Rensselaer’s Master of Science in Information Technology balances the study of management strategies and technology leadership with advanced course work in an IT concentration. Students complete a suite of Core and Capstone courses, and also select three to five additional courses to complete their Concentrations. Both a professional and research track are offered for the M.S. in IT degree.
Eleven Concentrations are currently available at Rensselaer's Troy Campus: Data Science and Analytics, Information Dominance, Web Science, Networking, Management Information Systems, Software Design, Finanical Engineering, Database and Intelligent Systems, Information Security, Information Systems Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction.
Programs are individually tailored to accommodate a variety of entering backgrounds and career goals. The M.S. in IT can be completed with two terms of intensive study. A three-term option with a paid internship is also available.
Breadth of Experience — the IT Core
Master’s students take one required course from each of the five Core areas listed below to gain a breadth of IT knowledge. Advanced core options are available.
Depth of Experience — the IT Concentrations
Concentrations are designed to provide an in-depth experience in the application of information technology. Students choose one of eleven concentrations and complete a minimum of 3 courses in the Concentration:
In addition to Concentration courses, students choose one elective that adds depth to the degree and is subject to advisor approval.
The M.S. in IT Capstone course integrates the knowledge and professional practice of IT Core and Concentration courses. Topics in database systems, data analytics, networking, software design, management of technology, human computer interaction, and ethics are applied within a framework of global e-business strategy. The course utilizes an Information Technology Team Project with a real organization to practice the major concepts of the IT Master's degree. Team members select, develop, and present a significatn technology implementation project, incorporating strategy, systems development and business planning.
Additional information about the program, core classes, and concentrations can be found in the downloadable curriculum document.
IT Research as part of the Ph.D
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. Once admitted to the PhD in another department, students may work their PhD advisor and the advisor to MS in IT students to determine if completing the MS in IT as part of the PhD is possible.
All students develop a Plan of Study with their IT Advisor which includes a minimum of 10 courses (30 credits), a minimum of six courses (eighteen credits or more) at the 6000 graduate level, and no more than 5 courses from the Lally School of Management and Technology (prefix MGMT).
Students must have the prerequisite knowledge for each course as given in the course description in the university catalog http://www.rpi.edu/academics/catalog/index.html
Duration of Study
Core courses are generally taken in the fall and concentration courses in the spring. Full-time students who begin in the fall term complete the program in three semesters and have the option to select two concentrations for a total of twelve courses, four courses each semester. These students will generally complete a significant salaried internship over the summer.
Students can also choose to complete the program in two intensive semesters. They will select one concentration and need to complete a total of ten classes, five classes per semester.
Part-time students typically complete the program in two and one half years of continuous study.
Rensselaer undergraduates with advanced standing are sometimes able to complete the master’s with one additional term.
In addition to the many activities, clubs and organizations sponsored by the Student Union, the MS in IT students also have their own Student Leadership group. Three individuals are chosen each Fall and tasked with creating programs and activities that enhance the social, cultural, educational and networking opportunities for all students. Examples of activities include connecting first term students to third term students shortly after the new students arrive. Another activity is an alumni panel presentation that provides information on job prospects, interviewing techniques and other topics that would be helpful to career planning. The Student Leaders also connect with prospective students after they are admitted to the program to give them the student perspective.
Students seeking admission to the MS in IT must have academic records that indicate their ability to excel in graduate study, submit scores from the GRE exam, and have completed basic prerequisite computer science course work.
The application deadline for the M.S. in IT differs from the university's deadline of January lst. For the M.S. in IT, applications are accepted until the new class is filled, usually by March. However, applying early remains strongly recommended since the class size is limited.
Program Costs & Financial Aid
For details on expenses, please see Graduate Admissions. Applicants with top academic records and/or experience will be considered for Teaching Assistantships. Many applicants who see the master’s as an investment in their future careers will fully self-fund the degree using low interest loans and personal resources. For additional loan information, please visit Student Records & Financial Services.