Master of Science in Information Systems
The Master of Science in Information Systems program focuses on technical, managerial and policy issues associated with constructing and managing computer-based information systems for modern organizations. The objectives of this program are to meet the growing demand in society for graduates with high-level information system skills and provide a path for women and men from diverse fields to rapidly transition to information system career paths by providing them with foundation graduate level courses in information systems.
Similar to an MBA or Law degree, this program is explicitly designed to accommodate students from wide ranging undergraduate degree backgrounds. Among the bachelor’s degrees possessed by recent MSIS graduates and current students include: Accounting, Applied Technology Leadership, Biology, Business Administration, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Ecology and Environmental Science, Economics, Education, Electronics and Instrumentation, English, Information Technology, Journalism, Library and Information Sciences, Music, Natural Resources and Environment, Nursing, Resource Economics, and Sociology. Similarly, see further bachelors degrees of past students graduating with a Master’s degree in Spatial Informatics at the University of Maine.
Students will develop knowledge and technical skills in such areas as information system design, human-computer interaction, database systems design and management, systems development, computer networks, and information law and ethics. They will gain working familiarity with one or more programming languages, the concepts of managing resources across local and wide area networks including technical and managerial concepts of distributed systems, client-server systems, world-wide web, digital libraries, and further evolving network-based systems. Relational and object-oriented databases and systems for group decision support will also be addressed in the context of designing and managing databases. In addition, students will take courses that provide an understanding of business and engineering applications and thus provide further foundations for effective communication with end users.
Also offered is the Graduate Certificate in Information Systems that requires half the course credits of the full MS degree.
For more detailed information visit the Information Systems website.
The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) consists of 30 credits, all earned in course work. The program consists of five three-credit required core courses and a minimum of fifteen additional credits from a list of elective courses approved for the program drawn from a range of disciplines. If some required courses are duplicative of courses that may have been taken in the student’s undergraduate degree program, those courses need not be repeated, and the student will select in consultation with the MSIS Graduate Coordinator and the Steering Committee additional approved courses to arrive at the total of 30 credit hours.
Although copied below, the official degree requirements may be found in the Graduate Catalog (select current year catalog and then Graduate Programs, Certificates and Specializations > Information Systems).
The following five courses must be taken and all count toward the graduate degree unless they were counted in a student’s undergraduate program.
- SIE 505: Formal Foundations for Information Science (3 credits)
- SIE 507: Information Systems Programming (3 credits)
- SIE 515: Human Computer Interaction (3 credits)
- SIE 525: Information Systems Law (3 credits)
- SIE 550: Design of Information Systems (3 credits)
For the course descriptions, see the Graduate Catalog (select current year catalog and then Graduate Courses > Prefix(for example SIE or BUA) > Filter). Alternatively, consult the SIE course descriptions.
Students must take at least fifteen additional credits that are approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee from the following approved elective course listings in order to arrive at the total required of 30 credits. Students should NOT assume that any combination of the following courses will be approved by the Steering Committee. Students should obtain approval of their full program of study prior to taking elective courses to ensure that they count towards their degree requirements. No more than three courses may be transferred from other campuses. Students may propose additional graduate courses than those listed on the MSIS website be included on their program of study on a case-by-case basis or added to the list. The MSIS Steering Committee assesses the reasonableness of such requests and makes the final decision on whether specific additional courses serving the objectives of the MSIS program and the needs of the student may be included.
Some of the elective graduate courses may require prerequisites in addition to the minimum required for general admission to the MSIS graduate program. Some schools and departments grant enrollment preference to graduate students in their own graduate programs so check with the relevant department or college as appropriate. A student with an undergraduate degree in a specific field (e.g. business, computer science, education, engineering or new media) will have likely an easier time meeting graduate course prerequisites in that field than a student from another undergraduate field.
To see a list of elective options, visit the MSIS website.
- Programs of Study are approved for each student by the Steering Committee for the MSIS graduate program. This committee consists of the MSIS Graduate Program Coordinator and two additional graduate faculty members in the department or affiliated with the program.
- Each student’s Program of Study must include the five required core courses with the remainder of courses to be selected from an approved course list maintained by the department or proposed by the student and assessed for possible approval. The list is regularly updated and includes appropriate courses drawn from across campus. Each student’s Program of Study must be approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- At least 15 credits of the 30 required on a student’s program of study must be at the 500 level or above.
- Up to two courses may be taken at other universities by distance methods or otherwise if contained on the student’s graduate program of study and approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- Up to two graduate courses may be transferred into the student’s graduate program of study if taken prior to admission to the Graduate School, the courses did not count towards the student’s undergraduate degree requirements, and the courses are approved by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- The MSIS Graduate Coordinator serves as the advisor for each student admitted to the program and the MSIS Steering Committee serves as the graduate committee for each student in the program.
- All students must complete the entire M.S. graduate program of study within a six-year period (as established by the Graduate School).
Students' Experience Earning Their M.S. in Information Systems Online
While all the faculty members in the School of Computing and Information Science may contribute to teaching and research in any of its academic units, the core Information Systems faculty members include:
For detailed background, research and contact information on other professors in the School, please see Faculty and Staff.
Admission to the University of Maine Master of Science in Information Systems is competitive. In its admission process, the graduate faculty considers the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully and achieve positions of leadership in the private or public sectors.
We have rolling admissions so you can apply and be accepted into the program at any time. However, the following dates are recommended:
- Fall semester: August 1
- Spring semester: January 1
Those applying for campus-wide research assistantships or scholarships should complete their application packets by January 1 for Fall admission.
We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
At a minimum, an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.
All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts must be received before a formal acceptance will be issued typically.
For an application and the instructions for applying, see the graduate school.
Note 1: Four Plus One applicants MUST apply directly to the department and NOT to the graduate school.
Note 2: Foreign students should note that the MS Information Systems program is certified as a STEM program (see US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program and CIP Code 11.0103) potentially allowing a longer post-graduation training stay in the U.S.
The future business climate will be characterized by rapid technological change, intense global competition, faster product life cycles and more complex, specialized markets. In such an environment the information needs of organizations are increasingly complex and rapidly changing. Individuals with information systems expertise who can design and develop information systems, manage sophisticated information resources, work on interdisciplinary teams and communicate effectively with business managers, engineers, and other end-users are in short supply. A major goal of our graduate programs is to produce individuals who can make significant contributions to economic development by ensuring that businesses have the expertise needed to remain competitive.
The demand for graduates of graduate-level information systems programs both in-state and nationally is high. Information technologies are key to enabling the growth of businesses. Individuals in all areas of private and public enterprise rely on information systems for communication, planning, control, and decision support. The advanced knowledge provided by graduate-level information systems programs is needed across a wide range of commercial settings.
While the market-place demand for students with graduate course work in information systems is already high, the demand for such skills is predicted to steeply increase in the years ahead. Forbes Magazine recently listed Information Systems as one of the best Master’s Degree for jobs. Our graduates are prepared for a wide range of positions such as systems analyst, security analyst, database administrator and information systems manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) asserts that employers prefer to place individuals with their Master’s in Information Systems in supervisory positions and that, “[e]mployment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.”
For general information on the range of grants, loans and scholarships available from Federal and other sources for graduate students, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. The department provides no assistantships for non-research based degrees. However, university-wide assistantships and scholarships may be available. All full-time students are eligible to apply.
Note: Those seeking a Graduate Certificate rather than a full graduate degree are ineligible for most grants, loans, and scholarships.
Have questions about earning your M.S. in Information Systems online with UMaine? Contact Richard Roberts, UMaineOnline Advisor, at 207.581.5858 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.