Master's in Information Systems

Northwestern University's MS in Information Systems (MSIS) program prepares graduates to advance their careers in IT management or to move into an IT career and progress to management level. Distinct from traditional computer science programs, the MSIS curriculum — which requires 11 units of graduate credit — puts emphasis on the development and management of software projects existing in the workplace. It is designed for professionals who seek a hands-on, laboratory-based experience that will broaden and deepen their knowledge of new and emerging IT. Choose from nine specializations to focus on your area of interest and build the skills you need to advance your career.



Nancy Dandridge

I was really interested in an online program because of my work responsibilities. I checked out USC which is right down the street from me and a few other schools, but I kept coming back to Northwestern. I did a deep dive into the curriculum and found I really liked the hands-on approach.”

Nancy Dandridge, MSIS student, manager of information systems at rocket and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX

About the MS in Information Systems

Accelerated One-Year MSIS Program (begins in fall 2024)

The School of Professional also offers the MS in Information Systems in a one-year accelerated format. Students in this full-time, visa-eligible program are immersed in the curriculum through a blend of online and on-campus courses as they move through the program in a cohort of diverse professionals from across the U.S. and the world. Find out more about the accelerated option.


Master's in Information Systems Program Goals

An interdisciplinary professional program, MSIS graduates will possess the knowledge, skills and aptitude to:

  • Ability to develop and manage software projects
  • Build effective leadership techniques and communication skills necessary to implement change management and innovation
  • Network within a population of peers and leading information systems professionals from prominent public and private organizations

Information Systems Specializations

This program offers eight areas of specialization, which must be declared at the time of application:

For detailed information on all eight areas, please visit our Information Systems Specializations page. 

MS in Information Systems Online Courses

Explore MS Information Systems Online Courses. You can narrow your course search by day, location or instructor.

Masters in Information Systems Admission

A variety of factors are considered when your application is reviewed. Background and experience vary from student to student. For a complete list of requirements, see the Admission page for SPS graduate programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid for Information Systems

Tuition for the Master's in Information Systems program at Northwestern is comparable to similar US programs. Financial aid opportunities exist for students at Northwestern. Complete details can be found on the Information Systems Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Registration Information for Information Systems

Already accepted into the Master's in Information Systems program? Get ahead and register for your classes as soon as possible to ensure maximum efficiency in your trajectory.


Careers in Information Systems

Information systems impacts virtually every industry, field, and activity in today's society. Those with appropriately rigorous education in the field will likely find significant professional opportunity.  For details visit the Information Systems Career Options page.

Information Systems Faculty

Instructors in the Master's in Information Systems program at Northwestern are leaders in the field. They bring practical real-world experiences to the online classroom and engage with students on an interpersonal level. Get to know the instructors on our Information Systems Program Faculty page. 

Related Programs

Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study offer students a unique opportunity for targeted study in a field. Each certificate is designed around a specialized area of focus, allowing students to explore new trends in their field or to refresh their skills in preparation for a career change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master’s in information systems?

Advance your career or change fields by earning your master’s in information systems from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. This MSIS degree program is specially geared toward helping graduates excel at the management level; equipped with expertise in both IT and its strategic applications, you’ll be well-prepared for vital roles at the crossroads of business and technology. Enterprise architect, cybersecurity analyst, database manager, network administrator, and web developer are just a few of the in-demand careers open to those with an information systems master’s degree. For more information on the kinds of job opportunities available to graduates of the program, please visit our information systems careers page.

Why should someone get a master’s in information systems?

An information systems master’s degree offers several ways to build your knowledge and marketable skills; simply having a master’s in information systems demonstrates to employers your commitment to learning and staying current in the ever-evolving field of information technology, giving you a competitive advantage over your peers. The degree program itself is also a great way to build your professional network by connecting with fellow students and professors—IT leaders with extensive real-world experience. What’s more, the knowledge you gain from your master’s in information systems can be applied across various industries from healthcare to finance to e-commerce to give you flexibility in your career options and security in dynamic job markets. Looking to start your own tech business or help grow a startup? An information systems master’s can also provide a strong foundation to help you succeed as an entrepreneur. Discover what a few graduates of Northwestern’s MSIS degree program are doing now by exploring our student stories.

How long does it take to complete the master’s in information systems?

Because most students earning their online master’s in information systems from Northwestern are also working full-time, this program is designed to be completed within two to five years at a pace of one or two courses per academic quarter. If you are interested in earning your degree sooner, consider applying to the accelerated one-year information systems master’s instead.

What are the prerequisites for the master’s in information systems online program at Northwestern?

All applicants to the accelerated and online master’s in information systems program must have a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent. Because these programs are open to both those already working in IT and those looking to make a career change, there are no other formal prerequisites; the admissions committee will review your work experience, academic history, and application materials holistically to determine if you will be a good fit.

When are applications due for the online master’s in information systems?

The online information systems master’s admits students on a quarterly basis, allowing you to begin the program at any time. Please visit our graduate admissions page for up-to-date information on application deadlines and quarter start dates. Please note that the accelerated MSIS degree program only admits for the fall term and begins in fall 2024.

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