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 eight specializations to focus on your area of interest and build the skills you need to advance your career.



Choose your specialization

Technology changes rapidly. The Master of Science in Information Systems program at Northwestern is constantly evolving to remain ahead of the curve. Learn more about the program’s eight specializations, including the new Artificial Intelligence specialization, that allow for either online or on-campus study at a part-time pace.

Nancy Dandridge graduated with a master's in Information Systems from Northwestern University and poses at SpaceX where she works.

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, MS in Information Systems ('18); Information Systems Manager at rocket and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX

Nancy's Full Story

I'm a huge fan of AI and data science, which are important for the healthcare industry. What I liked about the program was that I could specialize not just in AI, but also access many other courses related to different specializations.”

Swetha Popuri, MS in Information Systems ('22)

Swetha's Full Story

Swetha Popuri graduated with a master's in Information Systems from Northwestern University and works in the healthcare industry.

Choose the pace that's right for you

The master's of information systems program is offered in part-time and accelerated full-time formats.

Hand taking notes at laptop

Part-Time Option

  • Classes are 100% remote
  • Part-time format, ideal for busy professionals
  • Self-paced—finish in as little as two years
  • Begin in any quarter
Part-Time Curriculum
Adult student raising hand in lecture hall

Accelerated Option

  • Blend of online and on-campus courses
  • Full-time pace for total immersion
  • Complete your degree in just one year
  • Begin in the fall quarter
  • Student visa eligible
Accelerated Curriculum

Both master's of information systems program formats offer a choice of specializations that enable you to create the course of study you need to meet your career goals. Whichever you choose, you will learn from experienced, engaged faculty who are thought leaders in their fields.

Can't decide?


We welcome international students from around the world to apply for the accelerated MSIS option. If admitted to the accelerated option, international students are eligible to apply and receive a student visa.


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

About the MS in Information Systems

MS in Information Systems Online Courses

Explore MS in 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.

The ultimate goal of the MSIS program for me was to become an independent consultant. Northwestern's name recognition and network helped me land my first contracts... and I created my own LLC.”

Bret Macke, MS in Information Systems ('13)

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. 

Find out more

Northwestern Master's in Information Systems

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Information Systems

Students who have already completed a master's degree in a related field and are looking to explore new trends in technology or refresh their skills in preparation for a career change should consider the certificate in Information Systems Interdisciplinary Studies. In order to earn this certificate students must complete their choice of four courses from the Information Systems curriculum. See which course options are running in upcoming quarters to plan your program. Please note that credits earned in the certificate program cannot be transferred to the corresponding graduate degree.

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.

Related programs

Master's in Data Science     Master's in Information Design and Strategy     Online Master's Degrees     Master's in Health Informatics     Sports Administration Master's     Data Engineering Course
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