Top Degree Program in Computer Information Systems - Alexandria, VA

Jul 29, 2020

School and Ranking Information

Most of the schools in the Alexandria, VA, area that provide computer information systems programs are for-profit or private, nonprofit institutions. Based on ranking, student services and number of graduate degrees granted in the field of study, the following university is considered a top school in the Alexandria area for studies in computer information systems:

  • Winner: George Mason University is located approximately 15 miles from Alexandria in Fairfax, VA. It is the only public 4-year postsecondary institution within 25 miles of Alexandria that offers programs in computer information systems. The university also awards the highest number of graduate degrees in this subject in the Alexandria area. Students can earn a master's degree in information systems or choose the information systems concentration in the Ph.D. in Information Technology program.

School Info Chart

Category George Mason University
Ranking #153 (tie) Best National Universities (2020)*
Location Fairfax, Virginia
School Type 4-year, public
Tuition (2019-2020) Graduate: $15,648 (in-state); $36,960 (out-of-state)**
Computer Information Systems Degrees Offered Master's and doctoral
Computer Information Systems Degrees Awarded in 2018-2019 15**
Most Popular Computer Information Systems Degree in 2018-2019 Master's (14 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2013 Entering Class 71%**
Noteworthy School of Information Technology and Engineering is the first school in the nation with an information technology program at the doctoral level; various student organizations include Cyber Security Systems (CSS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Commission on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report; **NCES College Navigator

George Mason University

  • 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Accelerated programs available for bachelor's degree students seeking a master's degree in information systems
  • Department of Computer Science offers various research centers and labs, including the Center for Secure Information Systems

George Mason University (GMU), the largest university in the Alexandria region of Virginia, boasts three locations in the area and over 100 degree programs. The university enrolls nearly 38,000 students per year. The Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) has nine departments within it, including the Department of Computer Science, as well as IT&E labs and offices for research. Students can pursue graduate programs in information systems, computer science and information technology.

The Master of Science in Information Systems program emphasizes both the engineering and theoretical components of information systems, allowing degree holders to deploy and manage information systems in organizations of various sectors, such as government, non-profit and industry. Core requirements teach such concepts as analyzing and designing information systems, managing databases and assessing information security practices. The program also allows students to choose either a managerial or technical approach, a versatility that will enable graduates to more easily define a career path in line with their goals. Completion of this program requires 30 credit hours, and there are accelerated programs available for undergraduate students interested in immediately continuing their studies.

Graduates of the M.S. program may pursue information systems as a concentration within the Ph.D. in Information Technology degree program. They'll need to pass a series of qualifying examinations in addition to researching, writing and defending their original dissertation. The information systems concentration courses cover subjects such as computer security models and architectures, design and management aspects of information systems, logic models in artificial intelligence and algorithm analysis.

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