Master of Science in Information Sciences & Technologies


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Technology has woven itself into the fabric of society, binding people and information closer together than ever before. This new digital era brings with it exciting innovations. It also brings a host of new, unexplored problems that can be unlocked through data analytics. The MS in information sciences and technologies provides an opportunity for an in-depth, career-oriented study that explores how information is understood and leverages the most current data analytics techniques to address industry problems.

The internet has brought a new kind of democracy where all information is created equal. No longer the sole province of experts and the traditional media, it has become grassroots, viral, and global. The sheer volume and lightning speed of information transfer has changed how the world communicates, educates, learns, and ultimately solves problems. As the web and its related technologies evolve, users need help in managing these new tools.

Graduate study in a computing discipline that only focuses on traditional computing approaches is not flexible enough to meet the needs of the real world. New hardware and software tools are continually introduced into the market. IT professionals must have a specific area of expertise, as well as adaptability, to tackle the next new thing. Or, just as often, retrofit available technologies to help users adapt to the latest trends.

The MS in information sciences and technologies provides an opportunity for in-depth study to prepare for today’s high-demand computing careers. Companies are drowning in data—structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. Big data is not just high transaction volumes; it is also data in various formats, with the high-velocity change, and increasing complexity. Information is gleaned from unstructured sources—such as web traffic or social networks—as well as traditional ones, and information delivery must be immediate and on demand.

As the users' advocate, IT professionals also need critical thinking skills to problem-solve in a wide variety of computing situations, combined with an understanding of the needs of their audience. Just knowing how technology works is no longer enough. Today, computing professionals need to know how to make it all work.

The information sciences and technologies program addresses the web systems and integration technologies, and the information management and database technology pillars, of the IT academic discipline, along with the additional option of discovery informatics.

The program can be completed on-campus or online. The on-campus program consists of 30 semester credit hours of graduate study and includes four core courses, four or five track or domain electives (depending upon capstone option chosen), and either a thesis or project. The online option consist of 9 core courses and a capstone project.

Domain electives

Chosen only by those enrolled in the on-campus option, domain electives are available in analytics, information management, and database technology, or web systems and integration technologies. With permission of the graduate program director, students may select the special topics track to fulfill this requirement. See the graduate program director for more information.

Thesis/Capstone options

For the on-campus option of the program, students may choose a project or a thesis to build upon their domain of study. The project option is 3 credit hours and requires one additional 3 credit domain elective. The thesis option is 6 credit hours and does not require an additional elective. The online option consists of a capstone project.


  • Computer Networking
  • Internet and Software
  • Electronic and Computer Hardware

Typical Job Titles

  • Web Master
  • Network or Systems Administrator
  • Database Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Malware/Threat Researcher
  • Senior Analytics Associate
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Business Process and Technology Analyst


Information sciences and technologies (thesis and project options), MS degree, typical course sequence

First Year

  • ISTE-605 Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies
  • ISTE-610 Knowledge Representation Technologies
  • ISTE-612 Knowledge Processing Technologies
  • ISTE-600 Analytical Thinking
  • Domain Electives

Second Year

Choose one of the following:

  • ITSE-790 Thesis in Information Sciences and Technologies
  • ITSE-791 Project in Information Sciences and Technologies
  • Domain Elective

Information sciences and technologies (online option), MS degree, typical course sequence

First Year

  • ISTE-740 Geographic Information Science and Technology
  • ISTE-600 Analytical Thinking
  • ISTE-610 Knowledge Representation Technologies
  • ISTE-612 Knowledge Processing Technologies
  • ISTE-780 Data-driven Knowledge Discovery (summer)

Second Year

  • ISTE-782 Visual Analytics
  • ISTE-721 Information Assurance
  • ISTE-605 Scholarship in IST
  • ISTE-724 Data Warehousing
  • ISTE-795 Capstone in IST (summer)

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in information sciences and technologies, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) for all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 88 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • Applicants from foreign universities must submit GRE scores. Scores from the GRE are strongly recommended for applicants whose undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.


It is expected that prospective students will have a background in fundamental information technology concepts including object-oriented programming, website development, database theory and practice, and statistics. Students without the necessary background should complete the prerequisites before applying to the program. However, bridge courses are available to satisfy the prerequisites.

Bridge program

Students whose undergraduate preparation or employment experience does not satisfy the prerequisites can make up these deficiencies by completing prerequisite bridge courses as prescribed by the graduate program director. The bridge courses are not part of the 30 semester credit hours required for the master’s degree. Grades for bridge courses are not included in a student’s GPA if the courses are taken before matriculation; they are included if completed after matriculation. Since bridge programs can be designed in a variety of ways, the graduate program director will assist students in planning and course selection.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word ... Read More

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word "technology" in our name. At RIT, you will discover a university of artists and designers on the one hand, and scientists, engineers, and business leaders on the other – a collision of the right brain and the left brain. Read less