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Online M.S. in Information Systems

Degree Requirements

Our program is based on a competency model. You will progress through several tiers of courses acquiring more complex skills and knowledge.

All students are required to complete 30 credits to receive their degree. Students who need to take the Fundamentals Course (IS 607) must complete 34 credits. A total of six credits can be transferred from another institution or program.

The program features three optional tracks which can be completed as part of the Advances Courses electives.

Fundamentals Course:

IS 607 Introduction to Information Systems (4 credits)

IS 607 will give you a hands-on introduction to the major basic technologies used in the field of Information Systems. These technologies are: Networking and data communications, programming, databases, HTML, JavaScript and server-side processing. This course will require you to develop web pages and sites. This course uses only client-side technology that requires a web browser. You will also have to FTP files up to servers at UMBC. All details of this process are included in the course materials. Some lectures include movies that require QuickTime or an open source equivalent.

Core Courses (12 credits):
(All four are required of all students)

IS 631 Management Information Systems (3 credits)

This course presents the applications of information systems in business processes and operations, in managerial decision-making, and in the strategic planning of organizations.

The course covers information systems management fundamentals to include such factors as:

  • The information environment,
  • Decision-making,
  • The systems approach,
  • The management of information systems, and
  • The integration of information systems with an organization’s management systems.

CO-requisite: IS 607

IS 632 Networks (3 credits)

This course provides the fundamentals of network technologies, such as public-switched network, wide area networks, and local area networks, from the perspective of the current and future needs. The course also covers network architectures, networking standards, digital and analog signaling, the various transmission media, as well as equipment, applications, and services.

Pre-requisite: IS 607

IS 633 Database Management Systems (3 credits)

The course covers most of the major advancements in database technology that have taken place recently. It does not assume any prior background in the field of databases, and hence starts with basic introductory concepts along with more advanced topics. The course will cover both conceptual and hands-on material in the area of database management, thus enabling student to have the maximum amount of comprehension and retention of the material covered in the course.

Pre-requisite: IS 607

IS 634 Structured Systems Analysis and Design (3 credits)

All of the activities required to progress from the initial identification of an organizational problem to the design of an IT-based solution are covered, as well as specific techniques for carrying out those activities. The emphasis will be on both learning the mechanics of the techniques and applying them to real projects.

CO-requisite: IS 607

Advanced Courses (18 credits):

All students must complete a total of six advanced courses. These options can be found on the courses page.

Within your advanced courses, you can complete up to two program tracks in Cybersecurity, Data Science, or Human Centered Computing. These tracks will appear on your transcript. Full details can be found on the program tracks page.

Thesis Option:

If you have a deep interest in a particular topic area or are interested in going on to a Ph.D. program, the thesis option may be right for you.

To do a thesis, students must complete IS 799 over the course of two semesters (3 credits each semester). Students must also choose a thesis advisor from the department and form a three member committee that oversees and accepts the thesis. An M.S. Thesis defense must be scheduled with your advisor and committee. You must present this defense in person and you are responsible for scheduling and travel arrangements. The thesis must be pre-approved by the advisor and submitted to the thesis committee at least four weeks prior to the proposal or final defense.