Networking and Systems Administration MS

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Philip Bradley

Department Contact

Qi Yu, Ph.D.

Online Program Available

This program may be completed online. Visit RIT Online for additional information.

Please contact the admissions counselor below for additional information about applying to the online program.

Matt Stever

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? Yes
Application Deadline February 15th Priority Deadline, rolling thereafter
Admit Term Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam GRE required for individuals with degrees from international universities
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 88
PTE Academic 61


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

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 systems administration professionals who understand both traditional and emerging communication technologies as well as how to apply these technologies to organizational needs and opportunities.

The explosion in ubiquitous computing today means an increased need for greater efficiency and for better management oversight in the provision of IT services. Network environments are not only becoming increasingly complex, there is a greater recognition of the power of information technology to be a strategic enabler of corporate growth and adaptation.

The MS degree in networking and systems administration provides both the knowledge and the technical skills needed to successfully compete in this environment. the program 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.

The program prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations dealing with evolving networking solutions or to continue their education through advanced degrees. It is available for full- and part-time study both online and on-campus.

Plan of study

The program consists of five required core courses, up to four technical electives (depending upon the capstone option chosen), and a capstone thesis or project.


Networking and systems administration (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-605 Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies 3
NSSA-602 Enterprise Computing 3
NSSA-620 Emerging Computing and Network Technologies 3
NSSA-615 Advanced OOP for Networking and Systems Administration 3
  Track or Domain Electives 6
Second Year
  Track or Domain Elective 3
NSSA-714 Advanced Large Scale Computing 3
NSSA-790 MS Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Networking and systems administration (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-605 Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies 3
NSSA-602 Enterprise Computing 3
NSSA-620 Emerging Computing and Network Technologies 3
NSSA-615 Advanced OOP for Networking and Systems Administration 3
  Track or Domain Electives 6
Second Year
NSSA-714 Advanced Large Scale Computing 3
  Track or Domain Electives 6
NSSA-791 NSSA Project 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30


NSSA-610 Advanced Wired Networking Concepts*
NSSA-611 Advanced Topics in Wireless Networks and Technologies*
NSSA-612 Network Modeling and Analysis*
NSSA-621 Design and Deployment of Wireless Networks
NSSA-710 Network Management
NSSA-712 Advanced Storage Technologies
NSSA-713 Enterprise Service Provisioning*
NSSA-715 Network Design and Performance
NSSA-716 Enterprise Mobile Computing
ISTE-721 Information Assurance Fundamentals
ISTE-764 Project Management

* Students are required to complete at least one theoretical course. These electives fulfill this requirement.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in networking and systems administration, 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) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). The GRE is recommended for those applicant’s whose undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.
  • Applicants from foreign universities must submit GRE scores.
  • 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 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.


Additional information

Bridge courses

Students must have solid backgrounds in computer programming, networking and systems administration theory and practice, and statistics. Students whose undergraduate preparation does not satisfy these prerequisites can make up deficiencies 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 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 more information.

Study options

This program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis, through on-campus or 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.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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