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Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)
Northwest Missouri State University (Photo by University Photography)

M.S. in Information Systems

Introduction | Program | Courses | Admissions | Careers | Funding


The Department of Computer Science/Information Systems at Northwest offers a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) dedicated to the development of future leaders in the information technology (IT) industry. This is a 36 credit hour (12 classes) program offered over 4 full time semesters in the St. Joseph Center. Cohorts begin in late August (Fall semester start) and early January (Spring semester start) of each academic year. Fall semester cohorts will finish the end of the following fall. Spring semester cohorts will finish the following spring. Each program is the same duration of 16 months. Students will live and study in St. Joseph and all essential campus services will be delivered there; no transportation exists nor will be provided to the home campus in Maryville.  

Highly qualified faculty members collaborate and work together to educate students who come from the world over to obtain a quality education. Excellent technological and instructional resources enable graduates of this program to succeed in the highly competitive global IT job market. This program also strengthens the personal and social development of its students by providing opportunities for students to interact with others in a successful, ethical manner.

For additional program information contact:

MSIS Program Director
Northwest Missouri State University - St. Joseph
Suite 100 South
3500 N. Village Dr.
St. Joseph, MO 64506

For admissions questions and deadlines contact:

Amber Duis,

Program Objectives

The primary objective of this program is to prepare students to compete in the global IT job market. To that end, our program provides:

  • A sound background in information systems fundamentals
  • Extensive hands-on practice to ensure that students have the necessary technical skills to quickly become productive employees and IS managers
  • Experience in developing and managing software projects
  • Experience in working as a lead team member on projects
  • Opportunities to use and improve communication skills, both oral and written

Students in the MSIS program study information systems analysis and design, cybersecurity, database design and development, human-computer interaction, financial decision making for information systems, and management of IT projects. Additional coursework provides students with hands-on experience in today’s major platforms – including Java, modern database engines and current project management tools.

A capstone Information Systems Development project is designed to expose the students to real world IT practices, enhancing their communication skills and preparing them to enter the job market.

Duration of Program

Students can complete this program in four trimesters (16 months, including eight-week summer session).

Program Location

The MSIS program offers all classes and programbased services at the St. Joseph Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. The St. Joseph Center is connected to multiple off campus housing options offered in metropolitan St. Joseph by affordable public transportation. Full time graduate students receive a University laptop to use while they are enrolled in classes. Cashiering, health services, immigration services, and limited campus employment opportunities will be offered on site in St. Joseph. There is no university sponsored transportation between the Maryville and St. Joseph campuses.

Program Faculty

Dr. Joni Adkins

Dr. Joni Adkins
Associate Professor
Program Coordinator, MS-Information Systems

Phone: 660.562.1803

Dr. Cindy Tu

Dr. Cindy Tu
Assistant Professor

Course Requirements

Course Title

Credit Hours
Information Technology Management 3
Information Systems Analysis and Design 3
Developing Object-Oriented Systems with Java 3
Database Design and Implementation 3
Enterprise Networking and Internetworking 3
User Centered System Design and Evaluation 3
Cybersecurity and Information Systems Security Management 3
Professionalism in the IS Environment 3
Project Management for Business and Technology 3
Financial Modeling and Decision Making for IT 3
Business Intelligence and Analytics 3
IS Capstone Project 3
Total Credit Hours 36

Admissions Requirements

Students seeking admission to this program are expected to have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 2.75 or better on a 4.0 scale. In addition, applicants must have a total GRE score (verbal + quantitative) of 285. Applicants are expected to have a major or minor in an information systems, computer science, business, or engineering discipline, including coursework in:

  • Information systems
  • Statistics
  • STEM field

Application Deadlines

Applications and all transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by the following dates. International students should allow approximately two months from the time all application documents are received for notification of acceptance.

Fall trimester July 1
Spring trimester November 15

Career Opportunties

The Department of Computer Science/Information Systems has many contacts with employers in the area, including Kansas City, Mo., Omaha, Neb., and Des Moines, Iowa. Faculty members meet regularly with representatives of these employers to ensure that the program is up-to-date and is producing students who meet the needs of employers. To ensure that students have the necessary skills to build a successful résumé and to interview successfully for positions, we require a 3-credit hour course to help develop these skils.

IT opportunities are plentiful and pay well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analysts earn $82,710 and computer and information sytems managers earn $127,640. Employers are having difficulty finding qualified employees to fill IT positions. Graduates who have strong technical skills, good communication skills, and know how to work in teams will have a distinct advantage in this IT job market.

OPT Placement

Typical job placements for international information systems graduates:

  • Systems Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Project Manager
  • Programmer Analyst
  • IS Department Manager

The MSIS program has a STEM CIP code 11.0101 which currently allows an extra 17 months of OPT (Optional Practical Training).

Funding Opportunities

International students may be eligible to receive $1,000 toward the student’s first semester tuition (roughly 20% discount). The scholarship is a one-time award. International students who earn a graduate GPA of 3.30 or better in their first trimester receive a scholarship in their second trimester that allows them to pay instate tuition. This reduces the cost of tuition by approximately 40 percent. This scholarship is retained as long as the student maintains the required GPA and continues as a full-time residential student. Northwest’s tuition is one of the most affordable in the nation.

Graduate assistantships are available on a limited basis to students who prove themselves in their first trimester at Northwest. In addition to scholarships and assistantships, some student employment opportunities are available at the St. Joseph Center where students may be hired to work up to 20 hours per week and are paid on an hourly basis. These opportunities are more readily accessible to students who have been in attendance for at least one trimester.