Master's Degree Programs in Finance & Information Systems
Students interested in combining study in technology and business may pursue a few different available master's programs in finance and information systems. Explore degree options, common coursework, and admission requirements for these programs here.
How to Earn a Master's Degree in Finance and Information Systems
There is at least one dual Master of Science (MS) in Finance and MS in Management Information Systems available, as well as a couple closely related master's degree programs, such as an MS in Accounting and Information Systems and an MS in Accounting and Information Technology. The dual degree program may require around 56 credits and include a capstone project experience, while the stand-alone master's degree programs may range between 30 and 33 credits, may be offered in online formats, and/or require a final capstone course or comprehensive exam. Students in these degree programs typically take core courses and electives from areas like finance, accounting, information systems, and more, some of which we explore in greater detail here.
Students in these courses have the chance to learn how to design and develop database systems to manage large amounts of data for their organization, as well as how to analyze these systems for efficiency and security. Students may receive hands-on training with relational database management systems through the development process and may use a variety of models, such as logical data modeling and transaction modeling. These courses may also work to further develop students' skills in database query language, performance evaluation, database decomposition, and managing corporate data resources.
Students typically take a course that provides an overview of the security measures that organizations (both large and small) may use to keep their information and data safe. Students may explore the design, planning, and security procedures for these information infrastructures, including the various controls put in place to prevent cyberattacks. These courses may take an in-depth look at security architecture, security evaluation, risk management, and the ethics and legal issues surrounding security.
These master's degree programs usually require a range of courses in finance that cover topics like financial accounting, financial reporting, corporate finance, and/or quantitative methods in finance. These courses may overlap one another in different areas as students learn about financial and accounting theories and concepts and how they apply to real-world situations. Students in these programs further develop their critical thinking and analysis skills as they learn to examine various financial statements with statistical methods and other techniques.
Students may take a course that examines the different policies and strategies used to maximize the efficiency of information systems. Some of these courses may focus on accounting information systems and how these systems are controlled. Other courses may provide a broader exploration of information systems and examine topics in organizational vs. multi-organizational systems, strategy formation, and strategy implementation.
Information Technology Auditing
Courses in information technology auditing train students how to collect and evaluate information and evidence from the operations and practices of an information system. Students in these courses may discuss topics in the measurement of effectiveness, strategies for updating systems, and procedures for testing safeguards. Some of these courses may utilize case studies and/or include a research paper that explores current issues in the field.
Admittance Requirements for Master's Programs in Finance and Information Systems
Admission requirements for master's degree programs in finance and information systems vary greatly by program and students should be sure to follow specific instructions for their program of interest, such as meeting the requirements, applying, and being accepted to each program for a dual MS in Finance/MS in Management Information Systems. It is fairly common for related degree programs in accounting and information systems to require students to have completed undergraduate coursework in accounting, or some programs may accept students who have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in place of specific coursework. In addition to holding a bachelor's degree, some programs may require students to have a competitive GPA and/or take the GRE or GMAT and submit their test scores. Depending on the program, students may also be required to submit their transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and/or responses to essay questions with their application.
There are several different master's programs available in finance or accounting and information systems including a dual-degree option. Students in these degree programs take business and information technology courses and may be required to provide graduate exam scores, letters of recommendation and resumes.