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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Information Systems (INFSY)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

Penn State Harrisburg
School of Business Administration
777 W. Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4898


Degree Conferred



The Graduate Faculty



The Program

Operating under the auspices of the School of Business Administration, Penn State Harrisburg's master's degree program in information systems is designed to meet the rapidly increasing need for technically grounded, upper-level information resources managers within business organizations. With the exception of a small percentage of students who are full-time, the students served by the M.S.I.S. program are employees of area businesses, state and local governments, and not-for-profit organizations who study on a part-time basis. In order to accommodate both full- and part-time students, courses are primarily offered in the evening.

The two-fold nature of the program requires a manager to have competence both in information technology and in management theory; therefore, the curriculum combines the highly technical content of information science with the managerial emphasis of information systems. Unlike computer science programs, which tend to focus on computer hardware and architecture, this program is organized around applied computer-based activities, the development of communication skills, and managerial principles.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

Admission decisions are based primarily on undergraduate junior-senior grade-point average and the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Post-baccalaureate course work, professional experience, and the statements provided in the application are also taken into account.

Students are also required to submit the following:

Application Dates

Candidates may enter the program at the beginning of the fall, spring, or summer session. To allow time for applications to be processed, all information, including GMAT or GRE score, must be received by Graduate Enrollment Services no later than July 18 for admission to the fall semester, November 18 for admission to the spring semester, and April 18 for admission to the summer session.

Applicants from outside the United States must follow the early admission dates in order to allow the necessary clearances and paperwork to be processed in time. International application deadline dates are:

  • Fall Semester--May 31
  • Spring Semester--September 30
  • Summer Session--February 28

To be considered for a graduate assistantship, applicants must submit a complete application by Mark 1.

Entry Requirements

Analytic Skills Requirement: Prior to enrolling in their M.S.I.S. course work, students are required to demonstrate competence in Analytic skills. This requirement may be demonstrated by: (1) satisfactory completion of college-level mathematics course or (2) successful completion of a mathematics proficiency examination approved by the M.S.I.S. program. This requirement must be taken either during the first semester or summer session before the student's matriculation and completed with a grade of C or better.

Computer Skills Requirement: Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of computer applications. This requirement can be satisfied through completion of a college-level computer applications or information systems course within the past five years with a grade of B or higher or by documented significant computer-related work experience. If this requirement has not been met prior to admission, a college-level computer-based information systems course such as M I S 204 is required. Course work must be taken either during the first semester or summer session before the student's matriculation and completed with a grade of B or higher.

Communication Skills Requirement: Successful completion of the M.S.I.S. program requires the ability to think clearly and to write and speak persuasively. Part of this requirement can be met by obtaining a score of "4" or more on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). If this score is not achieved, students must satisfy this requirement through additional course work in writing skills or other work developed in consultation with the M.S.I.S. Program. This requirement must be satisfied during the first semester or summer session of the student's matriculation and completed with a grade of B or higher. The speech component of this requirement is satisfied through individual and group presentations in courses in the M.S.I.S. Program.

Pre-Program Requirement: The Pre-program requirement provides a basic foundation in theory, tools and techniques required for the management of profit and non-profit organizations. It also provides a basic understanding of applications of financial accounting, the creation and distribution of goods and services, and how people relate to others in various organizations, helping to merge two related disciplines: business and information systems. Students who have completed the appropriate pre-program courses previously must have completed the courses with a grade of B or higher within seven years prior to admission, or through equivalent graduate course work completed with a B or higher within seven years prior to admission or college level course work validated by recent work experience. Students who have not met these tests of relevancy, grade or currency, prior to admission to the program must take these courses at the graduate level and early in Program.

Pre-Program Requirement: 9 credits
BUS 505 and select 6 credits from: ACCT 501, MGMT 511, BUSEC 502

Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The M.S.I.S. degree program requires, excluding pre-program requirements, 30 credits of course work at the 500 or 800 level, with a minimum of 18 credits at the 500 level. The M.S.I.S. degree requires 9 credits of prescribed courses: INFSY 535 Object-Oriented Design and Program Development in Business (3), INFSY 540 Information Technology and Knowledge Management (3), and INFSY 554 Master’s Project (3). Students are also required to take 15 credits of Information Systems courses from an approved list available in the program office. Students also must take 6 credits of electives from the 500-level courses offered by Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration. The INFSY 554 Master’s Project course involves development of an original master’s project in the student’s field of interest and preparation of a scholarly paper.

Data Analytics Track: The objective of this Track is to provide the student with data analytical skills that enable them to gain data insights and transform data into strategic decisions.

In consultation with their adviser, a student shall select 9 credits from the following:

BUS 510 Business Analytics and Decision Modeling (3)
INFSY 555 Data Management Systems (3)
INFSY 556 Data Warehousing (3)
INFSY 565 Intelligent Systems in Business (3)
INFSY 566 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (3)
INFSY 547 Web Enabled Technologies (3)

Transfer Credits

Penn State allows a maximum of 10 transfer credits of high-quality graduate work to be applied toward the requirements for a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer Courses section of the Graduate Bulletin. It must be the opinion of the reviewing faculty that these courses are equivalent in quality to those offered at Penn State Harrisburg. Credit will not be given for any class used to complete a previous degree.

Course Substitutions

Because some students enter the Program with advanced knowledge in one or more subject areas, up to six credits in prescribed or additional courses may be replaced with more advanced graduate courses in the same subject area. Except for INFSY 554, which must be taken at the College, INFSY prescribed and additional courses, in cases where there is equivalent knowledge, must be replaced with more advanced courses in the same field. Substitutions are based on a minimum of six credits of advanced undergraduate course work in an area of concentration or credits earned in an equivalent graduate-level program at a regionally accredited, college-level institution. These courses must have been completed within the past five years and have earned a grade of B or better. Substituted courses must be replaced with other advanced graduate courses in the field for which the substitute is the foundation/prerequisite. Substitutions are based on past academic performance. An examination cannot be used for earned graduate course credit.

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

A 3.00 (out of 4.00) minimum grade-point average is required for the award of the M.S.I.S. degree. All course work must be completed within eight years of admission to degree status.



Penn State Harrisburg, School of Business Administration
The Penn State College of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

Degrees Conferred

Ph.D. (College of Medicine)
M.S.I.S. (Penn State Harrisburg)

Concurrent Degree Programs

The Penn State College of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, and the School of Business Administration of Penn State Harrisburg offer cooperative programs leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to be granted by the Penn State College of Medicine, and Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.) to be granted by Penn State Harrisburg. These concurrent degree opportunities facilitate the completion of both a pharmacology doctorate and a professional degree in information systems. The programs are designed primarily for students interested in pursuing a career involving high-quality independent research and positions of management responsibility within the pharmacological community.

Admission Requirements

The concurrent programs require that the student first be admitted to the biomedical sciences program. Subsequently, the student is recommended for and applies for admission to the Graduate School for the Penn State Harrisburg M.S.I.S. program.

The following are required for applicants:

Biomedical Sciences: Completed application; Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score; A bachelor's degree reflecting a reasonable background in zoology or biology, mathematics and chemistry; a minimum junior/senior grade point average of 3.00 and with appropriate course backgrounds; two letters of recommendation; a curriculum vitae; a description of career goals. Reading knowledge of one or two foreign languages is recommended.

M.S.I.S. Programs: Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, as well as those listed in the Admission Requirements section above for the Master of Science degree. In addition, a letter of recommendation from the department chair of the biomedical sciences program is required.

No courses from the M.S.I.S. program may count toward the Ph.D. until the student is admitted to the biomedical sciences program. However, graduate-level courses taken in the M.S.I.S. program at Penn State Harrisburg or at another graduate-level institution may be applied to the M.S.I.S. in accordance with the transfer policies of Graduate Council.

It is anticipated that most students in the concurrent programs will require additional graduate credits in order to satisfy the entry and pre-program requirements in business administration. To earn the M.S. degree in Information Systems, students in the concurrent degree program must complete all of the degree requirements for the M.S. degree, described above. Six credits of biomedical sciences core requirement credits may be double-counted toward the M.S.I.S., and four credits of M.S.I.S. course work may be double-counted towards the BMS Ph.D. The six credits from BMS that are eligible to be double-counted are BMS 502 (3) and BMS 503 (3). The four credits of MSIS program that are eligible to be double-counted are the INFSY 540 (3) and INFSY 596 (1). Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to the program in order for the credits to be double-counted.

All students in the concurrent program have two advisers, one in the School of Business Administration and one from the faculty in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. Because the concurrent program is designed to be taken in synchrony with the objective that both degrees will be earned simultaneously, students who do not demonstrate progress toward completion of both degrees may be denied continuation in the concurrent program. Such a decision will rest jointly with the faculties of the M.S.I.S. and the Ph.D. programs. If students accepted into the concurrent degree program are unable to complete the Ph.D. degree, they are still eligible to receive the M.S.I.S. degree if all the M.S.I.S. degree requirements have been satisfied.

The Course Matrix

For more information and the latest updates on the concurrent programs, call the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at 717-531-1045 or visit the websites at: Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and Penn State Harrisburg.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Student Aid section of the Graduate Bulletin. There are a limited number of scholarships, fellowships, and research grants available, as well as several graduate assistantships. For more information on these, contact Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration.
Many students work full-time and take classes part-time. In many cases, employers have a tuition-reimbursement plan paying for partial or full tuition. To find other options available to you, contact one of the following offices: Financial Aid Office, 717-948-6307 or Admissions, 717-948-6250.

Graduate School Assistantships

Full time graduate students who are interested in an assistantship should contact the graduate program coordinator. Students must be nominated for an assistantship by their program coordinator. Students applying for an assistantship should submit scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or similar examinations by January 30. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.




Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-01-000

Review Date: 8/23/16

Faculty linked: 8/14/14