Aug 13, 2022  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Information Systems

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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 develop knowledge and technical skills in foundation areas of formal methods, programming, information system design, human computer interaction and information law and ethics. Students gain working familiarity with one or more programming languages if not already acquired. Based on this foundation, students have leeway to craft a remaining selection of courses in consultation with and approval by their academic adviser and the MSIS steering committee. Flexibility is provided to accommodate the particular backgrounds, interests and information system professional career aspirations of each student as well as to be responsive to the ever-changing technological and business environments. Thus students might choose to focus additional coursework within a specific information systems domain or pursue course interests among several applications and theory domains including business, engineering, computer science, psychology, education and additional germane science areas. The goal is to prepare graduates to succeed as information system professionals in a variety of roles and settings.

Degree Requirements

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.

Required Courses

The following five courses must be taken and all count toward the graduate degree unless they were counted in a student’s undergraduate program.

  • SIE 505 - Formal Foundations for Information Science Credits: 3
  • SIE 507 - Information Systems Programming Credits: 3
  • SIE 515 - Human Computer Interaction Credits: 3
  • SIE 525 - Information Systems Law Credits: 3
  • SIE 550 - Design of Information Systems Credits: 3


Elective Courses

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 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.


BUA 561 - Knowledge Management and System Support Systems Credits: 3

BUA 664 - Databases and Data Mining in Industry Credits: 3

BUA 668 - Electronic Commerce Credits: 3

      Computer Science

Any formally approved 400 level COS courses and above

Digital Curation

DIG 500- Introduction to Digital Curation Credits: 3

DIG 510- Metadata Credits: 3

DIG 540- Digital Collections and Exhibitions Credits: 3

DIG 550- Digital Preservation Credits: 3


EDT 520 - Methods of Teaching with Computer Technology Credits: 3

EDT 545 - Information Security in the Educational Environment Credits: 3

      Electrical and Computer Engineering

Any 400 level ECE courses and above


INT 601 - Responsible Conduct of Research Credits: 1


Any formally approved 500 level and above NMD courses

      Spatial Information Science and Engineering

SIE 509 - Principles of Geographic Information Systems Credits: 3

SIE 510 - Geographic Information Systems Applications Credits: 3

SIE 512 - Spatial Analysis Credits: 3

SIE 516 - Virtual Reality: Research and Applications Credits: 3

SIE 554 - Spatial Reasoning Credits: 3

SIE 555 - Spatial Database Systems Credits: 3

SIE 557 - Database System Applications Credits: 3

SIE 558 - Real-Time Sensor Data Streams Credits: 3

SIE 559 - Geosensor Networks Credits: 3

SIE 570 - Spatial Cognition and Computing Credits: 3

SIE 571 - Pattern Recognition and Robotics Credits: 3

SIE 580 - Ontology Engineering Principles Credits: 3

SIE 590 - Information Systems Internship Credits: 3-6


Detailed Requirements

  • 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 Requirements

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. For all of our graduate programs we are generally seeking students that score at the mean or above on the verbal, quantitative and analytical segments of the GRE exam and in the 50th percentile or above on the exam overall. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 should be received 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term.

Note: Students applying for Graduate Certificate programs are not required to submit GRE scores. Students that successfully complete a graduate certificate program in Information Systems or Geographic Information Systems (both offered on-campus and by distance) that includes the foundation courses of SIE 505, 507, 515, 525 and 550 in their certificate programs and receive a B or better in all of these courses are not required to submit a GRE score for admission to the full non-thesis MS programs in Information Systems (offered on-campus and by distance), Spatial Informatics (offered by distance only) and Spatial Information Science and Engineering - Project Option (offered on campus only). The 5 foundation courses automatically count toward the 10 courses required for the full MS degree.

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 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.


MS in Information Systems (MSIS) and Graduate Certificate in Business

(45 or fewer credits total)

This combination is for the student most interested in information systems but who believes some business knowledge will be beneficial.

The master’s degree in Information Systems is a 30 credit graduate degree consisting of 15 required credits and 15 credits of electives.  The MSIS can be taken live or via distance technology.

The Graduate Business Certificate is a 15 credit certificate consisting of two 400 level courses (which are prerequisites for the MBA program) and three graduate business courses.  The Graduate Business Certificate may be taken live or via distance technology.

The certificate is constructed as an introduction to business and a pathway to the MBA.

Some graduate business courses may be accepted on a case-by-case basis as part of the MSIS requirement and thereby reduce the total number of credits required for the combined program.


For the master’s degree in information systems, see MSIS Program Requirements at

For the graduate certificate in business, see Maine Business School Graduate Business Certificate at


Spatial and Information Systems Graduate Faculty

M. Kate Beard-Tisdale, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1988), Professor and Graduate Coordinator. Geographic information systems, map generalization, data quality and its visualization, geographic information retrieval, spatio-temporal phenomena and information integration.

Max J. Egenhofer, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Professor and Director of School of Computing and Information Science. Spatio-temporal reasoning, user interfaces for geographic information systems, design of spatial database systems, and mobile spatial information appliances.

Nicholas A. Giudice, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 2004), Associate Professor and Director of VEMI Lab. Human computer interaction in real and virtual reality environments, indoor navigation, multimodal spatial cognition, information-access technology and multimodal spatial displays.

Torsten  Hahmann, PhD (Toronto, 2013), Assistant Professor. Spatial informatics, spatial ontologies as test bed for research about formal ontologies and their development, knowledge representation, artificial intelligence, and logic.

Silvia Nittel, Ph.D. (Zurich, 1994), Associate Professor and Director of Geosensor Networks Lab. Stationary and mobile sensor networks, decentralized in-network data collection algorithms for geosensor networks, management of distributed sensor data streams in real-time.

Harlan J. Onsrud, J.D. (Wisconsin, 1982), Professor. Legal, ethical, and institutional issues affecting creation and use of databases, ethics driven information systems design, assessment of social and societal impacts of spatial technologies.

Nimesha Ranasinghe, Ph.D. (National University of Singapore (NUS), 2013 ), Assistant Professor. Research interests include Multisensory Interactive Media, Augmented Reality, and Human-Computer Interaction 


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