Master of Science in Management Information Systems


Our Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) program will prepare you for a leadership role in the area of business information systems and business analytics. The program effectively integrates the technical area of computer technology with business operations. You'll learn how to use current information technologies and contemporary information management theories to maximize organizational performance in the new economy.

Our faculty possess extensive teaching and research expertise in these areas:

  • Big data
  • Database management
  • Data mining
  • Business analytics
  • Business intelligence
  • Data modeling
  • Business enterprise computing
  • Networking and telecommunications
  • Project management
  • Internet and web computing
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Social media analytics

Our program leads to or enhances careers such as:

  • Systems analyst
  • Business analytics
  • Project manager
  • Consultant
  • Technical support
  • IT specialist
  • Database specialist/administrator
  • Information security manager
  • End-user support
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Application developer
  • Network analyst/administrator

Graduates from our MIS program find career opportunities in a wide array of industries and organizations. Recent graduates can be found working for companies such as:

  • Abbott
  • Abbvie
  • Accenture
  • Allstate
  • Caterpillar
  • McKesson
  • True Value
  • Ideosity
  • Molex
  • HAVI
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • McDonald’s Corporation
  • SAP Inc.
  • TransUnion
  • Sears Holdings
  • Target
  • State Farm

SAP and SAS Course Integration

We are a member of the SAP University Alliance and SAS Global Academic Program. Our MIS program has incorporated SAP, the market leader in ERP and business analytics application software, into numerous courses. SAS is the leader in data analytics application software. Our MIS program has incorporated SAS and other software to prepare you to work in a data-rich environment for business analytics.

Professional Internships

Our internship program gives qualified students the opportunity to acquire valuable real-world work experience and academic credit. Students secure internships through NIU internship fairs, our departmental Meet the Firm Night and other resources.

Department Scholarships/Assistantships

We offer a limited number of assistantships and many departmental scholarships for enrolled MIS majors.

Meet the Firm Night

The OM&IS department’s Meet the Firm Night provides the opportunity for you to meet and interact with companies seeking your talents.

STEM Program

The MIS program has earned STEM-designated degree program status with the OPT extension. The OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension allows international students who graduate from colleges and universities in the U.S. to remain in the country and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate from a designated STEM degree program may remain for an additional 24 months for the OPT extension. With STEM-designated degree program status, our faculty are afforded more opportunities to earn research grants in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We award a limited number of graduate assistantships to MIS students who have been accepted and enrolled full time at NIU. Graduate assistant appointments are made on a semester-by-semester basis to qualified students who are in good standing (academic and otherwise) with the university.

Most department faculty members would like our graduate assistants to have certain knowledge and skills in SAP. SAP is the market leader in enterprise systems application software. We encourage you to attend a SAP TERP10 workshop to acquire knowledge and skills of business process integration with SAP and become a SAP certified business associate.

Appointments are competitive and determined based on undergraduate and/or graduate grade point average (GPA), GMAT or GRE test scores, pertinent experience, educational preparation, interviews with faculty or a combination of these factors.

To apply, complete and submit a graduate assistantship application form along with supporting application requirements, including a resume, a copy of your GMAT/GRE score and your most recent graduate course work transcript, if applicable.

For more information, please contact associate director and program advisor Russ Devereau at rdevereaux2@niu.edu or 815-753-6372, or department chair Chang Liu, Ph.D., at 815-753-3021.

While our program has a national reputation for quality and excellence, it is reasonably priced and costs less than other highly ranked graduate MIS programs in Illinois. The NIU Office of the Bursar provides more detailed information about program-level tuition.

University Total Credit Hours Required for Master's Degree In-State Total Tuition Costs Out-of-State and International Total Tuition Costs
NIU 30 hours $20,881 (including fees) $31,591 (including fees)
Illinois State University 39 hours $15,171 plus fees $31,512 plus fees
DePaul University 52 hours $43,160 plus fees $43,160 plus fees
U. of Illinois at Chicago Minimum 32 hours $33,606 (including fees) $49,926 (including fees)
U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 40 hours $47,300 (including fees)
No in-state tuition for graduate program
$47,300 (including fees)
Where are courses offered?

MIS courses are offered at the NIU campus in DeKalb, but it's possible to complete some of the requirements at the Naperville site through MBA program offerings. It's not possible to complete a degree without taking the bulk of courses in DeKalb, and there are currently no online options. Please be aware that the DeKalb campus and the off-campus sites have differing tuition rates.

When are courses offered?

Courses are offered primarily one night per week, Monday through Thursday. Currently, no MIS courses are offered online.

Is the program part time or full time?

You can pursue your degree on either a full-time (minimum nine credit hours per semester) or part-time basis. You're not locked into full time or part time and can adjust your status/schedule as needed each semester.

How long will it take to complete the degree?

Time to complete the degree is dependent upon your individual goals, pace, etc. A full-time student entering with all Phase One courses completed can reasonably complete the program in three semesters (excluding summer). A part-time student or one who has a greater number of Phase One requirements to complete will obviously have a lengthier path. The time limit to complete the degree is six years.

To pursue the MIS degree, does my undergraduate degree have to be in a business or MIS-related discipline?

No, our students come from varied academic backgrounds. Typically, a student without an undergraduate business degree will need to complete a greater number of the Phase One courses than a student with a business-oriented degree.

Is the GMAT/GRE required?

If you have a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, the GMAT/GRE is not required if you have a strong record of recent academic achievement, as demonstrated by a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. To have the GMAT/GRE waived, submit a waiver form to the OM&IS department. If you're not at the desired 3.00 GPA, the GMAT or GRE should be submitted to demonstrate academic ability.

If you're an international applicant without a baccalaureate or higher degree from a U.S. college or university, the GRE or GMAT is required for admission. We are seeking a minimum 450 GMAT or equivalent GRE score. As a rough guideline, a minimum 155 quantitative and 140 verbal is desired.

We'll also consider a GMAT/GRE waiver if you've earned a master’s degree from a U.S. institution or have 10 or more years of managerial/IS experience.

Can Phase One courses be waived based on work experience?

Phase One courses are only waived based on successful completion of equivalent courses at an undergraduate or graduate institution. If you have significant work experience in a particular area, we suggest you take an exemption exam. Admitted students are eligible to take exemption exams, which are available for all Phase One requirements. Successfully passing the exam on the first and only attempt will waive the applicable Phase One course.

How can I find out which Phase One requirements I am required to take?

At the time of admission, an evaluation will be completed and provided to you. If an evaluation prior to applying is sought, simply forward a copy of your transcript(s) (unofficial is fine) to the program advisor for an evaluation.

Are internships available?

You're encouraged to secure internships to supplement your degree, gain valuable experience in the field and potentially earn course credit (OMIS 695). Students typically secure internships through NIU Career Services, NIU campus career fairs, OM&IS Meet the Firm Night, OM&IS department position postings and personal job searches. Students wishing to gain academic credit for an internship experience must secure approval through the OM&IS department advisor.

Are assistantships available?

We award a number of graduate assistantships to our students. Assistantships involve various academic duties for the department or a particular faculty member throughout the semester. The assistantship covers a part of your tuition and provides a stipend. Acquisition of these awards is competitive and selection is based on numerous factors, including test scores, experience, academic achievement and specific departmental needs. Complete and submit an assistantship application directly to the OM&IS department following admission to the program.

You're also encouraged to apply to the many assistantship opportunities available campus-wide at NIU.

Is the master's degree in MIS eligible for 17-month STEM OPT extension?

Yes, the degree is a STEM-designated program (Code 11.0103), allowing an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) beyond the standard one year of employment for F-1 visa holders.

Department Resources