Master of Science in Information Systems

A Master's Degree Combining Computer Science at Courant and Business at Stern.

Careers

Given today's ubiquitous computing, organizations have a critical need for people who understand, in depth, both computers and business. The most successful technology leaders, from Bill Gates to Andy Grove to Steve Case, are those with deep expertise in technology and business strategy. Successful new technology products and information systems always combine technical quality and smart business strategy. Developing these systems requires extensive communications among technical developers, business managers and users.

The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program focuses on training students in the core concepts of computing and business so graduates can develop successful careers in management positions that require deep technical skills.

For example, MSIS graduates have excelled in the following careers.

  • At software vendors:
    • Product manager
    • Requirements analyst
    • Programming team leader
  • In Information Technology (IT) departments:
    • CIO
    • VP IT operations
    • Systems architect
    • Internal requirements analyst
    • Development team leader
  • At consulting companies:
    • Strategic technology consultant

MSIS students draw from the same courses as Courant Computer Science graduate students and Stern MBA students. The MSIS program offers the academic equivalent of an abbreviated combined Computer Science Master's and MBA degree.

Curriculum

The MSIS degree requires 13 courses (39 credits), 5 Stern courses, 5 Computer Science (CS) courses, an Information Technology Projects course and 2 free electives which may be taken at CS or Stern.

The Graduate School of Arts & Science requires that students maintain good standing throughout their studies. This involves sustaining a grade-point average of at least 3.0 (B) each semester, successfully completing at least 66% (2/3) of all courses attempted, and completing the degree within five years. Students falling below the GPA and course completion requirements are placed on probation, and given until the following fall or spring semester to return to good standing, or faced with possible academic dismissal from the program.

The following course distribution is required (3 credits per course unless otherwise noted):

A total of 13 courses (39 credits) are required.

Capstone "Information Technology (IT) Projects" Course

One of the last courses an MSIS student takes is IT Projects. This course is a unique software engineering and project management practicum. IT Projects offer students real world experience understanding and solving IT solutions to business problems via participation in a set of team projects at clients such as local corporations, non-profits and government agencies. Each team of about 4 students undertakes one IT project that lasts a semester.
The course offers an opportunity to experience (most of) the complete IT project life cycle. The following steps of an IT project are taught and practiced:

  • Analyze business goals
  • Gather requirements
  • Develop project specification
  • Estimate effort
  • Allocate tasks to team members
  • Develop schedule
  • Obtain approval of specification and project plan
  • Develop prototype
  • Review code

The course encourages students to learn to balance 'analysis' and 'implementation' efforts to produce good software efficiently. It teaches students about the wide range of project management methodologies and approaches so they can think about how to choose the correct approach. In some cases, the Projects course has led to students obtaining employment with the clients served by the course.

Admissions Process

Note: please refer to the full set of instructions and guidelines listed on the Computer Science Department Graduate Admissions page.

Candidates apply to the MSIS program through the Computer Science department in the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree. When completing the GSAS application form, under "Proposed Education Program," mark the department as "Computer Science" (code CSCI), and the proposed field of study as "M.S. in I.S." (code MSIS).
An application must contain:

  • GRE general scores
  • A detailed resume
  • Three reference letters
  • A completed application form
  • An undergraduate transcript
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if English is not the applicant's native language

All documents not in English must be accompanied by original certified English translations.

Admissions standards

Applications are reviewed by the Computer Science department. Typical admission standards follow, although exceptions sometimes arise.

  • All Bs or better, with many As, in business, engineering and science courses; lower grades may be acceptable from very prestigious schools
  • GRE Quantitative above 85%
  • At least 1.5 years of full-time work experience, indicating some business leadership ability
  • Programming ability with comprehension of data structures and simple CS algorithms and evidence of ability to excel in graduate courses in computer science
  • TOEFL, if required, at least 105 (internet), 260 (computer) or 620 (paper)
  • Evidence of ability to communicate effectively in writing and speech in English in graduate school and American corporations

Candidates who meet all standards except CS skills may obtain their CS skills in the Preparatory Accelerated Course (PAC), a one-year program consisting of two courses offered in the evening. PAC is intended for holders of a bachelor's degree in a field other than computer science. PAC teaches programming, data structures, and a couple of programming languages. Students who need PAC must earn a B or better in PAC to remain in the MSIS program. PAC credits do not count towards the MSIS degree.

MSIS applications are due on the following deadlines:

Semester, startingApplication due
Spring, January October 1
Fall, September March 1

Transfers

See here

NYU does not provide financial aid to MSIS students.


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