Information Systems

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

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 March 1.

Entry Requirements

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
BUS 505Data Analysis for Business Decisions3
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Financial Statement Analysis
Economics for Managers
Organizational Behavior
Total Credits9

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

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.

Required Courses
INFSY 535Object-Oriented Design and Programming in Business3
INFSY 540Information Technology and Knowledge Management3
15 credits of Information Systems courses from an approved list available in the program office15
Electives
6 credits of electives from the 500-level courses offered by Penn State Harrisburg's School of Business Administration6
Culminating Experience
INFSY 554Master's Project 13
Total Credits30

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 of the following:

BUS 510Business Analytics and Decision Modeling3
INFSY 555Data Management Systems3
INFSY 556Data Warehousing3
INFSY 565Intelligent Systems in Business3
INFSY 566Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery3
INFSY 547WEB Enabled Technologies3

Transfer Credits

Credits earned at other institutions but not used to earn a degree may be applied toward the requirements for a graduate degree, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. 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 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.

Integrated Undergrad-Grad Programs  

Integrated B.S. in Information Systems and M.S. in Information Systems

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-210 Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Programs.

The School of Business Administration offers a limited number of academically superior Bachelor of Science in Information Systems students 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.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

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. 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 from all post-secondary institutions attended except for 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. Before applying to the Graduate School, students must have completed entrance to their undergraduate major and have completed no less than 60 credits. Students must be admitted no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree. Transfer students must have completed at least 15 credits at Penn State to enroll in an IUG. 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 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
MGMT 301Basic Management Concepts3
MKTG 301Principles of Marketing3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
or SCM 200 Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course

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.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

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. Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count solely towards the graduate degree. Students must complete the undergraduate degree requirements within the typical time to degree for the undergraduate major. In the semester in which the undergraduate degree requirements will be completed, IUG students must apply to graduate, and the undergraduate degree should be conferred at the next appropriate Commencement.

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. Independent study courses and credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.

Courses Eligible to Double Count for Both Degrees
INFSY 535Object-Oriented Design and Programming in Business3
INFSY 540Information Technology and Knowledge Management3
INFSY 555Data Management Systems3
INFSY 860Data Communications Systems and Networks3
INFSY 547WEB Enabled Technologies3
INFSY 543Electronic Commerce3
INFSY 570Software Engineering in the Analysis and Design of Information Systems3

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

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:

  1. Financial Aid Office, 717-948-6307
  2. 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.

Courses

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.

Information Systems (INFSY) Course List

Contact

Campus Harrisburg
Graduate Program Head Stephen Patrick Schappe
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Roderick Lamar Lee
Program Contact

Amy Atkins
Graduate Admissions
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown PA 17057
akj11@psu.edu
(717) 948-6140

Program Website View