Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)
Armed with a formidable understanding of both computers and commerce, Information Systems professionals are uniquely qualified to help organizations navigate the intersection of technology and business. Study at the master's level can strengthen these qualifications even further.
Why Get a Master's in Information Systems?
In today's business world, solving problems often involves gathering and analyzing large data sets and confronting complex technological issues. The University of Nevada, Reno, Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program is designed to help students develop the skills required to manage these high-level processes.
Students within this MSIS program choose between two subject emphasis tracks, each tailored to helping students learn skills vital to a specific realm of Information Systems:
- IS Management track. This track highlights the management of information systems and enhances graduate understanding of how to manage technology-based information systems as a strategic resource in organizations. This curriculum is designed to help existing Information Systems professionals advance their careers through enhanced managerial and technical skills.
- Data Analytics track. This track focuses on the use of large data sets for decision-making within organizations. This curriculum is aimed at helping graduates of any undergraduate degree program gain professional skills that enhance their ability to find employment in a technical field.
While many entry-level positions in the Information Systems field are open to those with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, gaining an MSIS degree can significantly deepen the student's understanding of issues in the field and open a wider range of professional options. To learn more about the career possibilities within Information Systems, visit the University of Nevada, Reno page on careers in data analytics.
Program Requirements and Deadlines
Students wishing to apply to the MSIS program must meet the admissions criteria for both the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School and the Information Systems Department MSIS program.
The Graduate School admission requirements are:
- A grade-point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, or an average of 3.0 of higher for the courses taken during the second half of the undergraduate program.
- A baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited four-year institution.
The MSIS admission requirements are:
- A Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) score of 500 or better. Students must also place in the 20th percentile or higher in each portion (verbal, written and quantitative) of the exam. These minimum scores are subject to change.
- Proficiency in word processing and the general ability to use computers to analyze and solve business problems using software such as spreadsheets, statistical packages and databases.
- For international students, a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 on the International English Language Test System (IELTS). International students may also be required to complete additional Intensive English courses during their first semester in the program.
Depending on which track the student chooses, there may be additional admission requirements. See the program's catalog listing for more details on admission requirements.
While a bachelor's degree in Information Systems is not required for admission to the MSIS program, students may need to complete prerequisite courses if their undergraduate degree is in a field other than Business or Information Systems. These prerequisites may be satisfied by professional knowledge gained outside of the classroom, however, or by similar courses taken at other institutions. These prerequisite waivers may be granted by the MSIS program director or by a designee named by the director.
To apply, students must submit the following documents to the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno:
- A completed and signed Graduate School application.
- A $60.00 nonrefundable application fee
- An official transcript from each college or university where work has been completed or is in progress
- The student's official GMAT report
Students should also submit the following documents directly to Mark Simkin, director of the MSIS program:
- 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.
Students may be admitted into the MSIS program in either the fall or spring semesters. Applications are approved on a continuing basis, but students should file complete applications at least two months prior to the semester in which they wish to matriculate.
A note on tuition within the MSIS: The University charges differential fees in addition to the usual tuitions costs for the Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) programs. The differential fee is $100 per credit for graduate level courses in accounting (ACC), business administration (BADM), business (BUS), entrepreneurship (ENT), gaming management (GAM), finance (FIN), information systems (IS), management (MGT) and marketing (MKT). These additional fees support financial aid of students in the programs, as well as enhance the curriculum and services to the program's students.
What's Special About This MSIS Program?
Dana Edberg, Information Systems department chair at the University of Nevada, Reno, says her department takes pride in offering one of the most marketable degrees at the University. But she adds that the faculty isn't satisfied to simply produce graduates -- it wants to help students move toward challenging, exciting and satisfying careers.
"It's true that Information Systems is an excellent choice for those wanting to maximize their career options," says Edberg. "Virtually no organization can function without extensive use of information technology. But we want our graduates to do more than just find jobs. We want them to find excitement and personal satisfaction, as well as help organizations make creative use of the complex technology that is now available. The faculty helps prepare students with current skills and the knowledge necessary to flourish in a constantly changing environment."
To read more about the people within the Department of Information Systems, please visit the faculty and staff page.
MSIS students are also eligible for graduate assistantships. A Graduate Assistants (GA) works 10 or 20 hours per week providing teaching, research and service assistance for faculty in the Department of Information Systems. A GA must take a minimum of six graduate credits to maintain eligibility for the position. For more information on these positions, please see the MSIS Graduate Assistantship page.
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