Santa Clara University

Acceptance Criteria


Master of Science in Information Systems

The MSIS program at Santa Clara University is designed to equip leaders in information technology management with the tools to harness the power of information. Created by the same outstanding faculty that provides the premier MBA education for Silicon Valley, the MSIS degree focuses on the application of technology for solving real organizational and business problems. Much of the course work is project-based, connecting learning to actual challenges in the field. Students learn how to integrate emerging technologies into organizational practices and to successfully manage complex, technically centered change processes.


Applicants for admission to the MSIS program must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or its foreign equivalent before registering in the Leavey School of Business. Applicants also must have successfully completed at least one course in each of the following areas prior to enrollment:

  • Algebra
  • Statistics
  • A programming language


  • Students are admitted in the fall, winter, and spring quarters. Program brochures are available from the MSIS Admissions Office or by calling 408-551-7047. Brochure requests and admission correspondence also may be sent via e-mail to The applicant must complete and submit the following items before the Admissions Committee will render an admissions decision:
  • Application form and essay question responses (completed online)
  • Two completed confidential Letter of Recommendation forms
  • Two official transcripts from each institution attended
  • Résumé
  • Official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE), if required
  • Application fee of $75 ($100 for international student applicants requiring a student visa)

Online application fees must be paid by credit card and submitted electronically. To apply online, visit

Applicants must have their official GMAT or GRE score reports sent directly to the MSIS Admissions Committee. Applicants whose first language is not English must either achieve a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL (internet-based test), 7 on the IELTS, or 68 on the PTE. This requirement may also be met by scoring at or above the 50th percentile on the verbal portion of the GMAT or GRE.

Foreign applicants requesting student visas must submit a current financial statement (no more than 90 days old) showing adequate funds for tuition, fees, and living expenses for the first year of study, and must enroll in at least 9 units each quarter. Santa Clara University is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.

Applicants are responsible for the appropriate submission of all application materials, including:

  • Application form, fee, and essay responses submitted online:
  • Recommendation letters, résumé, and transcripts submitted in hard copy to the admissions office: MSIS Admissions Committee.
  • GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores sent directly from the test center to the MSIS Admissions Committee

Applications will not be considered until the MSIS Admissions Committee has received all materials.


The complete application package should be sent as early as possible. Admissions decisions are made throughout the year. For deadlines, access the online application at


Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic ability as indicated by college records and GMAT or GRE scores, demonstrated technical management potential (including work experience and recommendations), and motivation to complete a demanding academic program. Once accepted, a $300 nonrefundable tuition deposit is required prior to registration. See the Admissions section for additional procedures and policies.


Curriculum Clusters

  1. Core Business Knowledge (4 courses)
    Gives students an understanding of the context in which information systems operate. Students acquire a basic knowledge of business and organizational requirements that enables them to understand how information systems are designed and successfully implemented. Students must complete all of the following courses:
    • ACTG 300 Financial Accounting (3 units)
    • FNCE 451 Financial Management (3 units)
    • MGMT 503 Organizational Analysis and Management (3 units)(non-waivable)
    • OMIS 355 Computer-Based Decision Models (3 units)
  2. Core Information Systems Knowledge (6 courses)
    Teaches students about the technical aspects of information systems design and the strategic issues around the use of such systems. Students must complete all of the following courses:
    • MSIS 601 Object-Oriented Analysis and Programming (3 units)
    • MSIS 602 Information Systems Analysis and Design (3 units)
    • MSIS 603 Database Management Systems (3 units)
    • MSIS 604 Information Systems Policy and Strategy (3 units)
    • MSIS 605 Telecommunications and Business Networks (3 units)
    • MSIS 606 Software Project Management (3 units)
  3. Specialization (choice of 5 courses; equal to a minimum of 15 units)
    Offers a variety of electives to help students develop capabilities in a specific area. Students must complete five of the following courses:
    • COEN 250 Information Security Management (2 units)
    • COEN 252 Computer Forensics (4 units)
    • IDIS 612 Management of the High Technology Firm Seminar (3 units)
    • IDIS 705 Leadership for Justice and Prosperity (1 unit)
    • MGMT 524 Managing Innovation and Technology (3 units)
    • MGMT 538 Managing Teams and Projects (3 units)
    • MKTG 592 Internet Marketing and eCommerce
    • MSIS 621 Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing (3 units)
    • MSIS 622 ERP Systems (3 units)
    • MSIS 623 Financial Information Systems (3 units)
    • MSIS 624 E-Business Technologies (3 units)
    • MSIS 625 Information Security Management (3 units)
    • MSIS 626 Computer Simulation and Modeling (3 units)
    • MSIS 696 Emerging Topics in IT Management (3 units)
    • OMIS 384 Supply Chain Management (3 units)
    • OMIS 388 Supply Chain Outsourcing (3 units)
    • OMIS 390 Integrated Product Development (3 units)
  4. Integration and Application (4 courses)
    Explores how information systems are designed and used, and how broad social and ethical questions must be considered in thinking about the use of such systems. Students complete a major application project as part of this cluster. Students must complete all of the following courses:
    • MSIS 640 Capstone Project Proposal (1 unit)
    • MSIS 641 Information Technology: Ethics and Public Policy (3 units)
    • MSIS 642 Capstone Project I (2 units)
    • MSIS 643 Capstone Project II (3 units)

MSIS Capstone Petition Procedure
Capstone is one of the final steps in completing the MSIS degree requirements. To participate in this two-part course, students must meet with the faculty director and determine an appropriate project. The faculty director will assign an MSIS Capstone faculty advisor for the project, once it has been determined and approved.

Students working on the Capstone project must submit a Capstone Petition form with the approved topic, list of group members (if any), and signatures of the faculty director and advisor to the Graduate Business Programs Office in order to be administratively enrolled in the course. Students will receive an email confirmation that the form has been received. Enrollment is typically processed the week prior to the quarterly registration period.

Upon completion of the MSIS Capstone project, student participants must submit the MSIS Completion of Capstone Project form with the appropriate faculty signatures (faculty director and advisor) and assigned grade to the Graduate Business Programs Office. The grade will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for posting for both Capstone I and Capstone II courses.

All course descriptions can be found in the Course Description section.


In order to graduate, all MSIS students must complete and submit an online Petition to Graduate. The information provided in the petition is used to order and mail the diploma and list names in the SCU Commencement Book. If this data changes after the petition has been submitted, students must re-submit an amended petition. Students failing to do so could be omitted from the commencement book and ceremony.

In order to be eligible to graduate, MSIS students must complete:

  • All required coursework specific to the year in which they began the program
  • The required number of units specified to the year in which they began the program
  • The total program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Not have any I or N grades listed on their transcripts

Deadlines to submit a Petition to Graduate are as follows:

  • June graduation February 15
  • September graduation May 15*
  • December graduation August 15
  • March graduation December 15

*Students wishing to participate in the June Commencement Ceremony must submit their petitions by March 15

To Petition to Graduate, visit:


It is possible to transfer from the MSIS program to the evening MBA program. However, Admissions will not review a transfer request until the student has completed one year in the MSIS program. A transfer will be granted only once, is not automatic, and is at the discretion of the faculty director and assistant dean.

For information regarding entrance into the MBA program after completion of the MSIS program, contact the Graduate Business Programs Office.


Students enrolled in the MSIS program at Santa Clara are required to follow the same policies and procedures as students in the MBA program. Each student is personally responsible for knowing all of the academic regulations of the graduate business school. This includes, but is not limited to; grading, leave of absence, withdrawal, and concurrent enrollment. Please refer to the Academic section for additional information.

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