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 in information systems. The program is intended to provide a graduate-level, technically oriented curriculum that focuses on the design and development of information systems to solve real-world problems. The department’s curriculum is focused on the rapidly emerging area known as enterprise information systems. Students may choose a curriculum with no concentration or a concentration in information risk, security and assurance. Graduates of the program are expected to be able to take significant roles in planning, organizing, managing, designing, configuring and implementing EIS systems using state-of-the-art technologies within organizations.

The information risk, security and assurance concentration within the degree is designed primarily for students interested in professional roles in business, industry or government. Program graduates will serve as leaders within the risk, security and assurance community and as strategic partners with the enterprise in which they work. They will stay attuned to and anticipate changes in the risk, security and assurance environment and ensure that security solutions create a sound, competitive and cost-effective advantage for the enterprise.

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
SpringNov 1
SummerMar 1

The VCU School of Business and Christ University in Bangalore, India have partnered to provide students with an opportunity to study at two universities and earn two degrees. Students who have already been admitted to the Christ University Master of Business Administration program are invited to apply to the VCU Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in information risk, security and assurance.

Students satisfy the master’s foundation course requirements during the first year while in the Christ University M.B.A. program and then complete the 10 required VCU courses need for the Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in information risk, security and assurance. These courses are taken primarily at the VCU Monroe Park Campus and are designed to be completed in one calendar year. 

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. The required undergraduate courses are:

INFO   300Information Technology Infrastructure3
INFO   350Intermediate Programming3
INFO   360Business Information Systems3
INFO   361Systems Analysis and Design3
INFO   370Fundamentals of Data Communications3
INFO   364Database Systems3
A course in calculus

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students who do not have a business degree must complete a minimum of four 500-level foundation courses (12 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.

Curriculum requirements

Core courses
INFO   610Analysis and Design of Database Systems3
INFO   620Data Communications3
INFO   630Systems Development3
INFO   640Information Systems Management3
Concentration courses
CISS   634Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in Computer and Information Systems Security3
INFO   614Data Mining3
INFO/CISS 644Principles of Computer and Information Systems Security3
INFO   646Security Policy Formulation and Implementation3
INFO   658Securing the Internet of Things3
Approved elective
Select one from the following:3
Data-centric Re-engineering Analysis/Planning
Data Re-engineering
Data Warehousing
Strategic Information Systems Planning
Decision Support and Intelligent Systems
Information Technology Project Management
Information Systems for Business Intelligence
Research Seminar in Information Systems
Topics in Information Systems
Field Project in Information Systems
Guided Study in Information Systems
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
Total Hours30

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Graduate program director
Colleen Androvich 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