University General Course Catalog 2022-2023 
    
    Jul 22, 2024  
University General Course Catalog 2022-2023 ARCHIVED CATALOG: LINKS AND CONTENT ARE OUT OF DATE. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR.

Information Systems, M.S.


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The goal of the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program is to produce graduates with excellent technical, management and communication skills.  MSIS program graduates understand, implement, use, manage, and explain information technologies in organizational settings.  The program provides professionals with the knowledge needed to manage information technology effectively and support organizational decision making.  The program also exposes information systems professionals to the latest technologies and methods for using them to solve organizational problems.  Finally, the program emphasizes the skills needed to succeed in the business community, including teamwork, leadership, and the ability to communicate effectively. 

The program offers two distinct emphases:  Management and Data Analytics.  The Management emphasis helps enhance knowledge and skills related to the management of technology resources in organizations, while the Data Analytics emphasis focuses on learning how to support and lead data-informed decision making in organizations.

Contact Information


Dana Edberg, Graduate Program Director – Information Systems
dte@unr.edu
(775)784-6179

Graduate Handbook *

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes


Management Emphasis

  • Students will be able to manage the full development life cycle for information systems projects.
  • Students will describe and be able to manage the strategic alignment of the IS organization with corporate strategy and objectives.
  • Students will be able to work with people from diverse backgrounds to transform organizations using digital technology.  
  • Students will be able to identify and manage the resources required to sustain the technical infrastructure of an organization including data, personnel, security, and the technical environment.
  • Students will be able to describe and analyze the security risks for the digital platform of an organization.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in written and oral formats.

Data Analytics Emphasis

  • Students will be able to formulate research questions that are capable of being addressed with analytical methods.
  • Students will be able to use quantitative evaluation techniques with large datasets to analyze organizational questions.
  • Students will be able to identify and analyze the security risks involved with collecting, storing and using data for analytical decision-making.
  • Students will be able to identify the issues required to work with people from diverse backgrounds to implement data supported decision-making in organizations. 
  • Students will be able to describe the processes used to manage IS projects and analyze the risks and benefits associated with specific projects.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in written and oral formats.

Admissions Requirement


The MSIS program requires applicants to satisfy the following:

  • A grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a scale of 4.0, or an average of 3.0 of higher for the courses taken during the last half of the undergraduate program.
  • A baccalaureate (or an advanced) degree from an accredited four-year institution; any major is acceptable.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • General computer Literacy.  Applicants should possess general computer literacy, be knowledgeable of computer-related vocabulary and able to use software such as spreadsheets.
  • Proficiency in English.  International students must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)  (or 6.5 on the IELTS) indicating the ability to speak, write, and understand the English language.  International students may also be required to complete additional Intensive English courses during their first semester in the program.
  • Students applying to the management track should have at least 2 years of work experience post completion of the undergraduate degree.
  • Statistics.  Students should have completed an introductory course in statistics, or will require a course after being admitted to the program.

I. Program Requirements


There are two subject emphasis tracks within the MSIS.  The first highlights the management of information systems and enhances graduate student understanding of managing technology-based information systems as a strategic resource in organizations.   The first subject emphasis is referred to as the “IS Management Emphasis.”  The first subject emphasis helps information systems professionals enhance their managerial and technical skills to increase their marketability.  The second subject emphasis focuses on the use of large data sets for decision making within organizations, helping educate future professionals to combine skills in data management, decision making, and an application domain (i.e. health care, education, or business) to create and support a culture for data driven decision making within an organization.  The second subject emphasis is referred to as the “Data Analytics Emphasis.”  The Data Analytics emphasis helps new graduates gain professional skills to enhance their ability to find employment in a technical field.

A. IS Management Emphasis


The IS Management emphasis prepares students to advance into the management of information technology related processes in organizations.  

1. Information Systems Core (15 units)


The information systems core consists of five required courses.  Their purpose is to help students develop technical, analytical, and managerial skills as well as to learn how to apply those skills in common business settings. 

2. Policy and Strategy Course (3 units)


Students graduating with a MSIS should understand how concepts in the IS and business cores help managers achieve global organizational objectives.  The purpose of the policy and strategy course is to integrate those concepts with knowledge of strategic planning for a business or governmental entity.

3. Elective courses (12 units)


The elective courses help a student pursue an area of interest directly related to personal goals for the degree.  A student will take 12 units of elective courses that are related to the student’s interests and career goals.  At least one of the courses must have an IS prefix, but the other courses could come from a variety of disciplines including business, computer science and economics.  Students will work with the Graduate Director to determine the appropriate elective courses for a specific program of study.  For courses taken outside of the IS areas, students must have the appropriate prerequisites for the course.  At least six credits must be taken at the 700 level.

  • IS Prefix (3 units)
  • 700-799 (6-9 units)

B. Data Analytics Emphasis


The Data Analytics emphasis of the MSIS helps prepare students to become a “data scientist” or data analyst.  A data scientist is a professional who uses large data sets in order to gain insights into complex problems.  A data scientist incorporates knowledge of statistics, computer technology, information visualization, the scientific method and an application domain to identify appropriate data sets, develop effective analytic models, and create visualizations that help understand and solve problems. 

The Data Analytics emphasis consists of four major components:  (1) data analytics common body of knowledge (9 units), (2) information systems core (12 units), (3) analytics core (9 units), and (4) electives core (9 units).  Figure 2 provides an overview of the Data Analytics emphasis and the following sections describe each of these components in greater detail.

1. Data Analytics Common Body of Knowledge (9 units)


The following core courses comprise the data analytics common body of knowledge and may be waived, depending upon prior coursework or knowledge.  Students may waive classes in the common body of knowledge with classes taken in an undergraduate degree program.  Students must complete the common body of knowledge before enrolling in other courses in the degree program.

2. Information Systems Core (12 units)


The purpose of the Information Systems Core is to understand the role of information technology in organizations, to understand the cultural and ethical issues related to using data for decision making, and to develop technical skills related to security, data management and project management.

3. Analytics Core (9 units)


In the analytics core, students will enhance their skills in research design, statistical methods, and data analysis.  The analytics core assumes that students have prior knowledge of statistics, as developed in the data analytics common body of knowledge.

4. Elective courses (9 units)


The elective courses help a student pursue an area of interest directly related to personal goals for the degree.  A student will take 9 units of elective courses that are related to the student’s interests and career goals.  At least one of the courses must have an IS prefix, but the other courses could come from a variety of disciplines including business, computer science and economics.  Students will work with the Graduate Director to determine the appropriate elective courses for a specific program of study.  For courses taken outside of the IS areas, students must have the appropriate prerequisites for the course.

II. Program Total Hours (30-39 units)


The MSIS program, IS Management Emphasis is 30 units.  The MSIS program, Data Analytics Emphasis can vary in number of credits from 30 credits to 39 credits, depending on the preparation of the student.  

Note(s):


* Curriculum requirements in the catalog supersede the Graduate handbook.

* At least 12 credits must be taken at the 700-level.

Undergraduate Prerequisites


A. What are the undergraduate prerequisites to the IS Management Emphasis?

A bachelor’s degree in business or information systems is not required for admission to the MSIS.  Students without such degrees can earn an MSIS degree by completing prerequisite courses.  The following courses outline specific program prerequisites.

  1. Background in Information Systems and Computing Applications.  An applicant to the MSIS program 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, applicants should have advanced competencies using computer application software.  Undergraduate courses that could satisfy this prerequisite include IS 101  , IS 201  , and IS 301  .  An example of a graduate-level course that would satisfy part of this prerequisite is BADM 750  .
  2. Project management knowledge.  An applicant should understand the basic concepts of project initiation, planning, and management.  An undergraduate course that could satisfy this prerequisite is IS 445  .
  3. Basic knowledge of statistics.  An applicant should understand probability theory, descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing.  Two undergraduate courses that could satisfy this prerequisite are ECON 261 and ECON 262.  A graduate-level course that would satisfy this prequisite is BADM 700.

These prerequisites may be satisfied with professional knowledge gained outside the classroom.  Students without the prerequisite knowledge should enroll in the recommended courses to gain the knowledge necessary for the MSIS program. 

B. What are the undergraduate prerequisites to the Data Analytics Emphasis?

The MSIS data analytics emphasis is open to those who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.  Students may join this program after completing a variety of different undergraduate degree programs.  Before starting this program, students must have:

  1. A basic background of the vocabulary of technology-based information systems.  This background could be satisfied through classes such as IS 101  , IS 201, and IS301 

​​​​​​​C. Notes

Specific course requirements can be waived for those students who have taken similar undergraduate or graduate courses at other institutions.  In addition, students may be able to waive specific prerequisite courses by successfully completing proficiency examinations for them.  Credit for graduate courses in the program cannot be granted for undergraduate courses taken at UNR or other four-year institutions.  

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