Students admitted to the M.S. in IT develop an approved Plan of Study that includes the following:
- Ten courses in IT (a minimum of thirty credits)
- A minimum of six courses (18 credit hours or more) at the graduate level (6xxx-level courses)
- Five Core courses; one from each of the five Core Areas
- A minimum of three courses (nine credit hours or more) in an approved Concentration
- One elective approved by the adviser to add further depth to the degree
- The IT Master’s Capstone course
The research and bioinformatics concentrations require a master’s thesis in place of the capstone course.
The Financial Engineering Concentration requires completion of an upper level finance course prior to enrollment.
The Core and Concentration courses are designed to accommodate a wide range of backgrounds. If students have previously completed the basic required Core course, they must then complete the next level required course to add depth in that core area. For example, if an equivalent course to Database Systems was completed in a prior degree, the Core area requirement could be satisfied by taking Enterprise Database Systems. Students may request transfer credit only for the elective, subject to adviser approval. Additionally, no more than half of all credits used towards the M.S. in IT degree may be taken from courses offered by the Lally School of Management and Technology. These courses are coded MGMT.
The M.S. in IT Master’s Capstone course integrates the knowledge and professional practice of IT Core and Concentration courses. The Capstone utilizes an Information Technology Team Project with a real organization to practice the major concepts of the IT master’s degree. The Team Project involves strategic and business planning, systems development, and technology implementation. Expertise in database systems, networking, software design, decision sciences, management of technology, human computer interaction, and ethics are applied within a framework of global e-business strategy.
Core courses are generally taken in the fall and Concentration courses in the spring. Full-time students normally begin in the fall term and take five courses in the fall and five the following spring to complete the program. Part-time students typically complete the program in two and one-half years of continuous study. Students may elect to extend the program to three semesters enabling the completion of two concentrations (12 courses) and a paid summer or summer/fall co-op assignment.
Rensselaer currently offers numerous Ph.D. degrees with significant IT related research, e.g. computational chemistry and physics, science and technology studies, decision sciences, applied mathematics, and human-computer interaction, among many others. Students who are planning doctoral study may choose to apply simultaneously for admission to the Ph.D. in the relevant Rensselaer department and also for the M.S. in IT. Once admitted to both, the student and the Ph.D. and M.S. advisers determine if the regular IT curriculum or the IT Research Track is preferred. If the Research Track is chosen, the student and the adviser select a set of concentration courses that lead to an IT intensive Master’s Thesis in place of the IT Master’s Capstone course.