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Master’s Information Systems Online: Top 20 Values

College Values Online - Top Degree Programs-01Pursuing an online master’s information systems degree has become an increasingly attractive option for those technical professionals hoping to advance their careers and increase their salaries. In fact, Forbes has reported the online MIS degree as the best master’s degree to have in terms of return on investment and job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job projections, the demand for professionals with a master’s information systems degree is expected to grow by approximately 30% by the year 2020. To help our readers discover the master’s information systems online degree programs that give them the best chance for career and financial success, we’ve compiled the following ranking.

Ranking Methodology for Online MIS Degrees

Awards and Recognition (Related to Information Systems)
• National Level – 2 points
• Regional Level – 1 point
20-Year Net ROI
• Above 800,000 – 8 points
• Above 700,000 – 7 points
• Above 600,000 – 6 points
• Above 500,000 – 5 points
• Above 400,000 – 4 points
• Above 300,000 – 3 points
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations) – 1 point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid, Synchronous, etc.) – 1 point
Innovative Programs and/or Teaching Methods in Information Systems – 1 point
Internship Opportunities in Information Systems – 1 point
Scholarship Opportunities in Information Systems – 1 point
Related Student Organizations and Societies – 1 point
Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Best Value Colleges for an Online Master’s in Information Systems

To develop this ranking, our editors searched the web for colleges and universities that offer an online master’s information systems degree. Starting with this initial pool of 75 schools, we used PayScale’s data on the 20-year return on investment for each school to narrow the pool to 20. From there, we visited each school’s website, using the information published to apply the methodology at the top of this article. What resulted is the following ranking of the 20 top value online MIS degree programs available.

Ranking Each of the Top Online MIS Degree Programs

#20 – University of North Carolina

Online MS in Computer Information Systems

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Website
Points: 5
The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill offers a 48-unit online master’s information systems program designed to be completed over the course of two years. The majority of the newly revamped curriculum consists of 28.5 units of core courses such as Human Information Interactions, Organizing of Information, Systems Analysis, and Information Retrieval. MIS degree online students choose elective courses to fulfill the remaining credit hours. These electives will align with one of ten available specializations, including Archives and Records Management, Digital Libraries, and Information System Design and Development.
Tuition & Fees: $11,074

#19– University of Arkansas

Online Professional Master of Information Systems

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website
Points: 5
The University of Arkansas offers a professional online master’s in information systems degree program through the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Students can choose to specialize in one of two areas: Enterprise Systems and Enterprise Resource Planning. Core course titles include Seminar in Systems Development, Data Management Systems, Global Information Systems Seminar, and Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management. Master’s information systems online students can complete their coursework in just two years. A graduate certificate in enterprise systems is also available.
Tuition & Fees: $8,096

#18– Dallas Baptist University

Online MBA: Management Information Systems

Dallas, Texas

Website
Points: 6
The online master’s information systems offering from Dallas Baptist University is technically an MBA program with a concentration in management information systems. The 36-credit hour program includes a core MBA curriculum featuring course titles such as Business Ethics, Quantitative Analysis for Managers, and Corporate Finance, as well as concentration classes like Systems Analysis Design and Networks and Telecommunications. MIS degree students may opt to pursue dual concentrations and/or dual degrees in information systems and business.
Tuition & Fees: $15,314

#17 – Baker College

Online MBA in Information Systems

Flint, Michigan

Website
Points: 6
Baker College’s online master’s information systems offering is technically an MBA in Information Systems. The program is a comprehensive one, including 20-credit hours of information systems management courses such as Database Design and Management and Systems Analysis and Design as well as 33 credit hours of business classes like Human Resource Management, Accounting for the Contemporary Manager, and The Financial Environment. Despite its virtual delivery, this online MIS degree program provides students with opportunities for experiential learning and real-world application.
Tuition & Fees: $11,745

#16 – Mississippi State University

Online Master of Science in Information Systems

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website
Points: 6
Mississippi State University offers an online master’s information systems program that can be completed entirely online. The curriculum consists of six core courses, including Management Information Technology and Systems, Advanced Database Design Administration, and Business Telecommunications. Twelve hours of the program are comprised of electives, and six of these are free electives. Elective course titles include Microcomputers/Networks, Decision Support Systems, and BIS Security Management. Pre-requisite business courses are also available for online MIS degree students new to the field of business.
Tuition & Fees: $7,502

#15 – Northwestern University

Online MS in Information Systems

Evanston, Illinois

Website
Points: 7
The online master’s information systems offering from Northwestern University is a part-time program featuring eight available specializations: Database and Internet Technologies, Information Systems Management, Project Management, Information Systems Security, Health Informatics, Medical Informatics, Information Systems, and Analytics and Business Intelligence. Master’s information systems online students enrolled in the program have the option to complete a capstone project or thesis research for their culminating experience.
Tuition & Fees: $49,064

#14 – Boston University

Online Master of Computer Information Systems

Boston, Massachusetts

Website
Points: 7

Boston University offers a customizable online master’s information systems degree program with seven available concentrations: Computer Networks, Data Analytics, Database Management & Business Intelligence, Health Informatics, IT Project Management, Security, and Web Application Development. The curriculum consists of five core courses including Business Data Communication and Networks, IT Strategy and Management, and Database Design and Implementation for Business. Despite its virtual format, online MIS degree students enjoy small class sizes and individual attention from an all-PhD faculty.
Tuition & Fees: $48,082

#13 – Drexel University

Online MS in Information Systems

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website
Points: 7
The online master’s information systems offering from Drexel University is an interdisciplinary program designed for those students with or without a background in the computer sciences. The curriculum consists of nine core courses including titles such as Perspectives on Information Systems, Human-Computer Interaction, and Web Systems & Architecture, as well as six elective courses chosen from topics like Advanced Programming Techniques and Information Retrieval Systems. Master’s information systems online students may also opt for a dual degree program, combining the MSIS with a master of science in library and information science.
Tuition & Fees: $31,519

#12 – University of Maryland—Baltimore County

Online MS in Information Systems

Baltimore, Maryland

Website
Points: 7
The University of Maryland—Baltimore County offers an online master’s information systems program designed according to a competency model. The curriculum consists of four required course topics including Database Management Systems and Structured Systems Analysis and Design, as well as six advanced courses such as Introduction to Data Mining, Information Integration, and Enterprise-Wide Computing. Online MIS degree students also have the option to write and defend a thesis at the culmination of the program.
Tuition & Fees: $12,798

#11 – Dakota State University

Online Master of Science in Information Systems

Madison, South Dakota

Website
Points: 7
Dakota State University offers an online master’s information systems program featuring several specialization options, including Application Development, Network Administration and Security, and Healthcare Information Systems. The degree can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, and full-time students can complete their degrees in just over two years. Core course titles include System Analysis and Design Using Case Tools, Web Application Development, Information Technology Strategy and Policy, and Enterprise Modeling and Data Management.
Tuition & Fees: $9,116

#10 – Colorado State University

Online Master of Computer Information Systems

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Website
Points: 7
Colorado State University offers an online master’s information systems degree program that can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. The 33-credit hour curriculum consists of 9 core courses, including titles such as Information Technology and Project Management, Business Visual Application Development, and Object-Oriented Systems as well as a minimum of 6 credit hours of electives like Business Intelligence and Agile Management and Product Development. Full-time master’s information systems online students can earn their degrees in as few as three semesters.
Tuition & Fees: $9,000

#9 – Harvard University

Online Master of Information Management Systems

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Website
Points: 8
Harvard University offers an online master’s information systems degree program through its online extension school. The curriculum consists of seven required courses, including titles such as Cloud Computing, IT Management, and Web Principles, as well as five elective courses in topics such as Dynamic Web Applications and User Experience Engineering. MIS degree online students are required to take at least one class on-campus. In addition, there is an intensive on-campus weekend required for the capstone project.
Tuition & Fees: $42,874

#8 – Florida Institute of Technology

Online MS in Computer Information Systems

Melbourne, Florida

Website
Points: 8
Florida Institute of Technology offers an online master’s information systems program designed for students aspiring to study systems administration, computer programming, mobile computing applications, and network administration, among other segments of the industry. The broad nature of the program prepares students for high level careers in business and computer science as well as post-graduate study in the field. Online MIS degree students also have an array of meaningful research and internship opportunities to choose from.
Tuition & Fees: $16,128

#7 – University of Massachusetts–Lowell

Online MS in Information Systems

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website
Points: 8
The University of Massachusetts–Lowell offers an online master’s information systems program through its Department of Computer Science’s Division of Online and Continuing Education. The program’s curriculum consists of four distinct components: system infrastructure courses, network infrastructure courses, software management courses, and program electives. To complete this MIS degree online, students will take courses such as Digital Forensics, Systems Security and Auditing, Secure Mobile Networks, and Agile and Iterative Project Management.
Tuition & Fees: $13,799

#6 – University of Arizona

Online MS in Information Systems

Tucson, Arizona

Website
Points: 8
The University of Arizona offers an online master’s information systems degree program designed for working professionals. The curriculum consists of seven core courses including titles such as Software Design & Integration, Enterprise Data Management, and Business Foundations of IT as well as electives like Information Security Risk Management and Project Management. MIS degree online students also have the opportunity to add graduate certificates in Business Intelligence and Enterprise Security to their degrees, giving them a competitive edge in the field.
Tuition & Fees: $12,048

#5 – Auburn University

Online MS in Information Systems

Auburn, Alabama

Website
Points: 8
Auburn University offers an online master’s information systems program through its Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. The program is highly customizable, requiring just three core courses: Database, Systems Analysis and Design, and the final project course. Online MIS degree students choose the remaining seven classes from a long list of available electives, allowing them to specialize in a specific aspect of information systems. Specialty course topics include Clientside Internet Programming, Security and Information Assurance, and Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning.
Tuition & Fees: $10,418

#4 – University of Colorado—Denver

Online MS in Information Systems

Denver, Colorado

Website
Points: 9
Students enrolled in the University of Colorado—Denver’s online master’s information systems program can choose from three online specializations: Business Intelligence, Enterprise Technology Management, and Web and Mobile Computing. The versatile program also allows students to complete all coursework entirely online or combine online classes with on-campus offerings for a hybrid learning experience. Those interested have the additional option of combining their online MIS degree with an MBA or MS in Business Analytics to create a dual degree program.
Tuition & Fees: $7,804

#3 – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Online Master of Science in Management Information Systems

Daytona Beach, Florida

Website
Points: 9
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s online master’s information systems program features three available specializations: Business Intelligence and Analytics, Information Systems Project Management, and Information Security and Assurance. The core curriculum consists of only four required courses, including Data Warehousing and Information Quality and Applied Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence. Ambitious MIS degree online students may choose to pursue multiple specializations if they so desire. Alternatively, students may choose other courses from the College of Business to fulfill their elective credits.
Tuition & Fees: $6,960

#2 – New Jersey Institute of Technology

Online MS in Information Systems

Newark, New Jersey

Website
Points: 10
New Jersey Institute of Technology’s online master’s information systems degree is a 30-credit hour program made available through the Ying Wu College of Computing Science. Enrolled students have the option to choose from seven different concentrations including Healthcare Informatics, Business Decision Making, and User Experience Design. They can also customize their MIS degree online by creating their own specialization aligned with their individual interests and career goals. Some specialty course topics include Business Process Innovation, Web Mining, and Enterprise Database Management.
Tuition & Fees: $21,152

#1 – Stevens Institute of Technology

Online MS in Information Systems

Hoboken, New Jersey

Website
Points: 11
Stevens Institute of Technology offers an online master’s information systems program featuring three available concentrations: Business Intelligence & Analytics, Business Process Management and Service Innovation, and Project Management. In addition to concentration courses, students must take 9 core courses including titles such as Financial Decision Making, Analysis and Design of Information Systems, and Process Innovation and Management. It is recommended that online MIS degree students have at least one year of work experience prior to applying to the program.
Tuition & Fees: $33,350

This concludes our ranking of the 20 top value online MIS degree programs.

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