Jun 16, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2008-2009 
Rensselaer Catalog 2008-2009 [Archived Catalog]

Information Technology M.S.

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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 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 or Database Mining. 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 information technology 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.

IT Core Requirements

To acquire a breadth of IT experience, master’s degree students take the five Core courses listed below. Alternate courses are also listed for those who have previously completed the required Core course. Also noted is the usual term in which the required Troy campus Core course is offered. Course offerings change frequently to keep pace with rapid advancement in IT; some courses are delivered in alternate years. Please see the Troy IT web site for the most current information: www.it.rpi.edu.

IT Core Area

Database Systems


Software Design

Mangement of Technology

Human-Computer Interaction

IT Advanced Core

Students who have already completed the core courses listed above select one of the advanced courses noted below.

Database Systems


  • CSCI 6960 Cryptography and Network Security Offered Fall Term

Sofware Design

Management of Technology

Human Computer Interaction

Concentration Requirements

The IT faculty designed the IT Concentrations to provide an in-depth, leading-edge experience in the application of information technology. Students often select areas that complement their prior backgrounds (e.g., students with strong computer backgrounds may select MIS or e-business). Alternately, some students select a Concentration related to their prior backgrounds and then expand on that background through higher-level course work. The course taken to complete a Core requirement does not count toward the Concentration.

Rensselaer’s course offerings are dynamic and new courses are developed each term, making course listings subject to change. Some courses are offered in alternate years.  For current status, please visit www.it.rpi.edu.


Select three of the following courses:

  • CSCI 6900 - Cryptography and Network Security  Offered Fall Term
  • CSCI 6900 - Network Security II Offered Spring Term
  • CSCI 6900 - Parallel & Distributed Simulation
    Offered Spring Term
  • ECSE 6960 Mobile Wireless Communication Offered Fall Term

Financial Engineering

  • MGMT 6900 Financial Simulations Offered Fall Term

With adviser approval, choose two additional courses for a total of five courses:

  • CSCI 6960 Computational Finance Offered Fall Term

Human-Computer Interaction

Select three of the following courses:

  • COMM 6900  HCI Implementation: Flash Offered Fall Term
  • COMM 6960 HCI Prototype Production Offered Spring  Term
  • COMM 6960 Programming in HCI Offered Fall Term

Database and Intelligent Systems

Select three of the following courses:

Software Design

Select three of the following courses:

  • CSCI 6960 Program Analysis for Software Tools Offered Spring Term

Information Systems Engineering

Select two more of the following courses:

Management Information Systems

Select three of the following courses:
(See footnote 1 below)

Information Security

Select two of the following courses:

  • CSCI 6960 Cryptography & Network Security Offered Fall Term
  • CSCI 6960 Database & Application Security Offered Spring Term

If only two of the above were chosen, select one more of the following courses:

  • CSCI 6900 Network Security II Offered Spring Term

IT Capstone Requirement


  1. A maximum of five management courses (code: MGMT) may be taken towards the IT degree.

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