The Master of Science in Information Systems program focuses on technical, managerial and policy issues associated with constructing and managing computer-based information systems for modern organizations. All areas of private and public enterprise rely on information systems for communication, planning, providing services, control and supporting decisions. The objectives of this program are to meet the growing demand in society for graduates with high-level information system skills and provide a path for women and men from diverse fields to rapidly transition to information system career paths by providing them with foundation graduate level courses in information systems. The program is explicitly designed to accommodate students from wide ranging undergraduate degree backgrounds.
Students will develop knowledge and technical skills in such areas as information system design, human-computer interaction, database systems design and management, systems development, computer networks, and information law and ethics. They will gain working familiarity with one or more programming languages, the concepts of managing resources across local and wide area networks including technical and managerial concepts of distributed systems, client-server systems, world-wide web, digital libraries, and further evolving network-based systems. Relational and object-oriented databases and systems for group decision support will also be addressed in the context of designing and managing databases. In addition, students will take courses that provide an understanding of business and engineering applications and thus provide further foundations for effective communication with end users.
The Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) consists of 30 credits, all earned in course work. The program consists of five three-credit required core courses and a minimum of fifteen additional credits from a list of elective courses approved for the program drawn from a range of disciplines. If some required courses are duplicative of courses that may have been taken in the student’s undergraduate degree program, those courses need not be repeated, and the student will select in consultation with the MSIS Graduate Coordinator and the Steering Committee additional approved courses to arrive at the total of 30 credit hours.
The following five courses must be taken and all count toward the graduate degree unless they were counted in a student’s undergraduate program.
Students must take at least fifteen additional credits that are approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee from the following approved elective course listings in order to arrive at the total required of 30 credits. Students should NOT assume that any combination of the following courses will be approved by the Steering Committee. Students should obtain approval of their full program of study prior to taking elective courses to ensure that they will count towards their degree requirements. Students may propose additional graduate courses than those listed below be included on their program of study on a case-by-case basis or added to the list. The MSIS Steering Committee assesses the reasonableness of such requests and makes the final decision on whether specific additional courses serving the objectives of the MSIS program and the needs of the student may be included.
Some of the elective graduate courses listed may require prerequisites in addition to the minimum required for general admission to the MSIS graduate program. Some schools and departments grant enrollment preference to graduate students in their own programs so check with the relevant department or college as appropriate.
- Programs of Study are approved for each student by the Steering Committee for the MSIS graduate program. This committee consists of the MSIS Graduate Program Coordinator and two additional graduate faculty members in the department or affiliated with the program.
- Each student’s Program of Study must include the five required core courses with the remainder of courses to be selected from an approved course list maintained by the department or proposed by the student and assessed for possible approval. The list is regularly updated and includes appropriate courses drawn from across campus. Each student’s Program of Study must be approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- At least 15 credits of the 30 required on a student’s program of study must be at the 500 level or above.
- Up to two courses may be taken at other universities by distance methods or otherwise if contained on the student’s graduate program of study and approved in advance by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- Up to two graduate courses may be transferred into the student’s graduate program of study if taken prior to admission to the Graduate School, the courses did not count towards the student’s undergraduate degree requirements, and the courses are approved by the MSIS Steering Committee.
- The MSIS Graduate Coordinator serves as the advisor for each student admitted to the program and the MSIS Steering Committee serves as the graduate committee for each student in the program.
- All students must complete the entire M.S. graduate program of study within a six-year period (as established by the Graduate School).
Admission to the University of Maine Master of Science in Information Systems is competitive. In its admission process, the graduate faculty considers the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully and achieve positions of leadership in the private or public sectors. Those with a GRE score of 143 verbal, 146 quantitative (900 under the old scoring system), analytical of 3.5 and an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above at the time of application are typically considered competitive by the admissions committee.
At a minimum an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.
All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation must be received before a formal acceptance will be issued typically. To be considered for Fall admission, completed applications must be received 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term.
Early Admission of UMaine Undergraduate Students to Four Plus One Program
Undergraduate students from any degree program at the University of Maine may apply as early as the summer before their junior year for admission to the MS Information Systems graduate degree program. Applications for “early admission” should be received by the middle of the first semester of the junior year and are not accepted after the senior year has commenced.
By taking a course overload of three credits in the second semester of the Junior year and a course overload of three credits in each of the semesters of the Senior year, a motivated student typically may acquire 9 credits (but no more than 12) for graduate school (at undergraduate tuition rates) prior to acquiring their undergraduate degree assuming that they receive a B or better in the courses. By taking a 6-credit Information Systems Internship graduate course with a corporation, agency or non-profit organization during the summer, a student may readily complete the coursework master’s degree in a single year after their undergraduate degree. This master’s degree will be highly complementary to an undergraduate degree in almost any field and attractive to employers.
To apply for early admission before or during the junior year, an applicant should expect to have an overall minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.25, must have completed the University of Maine General Education Requirement in Math and must have three letters of recommendation from current or previous university instructors. The participating student must take the GRE exam prior to completing their senior year but continuation in the graduate program will be based primarily on performance in the graduate courses and overall grade point average upon graduation from the undergraduate program. Below a 3.0 accumulated undergraduate grade point average should be assumed cause for discontinuation in the graduate program.
Students with two or fewer semesters remaining to complete their undergraduate degree program (i.e. 30 credits or less) do not qualify for the “four-plus-one program” but their applications will be considered as applications within the regular MSIS admissions process. In this case, see item 3.e. above about transferring up to two graduate courses prior to formal admission.
M. Kate Beard-Tisdale, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1988), Professor. Geographic information systems, spatial analysis, digital libraries.
Max Egenhofer, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Professor and Graduate Coordinator for SIE MS and PhD Programs. Geographic database systems, spatial reasoning, GIS user interface design, ubiquitous spatial computing.
Nicholas Giudice, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 2004), Assistant Professor. Neurocognitive engineering, multimodal spatial learning, human computer interaction.
Reinhard Moratz, Ph.D. (Universitat Bielefeld, 1992), Associate Professor. Spatial knowledge representation in cognitive systems, qualitative spatio-temporal representation, human-robot interfaces, integration of spatial perception and description.
Silvia Nittel, Ph.D, (Zurich, 1994), Associate Professor. Spatial database management systems, mobile object systems, heterogeneous information systems, high performance architectures.
Harlan J. Onsrud, J.D. (Wisconsin, 1982), Professor and Graduate Coordinator for MSIS Program. Cyberlaw related to spatial technologies, systems and services, location privacy, ethics driven systems design, cadastral systems.