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Master's Degrees in CIS

As a computer information science or computer information systems (CIS) student in a graduate program, you can learn about programming, network architecture and security. Review your degree options and the prerequisites for enrollment. Find out more about what you'd learn during a master's-level program in CIS.

What Kinds of Master's Degrees Can I Earn in CIS?

Most CIS programs award a Master of Science in Computer Information Science or Master of Science in Computer Information Systems. Although less common, some programs award a Master of Engineering degree with a focus on computer information systems or computer information science. All three types of programs cover much of the same information.

Within these degrees you can also pursue specialized tracks in computer security, database management and project management. Many graduate programs are available online.

Degree Fields of Study Computer Information Science or Computer Information Systems
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree required; institutions may also require you to submit standardized test scores
Possible Careers Information security, robotics, database administration, programming
Common Courses Information security, database management, networking forensics, data mining, data modeling
Median Salary (2018) $98,350 (for all information security analysts
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 28% growth (for all information security analysts

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Do I Need to Enroll?

Requirements differ by school, but in order to enroll as a master's degree student at any school, you'll need at least a 4-year degree in a technical area. You'll also need to submit Graduate Record Examination scores or results from a similarly recognized test.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

A master's degree in CIS is right for you if you plan on conducting research in computer science or doing advanced, interdisciplinary work in computer engineering. You can also use your degree to work in information security, database administration, programming or robotics. Earning your degree can also prepare you for doctoral programs in computer science or computer engineering.

What Can I Learn?

As a CIS student, you'll learn about advanced concepts in information security, programming and database management. Moreover, you can focus your study in one of these areas by pursuing a specialization. Information security courses will cover user management, security protocols, database protection, networking forensics and data mining. Coursework will also prepare you to understand the issues related to software and computer users.

If you're looking to learn more about programming, you can study the development of Web applications and software management. Coursework related to system architecture will cover data transmission, computer networking and information structures. You can also learn about:

  • Information technology management
  • Quantitative analysis in computer systems
  • Computer networking design
  • Data modeling
  • IT staffing issues