Master of Science in Information Systems
A Master's Degree Combining Computer Science at Courant and Business
Given today's ubiquitous computing, organizations have a critical
need for people who understand, in depth, both computers and business.
The most successful technology leaders, from Bill Gates to Andy Grove to
Steve Case, are those with deep expertise in technology and business
strategy. Successful new technology products and information systems
always combine technical quality and smart business strategy. Developing
these systems requires extensive communications among technical
developers, business managers and users.
The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program focuses
on training students in the core concepts of computing and business so
graduates can develop successful careers in management positions
that require deep technical skills.
For example, MSIS graduates have excelled in the following careers.
- At software vendors:
- Product manager
- Requirements analyst
- Programming team leader
- In Information Technology (IT) departments:
- VP IT operations
- Systems architect
- Internal requirements analyst
- Development team leader
- At consulting companies:
- Strategic technology consultant
MSIS students draw from the same courses as Courant Computer Science
graduate students and Stern MBA students.
The MSIS program offers the academic equivalent of an
abbreviated combined Computer Science Master's
and MBA degree.
The MSIS degree requires 13 courses (39 credits), 5 Stern courses, 5
Computer Science (CS) courses, an Information Technology Projects course
and 2 free electives which may be taken at CS or Stern.
The Graduate School of Arts & Science requires that
students maintain good standing throughout their studies.
This involves sustaining a grade-point average of at least 3.0 (B) each
semester, successfully completing at least 66% (2/3) of all
courses attempted, and completing the degree within five years.
Students falling below the GPA and course completion requirements
are placed on probation, and given until the following fall or spring semester to
return to good standing, or faced with possible academic dismissal from the program.
The following course distribution is required (3 credits per course
unless otherwise noted):
- Stern Courses
- Two General Business Core Courses (6 credits). The following
- Three Information Systems Courses (9 credits). The following
- Computer Science Courses
- Two additional electives from either CS or Stern.
A total of 13 courses (39 credits) are required.
Capstone "Information Technology (IT) Projects" Course
One of the last courses an MSIS student takes is
Projects. This course is a unique software engineering and
project management practicum. IT Projects offer students real world
experience understanding and solving IT solutions to business problems
via participation in a set of team projects at clients such as local
corporations, non-profits and government agencies. Each team of about 4
students undertakes one IT project that lasts a semester.
The course offers an opportunity to experience (most of) the complete IT
project life cycle. The following steps of an IT project are taught and
- Analyze business goals
- Gather requirements
- Develop project specification
- Estimate effort
- Allocate tasks to team members
- Develop schedule
- Obtain approval of specification and project plan
- Develop prototype
- Review code
The course encourages students to learn to balance 'analysis' and
'implementation' efforts to produce good software efficiently. It
teaches students about the wide range of project management
methodologies and approaches so they can think about how to choose the
correct approach. In some cases, the Projects course has led to students obtaining
employment with the clients served by the course.
Note: please refer to the full set of instructions and guidelines
listed on the Computer Science Department Graduate
Candidates apply to the MSIS program through the Computer Science
department in the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Applicants must
have an undergraduate degree. When completing the GSAS
application form, under "Proposed Education Program," mark the
department as "Computer Science" (code CSCI), and the proposed
field of study as "M.S. in I.S." (code MSIS).
An application must contain:
- GRE general scores
- A detailed resume
- Three reference letters
- A completed application form
- An undergraduate transcript
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if English is
not the applicant's native language
All documents not in English must be accompanied by original
certified English translations.
Currently, the MSIS program admits about a third of 60 applications
annually, and enrolls and graduates about 20 students annually. Applications
are reviewed by the Computer Science department.
Typical admission standards follow, although exceptions sometimes arise.
- All Bs or better, with many As, in business, engineering and
science courses; lower grades may be acceptable from very
- GRE Quantitative above 85%
- At least 1.5 years of full-time work experience, indicating some
business leadership ability
- Programming ability with comprehension of data structures and
simple CS algorithms and evidence of ability to excel in graduate
courses in computer science
- TOEFL, if required, at least 105 (internet), 260 (computer) or 620 (paper)
- Evidence of ability to communicate effectively in writing and
speech in English in graduate school and American corporations
Candidates who meet all standards except CS skills may obtain their
CS skills in the Preparatory Accelerated Course (PAC), a one-year
program consisting of two courses offered in the evening. PAC is
intended for holders of a bachelor's degree in a field other than
computer science. PAC teaches programming, data structures, and a couple
of programming languages. Students who need PAC must earn an B or better
in PAC to remain in the MSIS program. PAC credits do not count towards
the MSIS degree.
MSIS applications are due on the following deadlines:
NYU does not provide financial aid to MSIS students.
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