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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Apr 18, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Information Science, MS

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The Master of Science in Information Science Program explores the junction of information, networks, and human behavior. We provide students with the skills and knowledge to model and design systems that are accountable, resilient, trustworthy, sustainable, and ethical. Our graduates design, build, manage, and protect the systems and networks that make information useful and accessible. They enjoy the limitless potential for exciting careers in virtually every industry —  health care, finance, law, manufacturing, government, higher education, and more. The Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree program prepares students for careers as information professionals, including systems analysts and designers, database developers and managers, information security experts, and more.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for graduate study must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.

Prerequisites for admission to the Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree program include one (three-credit or higher) college course in each of the following (the corresponding Pitt course numbers are indicated):

  • Programming: A course on object-oriented programming using Java, C#, or C++. (CMPINF 0401 )
  • Probability and Statistics: A course covering data collection, descriptive and inferential statistics is optimal. It should cover measures of central tendency and variability, regression, correlation, non-parametric analysis, probability, and sampling, Bayesian analysis, significance tests, and hypothesis testing. (STAT 0200  or STAT 1000 )
  • Mathematics: A college-level mathematics course in linear algebra, calculus, or discrete mathematics (MATH 0120 , MATH 0220 , or MATH 0400 )

Areas of Concentration

The MSIS Degree Programs offers a number of Areas of Concentration, which are closely tied to career paths and academic areas of interest: General, Big Data Analytics, Database and Web Systems, Geoinformatics, Human Centered Computing, Security Assured Information Systems, and Telecommunications and Distributed Systems. 

Requirements for the various areas of concentration are linked below:

Note that students are NOT required to select an Area of Concentration; however, if an Area of Concentration is chosen, students will follow a more stringent plan of study specific to the chosen Area of Concentration. As well, some Areas of Concentration have additional pre-requisites; therefore, students may need to complete courses beyond the standard 36 credit requirement.

Areas of Concentration may be selected, or changed, until the end of the term in which 18 credits will be completed.

MSIS Degree Requirements

If no Area of Concentration is selected, students will follow the curriculum outlined in the following sections.

Required Core Courses

All MSIS students are required to take the following five courses. Students would have to submit a petition to the faculty to waive any required core course. 

Elective Courses

Students will take seven courses from the department’s standard graduate course offerings. 

As a part of the elective courses, students may also pursue up to 6 credits of other opportunities (e.g., independent study and practicum experiences) and some that fall outside of the department’s standard graduate course offerings such as the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education cross-registration, doctoral seminars, courses offered in other Pitt graduate departments, or undergraduate upper-level coursework in information science or computer science (1100-1999). These opportunities may not exceed six credits and require advisor approval prior to enrollment.

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