GIRISH H. SUBRAMANIAN, Program Director
Penn State Harrisburg
School of Business Administration
777 W. Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4898
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.
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:
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:
To be considered for a graduate assistantship, applicants must submit a complete application by March 1.
Credits obtained to fulfill entry and pre-program requirements cannot be applied towards the requirements for the degree.
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 MIS 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 before 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, business 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
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)
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.
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 undergraduate or 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.
The School of Business Administration offers a limited number of academically superior Bachelor of Science in Information Systems candidates the opportunity to enroll in an integrated, continuous program of study leading to both the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and the Master of Science in Information Systems. The ability to coordinate as well as concurrently pursue the two degree programs enables the students to earn both degrees in five years. Specifically, as many as twelve of the credits required for the master’s degree may be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
If for any reason students admitted to the IUG program are unable to complete the requirements for the Master of Science in Information Systems degree, the students will be permitted to receive the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems degree assuming all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfactorily completed.
Students apply to the program via the Graduate School application for admission, and must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, as well as the admission requirements for the Master of Science degree in Information Systems, listed above. Students should mention in the notes section that the application is for the IUG program in Information Systems.
Students must submit a resume, a personal statement including career goals and how the M.S.I.S. will enhance their career goals, official transcripts of all post-secondary courses taken outside Penn State, two letters of recommendation, with at least one from the School of Business Administration faculty, and a plan of study that integrates both undergraduate and graduate requirements. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program. A graduate faculty adviser in collaboration with the Director of M.S.I.S. Program will help undergraduate candidates determine a sequence of courses that will prepare them for acceptance into the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree program.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission into the program; however, if students are interested in a graduate assistantship, GMAT or GRE scores must be submitted by the end of the eighth semester.
The number of openings in the IUG program is limited. Applicants to the IUG program must have completed a minimum of 60 credits. Students must be admitted to an IUG program no earlier than the beginning of the third semester of undergraduate study at Penn State (regardless of transfer or AP credits accumulated prior to enrollment) and no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree. In addition, the applicants must earn a minimum of cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and complete the following Entry to Major courses or equivalent: ACCTG 211 , ECON 102 , ENGL 015 or 030 , FIN 301 , MATH 110 or 140 , MGMT 301 , MKTG 301  and STAT 200  or SCM 200 .
Student applications will be evaluated based on their overall portfolio, in addition to the above requirements. In all cases, admission to the program will be at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee in Information Systems.
Students must fulfill all degree requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the Master of Science in Information Systems degree are listed above. Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count towards the graduate degree.
Up to 12 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. All courses counted for both degrees must be at the 500- or 800-level. Credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.
The courses that will double count for both degrees include: INFSY 535, INFSY 540, INFSY 555, INFSY 560, INFSY 547, INFSY 543 and INFSY 570.
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.
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 699 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: Spring 2017
Blue Sheet Item #: 45-06-000
Review Date: 4/25/17
Faculty linked: 8/14/14