Program accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Program goal

The Master of Science in Information Systems program is designed to prepare students for specialized roles using information systems to support organizations. The program is intended to provide a graduate-level, business-technology-oriented curriculum that focuses on the design and development of information systems to solve real-world problems. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to take significant roles in planning, organizing, managing, designing, configuring and implementing systems using state-of-the-art technologies within organizations.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Graduates should be capable of communicating and networking effectively within their profession and within their organizations, serving the profession by applying this knowledge broadly and maintaining key technical expertise in order to sustain required levels of competitiveness.
  2. Graduates must have an understanding of information technology as it applies to business contexts and the skill to apply this technology effectively in specific circumstances.
  3. Graduates must be able to develop efficient and effective IS solutions using appropriate technologies that can deliver competitive advantages to organizations.
  4. Graduates must be able to develop and incorporate changes in the planning and management of IS resources based on an increased understanding of the dynamic changes in the organization, IS and global environments.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Business policies and procedures for graduate master’s degree students are available on the school’s website at business.vcu.edu/graduate-studies/current-graduate-students.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.S.FallJul 1GMAT or GRE
Spring Nov 1
SummerMar 1

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the master’s program in business administration must submit an up-to-date resume.

Degree requirements

Students applying to the Master of Science in Information Systems must show evidence of competence in selected prerequisite areas of information systems including: application programming, systems analysis and design, database, telecommunications and hardware/software. Evidence of this competence may include formal course work, comparable training within a work environment or significant, relevant and recent work experience in the field. Students enrolled as majors in the program who do not have a formal background or equivalent training must take the appropriate undergraduate courses to satisfy the prerequisites prior to taking master’s program courses. Students without an accredited bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate in fields such as computer science or information systems will likely need to complete several undergraduate prerequisite courses. Prerequisites are determined by the faculty adviser at the time of admission.

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students who do not have a business degree must complete a minimum of two 500-level foundation courses (6 credit hours). Foundation courses may be waived for students who present satisfactory equivalent preparation at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Students who are required to take foundation courses may do so after admission. The foundation courses required will vary depending upon the student’s background, career interests and the chosen area of specialization. Students applying to the program should consult with the master’s program adviser to determine the foundation courses required for a particular area.

Prerequisite undergraduate courses

INFO   202Introduction to E-business Technologies3
INFO   300Information Technology Infrastructure3
INFO   350Intermediate Programming3
INFO   361Systems Analysis and Design3
INFO   364Database Systems3
INFO   370Fundamentals of Data Communications3
MATH   211Mathematical Structures3
A course in calculus

Curriculum requirements

Foundation courses
0-6 credits; may be waived for demonstrated equivalence.
Fundamentals of Accounting
Concepts in Economics
Financial Concepts of Management
Statistical Fundamentals for Business Management
Core courses
INFO   610Analysis and Design of Database Systems3
INFO   620Data Communications3
INFO   630Systems Development3
INFO   640Information Systems Management3
Information system electives
Select four to six of the following:12-18
Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in Computer and Information Systems Security
Data-centric Re-engineering Analysis/Planning
Data Re-engineering
Data Mining
Data Warehousing
Business Process Engineering
Strategic Information Systems Planning
Decision Support and Intelligent Systems
Information Technology Project Management
Principles of Computer and Information Systems Security
Security Policy Formulation and Implementation
Securing the Internet of Things
Information Systems for Business Intelligence
Topics in Information Systems
Field Project in Information Systems
Guided Study in Information Systems
Other approved electives
A maximum of two non-INFO electives may be completed from the preapproved list below.0-6
SAP ERP and Supply Chain Management
Statistical Analysis and Modeling
Applied Multivariate Methods
Analytics for Organizational Decision-making
Developing and Implementing Forecasting Methods for Business
Required concentration courses
FMBA   614Health Care Management I: National Perspective3
FMBA   615Health Care Management II: Employer's Perspective3
FMBA   616Health Care Management III: Industry Perspective3

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 39 (45 if all foundation courses are taken)

Graduate program director
Colleen Andorivch Davis
Senior director, master’s programs
Email: androvichcm@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Additional contact
Jana P. McQuaid
Associate dean, master’s programs
Email: jpmcquaid@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-4622

Program website: business.vcu.edu/graduate-studies/ms-in-information-systems