Curriculum

Successful completion of the MS-ISM program coursework leads to the Master of Science in Information Systems degree.

Each of the 10 courses listed below is required to obtain the 30-credit Master of Science in Information Systems degree.

IT Infrastructure

This course exposes students to the various technical elements and managerial issues of the IT infrastructure. The infrastructure includes computer hardware, application software, networking and telecommunications, data management, and physical facilities. Specific technologies covered include Internet applications and protocols, cloud computing, local area network configuration, and web programming. Managerial issues include understanding strategic technology requirements within the context of an organization's business plans, anticipating and managing capacity requirements and growth, and applying appropriate, cost-effective technologies to business problems.

Systems Analysis

This course focuses on systems development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies, techniques, and tools. SDLC methodologies vary, but essentially they include project selection and planning, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance of IS-based solutions to organizational problems. Interpersonal skill development with clients, users, team members, and others associated with development, operation, and maintenance of systems is emphasized. Both process-oriented and object-oriented modeling techniques are practiced. Specifically, Data-Flow Diagrams (DFD) and Unified Modeling Language (UML) models are used to describe requirements, including the needs of the users, the data elements, and processing logic.

Database Management and Controls

For many if not most modern organizations, data is their most important asset. With a focus on corporate-level database management systems (DBMSs), this course provides students with the knowledge and skill set needed to create and sustain data resources. Topics covered include the components of a DBMS, and the factors to consider when choosing a particular DBMS implementation. Topics also include the design and development of relational databases, focusing on concepts, principles, issues, and techniques for managing data resources. Students become familiar with the entity-relationship modeling technique for conceptual design and formulation of a database, as well as the business need for normalization and de-normalization of data. Structured Query Language (SQL) is introduced in order to demonstrate how data can queried and manipulated within a database.

IS Policy and Strategy

Within the context of the current business and regulatory environment, this course presents a high-level business perspective on the management and strategic use of information systems across the enterprise. Students will understand the need to acquire, develop, and implement systems that support the operational, tactical, and strategic needs of the organization. Strategic IS planning, internal IS management, and IS governance are studied focusing on the integrative nature of these functions.

Students will gain an understanding of the IS strategic planning process and its relationship with organizational strategic planning. Internal IS management is addressed from an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Service Management perspective.

IS Audit and Control

Effective management and monitoring of the information systems control environment is critical to the achievement of business goals. As such, this course provides students with essential knowledge of the concepts and practices of information systems audit and control. This includes an understanding of the fundamentals of auditing, planning and implementation of information systems audits, and the corresponding ability to work in partnership with financial auditors in an assurance engagement. It also includes a detailed understanding of and ability to audit the IT control environment - from operating systems and networks, to application systems and operating procedures. Students also will gain hands-on experience with computer-assisted audit tools and techniques, and will use those tools to conduct tests of system-related processes and data - including fraud investigations.

Business Intelligence

The business climate is constantly changing and becoming more complex. To remain competitive, organizations must make decisions based on relevant and timely information. Business intelligence (BI) is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information. Simply put, the objective of BI is to support better business decision-making by exploiting relevant and timely information. In this course, students will gain hands-on experience using important BI tools and technologies that underlie contemporary data-driven decision making. Such technologies include data, text and web mining, data warehouses, and business analytics for business performance management.

Enterprise Models

This course provides an overview of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, focusing on the strategic use of these systems to help businesses achieve organizational goals. ERP software is an implementation of best-in-class business processes. It simulates real-world business functions, provides seamless integrated information for business operations and decision-making, and supports the enterprise in linking, utilizing, allocating and controlling its resources on a real-time basis. Students learn how an ERP enhances enterprise performance by streamlining enterprise processes, optimizing its resources, and allowing it to make quick, accurate, and consistent decisions. Through experiential learning, students also learn how to customize an ERP system to ensure that system configurations meet best practices.

Software Quality Management

While software quality begins when requirements are gathered from a system's users, the importance of software quality management continues throughout the software development cycle. This class concentrates on software quality as it relates to appropriate requirements gathering, graphical and database program development that matches the requirements, development of data test beds, and procedures for insuring overall software quality.

In this class, students learn the Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QA) model as it is applied to software development, automated testing development, development constraints and tradeoffs, as they relate to software quality, application development, IEEE standards for software quality assurance. Students also compare and contrast software quality assurance (SQA) and software verification & validation (SVV) methods when ensuring software quality.

Project and Change Management

This course provides an in depth exploration into the tools and techniques of project management for both business and technology projects. The presentation of the course concepts adheres to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® (PMBOK®) description of best practices, and covers the project management life cycle with its processes of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

Students are also exposed to the challenges of large-scale program and portfolio management. The course emphasizes the importance of systems, ethics, and organizational cultures in the successful management of projects.

Students will gain an awareness of resource conflicts, the impact of changes in requirements, and their impact on schedule, business and cost objectives. Students will learn the importance of a work breakdown structure, and the use of networks in planning, scheduling and controlling projects. The course demonstrates the importance of strategy and prioritizing projects for effective resource allocation, and to achieve earned value for the organization.

IS Security and Risk Management

Information systems managers are increasingly responsible for controlling and monitoring the technical and business risks inherent within the IT environment. This course focuses on the security issues of the IT control environment from both a managerial and a technical perspective. Students will learn how to perform a variety of risk analyses and assessments, including risk-based auditing approaches, and to formulate strategies for dealing with those risks. Management-related topics include security planning, management, monitoring, testing and reporting, as well as the various management/governmental standards available for security management. Technical topics include physical, network, and hardware security, computer forensics, along with a number of software-based topics, including encryption, access control, and defense against malware and malicious hacking.


Note: The MS-ISM curriculum was recently revised and is subject to further revision.