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Information Systems, Master of Science Degree

Information Systems Admission

Students wishing to apply to the MSIS program must meet the admissions criteria for both the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School and the ACC & IS Department MSIS program. All applications are reviewed by the MSIS admissions committee, and only complete applications are considered. Applications approved by the committee are forwarded to the Graduate School for final disposition. Admission requirements, procedures and deadlines are described below.

Application Deadlines:

Students may apply for admission into the MSIS program for either the fall or spring semesters. Applications are approved on a continuing basis, but students should file complete applications at least 2 months prior to the semester in which they wish to matriculate.

Application Procedure:

The following documents must be submitted to the Graduate School, University of Nevada, Reno:

  • A completed and signed Application for Admission form.
  • A $60.00 non-refundable application fee. ($40 non-refundable fee for University of Nevada, Reno Graduates)
  • Two official transcripts from each college or university where work has been completed or is in progress.
  • The official report of the GMAT.

Students should also submit the following documents directly to the Mark Simkin, the Director of the MSIS program at the College of Business, University of Nevada, Reno:

  • A current, detailed resume, including all undergraduate education and work experience.
  • Personal statement expressing your career interest and indicating why you wish to obtain an MSIS.
  • If you plan to continue your current employment, a letter of support from your immediate supervisor.

Admission Criteria:

Graduate School Requirements:

  1. Grade Point Average of 2.75 on a scale of 4.0, or an average of 3.0 or higher for the courses taken during the last half of the undergraduate program.
  2. A baccalaureate (or an advanced) degree from an accredited four-year institution; any major is acceptable.

ACC/IS Department MSIS Requirements:

  1. Completion of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with a minimum score of 500. Students must also place in the 20th percentile or higher in each portion (verbal, written, and quantitative) of the exam. Students can substitute GRE scores for the GMAT only if they have already taken the GRE test. [These minimum scores are subject to change.] The GMAT exam is not required for MSIS admissions if:
    1. A student has an undergraduate business degree with a major in information systems from a business school accredited by the AACSB at the time the degree was granted, and
    2. An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  2. All students are expected to be proficient in word processing, and are also expected to be able to use computers to analyze and solve business problems using software such as spreadsheets, statistical packages, and databases.
  3. International student applicants must submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) indicating an ability to speak, write, and understand the English language. The minimum TOEFL score is 500. International students may be required to complete additional Intensive English courses during their first semester in the program.
  4. One of the following:
    1. A bachelor degree completed with a minimum 2.75 GPA on a scale of 4.0, or a GPA of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 for courses taken during the last half of the undergraduate program. An international student who is not a University of Nevada, Reno graduate must have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.
    2. If the applicant does not meet the preceding requirement, admission to graduate standing on a prescribed program may be considered. A prescribed program consists of the completion of one semester or summer session of full-time study in 9 credits, or 12 credits over two consecutive semesters for those working full-time, with a grade of "B" or above in each course taken. The courses prescribed may be undergraduate or graduate courses. These courses may or may not apply to the graduate program of study.
  5. Students wishing to matriculate in the MSIS program should also have selected prerequisite knowledge, as listed below.

Waiver Policy:

MSIS Waiver Policy and Granting of Credit for Equivalent Courses

A course waiver means that a student is excused from taking a specific class due to prior work experience or prior education. Course waivers do not reduce the number of credits that a student must take to complete the MSIS degree, which remains at 30 or 32 credits (depending upon the thesis or non-thesis option). Individual MSIS courses may be waived with the permission of the Director of the MSIS program or his/her designees.

The Department of Accounting and Information Systems may also grant credit for those students who have completed an equivalent course within the last five years with a minimum grade of B at an AACSB-accredited or equivalent institution. Students cannot receive credit by examination for any of the required courses in the curriculum, nor can they replace any of the required business core courses with an undergraduate course. Applications for core course waiver or course credit must be completed during a student’s first-year in the program. The department cannot grant graduate credit for work experience.

The application for a course waiver may be found at MSIS Application for Core Course Waivers (PDF Format).

Program Prerequisites

The MSIS program requires each applicant to satisfy the following MSIS pre-enrollment requirements:

  • Proficiency in English: If an international student's verbal score on the GMAT, TOEFL, or other evaluation measure is below the acceptable level, a student may be required to enroll in English language development classes either prior to enrollment in the MSIS program or during the first semester of his/her academic program.
  • Basic Concepts of Information Systems and Computing Applications. An applicant should understand the basic components of hardware, software, telecommunications, networking, and transaction processing. He or she should also understand the systems development life cycle and how organizations use computers to solve business problems. Finally, students should have advanced competencies using microcomputer application software. Undergraduate courses that could satisfy this prerequisite include IS101, IS201, IS301, and IS370. An example of a graduate-level course that would satisfy part of this prerequisite is BADM750.
  • Programming. An applicant should have experience using a procedural programming language. Undergraduate courses that could satisfy this prerequisite include IS350 (Visual Basic) and CS201 (C++).
  • Database Design. An applicant should understand the concepts of database design and implementation. Undergraduate courses that could satisfy this prerequisite include IS475 (database design and implementation) or CS457 (database management systems).
  • Project Management. An applicant should understand the basic concepts of project initiation, planning, and management. An undergraduate course that could satisfy this prerequisite is IS445, which has been offered in the past as one of the selections within IS485 (Seminar in Information Systems).

Students without the prerequisite knowledge should enroll in the recommended undergraduate courses to gain the knowledge necessary for the MSIS program.

A bachelor degree in business or information systems is not required for admission.

Students without an undergraduate degree in information systems can earn the MSIS degree by completing the designated courses outlined above. However, all students must complete a minimum of 30 or 32 graduate credit hours (depending upon the thesis/non-thesis option) to earn the MSIS degree. As an accredited college of business, the department cannot grant graduate credit for work experience.

International Students:

For international student information, please consult the Office of International Students and Scholars.

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