In today’s digital age information is everywhere and constant. But that information is not worth much if it cannot be managed and does not serve a purpose. Management Information Systems (MIS) focuses on how companies can use information to improve their operations. As an integrative field that studies people, technology, and organizations, computer and information systems management plays a crucial role in the implementation and administration of technology within businesses and organizations.
Information professionals must be familiar with the theory and practice of storing, organizing, retrieving, and analyzing information in a variety of settings in business, the public sector, and the academic world. Expertise in information systems is more strategically important now than ever. Individuals who combine an understanding of information systems, business operations, and management are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for computer and information managers to grow by 15% from 2014 to 2024, a rate much faster than the national average for all jobs. Demand for these jobs will only grow further as firms increasingly expand their business to digital platforms.
Careers for those with management information systems training include chief information officers, chief technology officers, information technology directors, information technology security directors, and more. With a median annual salary of $131,600 in 2015, management information systems is an attractive career for one with technological and managerial skills.
Earning a graduate degree in computer and/or management information systems is a key step to advancing in this career field. Since an information systems manager is the “communication bridge” between business needs and technology, graduate programs for MIS include business courses as well as courses in technology, computer analysis, and information systems. Many of the best MIS graduate degrees are administered by business schools and lead to a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in information systems. Other universities have departments or schools for information technology and science, offering a Master’s of Science in Management Information Systems or some other related field.
Those who major in management information systems at the best programs position themselves to be leaders in the digital age. They equip themselves to garner the necessary skills to leverage information technology to create efficient, intelligent, cutting-edge organizations. By developing management skills and fostering an understanding of business practices and principles, they will have excellent career opportunities, as companies increasingly look to technology to drive their revenue.
College Choice has carefully collected data about MIS degree programs from a variety of public sources, including U.S. News & World Report, National Center for Education Statistics, Payscale.com, and the websites of individual schools. The data was used to compile the following ranking of the best Masters degrees in Management Information Systems. The list below will help you make an informed decision as you navigate the choices for a graduate degree in this burgeoning field.
The University of Texas at Austin
College Choice Score: 100.00
Annual Tuition: $48,832.00
The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has one of the most highly rated Master’s of Business Administration in the country. Its Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management allows business students to receive an MBA in Information Management. The program prepares students by providing a strong foundation for managing global resources and projects enabled through information technology.
According to the program’s site, “Graduates from the IM Program learn to successfully implement and manipulate Information Technology, and they understand the strategic, financial and economic implications of IT projects.” It especially stands out for its promotion of entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
Student organizations provide forums for students to apply what they’ve learned from the world-class faculty. The program is cohort-based and can be completed in two years. The school’s proximity to tech companies and energy corporations gives its students invaluable career networking connections. And its graduates gain access to one of the largest and most prestigious business school alumni networks in the world.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 99.92
Annual Tuition: $65,446.00
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is home to the world renowned Sloan School of Management. This top-rated business school offers an innovative Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS). The MSMS degree is 90-unit curriculum, with courses at Sloan, in other MIT departments, and nearby Harvard University.
Students select a concentration from three academic groups, one of which is Management Science. Within Management Science, students may choose Information Technology. This track is a multi-disciplinary study with diverse faculty and innovative IT research. A thesis is a key part of the MSMS degree. It allows a student to explore a topic in depth and present independent scholarly insights.
MIT Sloan also offers a specialized one-year Master of Business Analytics degree. The program addresses the industry’s demand for a skilled pool of graduates who can apply data science to solve business challenges. MIT Sloan provides a broad range of career development services to help Master of Science in Management Studies and Master of Business Analytics students achieve their career goals.
University of Minnesota—Twin Cities
College Choice Score: 98.45
Annual Tuition: $46,500.00
The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota offers a top-rated Information Systems Specialization for students in the Master’s of Business Administration. Carlson’s Information and Decision Sciences department is among the top five in the nation. And its Management Information Science Research Center (MISRC) was founded by pioneers in the MIS field as part of the MIS curriculum development at the Carlson School.
With twenty-two student clubs Carlson School has ample opportunity for students to get involved in the business school culture and the larger University of Minnesota community. The school also offers education abroad programs in twenty-nine countries. Carlson School’s Information Systems Specialization prepares well-rounded graduates to innovate and create top-line growth opportunities based on data-driven business intelligence.
One hundred percent of the 2016 class received internship offers, and over 90% of Carlson School graduates receive employment offers within 90 days of graduation. Minnesota ranks as the sixth best state for business and is home to eighteen Fortune 500 companies. All of these factors make the Carlson School a top-five business school for return on investment.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 96.82
Annual Tuition: $41,884.00
The Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona offers several avenues of graduate education for those interested in Management Information Systems. Its Master’s of Science in Management Information Systems (MS MIS) is available with four different concentrations options: Security and Information Assurance, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Managing Business Operations, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The MS MIS is also available online for working professionals who have at least two years of work experience and want to boost their career by updating their technical skills and business knowledge.
The Master’s in Management Information Systems (MS MIS) and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Dual Degree Program is a unique opportunity to earn two Masters degrees from two of Eller’s top programs. Students interested in just an MBA have the option to choose from a three Management Information System (MIS) concentrations that will help advance their business degree through specialized areas: Business Intelligence, Enterprise System Management, and Security and Information Assurance.
All of these programs are housed in one of the university’s oldest and most prestigious colleges. Since 1913 the Eller School of Management has been recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, and distinguished faculty. It leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 94.81
Annual Tuition: $60,000.00
The Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) at Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University is a blended business-technology program. Students in this program develop planning, management, and technical abilities that focus on the application of technology to create business value. The three semester, 16-month curriculum can be reduced to one year for those with at least three years of professional work experience.
Students also have the opportunity to obtain the MISM degree with a concentration in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. For students who want a study abroad program with the chance for more electives or lighter course load, the four-semester Global MISM degree is an unique option. This program is completed with two semesters in Adelaide, Australia and two semesters at the main Pittsburgh campus.
Heinz’s School of Information Systems and Management also offers a Master’s of Science in Information Technology. This degree program is designed for IT professionals looking to enhance their careers with a better understanding of how technology interacts with business processes, strategy, and policy. It offers flexibility and accessibility for the working student.
University of Maryland—College Park
College Choice Score: 93.63
Annual Tuition: $43,470.00
University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) that can be completed in as little as nine months. Learning from some of the best minds in management information systems, graduates of the program are prepared to lead the ongoing technology revolution. Students may also jointly apply to the Master of Business Administration program and pursue a dual degree.
The Smith School of Business emphasizes hands-on experiential learning. Students get to apply business fundamentals and techniques learned in the classroom to real-world challenges facing today’s organizations. The school’s world-class research centers like The Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy and The Center for Health, Information and Decision Systems give students opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research. And the proximity of College Park to the Washington DC metropolitan area provides graduates with access to one of the strongest information technology regions in the world.
Georgia Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 91.10
Annual Tuition: $39,484.00
Georgia Institute of Technology is located in the heart of Atlanta. This internationally recognized institution offers a full-time MBA program in its Scheller College of Business that is available with a specialized Information Technology Management curriculum. Also available is an interdisciplinary curriculum in Managing Innovation and Technology.
All MBA programs are 54-hour credit hours and can be completed in two years. The faculty of Scheller College of Business are leading researchers in the field and rank #1 worldwide for publications in the journal Information Systems Research.
Scheller School of Business anchors the Tech Square Innovation Ecosystem in Atlanta’s Midtown. This nexus of innovation and entrepreneurial activity is a destination for startup and established technology firms, major corporations, innovation centers, venture capital investors, and various retail, residential, and business service providers. Scheller’s MBA students have an unparalleled opportunity to live, learn, work, and play in one of the nation’s premier high tech business neighborhoods.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 90.10
Annual Tuition: $42,086.00
The Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University combines a highly rated curriculum with an unmatched level of accessibility. Classes for the twelve-month on-campus program are designed to accommodate working professionals. Small class sizes and evening classes allow students to get an intimate, collaborative experience while not having to put their careers on hold.
The sixteen-month online MSIM program gives students the same quality with more flexibility. A Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA), a degree that emphasizes leveraging analytics and data to deliver business critical solutions, is offered as well. The on-campus program for the MS-BA is only nine months long.
In addition to the programs for working professionals, the W. P. Carey School offers a traditional Master of Business Administration in both Information Management and Business Analytics. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the school, it is possible to receive concurrently an MBA and an MSIM or MS-BA. Carey focuses on maintaining small class sizes, offering team-based learning, and providing individualized attention. International electives and outreach trips give students a sense of how business is done around the world.
College Choice Score: 89.96
Annual Tuition: $64,050.00
In the Graduate School of Business at the world-renowned Stanford University, Master of Business Administration students are able to personalize their curriculum by choosing one of several concentrations. The Operations and Information Technology concentration in one of the strongest MBA programs in the nation places Stanford firmly in our list of top MIS graduate programs.
Stanford’s curriculum is divided into two halves. In the first half, completed during a student’s first year, MBA students develop an understanding of managerial perspectives and build a solid managerial foundation. Also during this first year, students participate in one of many opportunities to fulfill their Global Experience Requirement. In the second half of the program, completed in the second year, students take electives to broaden their knowledge in specific area. Courses are also available outside of the Graduate School of Business.
There are a number of support systems at Stanford that help MBA students succeed in the program and beyond. With access to academic advisers, career advisers, leadership fellows, student life advisers, and communication coaches, graduates of Stanford’s MBA program with a concentration in Operations and Information Technology are well prepared for being leaders at the intersection of technology and business.
The University of Texas—Dallas
College Choice Score: 88.44
Annual Tuition: $30,855.00
The University of Texas at Dallas is home to the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The Jindal School offers two Masters of Science that are will be of interest to those seeking a career in management information systems or related fields.
The Master of Science in Information Technology and Management is a 36-credit curriculum that prepares students to better understand the world of information technology. The Master of Science in Business Analytics is also a 36-credit program. The specialized track in IT for Analytics prepares students to utilize information technology to enhance predictive and prescriptive analytical capabilities for decision making.
Both degrees require an internship or a practicum. UT Dallas has developed strong relationships with companies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, one of the largest business regions in the country, in order to provide students with various opportunities for these requirements.
Students wanting a stronger foundation in business can choose to pursue an MBA and concentrate on either Information Technology Management or Business Analytics. Jindal’s MBA program is cohort-based and requires 53 semester credits to complete.
University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 87.75
Annual Tuition: $64,920.00
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is one of the world’s most esteemed schools of business. It has ten distinct academic departments, one of which is the Department of Operations, Information and Decisions (OID). This department is a world leader in the education and research of operations management, information systems, and judgment and decision making.
Within the OID department MBA students interested in data and information management can major in Business Analytics or follow the Information Systems track of the Operations, Information and Decisions major. Wharton’s MBA program is two years long and 98% of its graduates report job offers soon after graduation.
Wharton invests heavily in student life, believing classmates play an important role in the educational experience and life beyond graduation. There are countless clubs, conferences, and events that allow students to get involved outside of the classroom.
Georgia State University
College Choice Score: 87.15
Annual Tuition: $40,226.00
Georgia State University in Atlanta is home to the J. Mack Robinson College of Business where students can receive a Master of Science in Information Studies (MSIS) or a Master of Science in Information Systems Audit and Control (MSISAC). These are one-year cohort-based programs. The MSIS offers concentrations in big data management and analytics, enterprise systems, cybersecurity, information technology, health informatics, and management of information technology.
The Department of Computer Information Systems was ranked #1 for research by the International Journal of Mobile Communications in 2014. In the department’s curriculum students learn to bridge the gap between the technical and business-oriented worlds.
The department also offers five information systems concentrations for MBA students: Information Systems Management, Information Systems Development and Project Management, Health Informatics, Wireless Organization, and Information Systems Business Process Innovation. Robinson’s MBA programs offer both online and in-classroom content in addition to immersive experiences where students meet together with faculty, corporate partners and/or alumni to engage in action-based learning.
Loyola University Maryland
College Choice Score: 86.18
Annual Tuition: $27,750.00
At Loyola University Maryland students in the Professional’s Master of Business Administration degree program offered by the Sellinger School of Business may specialize in Information Systems. In addition to the core business courses all MBA students take, students specializing in Information Systems select three elective courses focused on various subjects within the field of information systems.
The Professional’s MBA is a customizable, part time, evening program designed to give students flexibility to pursue the degree at their own pace. Weeknight classes are offered in the Baltimore suburbs at the Timonium and Columbia Graduate Centers. Hybrid and online courses are also available. The Sellinger School of Business puts a strong emphasis on reflection, discernment, and ethical commitment in its value-centered approach to business education.
With its location in the wider Baltimore-Washington DC region, Sellinger puts its students in excellent position to pursue a variety of career options. And its annual Chilean Study Tour offers MBA students the opportunity to combine traditional academic study with an immersion in South American culture.
New York University
College Choice Score: 85.74
Annual Tuition: $63,720.00
The largest private university in the United States, New York University is home to many outstanding schools, colleges, and institutes. Two of those schools have joined forces to offer one of the country’s premier Master’s of Science in Information Systems (MSIS). Combining computer technology from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and business preparation from Stern School of Business, the MSIS at NYU prepares graduates for successful careers in management positions that require deep technical skills.
Students preferring a more business oriented degree can choose to specialize in Management of Technology and Operations in the Master of Business Administration program at the Stern School of Business. A specialization in Management of Technology and Operations enables students to think about technology-enabled business models and the alignment of information technology and operations with corporate strategy.
No matter the degree path, being located in the country’s largest city and near the financial hub of the nation provides graduates with all sorts of networks and career connections.
University of California—Berkeley
College Choice Score: 85.23
Annual Tuition: $55,968.00
Next door to Silicon Valley and located in one of the world’s leading public universities, University of California Berkeley’s School of Information offers a Master of Information Management and Systems designed to train students in the skills needed to succeed as information professionals. This 48-unit degree program can be completed in two years at full time.
The degree is intentionally interdisciplinary, combining aspects of computer science, cognitive science, psychology and sociology, economics, business, law, library/information studies, and communications. The first year of the program focuses on the core courses, while the second year allows the student to specialize in particular aspects of information management and systems.
Students are highly encouraged to find an internship for the summer between the two academic years of the program. These internships can be in corporate, academic, government, or non-profit environments. A final project is required of all MIMS students. For these projects, some students design and implement a prototype information system. Others engage in a significant research project leading to a written thesis.
Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 84.86
Annual Tuition: $24,416.00
The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University offers a Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSIS) administered by its Department of Information and Operations Management. Texas A&M is one of the most affordable comprehensive public universities in the nation. The department also offers scholarships and graduate assistantships.
The rigorous MSIS curriculum is 36 credit hours and divided into three parts: Business, Management Information Systems, and electives. Students completing the program have a solid technical information systems foundation and appropriate business skills, making them highly valued and respected in the workforce and sought after by top companies.
The school’s Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) provides students with professional development, educational opportunities, and corporate access. 97% of MSIS graduates are employed within 90 days of graduation. And being in College Station at the heart of Texas, the school is accessible to all of the major metropolitan areas of the Texas Triangle: Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
College Choice Score: 83.07
Annual Tuition: $42,579.00
The department of Management Information Systems at Temple University’s Fox School of Business makes available several degree paths for students interested in the intersection of technology and business. Located in Philadelphia, Temple is at the center of the most heavily urbanized region of the United States, giving its students access to major hubs of business and technology.
The nationally ranked Information Technology Management concentration of Fox’s Master of Business Administration prepares students with analytical, creative, and business management skills. Graduates are able to move into exciting, demanding, and lucrative roles as business leaders who can harness the power of technology.
Fox also offers three Masters of Science that will appeal to those interested in information systems with certain specialized emphases. Prospective students might consider a Master of Science in Information Technology Auditing and Cyber-Security, Digital Innovation in Marketing, or Health Informatics. All MIS-related students have the opportunity to connect with industry through Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 81.35
Annual Tuition: $28,950.00
The University of Scranton is a Jesuit university in northeast Pennsylvania. It is about two hours drive to New York City and Philadelphia. At the university’s Kania School of Management students with an interest in management information systems can pursue a Master of Business Administration with a focus in either Operations and Information Management or Management Information Systems. Students may concentrate in a focus area by completing four extending courses in that area.
Kania’s MBA program consists of 36 credit hours including a cornerstone course, core courses, advanced elective courses, and a capstone course. Kania offers as many as eight graduate assistantships each year to exceptional full-time MBA students. Assistants work with faculty in their research and other academic duties. They receive a stipend and are eligible for a tuition scholarship.
In addition to the outstanding, diverse, and flexible curriculum that prepares its graduates for career success, the Kania School of Management places an emphasis on a strong integration of critical thinking, ethics, social responsibility in decision making, and leadership.
College Choice Score: 80.34
Annual Tuition: $44,460.00
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Information Systems. This rigorous graduate program hones one’s knowledge of how organizations use technology to address business problems. Graduates of this program are in high demand, with 97% of them receiving job offers before graduation.
The Kelley School also offers an Master of Business Administration with a major in Business Analytics for those with an eye toward business and a penchant for mathematics, statistics, modeling, or information systems. The Kelley MBA is a two-year program that is academy based. Students select from the outset an industry-focused Academy to start learning about their chosen field.
For those MBA students wanting to invest in two degrees, Kelley offers a dual MSIS/MBA degree track. Of the required 66 credit hours, 30 MSIS credit hours are taken in-residence on the Bloomington campus. The remaining 36 credit hours are taken online.
College Choice Score: 80.05
Annual Tuition: $34,000.00
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska is consistently rated as a leading regional university. Founded in 1878, Creighton is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Graduate students interested in information systems will find two educational avenues at Creighton.
The Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics is a 33-hour program. The curriculum provides a creative synergy between technology and management and is designed to meet the demands of the constantly evolving business-technology environment. Graduates become responsible leaders who shape how information technology drives business success.
Prospective students wanting a broader business foundation may want to explore Creighton’s dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Business and Analytics program. This streamlined curriculum helps students earn the two degrees in considerably less time than pursuing the two degrees separately. With both degrees, students will have an impressive collection of managerial and technology skills and competencies.
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
College Choice Score: 76.93
Annual Tuition: $61,590.00
At the University of Michigan’s flagship campus in Ann Arbor, prospective graduate students can apply to the Master of Science in Information (MSI) program through the School of Information (UMSI). The MSI degree consists of 48 credit hours, which can be completed in 2 years on a full-time basis or 3-4 years on a part-time schedule.
Students may choose one or two areas of specialization from among seven. If the available options do not fit with the student’s needs UMSI will work with the student to plan an individualized course of study. There are also many dual-degree programs, like the MSI/MBA curriculum, for students who want a foundation in other areas of study.
UMSI has a unique partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps. The Master’s International Program allows students to start their MSI, take that knowledge into the world while serving in the Peace Corps, then return to Michigan to complete their degrees. Participants in this program work abroad as Peace Corps volunteers for 27 months and receive language, cross-cultural and technical training to enhance the hands-on experience they acquire. Students also have time to develop an international academic project while volunteering in their host country. Master’s International students receive academic credit and financial support following completion of Peace Corps service.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College Choice Score: 75.36
Annual Tuition: $34,662.00
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. Founded in 1867, Illinois consistently ranks high among the nation’s public universities. In its College of Business, students can work toward a Master of Business Administration in Information Management.
The Information Management specialization is designed to provide MBA students with the necessary knowledge and skills for managing information technology for increased innovation, business capabilities, strategic advantages, and value creation. The first year of the program focuses on business fundamentals with 32 core credits and 8 electives. In the second year students earn a minimum of 32 credits, 16 of which can be outside of the business course offerings. This allows students to explore and specialize with courses suited for a career where business and technology meet.
In addition to the foundation in business and technology the degree offers, the College of Business at Illinois emphasizes experiential learning. From study abroad trips to case competitions to working at the world’s largest student-run consultancy, Illinois MBA students have the opportunity to excel both inside and outside the classroom.
College Choice Score: 75.05
Annual Tuition: $42,184.00
Purdue University offers two paths for those prospective graduate students with a particular interest in technology, human resources, marketing, finance, strategy, and operations. Both programs are available through the Krannert School of Management on the university’s campus in Lafayette, IN.
The Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management is a full-time, 11-month program, which is designed to educate students in state-of-the-art information technologies and analytical techniques. A class of new students begins the rigorous curriculum in June of each year. These students develop facility with a variety of software tools currently used in business. They also have are able to apply what they are learning to real-world problems through experiential educational opportunities.
The Master of Business Administration is available with a Management Information Systems concentration. The MBA is organized into eight modules, which require 21 months to complete on a full-time schedule. Krannert’s Experiential Learning Initiative many opportunities to fortify their talents and broaden their perspectives outside of the classroom.
Brigham Young University
College Choice Score: 74.84
Annual Tuition: $23,940.00
The Marriott School at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT is a well-recognized institution for graduate programs in business fields. It offers a Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) as well as an Information Systems minor for all graduate degrees in the Marriott School.
The MISM program admits approximately 60 students per year. Students who enter the MISM program with a baccalaureate degree in information systems can complete the program in two years or less. The Association for Systems Management (ASM) club is a significant added element of the MISM student experience. A high percentage of the MISM students participate in the ASM as officers or members, and derive significant hands-on skills from that participation.
Students in the Marriott School pursuing a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Accountancy, or a Master of Public Administration can declare Information Systems Management as a minor. Focusing electives on courses in information systems provides these students with a competency to help them advance in their chosen fields.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 73.47
Annual Tuition: $44,379.00
The rigorous yet practical curriculum of the Master of Science in Information Systems at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business provides professionals with the tools they need to bridge the gap between business and technology. The four quarter program can be completed in one year. Classes are offered on weeknights and some Saturdays in Seattle. Students do not have to put their careers on hold to help advance them with a graduate degree. In fact much of the relevant, current, and practical information and concepts learned in the program can be applied on the job.
For those with more of an entrepreneurial spirit, the Technology Management Master of Business Administration might be appealing. This accelerated work-compatible degree is for professionals with a passion for innovation. It can be completed in 18 months. With evening and weekend classes in Kirkland, WA, the program allows students to continue working.
Foster’s traditional full-time MBA program allows students to focus a set of their electives on courses related to management information systems.