An MIS, or management information system, is composed of technology and business applications designed to ensure the smooth running of a business. It may also go by the name of information technology management. Students entering an online graduate program in this field of study learn about business management principles and computer technology, all within a virtual classroom environment containing lectures, assignments and communication tools that distance learners can access any time.
These online programs can vary in length from one to two years, based on unique degree requirements, enrollment status and students' experience level. Prior to enrollment in some schools, students may need appropriate professional skills and background. Many schools -- including traditional public and private universities -- offer MIS master's degrees entirely through distance learning. The following schools are just two options available to professionals seeking advanced training in the field.
University of Illinois
Through its U of I Online program, the University of Illinois offers students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in MIS completely online. Students are advised that U of I Online does not enroll students. To enroll in this online program, students must apply to the Business Management and Administrative Services department at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with prerequisite coursework in math, statistics, accounting and operations management. They need to also be proficient in a high-level computer programming language, which may be achieved through college courses or professional experience. Those with at least five years of work experience in MIS can request that the requirement for graduate test scores like the GMAT or GRE be waived.
MS in Management Information Systems
This online program prepares students for careers in systems design, consulting, database development and process analysis. The University of Illinois at Springfield gives distance learners the option to complete a thesis, capstone course or graduate project as their culminating experience
- Systems analysis and design
- Project management
- Database systems
- Decision support systems
- Enterprise models
Carnegie Mellon University
The graduate school's distance learning division at Carnegie Mellon University uses Web and multimedia DVDs to allow students to earn an MIS master's degree without having to relocate or abandon a current job in order to attend classes. The online program is offered in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College of Executive Education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The online MIS degree program requires applicants to have a bachelor's degree and ideally three years of professional experience in the industry. Prospective students need to have at least six months of recent computer programming work experience or undergraduate coursework in object-oriented programming in order to be eligible for admission.
MS in Information Technology Management
Online students in this graduate program learn data, application, business and technology architectures to provide a comprehensive foundation for their MIS careers. The program can typically be totally completed in a distance learning format; however, students who lack the three years of recommended work experience must complete a summer internship.
- Database management
- Information security management
- Information technology systems development
- Java programming
- Information warfare
In master's degree programs that cover MIS, students have the opportunity to improve their information technology skills, with a specific emphasis on how they can be utilized within business settings. Both the University of Illinois and Carnegie Mellon University offer relevant online programs in this subject.