Information Sciences and Technologies MS

Program Overview

The internet has brought a new kind of democracy where all information is created equal. No longer the sole province of experts and the traditional media, it has become grassroots, viral, and global. The sheer volume and lightning speed of information transfer has changed how the world communicates, educates, learns, and ultimately solves problems. As the web and its related technologies evolve, users need help in managing these new tools.

Graduate study in a computing discipline that only focuses on traditional computing approaches is not flexible enough to meet the needs of the real world. New hardware and software tools are continually introduced into the market. IT professionals must have a specific area of expertise, as well as adaptability, to tackle the next new thing. Or, just as often, retrofit available technologies to help users adapt to the latest trends.

The MS in information sciences and technologies provides an opportunity for in-depth study to prepare for today’s high-demand computing careers. Companies are drowning in data—structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. Big data is not just high transaction volumes; it is also data in various formats, with high velocity change, and increasing complexity. Information is gleaned from unstructured sources—such as web traffic or social networks—as well as traditional ones; and information delivery must be immediate and on demand.

As the users' advocate, IT professionals also need the critical thinking skills to problem-solve in a wide variety of computing situations, combined with an understanding of the needs of their audience. Just knowing how technology works is no longer enough. Today, computing professionals need to know how to make it all work.

The information sciences and technologies program addresses the web systems and integration technologies, and the information management and database technology pillars, of the IT academic discipline, along with the additional option of discovery informatics. The program is offered on-campus and online.

Plan of study

The program can be completed on-campus or online. The on-campus program consists of 30 semester credit hours of graduate study and includes four core courses, four or five track or domain electives (depending upon capstone option chosen), and either a thesis or project. The online only option consist of 9 core courses and a capstone project.

Domain electives

Chosen only by those enrolled in the on-campus option, domain electives are available in: analytics, information management and database technology, or web systems and integration technologies. With permission of the graduate program director, students may select the special topics track to fulfill this requirement. See the graduate program director for more information.

Thesis/Capstone options

For the on-campus option of the program, students may choose a project or a thesis to build upon their domain of study. The project option is 3 credit hours and requires one additional 3 credit domain elective. The thesis option is 6 credit hours and does not require an additional elective. The online option consist of a capstone project.

This is a STEM eligible program

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 Rolling
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.


Information sciences and technologies (thesis and project options), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-605 Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies 3
ISTE-610 Knowledge Representation Technologies 3
ISTE-612 Knowledge Processing Technologies 3
ISTE-600 Analytical Thinking 3
  Domain Electives 12
Second Year
Choose one of the following: 6
   ITSE-790    Thesis in Information Sciences and Technologies  
  ITSE-791    Project in Information Sciences and Technologies  
     Domain Elective  
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Domain electives

ISTE-724 Data Warehousing
ISTE-780 Data Driven Knowledge Discovery
ISTE-782 Visual Analytics
Information management and database technology
ISTE-721 Information Assurance Fundamentals
ISTE-722 Database Connectivity and Access
ISTE-724 Data Warehousing
ISTE-726 Database Management and Access
ISTE-728 Database Performance and Tuning
Web systems and integration technologies
ISTE-721 Information Assurance Fundamentals
ISTE-754 Client Design and Development
ISTE-756 Server Design and Development
ISTE-759 Web Client Server Programming
Other approved electives
ISTE-740 Geographic Information Science and Technology
ISTE-742 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
ISTE-744 Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization
ISTE-774 Mobile Application Development I
ISTE-776 Mobile Application Development II

Information sciences and technologies (online option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-740 Geographic Information Science and Technology 3
ISTE-600 Analytical Thinking 3
ISTE-610 Knowledge Representation Technologies 3
ISTE-612 Knowledge Processing Technologies 3
ISTE-780 Data-driven Knowledge Discovery (summer) 3
Second Year
ISTE-782 Visual Analytics 3
ISTE-721 Information Assurance 3
ISTE-605 Scholarship in IST 3
ISTE-724 Data Warehousing 3
ISTE-795 Capstone in IST (summer) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30


Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in information sciences and technologies, 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) for all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • 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 from foreign universities must submit GRE scores. Scores from the GRE are strongly recommended for applicants whose undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.


Additional information


It is expected that prospective students will have a background in fundamental information technology concepts including object-oriented programming, website development, database theory and practice, and statistics. Students without the necessary background should complete the prerequisites before applying to the program. However, bridge courses are available to satisfy the prerequisites.

Bridge program

Students whose undergraduate preparation or employment experience does not satisfy the prerequisites can make up these deficiencies by completing prerequisite bridge courses as prescribed by the graduate program director. The bridge courses are not part of the 30 semester credit hours required for the master’s degree. Grades for bridge courses are not included in a student’s GPA if the courses are taken before matriculation; they are included if completed after matriculation. Since bridge programs can be designed in a variety of ways, the graduate program director will assist students in planning and course selection.

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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