Master of Science in Information Systems

School of Business Administration

Operating under the auspices of the School of Business Administration, Penn State Harrisburg’s master’s degree program in Information Systems is designed to meet the rapidly increasing need for technically grounded, upper-level information resources managers within organizations. With the exception of a small percentage of students who are full-time, the students served by the M.S.I.S program are employees of area businesses, state and local governments, and not-for-profit organizations, who study on a part-time basis. In order to accommodate both full and part-time students, courses are primarily offered in the evening.

The two-fold nature of the program requires a manager to have competence both in information technology and in business; therefore, the curriculum combines the highly technical content of information technology with the managerial emphasis of information systems. Unlike computer science programs, which tend to focus on computer hardware and architecture, this program is organized around applied computer-based activities, the development of communication skills, and managerial principles.

Students may elect to take one of two options in the program: Information Systems in Health Care Management and Delivery, or Information Systems in the Life Sciences. Each of these options requires a total of 36 credits. Alternatively, students can earn the degree without notation of an option; the total credits required for the degree under this choice are 30 credits.

Degree Conferred: M.S.

Program Requirements for Admission

Requirements More Information
GPA Decisions are based primarily on undergraduate junior/senior grade point average, and the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores.
Supporting Materials
  • GMAT test scores (the test must have been taken within the past five years)
  • two letters of recommendation

Post-baccalaureate coursework, professional experience, and the statements provided in the application are also taken into account.

Deadline for Application

Semester Deadline
Fall July 18
Spring November 18
Summer April 18

Application Process

Gather supporting materials and begin the standard graduate application.

Entry Requirements

Analytic Skills Requirement: Prior to enrolling in their M.S.I.S course work, students are required to demonstrate competence in analytic skills. This requirement may be demonstrated by: (1) satisfactory completion of college-level courses in calculus and statistics such as QUANT 310 or MATH 110 plus STAT 200 (2) successful completion of a calculus and statistics proficiency examination approved by the M.S.I.S program. This requirement must be taken either during the first semester or summer session of the student’s matriculation and completed with a grade of C or better.

Credit by Examination: Interested students should obtain a Credit by Examination form from Enrollment Services and should consult with the M.S.I.S. program to schedule the exam and obtain a list of suggested preparatory materials.

Computer Skills Requirement: Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of micro-computer applications. This requirement can be satisfied through completion of a college-level microcomputer applications course within the past five years with a grade of B or higher or by documented significant computer-related work experience. If this requirement has not been met prior to admission, a college-level microcomputer course such as MIS 103 or CMPSC 203, Microcomputers in Business, is required. Course work must be completed by the first semester or summer session of the student’s matriculation and completed with a grade of B or higher.

Communication Skills Requirement: Successful completion of the M.S.I.S. program requires the ability to think clearly and to write and speak persuasively. Part of this requirement can be met by obtaining a score of “4” or more on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). If this score is not achieved, students must satisfy this requirement through additional course work in writing skills, such as ENLSH 5013 or other work developed in consultation with theM.S.I.S.program. This requirement must be satisfied during the first semester or summer session of the student’s matriculation and completed with a grade of B or higher. The speech component of this requirement is satisfied ed through individual and group presentations in courses in the M.S.I.S. program.

Pre-program requirement: The pre-program requirement provides a basic foundation in theory, tools, and techniques required for the management of profit and non-profit organizations. It also provides a basic understanding of applications of financial accounting, the creation and distribution of goods and services, and how people relate to others in various organizations, helping to merge two related disciplines: business and information systems.

All pre-program courses must have been completed with a grade of a B or higher within seven years prior to admission. Or, pre program courses may be completed through equivalent graduate course work completed with a B or higher within seven years prior to admission or college level course work validated by recent work experience. Coursework not meeting these tests of relevancy, grade or currency, must be taken at the graduate level and early in the Program. Students choosing an option in life sciences are required to have a baccalaureate degree in life sciences or a related field.

Degree Requirements

The M.S.I.S program requires, excluding preprogram courses, 30-36 credits of course work at the graduate level (500-level or higher). Options require 36 credits. These are distributed over three groups of courses: prescribed courses, additional courses, and electives.

The Curriculum

Pre-program Courses

Contact the M.S.I.S. program to discuss registration for various pre-program courses such as Financial Statement Analysis, Data Analysis for Business Decisions, Organizational Behavior, and courses in Prices, Markets, and Competitive Strategy.

Prescribed Courses

  • INFSY 535 OBJECT ORIENTED DESIGN AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (3). Prerequisite: Admission to MBA or MSIS program or program approval

  • INFSY 540 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: Admission to MBA or MSIS program or program approval

  • INFSY 554 MASTER’S PROJECT (3). Prerequisite: Last 6 credits of master’s in the Information Systems program

Course Information

Standard Program

Additional Courses (choose 15 credits)

  • INFSY 545 PROGRAM, DATA AND FILE STRUCTURES (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 547 WEB ENABLED TECHNOLOGIES (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 555 DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 556 DATA WAREHOUSING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555
  • INFSY 560 DATA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540
  • INFSY 562 NETWORK PROTOCOLS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 and 560 or permission of the program or
  • INFSY 563 NETWORK SECURITY (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 and 560 or permission of the program or
  • INFSY 564 WIRELESS NETWORKS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535 and 560 or permission of the program
  • INFSY 565 INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS IN BUSINESS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 566 DATA MINING AND KNOWLEDGE DISCOVERY (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 565
  • INFSY 570 SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IN THE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 575 SEMINAR IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT (3) (as approved for major by Program). Prerequisite: INFSY 555 or 570
  • INFSY 595 INTERNSHIP (1-18)
  • INFSY 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
  • INFSY 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)
  • INFSY 543 INTRODUCTION TO E-COMMERCE (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540 or permission of program or
  • INFSY 550 STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540 or
  • INFSY 587 GLOBAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555 or 570

Electives (6 credits)

Elective courses allow students to select additional courses of interest. Elective courses should be taken from 500-level courses offered by Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration.

Accounting Track

The accounting track is designed to enable students who have an undergraduate degree in accounting or its equivalent to meet the requirement of 150 course credit hours to be certified and licensed as a CPA in Pennsylvania.

Courses are offered during the evening and students may enroll on a part-time or full-time basis.

For most students who have majored in business at the undergraduate level, this will be a 36 credit-hour program.

The accounting track requires the same additional course requirements as the standard program; however, this track replaces the elective courses needed in the standard program.

Graduate Accounting Courses

The accounting track requires a minimum of 12 credits of accounting.

It is anticipated that these accounting track courses will be offered once a year:

  • ACCT 504 Auditing Theory & Practice
  • ACCT 510 Business Tax Planning Theory & Practice
  • ACCT 545 Strategic Cost Management
  • ACCT 572 Financial Reporting I
  • ACCT 573 Financial Reporting II

CPA Exam

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy provides answers to frequently asked questions about the CPA exam and about the certification and licensing processes. Additional information is available from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

The basic education requirement to take the exam is completion of a baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 24 credits hours in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, and tax.

Two additional educational requirements must be met to be certified and licensed. These are:

  1. completion of 12 credit hours of courses in accounting and auditing, and tax, and;
  2. completion of 150 total credit hours of course work.

Health Care Management and Delivery Option

Additional Courses

  • INFSY 555 DATA MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 556 DATA WAREHOUSING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555
  • INFSY 560 DATA COMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORKING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540
  • INFSY 565 INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 566 DATA MINING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 565

Option Courses

  • H ADM 539 HEALTH SYSTEMS ORGANIZATIONS (3). Prerequisite: Permission of program
  • INFSY 585 ADVANCED APPLICATIONS IN MEDICAL INFORMATICS (3)

Electives (6 credits)

Life Sciences Option

Prerequisite

A baccalaureate degree in a life sciences field

Additional Courses

  • INFSY 555 DATA MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 556 DATA WAREHOUSING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 555
  • INFSY 560 DATA COMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORKING (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 540
  • INFSY 565 INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • INFSY 566 DATA MINING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 565

Option Courses

  • INFSY 578 TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SCIENCES (3)

Electives (9 credits)

Elective courses will be offered to complement each option area as well as to allow students flexibility within an option to pursue individual interests. The electives may be taken from courses offered by the School of Business Administration, the School of Public Affairs’ Health Administration Program, or other graduate level courses approved by the student’s adviser as being applicable to the student’s option.

Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions

Transfer Credits. Up to 10 transfer credits may be applied toward the degree. However, credits used to complete a previous graduate degree may not be applied. These credits must have been taken within the past five years, appear on a graduate transcript, and have been passed with a B grade or higher. It must be the opinion of the reviewing faculty that these courses are equivalent in quality to those offered at Penn State Harrisburg. Credit will not be given for any class used to complete a previous degree.

Course Substitutions. Because some students enter the program with advanced knowledge in one or more subject areas, up to six credits in prescribed or additional Courses may be replaced with more advanced graduate courses in the same subject area. Except for INFSY 554, which must be taken at the College, INFSY prescribed and additional courses, in cases where there is equivalent knowledge, must be replaced with more advanced courses in the same field. Substitutions are based on a minimum of six credits of advanced undergraduate coursework in an area of concentration or credits earned in an equivalent graduate-level program at an accredited, college-level institution. These courses must have been completed within the past five years and have earned a grade of B or better. Substituted courses must be replaced with other advanced graduate courses in the same field for which the substitute is the foundation/prerequisite. Substitutions are based on past academic performance. An examination cannot be used for earned graduate course credit.

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

A 3.00 (out of 4.00) minimum grade-point average is required for the award of the M.S.I.S degree. All course work must be completed within six years, or seven consecutive summers, of matriculation.

Additional Courses

Health Administration (H ADM)

  • H ADM 540 HEALTH ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY FORMULATION (3)
  • H ADM 541 HEALTH ECONOMICS (3)
  • H ADM 542 HEALTH CARE POLITICS (3)
  • H ADM 543 LONG-TERM CARE ADMINISTRATION (3)
  • H ADM 548 HEALTH CARE QUALITY (3)
  • H ADM 551 HEALTH CARE LAW (3)
  • H ADM 552 HEALTH DELIVERY SYSTEMS: MANAGED CARE (3)

Business Administration (BUSAD)

  • BUSAD 534 ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF MANAGEMENT IN THE BIOTECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH INDUSTRY (3)
  • BUSAD 583 FUTURE OF THE BIOTECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH INDUSTRY: STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS (3)

Science, Technology, and Society (STS)

  • STS 589 ETHICS AND VALUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (3)

Software Engineering (SWENG)

  • SWENG 552 BIOINFORMATICS (3)

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