UMBC Online Master’s in Information Systems

Degree Requirements & Course Descriptions

Enhance your career at your own pace. Our versatile curriculum consists of 34 semester hours of coursework.

Degree Requirements

• All students are required to complete 30 credits to receive their degree.
• Students who need to take the Fundamentals Course (IS 607) must complete 34 credits.
• A total of 6 credits can be transferred from another institution or program.

The program features four optional tracks which can be completed as part of the Advanced Courses electives.

Fundamentals Course

May be waived based on experience, which will be determined during the admissions review process.

IS 607 Introduction to Information Systems (4 credits)

IS 607 will give you a hands-on introduction to the major basic technologies used in the field of Information Systems. These technologies are: Networking and data communications, programming, databases, HTML, JavaScript and server-side processing. This course will require you to develop web pages and sites. This course uses only client-side technology that requires a web browser. You will also have to FTP files up to servers at UMBC. All details of this process are included in the course materials. Some lectures include movies that require QuickTime or an open source equivalent.


Core Required Courses

All four courses (12 credits) are required of all students.

IS 631 Management Information Systems (3 credits)

This course presents the applications of information systems in business processes and operations, in managerial decision-making, and in the strategic planning of organizations. The course covers information systems management fundamentals to include such factors as:

  • The information environment
  • Decision-making
  • The systems approach
  • The management of information systems
  • The integration of information systems with an organization’s management systems

CO-requisite: IS 607

This course provides the fundamentals of network technologies, such as public-switched network, wide area networks, and local area networks, from the perspective of the current and future needs. The course also covers network architectures, networking standards, digital and analog signaling, the various transmission media, as well as equipment, applications, and services.

The course covers most of the major advancements in database technology that have taken place recently. It does not assume any prior background in the field of databases, and hence starts with basic introductory concepts along with more advanced topics. The course will cover both conceptual and hands-on material in the area of database management, thus enabling student to have the maximum amount of comprehension and retention of the material covered in the course.

Pre-requisite: IS 607 or equivalent

All of the activities required to progress from the initial identification of an organizational problem to the design of an IT-based solution are covered, as well as specific techniques for carrying out those activities. The emphasis will be on both learning the mechanics of the techniques and applying them to real projects.

CO-requisite: IS 607


Advanced Courses

All students must complete a total of 6 advanced courses for 18 credits.

Within your advanced courses, you can complete up to two program tracks in Cybersecurity, Data Science, or Human Centered Computing. These tracks will appear on your transcript. Full details can be found on the program tracks page.

IS 659 Principles of Cybersecurity (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the principles of cybersecurity. It focuses on theory and practice of cybersecurity concepts shedding a light on hacking, theft, and exploitation of information assets. Topics include authentication, access control, password management, cryptography, software vulnerabilities and malware, network security attacks, operating system attacks, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, etc.

This course explores the main data gathering and analysis methods and processes that underlie the user-centered design of information systems. Students will learn to conduct user research for user experience design. The course also provides students the opportunity to apply these concepts through the practice of requirements gathering, design, and evaluation of designs in a hands-on project.

The course starts by discussing fundamental psychological concepts needed to understand how humans interact with computer systems and how those systems can be better designed to support that interaction. Design and evaluation methods are presented to achieving this goal. This module builds on earlier courses, particularly Systems Analysis and Design (IS 634), but adds much more material about how to design for human interaction. These concepts are important for any information system in which human interaction is required. Students must successfully complete IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

Prerequisite: IS 634

The emphasis of this course is on distributed computing architectures and web services. You are assumed to have taken IS 632, have an elementary knowledge of server-side and client-side web technology, and have taken elementary programming. A major focus of the course is on doing technical, hands-on exercises and so one should enjoy that type of learning.

This course is designed to give students both practical and academic insights into modern practices in the area of information systems project management. A general introduction to project management is followed by readings and exercises for topics that include:

  1. Integration and scope management,
  2. Time/cost/quality management, and
  3. Human resource and risk management.
  4. The traditional management aspects of initiating, planning, executing and controlling will also be examined.

The course will conclude with discussions involving what is involved in closing a project.

Students must successfully complete IS 631 and IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

The health care industry in the United States consumes about 20% of the Gross National Product, touches everyone, and is information intensive. Information systems have spread slowly from the billing room to the examination room, but the pace of change is accelerating. Successful information systems applications must be managed by people knowledgeable in the issues relevant to both health care and information systems. This course examines those special issues and covers: Requirements and Design Providers and Payers Fraud Transactions Standards Privacy Security Personnel and Vendors Integration.

Students must successfully complete IS 631 prior to enrolling for this course.

This course will analyze how organizations are using electronic commerce to streamline operations, reach customers, and increase profitability. The technologies involved in electronic commerce will be examined. The organizational, behavioral, social, legal, security, and international aspects of EC will be discussed. The primary emphasis will be on Web based technologies and issues. This course will reflect the most current research and application. The course will mainly focus on e-commerce from a B2B and CRM point of view.

Students must successfully complete IS 634 prior to enrolling for this course.

This course surveys threats to computer and network security and methods for preventing incursions at a graduate level. We study how vulnerabilities to these threats arise in the development and use of computer systems and survey the controls that can reduce or block these threats. The course will consist of weekly readings, homework questions, and hands-on labs.

Students must successfully complete IS 632 prior to enrolling for this course.

As the web matures, so do users’ expectations about what a site should do. In addition to a pleasing design and working links, they also want sites that are clearly organized, relevant, accurate, up-to-date, and have interesting and easy-to-find content. This course will focus on the principles and practices of the user-centered information architecture design of websites that address these needs. We will study the creation and organization of web content that meets the information needs of end-users and serves the intentions or purposes of a site’s sponsors or creators. We will learn about the basic principles of writing and labeling web content and the usable design of websites. We will also learn about users’ web browsing and searching behavior and the design of search and navigation systems to support this behavior. We will explore options to set up search within sites and optimizing the findability of a site through search engines.

This course, however, is NOT a web graphics design, HTML or Web programming class, we will not build a website. Students will be researching the content and context of websites and the needs of users and sponsors. They will develop the purpose and strategy for a specific site of their choosing. They will design the information organization and labeling systems and develop the navigation system of the website. They will design page layouts and create content for the selected website. The will achieve these goals by planning and creating information architecture deliverables for the site prototype that facilitates consensus building among stakeholders and guides a designer or programmer in the production of a working web site. Students will also analyze the information architecture, navigation structure, audience awareness and usability of good and bad websites.

This course is designed to provide an introduction to data science concepts and techniques. The course will include both theoretical foundations of commonly used data science methods as well as hands-on exercises using open source libraries like Python Scikit learn. Topics will include techniques such as data preprocessing, classification, clustering, and visualization. Various algorithms on each of these techniques will be covered in the course. Examples of such algorithms include the Apriori algorithm for logistic regression, support vector machines, and decision trees for classification; and k-means, DBSCAN, and hierarchical algorithms for clustering, and t-SNE for visualization. Several real-life applications will be discussed for each of these techniques.

Prerequisite: IS 633 or an equivalent

This course focuses on the theory and practice of integrating systems and information with an emphasis on semantics. The problem of integrating information is extremely common in today’s world. When one organization acquires or merges with another, it usually inherits an entire IT department which may or may not be compatible with its existing infrastructure. Data systems and information must easily interoperate to meet the business needs of the organization.

This course investigates the various technologies in the field of information integration with an emphasis on semantics. Topics that are covered include: Data Integration Architectures, Modeling Data Semantics, Semantic Interoperability, Metadata, Semantic Integration Patterns, Context-Awareness, Semantic Networks, Mediation and Wrapper techniques, etc.

Prerequisite: IS 633

This course provides a solid understanding of what deep learning is, when it is applicable, and what its limitations are. The students will be familiar with the standard workflow for approaching and solving machine-learning problems and know how to address commonly encountered issues. Students will be able to use Keras and TensorFlow to tackle real-world problems ranging from computer vision to natural-language processing: image classification, time series forecasting, sentiment analysis, image and text generation, and other advanced topics such as reinforcement learning. Some prior background in machine learning with Python is expected.

Prerequisite: IS 675 or an equivalent

Cyber security is a pervasive problem affecting individuals, organizations, and governments. This is due to the acceptance and adoption of technology in the form of multiple types of non-traditional devices. Thus, cybersecurity has to address challenges emerging in the areas of not only computer networks but also sensor networks, industrial control systems and user devices.

One common thread in all these types of devices and end users is data. Increasingly, the focus of cybersecurity is shifting to analyzing data in not only a retrospective manner but also a prospective manner across different segments of cybersecurity domain such as software vulnerabilities, network data from intrusion detection systems, network traffic data, and user roles to name a few. Due to the seamless nature of the internet it has become more important to attribute cyber security events to geographic domains. Thus, data analytics has to go beyond the traditional themes of security and seamlessly weave across several domains including geospatial data and temporal data. This course is an introduction to data analytics for cybersecurity.

The course will look at data from different perspectives such as geospatial, temporal, social network, and sensor networks to assess cyber threats and knowledge about cyber-attacks. The course will provide an introduction to cybersecurity and different aspects of it, study different types of cyber attacks, anomalies and their relationship to cyber threats, introduction to data mining and big data analytics, methods for discovering anomalies, tools for data analytics and anomaly detection, and hands-on exercises for data analysis. The course will include lectures and hands-on analytics tasks.

Prerequisite: IS 633 or experience in database design and query processing.

The rise of social media has brought fundamental changes to individuals, businesses, and organizations in how people and organizations interact with one another. Social media have helped to not only connect everyday users with their friends and like-minded others, but also give them a voice that can have considerable influence on individual and business decision making. Social media transforms how individual users retrieve, organize, store, and share information, how they create and use knowledge, how they interact with one another, and how they build new relationships and maintain existing relationships, etc. This course will take an integrative approach to studying social media by providing an in-depth look into social media phenomenon, social network data, social network analysis, and social network application. The course will introduce relevant concepts, methods, knowledge, perspectives, and practical skills required to leverage the opportunities inherent in social media and user-to-user social interactions for achieving business, marketing, organizational, and personal objectives.

Prerequisite: IS 631

This course will help students move into or advance in the cybersecurity field by developing skills in five areas of ethical hacking:

  • Reconnaissance: hackers gather information about a target system before conducting an attack
  • Scanning: hackers identify a way to gain access to the system
  • Gain Access: hackers access the system, applications, and network and escalate their privileges
  • Maintain Access: jackets continue to maintain access to the system
  • Cover your Tracks: hackers eliminate evidence of the system being hacked

The course includes hands-on activities in which students apply theoretical concepts in a simulated business environment. By the end of the course, students will be prepared to plan a cyber attack on an information system to identify potential system vulnerabilities.

This course introduces students to classic techniques and common tools used to secure applications and storage in the cloud. The course uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform and discusses multiple tools and techniques available in AWS to control access, and secure data and applications. Resources and tools covered include but are not limited to AWS Config, AWS Cloud Trail, AWS Artifact, the AWS Compliance Center, AWS Organizations, and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF).

This course explores advanced topics in Information Systems that are not covered in other courses. Since the topics vary each semester, this course may be repeated for credit.

This is a course in independent research for master’s students, and is supervised by a member of the Information Systems faculty. The purpose of this course is to give students the opportunity to study a topic of interest which is not available from the existing course offerings.

Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

A particular faculty member must agree in writing to supervise the proposed study before the student may register for this course. The approval of the Department is required before the student registers.

See your faculty advisor for more information regarding the specific requirements.

See your faculty advisor for more information regarding the specific requirements.


Thesis Option

Students have the option to choose to do a master’s thesis.

If you have a deep interest in a particular topic area or are interested in going on to a Ph.D. program, the thesis option may be right for you.

Students must complete IS 799 over the course of two semesters (3 credits each semester). Students must also choose a thesis advisor from the department and form a three member committee that oversees and accepts the thesis. An M.S. Thesis defense must be scheduled with your advisor and committee. Student must present this defense in person and the student is responsible for scheduling and travel arrangements.

The thesis must be pre-approved by the advisor and submitted to the thesis committee at least four weeks prior to the proposal or final defense.

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Claim your future with UMBC’s Online Master’s in Information Systems

Application Deadlines
Spring: January 15
Summer: May 15

UMBC Online Master’s in Information Systems

Our Vision is to expand our role as global leaders at the intersection of information, technology, and people, by promoting inclusive student-centered teaching, reimagining life-long learning, advancing innovative interdisciplinary research, and championing civic engagement.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

1000 Hilltop Circle
ITE 404
Baltimore, MD, 21250

Phone Number

410-455-2650

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