The Master of Science program in networking and systems administration is designed to provide both the knowledge and the technical skills needed to successfully compete in this environment. It is uniquely focused to address current issues in networking and systems administration through investigation of both the theoretical and the practical aspects of this continually evolving field. Course work examines the organizational and technological issues involved in enterprise scale networking, including emerging network technologies, network processing, high performance computing, network programming, and security.
Possible Career options
The program is intended to prepare graduates to assume leadership positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations dealing with evolving networking solutions. It is available for full and part-time study in both an online format as well as a traditional on-campus setting.
Trends in network communications–unifying wired and wireless infrastructures, Cloud computing, scalability, collaboration tools, and security can only be coalesced into reliable communication services if there are highly educated and technically proficient networking and system administration professionals who understand both traditional and emerging communication technologies as well as how to apply these technologies to organizational needs and opportunities.
The program consists of two required core courses, three domain courses, up to four technical electives (depending upon capstone option chosen), and a capstone thesis or project.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution,
- Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B)*,
- Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
- Submit two professional recommendations, and
- Complete a graduate application.
- International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based) are required. Applicants with a lower TOEFL score may be admitted conditionally, but will be required to complete a prescribed program in English preparation along with a reduced program course load. GRE score is optional for scholarship review. Visa forms cannot be issued by RIT for part-time or distance education.
* The GRE is recommended for those applicant's whose undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.
Students must have solid backgrounds in computer programming (C++ required); in networking and systems administration theory and practice; and in statistics. Students whose undergraduate preparation or industrial experience does not satisfy these prerequisites can make up this deficiency through additional study. The graduate program director will make recommendations on prerequisite course work. Formal acceptance into the program may be possible even though the applicant must complete bridge program courses.
Bridge courses are not part of the required curriculum for the master’s degree. Grades for these courses are only included in the student's GPA if courses are completed after matriculation. Bridge course work can be designed in a variety of ways. Other courses can be substituted, or courses at other colleges can be applied. Contact the graduate program director for approval.
This program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis, through on-campus instruction or via online learning. Full-time students may be able to complete the program in two years; part-time students may take approximately four years.
Maximum time limit
University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.
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