Master of Science in Information Systems


Program Description

General Overview MS in Information Systems

The Master of Science in Information Systems program focuses on technical, managerial and policy issues associated with constructing and managing computer-based information systems for modern organizations. All areas of private and public enterprise rely on information systems for communication, planning, providing services, control and supporting decisions. The objectives of this program are to meet the growing demand in society for graduates with high-level information system skills and provide a path for women and men from diverse fields to rapidly transition to information system career paths by providing them with foundation graduate level courses in information systems. The program is explicitly designed to accommodate students from wide-ranging undergraduate degree backgrounds.

Students will develop knowledge and technical skills in such areas as information system design, human-computer interaction, database systems design and management, systems development, computer networks, and information law and ethics. They will gain working familiarity with one or more programming languages, the concepts of managing resources across local and wide area networks including technical and managerial concepts of distributed systems, client-server systems, world-wide-web, digital libraries, and further evolving network-based systems. Relational and object-oriented databases and systems for group decision support will also be addressed in the context of designing and managing databases. In addition, students are able to engage in courses that provide an understanding of business and engineering applications and thus provide further foundations for effective communication with end users.

This graduate program is offered both on campus and in entirety by distance methods.

Program Requirements (30 credits)

The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) consists of 30 credits, all earned in coursework. The program consists of five three-credit required core courses and a minimum of fifteen additional credits from a list of elective courses approved for the program drawn from a range of disciplines. If some required courses are duplicative of courses that may have been taken in the student’s undergraduate degree program, those courses need not be repeated, and the student will select in consultation with the MSIS Graduate Coordinator and the Steering Committee additional approved courses to arrive at the total of 30 credit hours.

Required Courses

The following five courses must be taken and all count toward the graduate degree unless they were counted in a student’s undergraduate program.

  • SIE 505: Formal Foundations for Information Science Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 507: Information Systems Programming Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 515: Human-Computer Interaction Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 525: Information Systems Law Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 550: Design of Information Systems Credits 3cr.

Elective Courses

Students must take at least fifteen additional credits that are approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee from the following approved elective course listings in order to arrive at the total required of 30 credits. Students should NOT assume that any combination of the following courses will be approved by the Steering Committee. Students should obtain approval of their full program of study prior to taking elective courses to ensure that they count towards their degree requirements. Students may propose additional graduate courses than those listed below be included on their program of study on a case-by-case basis or added to the list. The MSIS Steering Committee assesses the reasonableness of such requests and makes the final decision on whether specific additional courses serving the objectives of the MSIS program and the needs of the student may be included. Some of the elective graduate courses listed may require prerequisites in addition to the minimum required for general admission to the MSIS graduate program. Some schools and departments grant enrollment preference to graduate students in their own programs so check with the relevant department or college as appropriate.


  • BUA 561: Knowledge Management and System Support Systems 3cr.
  • BUA 664: Databases and Data Mining in Industry 3cr.
  • BUA 668: Electronic Commerce Credits 3cr.

Computer Science

  • Any formally approved 400 level COS courses and above


  • EDT 520: Methods of Teaching with Computer Technology Credits 3cr.
  • EDT 545: Information Security in the Educational Environment Credits 3cr.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Any 400 level ECE courses and above


  • INT 601: Responsible Conduct of Research Credits 1cr.


  • Any formally approved 500 level and above NMD courses

Spatial Information Science and Engineering

  • SIE 509: Principles of Geographic Information Systems Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 510: Geographic Information Systems Applications Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 512: Spatial Analysis Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 516: Virtual Reality: Research and Applications Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 554: Spatial Reasoning Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 555: Spatial Database Systems Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 557: Database System Applications Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 558: Real-Time Sensor Data Streams Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 559: Geosensor Networks Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 570: Spatial Cognition and Computing Credits: 3
  • SIE 571: Pattern Recognition and Robotics Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 580: Ontology Engineering Principles Credits 3cr.
  • SIE 590: Information Systems Internship Credits 3-6cr.


  • Programs of Study are approved for each student by the Steering Committee for the MSIS graduate program. This committee consists of the MSIS Graduate Program Coordinator and two additional graduate faculty members in the department or affiliated with the program.
  • Each student’s Program of Study must include the five required core courses with the remainder of courses to be selected from an approved course list maintained by the department or proposed by the student and assessed for possible approval. The list is regularly updated and includes appropriate courses drawn from across campus. Each student’s Program of Study must be approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • At least 15 credits of the 30 required on a student’s program of study must be at the 500 level or above.
  • Up to two courses may be taken at other universities by distance methods or otherwise if contained on the student’s graduate program of study and approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • Up to two graduate courses may be transferred into the student’s graduate program of study if taken prior to admission to the Graduate School, the courses did not count towards the student’s undergraduate degree requirements, and the courses are approved by the MSIS Steering Committee.
  • The MSIS Graduate Coordinator serves as the advisor for each student admitted to the program and the MSIS Steering Committee serves as the graduate committee for each student in the program.
  • All students must complete the entire M.S. graduate program of study within a six-year period (as established by the Graduate School).


Admission to the University of Maine Master of Science in Information Systems is competitive. At a minimum, an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.

All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation must be received before a formal acceptance will be issued typically. To be considered for Fall admission, completed applications should be received 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term.

What can I do with an MS in Information Systems?

The future business climate will be characterized by rapid technological change, intense global competition, faster product life cycles and more complex, specialized markets. In such an environment the information needs of organizations are increasingly complex and rapidly changing. Individuals with information systems expertise, who can design and develop information systems, manage sophisticated information resources, work on interdisciplinary teams and communicate effectively with business managers, engineers, and other end-users are in short supply. A major goal of our graduate programs is to produce individuals who can make significant contributions to economic development by ensuring that businesses have the expertise needed to remain competitive.

The demand for graduates of graduate-level information systems programs both in-state and nationally is high. Information technologies are key to enabling the growth of businesses. Individuals in all areas of private and public enterprise rely on information systems for communication, planning, control and decision support. The advanced knowledge provided by graduate-level information systems programs is needed across a wide range of commercial settings.

While the market-place demand for students with graduate coursework in information systems is already high, the demand for such skills is predicted to steeply increase in the years ahead. Forbes Magazine recently listed Information Systems as one of the top 4 Master’s Degree in jobs. Our graduates are prepared for a wide range of positions such as systems analyst, security analyst, database administrator and information systems manager. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) asserts that employers prefer to place individuals with their Master’s in Information Systems in supervisory positions and that “[e]mployment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.”


30 credit hours

Cost & Fees

  • $418/cr. in-state and
  • $1,330/cr. out-of-state


Fall / Spring / Summer

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered ... Read More

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered by leading faculty, in areas such as business, social work, bioinformatics, digital curation, and engineering. Read less