Why Penn State
We know there’s a lot to consider when getting a graduate degree. That’s why we designed our Master of Science in Information Science degree to combine the best of in-person and online education. Flexible, seven-week courses let you balance your busy schedule while still reaping the benefits of once-per-week face-to-face classes, like networking and developing interpersonal skills. You can expect to complete your degree in two to three years if attending part-time or about 1.5 years if attending full-time.
This well-rounded computing and IT degree addresses the multi-faceted challenges IT professionals face every day, from analyzing data to developing web applications and managing IT staff and projects. This program is STEM designated, allowing 36 months total of Optional Practical Training (OPT) compared to 12 months for non-STEM degrees.
The program offers a balance of information systems and management theories. During your course of study, you’ll delve into:
- Information system architecture
- Big data and IT emerging technologies
- IT integration and business continuity support
- Cybersecurity, protection, and prevention
- Enterprise solution design
- Enterprise digital transformation
The degree consists of 33 credits (11 courses), which culminates in a research experience that brings together theoretical and practical experience in an exploratory format.
Throughout the program, you have opportunities to work with faculty and industry on a variety of projects, including through our Big Data Lab. Faculty conduct research in several key areas, including blockchain, applied machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), smart services, cybersecurity, data mining, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Recently, students have worked on research projects that aim to generate text and audio captions for video indexing and improved accessibility, predict the taste of small molecules through advanced deep learning algorithms, classify negative online behavior, enhance business automation, and more.
Your fellow students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and usually have undergraduate degrees in IST, MIS, business, or liberal arts. Most are already employed in the IT field at corporations including Vanguard, Comcast, QVC, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Merck, GSK, AmerisourceBergen, PJM Interconnection, Certainteed, and SAP America.
Our graduates in MSIS have advanced in their careers to become managers of IT departments, technical consultants, business analysts, and project managers.