Information Sciences and Technologies Master of science degree

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Overview

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In this information science master's degree, dive deeper into the study of how information is understood and applied as you work to solve the unexplored problems that are challenging the computing industry.


Technology has woven itself into the fabric of society, binding people and information closer together than ever before. This new digital era brings with it exciting innovations. It also brings a host of new, unexplored problems that can be unlocked through data analytics. The MS in information sciences and technologies provides an opportunity for in-depth, career-oriented study that explores how information is understood and leverages the most current data analytics techniques to address industry problems.

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 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 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 program is also offered online. View Online Option.

Industries


  • Computer Networking

  • Internet and Software

  • Electronic and Computer Hardware

Typical Job Titles

Web Master Network or Systems Administrator
Database Developer Software Engineer
Malware/Threat Researcher Senior Analytics Associate
Full Stack Developer Business Process and Technology Analyst

93%

outcome rate of graduates

$80.3K

median first-year salary of graduates

Curriculum for Information Sciences and Technologies MS

Information Sciences and Technologies (thesis and project options), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-600
Foundations of Data Mining
There is mounting evidence of a need to improve the ability of individuals and groups to think thoughtfully and analytically in order to develop appropriate and useful solutions to complex problems. Sources of complexity include human cognitive limitations, uncertainty, system dynamics, and reasoning errors. This course will provide students with frameworks, techniques, methods, and tools to improve analytical and critical thinking and presentation skills. Students will work individually and in groups on assignments and case study analyses. (Prerequisite: ISTE-200 and (DECS-782 or STAT-145) or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
ISTE-605
Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies
IST graduate students are expected to make a scholarly contribution as a requirement for the MS degree. The Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies course provides students with the fundamental skills needed to define and conduct a program of scholarly investigation in the form of a capstone or thesis project. The course focuses on skills such as academic writing, searching the literature, identifying and articulating interesting and important topics and problems, scholarship ethics, developing capstone proposals, critical thinking, and effective oral and written communication and presentation of scholarship. (This course is restricted to INFOST-MS, INFOTEC-MS and NETSYS-MS students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
ISTE-610
Non-Relational Data Management
This course provides students with exposure to foundational information sciences and technologies. Topics include an overview of data types, structuring and processing data and knowledge, data transformation, and data storage and warehousing. Students will work with non-traditional (noSQL) data stores to manage large datasets in the context of specific problem scenarios. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
ISTE-612
Information Retrieval and Text Mining
This is the second course in a two-course sequence that provides students with exposure to foundational information sciences and technologies. Topics include internet middleware technologies, data and text analytics, and information visualization. Note: One year of programming in an object-oriented language, a database theory course, a course in Web development, and a statistics course is needed. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 and (DECS-782 or STAT-145) or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
Domain Electives
12
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
6
ISTE-790
Thesis in Information Sciences and Technologies
The thesis capstone experience for the master of science in information sciences and technologies program. Students must submit an approved capstone proposal in order to enroll. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
6
 or
 
 
ISTE-791
Project In Information Sciences And Technologies
The project-based culminating experience for the master of science in information sciences and technologies program. A MS project will typically include a software system development component requiring a substantial and sustained level of effort. Students must submit an approved project proposal in order to enroll. (Permission of project committee and graduate program director) (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Project (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
 Domain Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
30


Domain electives

Course
Data Analytics
ISTE-724
Data Warehousing
This course covers the purpose, scope, capabilities, and processes used in data warehousing technologies for the management and analysis of data. Students will be introduced to the theory of data warehousing, dimensional data modeling, the extract/transform/load process, warehouse implementation, dimensional data analysis, and summary data management. The basics of data mining and importance of data security will also be discussed. Hands-on exercises include implementing a data warehouse. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
ISTE-732
IOT Analytics
IoT is simply interconnected devices that generate and exchange data from observations, facts, and other data, making it available to anyone. This includes devices that generate data from sensors, smart phones, appliances, and home network devices. IoT solutions are designed to make our knowledge of the world around us more aware and relevant, making it possible to get data about anything from anywhere at any time. This course teaches how IoT data could help and execute data driven operational and business decisions. The students learn how IoT analytics can create adaptive business and operational decisions in intelligent, effective and efficient ways. First, this course provides students with an understanding of different types of IoT data and the knowledge of how to handle the data relate to IoT. Then, the students learn how to create and setup a cloud analytic environment, exploring IoT data. The course also teaches how to apply analytics and statistics to extract value from the data. Lastly, the course explores different use-cases for IoT data. Purchasing a IoT kit is required. (Prerequisites: ISTE-600 and ISTE-730 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
ISTE-780
Data Driven Knowledge Discovery
Rapidly expanding collections of data from all areas of society are becoming available in digital form. Computer-based methods are available to facilitate discovering new information and knowledge that is embedded in these collections of data. This course provides students with an introduction to the use of these data analytic methods, with a focus on statistical learning models, within the context of the data-driven knowledge discovery process. Topics include motivations for data-driven discovery, sources of discoverable knowledge (e.g., data, text, the web, maps), data selection and retrieval, data transformation, computer-based methods for data-driven discovery, and interpretation of results. Emphasis is placed on the application of knowledge discovery methods to specific domains. (Prerequisites: ISTE-600 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Summer).
ISTE-782
Visual Analytics
This course introduces students to Visual Analytics, or the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces. Course lectures, reading assignments, and practical lab experiences will cover a mix of theoretical and technical Visual Analytics topics. Topics include analytical reasoning, human cognition and perception of visual information, visual representation and interaction technologies, data representation and transformation, production, presentation, and dissemination of analytic process results, and Visual Analytic case studies and applications. Furthermore, students will learn relevant Visual Analytics research trends such as Space, Time, and Multivariate Analytics and Extreme Scale Visual Analytics. Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
Information Management and Database Technology
ISTE-721
Information Assurance Fundamentals
This course provides an introduction to the topic of information assurance as it pertains to an awareness of the risks inherent in protecting digital content in today’s networked computing environments. Topics in secure data and information access will be explored from the perspectives of software development, software implementation, data storage, and system administration and network communications. The application of computing technologies, procedures and policies and the activities necessary to detect, document, and counter unauthorized data and system access will be explored. Effective implementation will be discussed and include topics from other fields such as management science, security engineering and criminology. A broad understanding of this subject is important for computing students who are involved in the architecting and creation of information and will include current software exploitation issues and techniques for information assurance. Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
ISTE-722
Database Connectivity and Access
In this course, students will build applications that interact with databases. Through programming exercises, students will work with multiple databases and programmatically invoke the advanced database processing operations that are integral to contemporary computing applications. Students will examine and evaluate alternative approaches for each of these operations. Topics include the database drivers, the data layer, connectivity operations, security and integrity, and controlling database access. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall).
ISTE-724
Data Warehousing
This course covers the purpose, scope, capabilities, and processes used in data warehousing technologies for the management and analysis of data. Students will be introduced to the theory of data warehousing, dimensional data modeling, the extract/transform/load process, warehouse implementation, dimensional data analysis, and summary data management. The basics of data mining and importance of data security will also be discussed. Hands-on exercises include implementing a data warehouse. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
ISTE-726
Database Management and Access
Students will be introduced to issues in client/server database implementation and administration. Students will configure, test, and establish client-server communication and server-server communication with single and multiple database servers. Topics such as schema implementation, storage allocation and management, user creation and access security, backup and recovery, and performance measurement and enhancement will be presented in lecture and experienced in a laboratory environment. Students will configure and demonstrate successful communication between a database file server and multiple clients. (Prerequisites: ISTE-608 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Spring).
ISTE-728
Database Management and Access II
Students will explore the theory and application of advances database administration including database performance monitoring and tuning techniques. Standard topics in DBMS performance will be discussed including: physical and logical design issues, the hardware and software environment, SQL statement execution, indexes and front-end application issues. Techniques in performance monitoring and tuning will be investigated. In addition, advanced database backup and recovery, disaster recovery and other DBA topics will be explored. (Prerequisites: ISTE-726 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
Other approved electives
ISTE-730
Foundations of IOT
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical and virtual objects that are connected to the Internet to provide intelligent services for energy management, logistics, retail, agriculture and many other domains. IoT leverages sensors, wireless communication, mobile devices, networking and cloud technologies to create many smart applications. In this course, the students learn about IoT design and development methodologies that enable the development of IoT applications. The students have hands-on opportunities to program and build IoT prototypes through lab assignments and a course project. The students should have some programming knowledge and required to purchase a IoT kit. (This course is restricted to students in INFOST-MS.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
ISTE-764
Project Management
Information technology projects require the application of sound project management principles in order to be developed on time, on budget, and on specification. This course takes students through the nine knowledge areas of modern project management and the utilization of project management principles in both traditional and agile environments. Lecture 3 (Fall).
ISTE-792
Capstone Guidance Colloquium
This course supports the proposal development process for graduate students enrolled in the MS in information sciences and technologies, the MS in networking and system administration, or the MS in human-computer interaction program who are beginning the project or thesis experience and require additional structure and support. Students begin the development of an acceptable proposal and through weekly meetings students are guided toward the completion of the proposal, which is a prerequisite for formal thesis or project registration. Note: Students must have completed all their course work prior to enrollment which is by permission of the graduate program director. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).

 

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.

Prerequisites

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.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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