Best Online Master of Information Systems (MIS) Programs

Explore the top schools that offer online information systems master's degree programs. Learn what programs include, how long they take and what careers you can qualify for after graduation. Schools offering Business Information Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Top 45 Online Master of Information Systems Programs

As you narrow down your school choices for an online Master of Information Systems program, you should consider factors such as cost, accreditation, flexibility and admissions requirements. The 45 top schools with online Master of Information Systems (MIS) programs are listed below.

1. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Location Tuition & Fees
Winona, MN $9,000

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota offers a primarily online Master of Science in Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytics program. The program consists of 36 credit hours, offers flexible scheduling options for required on-site components and boasts the GeoSpatial Services affiliate, a program that lets students gain real-world experience with a mentor. Students take courses that focus on key areas such as data engineering and acquisition, data science and geoanalytics and intelligence. The program has a tuition rate of $650 per credit hour and can be completed in 1 to 2 years of full-time study.

2. Missouri State University-Springfield

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Springfield, MO $6,038

Missouri State University at Springfield offers a Master of Science in Information Technology program, supportive online resources for students and a low tuition rate of around $3,500 a semester. Students are required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including courses in system development, regulations and information security. The program improves the leadership and decision-making skills of students, and can be completed entirely online in around two years.

3. Dakota State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Madison, SD $6,464

Dakota State University offers an online Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program that teaches students topics such as database management and network operations. Students can select from several concentrations within their curriculum:

  • Data Management
  • Application Development
  • Network Administration & Security
  • Information Assurance
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • General

The program consists of 30 credit hours and includes courses in project management, IT infrastructure and system design, and has a tuition rate of $466 or $575 per credit hour.

4. Sam Houston State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Huntsville, TX $7,791

Sam Houston State University offers two online programs for professionals interested in information systems and administration, which each have a tuition rate of $503 per credit hour. The Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security includes coursework in database and systems security and management and project development and allows students to select 18 of the required 36 credits based on their interests. The 36-credit Master of Science in Digital Forensics program is catered to individuals pursuing network administration (and related) roles in law enforcement and other areas.

5. La Salle University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Philadelphia, PA $25,020

La Salle University offers a diverse community of students and faculty and boasts a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school offers an online Master of Business Administration, Business Systems & Analytics program. Students are required to complete between 33 and 39 credit hours, including classes in data mining and database design. The program prepares students for leadership roles in business and technology as it combines various learning objectives from each field.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)
6 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI $15,126
7 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA $11,116
8 University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI $14,925
9 DePaul University Chicago, IL $19,422
10 Southern Utah University Cedar City, UT $8,338
11 University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI $28,422
12 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA $34,995
13 Norfolk State University Norfolk, VA $12,136
14 University of Delaware Newark, DE $33,678
15 Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, TX $17,142
16 SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, NY $12,668
17 Lewis University Romeoville, IL $14,550
18 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY $16,338
19 Capitol Technology University Laurel, MD $11,178
20 California State University-San Marcos San Marcos, CA $8,147
21 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC $10,674
22 Minnesota State University-Mankato Mankato, MN $8,156
23 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL $8,498
24 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL $22,588
25 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY $5,970
26 George Washington University Washington, DC $30,834
27 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK $22,720
28 Stevens Institute of Technology Columbia, MO $37,250
29 Hampton University Hampton, VA $11,916
30 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY $45,808
31 University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, MD $9,648
32 Friends University Wichita, KS $10,638
33 University of Dallas Irving, TX $33,750
34 Brandeis University Waltham, MA $50,272
35 New York University New York, NY $45,426
36 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA $45,561
37 Purdue University Global-Mason City Indianapolis, IN $11,414
38 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD $55,816
39 Johnson & Wales University-Online Providence, RI $13,350
40 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT $7,790
41 National University La Jolla, CA $15,480
42 Wilmington University New Castle, DE $8,636
43 Talladega College Talladega, AL $16,200
44 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD $8,514
45 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE $11,025

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Master of Information Systems Programs

A program in information systems helps current and future IT professionals gain a deeper understanding of organizational networks and databases. Most information systems master's degree programs can be completed entirely online, but some schools do require students to attend on or off-campus learning sessions.

Admission Requirements

To gain entry into an online information systems master's degree program, applicants need to have previously earned a bachelor's degree. Some programs require students to have a degree in a related field (such as computer science) while other programs are open to students with any bachelor's degree. Other admissions requirements can include a minimum undergraduate GPA (such as 3.0), letters of recommendation and a qualifying score on a graduate entrance exam.

Program Length

Online information systems master's degree programs can usually be completed in two years of full-time study, but some students can complete their program sooner. Depending on the school and curriculum requirements, students typically need to complete 30 to 36 credit hours of coursework. A full-time student taking 9 credits per semester can complete 18 credits per year, meaning they can finish their program in 4 semesters. Students taking 12 credits can complete the same 36-credit program in three semesters. Students interested in part-time study can usually spread their program out over several years but will need to consult with their schools to determine the maximum time allowed.

Common Courses

The courses required within online information systems master's degree programs vary by school, but most include some of the classes highlighted below.

  • Managing Big Data - Students explore distributed and centralized databases and learn about commercial and other solutions and applications.
  • Object-Oriented Programming Topics - This course examines programming languages and topics, such as inheritance, information hiding and polymorphism.
  • Systems Design & Analysis - Students learn the basic methods for designing, implementing and assessing databases; topics may include normalization and security.
  • Database Management - This course provides students with a more in-depth understanding of databases; topics can include backup techniques, server installations and security.
  • Network Security - In this course, students learn the fundamentals of network security, such as risk assessment and countermeasures and user-access settings.
  • Information Security Management - Students develop a better understanding of why information security is important and what practices can help to decrease applicable risks.
  • IT Management - This course gives students an overview of managerial functions and methods in information technology, including regulations and budgeting.
  • Information Technology Strategy - Students learn key frameworks and approaches for meeting organizational and departmental objectives, especially those pertaining to business operations.

Cost of Online Information Systems Master's Degrees

The cost of an online information systems master's degree program varies by school and student. The largest cost associated with these programs is tuition, which can be charged per credit hour or per semester (flat-rate). In addition to tuition, students have other direct and indirect expenses, such as course materials fees and registration fees.

To estimate the total cost, students should multiply the number of credits required by the per-credit tuition rate. For example, a 36-credit program with a tuition rate of $500 per credit would have a total tuition cost of $18,000. In addition, students should anticipate the additional fees, which can add up to several thousand dollars over the course of the program. Most will also incur the cost of a computer and high-speed, reliable internet access.

What Can You Do with an Online Master of Information Systems?

Graduates of online information systems master's degree programs can pursue a variety of career options, many of which are discussed below.

Software Developers

Software developers develop applications or systems software that enable computers and other devices to run. Their duties can include assessing client needs and designing software to meet those needs, recommending software modifications and upgrades, and ensuring applications run efficiently. They may also be responsible for training programmers who work on specific software, collaborating with other professionals and leading departments. Software developers need a firm understanding of computer code and programming, as well as familiarity with the processes involved in the software they create (for example, someone developing financial software should understand financial operations).

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers direct and oversee activities related to computer and technological operations. They can be responsible for ensuring systems run properly, determining any needed upgrades and making sure upgrades stay within budget. They typically stay up to date with new technologies and oversee other employees within their department. These managers need an understanding of computer software, programming and other topics and often have several years of related work experience.

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists look for innovations that can be applied to current technology and processes. Their duties can include inventing programming languages and tools, creating software systems and exploring computing theories. They may also create and implement tests, review test results and publish the results of their tests in scholarly journals. Computer and information research scientists may choose to specialize in certain fields, such as programming, data science and robotics. These roles typically require a master's degree in a computer science-related field and applicable knowledge for any area of specialization (such as data science).

Computer Network Architects

Computer network architects create networks used for communication, including wide area networks and local area networks. They create the designs, oversee the building of these communication networks, and ensure information can be kept securely in the networks that they design. Their duties can also include conducting research to stay up to date with technology and determine potential improvements in the networks that they build. Computer network architects usually need either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, depending on the employer, and experience in related roles.

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts review the current systems and operations used within organizations and make recommendations for improvement. Their duties can include conducting research and preparing cost estimates for business leaders. They can also be responsible for training users, overseeing system installation and conducting tests and other assessments to identify any errors. The educational requirements for computer systems analysts vary by employer, with some needing a master's degree in a related field, but they usually need to have familiarity with programming and the business field that they work in.

Database Administrators

Database administrators ensure that data is organized, secure and accessible to the appropriate users. Their duties can include ensuring the security of data, restoring lost data and making sure that databases run smoothly. In addition, they may merge databases, grant access to users and test database structures. Database administrators (also called DBAs) can work in specialty fields, such as system or application databases. They typically need to have a strong understanding of languages and structures of databases.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts work to maintain the security of computer systems and networks within organizations. They create and implement various security measures and tests, monitor networks and update and use security software. Their duties can also include researching current security practices, preparing reports and making recommendations to users and managers when necessary. Educational requirements for information security analysts can range from bachelor's degree to master's degree, depending on the size and preference of the employer. Candidates usually need to have an understanding of programming, security and computer processes as well as some experience in a related career.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Software Developers $105,590 21%
Computer and Information Systems Managers $142,530 11%
Computer and Information Research Scientists $118,370 16%
Computer Network Architects $109,020 5%
Computer Systems Analysts $88,740 9%
Database Administrators $90,070 9%
Information Security Analysts $98,350 32%

All career data is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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