems offers a credit certificate in Advanced Information Systems, designed to provide an academic base for information systems professionals in such specialties as systems analysis and design, data administration, client-server systems, web-based systems, object-oriented and visual programming and distributed data processing as well as information systems management.  The study of advanced techniques and software productivity tools is emphasized.  This certificate program is suitable for students who have completed, or expect to earn, an undergraduate degree in a major other than Computer Information Systems; graduate students in Business Administration; and information systems professionals who hold a bachelor's degree in any field.

The program includes a minimum of 28 units in CIS and related courses: 16 units in the core and at least 12 units of electives. Refer to the Undergraduate Studies: General Information chapter of this catalog for general regulations governing all certificate programs. 


·     A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration; or

·     Senior standing in a Bachelor of Science degree program in Business Administration or Computer Science;  or

·     Classified graduate standing in a master’s degree program in the College of Business & Economics; or

·     A bachelor’s degree in another field and at least two years of experience in business management or as an information systems professional.

Requirements for the Certificate  (28 units)

Required Core  (16 units)



Management Information Systems  (4) 



Analysis and Logical Design I (4)



Analysis and Design II (4)



Communication Systems (4)


Select at least 12 units from the following:

CIS 383, 405C, 445, 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 457, 486, 487, 527*, 528*, 543*, 581*, 584*, 598*, others with adviser approval.

*Restricted to classified graduate students.

Classified graduate standing and approval by the College of Business & Economics Advisement Center are required for admission to all 500-level courses. 

CIS 500 Information Systems for Management (4)

Hardware, systems software, applications software, and telecommunication components and architecture of operational and management oriented information systems. Cases in managing the acquisition and use of custom developed and packaged systems.

CIS 501 Application Programming (4)

Prerequisite: CIS 100 or equivalent. Algorithm development for business applications using structured and object oriented programming; planning, designing, coding, debugging, and documenting programs.

CIS 502 Analysis and Logical Design I: Data/Object Structures (4)

Prerequisite: CIS 501. Introduction to data structures and to structured, relational, and object database management systems. Designing and programming personal and production oriented data base system.

CIS 503Z Analysis and Logical Design II: Methodology (4)

Prerequisite: CIS 501. Package and custom systems development life cycles. Feasibility and requirements determination. Process, data and object modeling, design, and implementation. Change management.

CIS 504 Information Systems  (4)

Overview of computer, communication and software systems.  Cases in: business applications of information technology, managing the acquisition and use of application systems, and working with the Information Systems Organization.

CIS 510 IS/IT Architectures (4)

Prerequisite: procedural language programming experience. Analysis of contemporary information technology architectures and environments, including: multi-tiered client/server architectures; enterprise, workgroup, and personal systems hardware and operating systems; and business systems planning and development tools.

CIS 520 Software Engineering (4)

Status and problems with the methodologies and tools underlying the specification, estimation, justification, design, development, installation and maintenance of large business software and systems integration projects.

CIS 527 Seminar: Decision Support Systems  (4)

Corequisite:  CIS 598.  Analysis, design, management, and use of tools needed to mine decision support data from data warehouses, the Web, and commercial information services.

CIS 528 Current Problems in Computer Information Systems  (4)

Prerequisite:  CIS 504. Latest research projects in computer information systems; application of research techniques and results to specific problems.  May be repeated once as subject matter changes. 

CIS 543 Data Base Systems  (4)

Data base concepts; comparison of relational and object-oriented modeling for data base systems; unified modeling language for data bases; principles of data warehousing; data base administration and development tools; case study in data base design.

CIS 560 Seminar: Microcomputer Networks  (4)

Prerequisite:  CIS 484 or 585.  Advanced technology concepts and developments seminar; trends in hardware and associated operating systems and architecture; Distributed Information Systems  (distributed data processing), networking, data communications related to networks.

CIS 561 Design of an E-Commerce Site (4)

Prerequisite: basic knowledge of HTML or XML. Analysis, development, and design of a web-based e-commerce site model for an actual business. Team projects incorporating web design, electronic transfer processing, and site development/maintenance.

CIS 562  Authoring Websites (4)

Prerequisite: Knowledge of Procedural Language Programming. Design of websites, based on visual, color, content, animation, and hierarchical elements. Tailoring format and writing for the specific audience, purpose, and media. Incorporating interactivity to enhance understanding and usability.

CIS 567 Seminar:  Business Expert Systems  (4)

Prerequisite: Procedural language programming experience. Analysis, design, implementation, and management of decision support and expert systems.  Hands on development of a decision support/expert systems model.

CIS 581 Health Care Information Systems  (4)

Overview of computer, communication and software systems.  Cases in health care information technology applications.  Development, acquisition and use of custom and packaged application systems.  Working with the Information Systems Organization.

CIS 583 Information Systems Consulting (4)

Approaches and tools for consulting to the modern information-age organization, presentation of the results of actual information systems consulting projects;  student case study presentations.

CIS 584 Seminar:  Controlling and Auditing Computer Systems  (4)

Controlling online interactive computer/data communication systems as a challenge to management and to internal and external auditors. 

CIS 585 Communication and Information Services  (4)

Prerequisite: CIS 504. Voice and data communication technologies that underlay the Internet;  tools and strategies needed for e-commerce and information services.

CIS 586 Information Systems Project and Change Management (4)

Organizational, behavioral and life-cycle aspects of the project planning, staffing, control, and implementation elements of technology based systems.

CIS 590 IS/IT Policy and Strategy (4)

Prerequisite: CIS 504. Discussion of the strategic perspective for aligning organizational strategy, core competencies, and information systems and technology. Partnership roles of the CEO and CIO.

CIS 598 Graduate Directed Study (1)

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