Master of Arts in Information Technology

Master of Arts in Information Technology

The skills needed by today's informational technology leaders span multiple disciplines not typically available through traditional business or computer science programs. The Master of Arts in Information Technology Leadership (IT Leadership) program seeks to prepare working professionals with real world expertise to lead technology initiatives within their organizations, and across business sectors. The program focuses on identifying and analyzing information technology and organizational problems, creating and implementing innovative solutions, and making effective and ethical decisions. . As a result of this focus, the program is approachable to both current IT professionals as well as professionals outside of the IT field.

It has become more important than ever to have a working knowledge of technology and interpersonal leadership skills to recognize and capitalize on trends that can impact businesses. When using information technology to respond to challenges in the workplace, it is key to have an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the technologies as well as the interpersonal communication skills to facilitate change. The IT Leadership program prepares students to meet these challenges.

Program Description
The Information Technology Leadership program prepares students to effectively integrate technology solutions that address the challenges facing organizations today. Students gain a solid foundation of mixing both technology theory and real world application of the technology with the communication skills needed to realize the benefits of the technologies. Graduates will be proficient at leading multi-disciplinary teams, evaluating information technologies, and guiding the organization through the ethical implementation of effective technology solutions.

The 37 semester credit program is offered in an online format, which allows professionals to maintain their current employment status while enhancing their knowledge and skills. Students enroll in the foundational courses during the first year and leadership and advanced courses and the capstone project during the second year.  All courses are taken online and the program ends with a student research symposium on the Duluth campus.

Program Outcomes 
Upon completion of the Information Technology Leadership program at The College of St. Scholastica, the graduate will be able to:

  • Analyze integrated business practices across the organization
  • Evaluate and align technology solutions to strategic objectives and priorities
  • Communicate complex ideas through oral presentations and written documents
  • Effectively lead and develop IT professionals
  • Guide organizations through effective and enduring change
  • Incorporate ethics and values into leadership and decision making

Admission Requirements 

The Master of Arts in Information Technology Leadership program considers applicants who:

  1. Submit a completed Graduate Admissions Application form online.
  2. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and meet ONE of the following criteria:  
    • Have a major in IT, CS or MIS-related field (preferred, but not required)
    • Have a minimum two years experience working with information systems if the Baccalaureate degree is not in an IT, CS or MIS-related field
    • Completed the prerequisites prior to the beginning of the Information Technology Leadership Program, if less than two years experience with information technology and the Baccalaureate degree is not in an IT, CS or MIS-related field
  3. Submit all official transcripts of relevant course work necessary for admission or pre-requisites as designed by the program.
  4. Earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 in undergraduate coursework.
  5. Submit a completed Master of Arts in Information Technology Leadership Essay.
  6. Submit two Graduate Recommendation forms from individuals who have observed or evaluated your leadership competencies or abilities in the IT field.


Only those who do not meet the work experience and baccalaureate degree admission or IT experience requirements need to complete the following three prerequisite courses. All prerequisite courses are available online.

  • CIS 3105 - Management Information Systems
  • CIS 3107 - Database Modeling
  • CIS 3108 - Systems Analysis and Design

International Applicants will need to complete additional admission requirements.

Note: Meeting minimal entrance requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission.

Application Deadline
Application deadlines for priority consideration:

  • Deadline is August 15 for the Fall start
  • Deadline is May 5 for the Summer start

Review of completed application files will continue until all open seats for the program are filled.

Degree Requirements
A total of 37 semester credits are required for graduation, including credits for the Capstone Project. Credit toward the degree will be given for courses with a grade of 2.0 or better; students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A maximum of 6 graduate semester credits may be transferred from another college or university if approved by the student's advisor and/or the program director. The Master of Arts in Information Technology Leadership graduate program must be completed within seven years and students must make sufficient academic progress toward the degree during their enrollment. Students not enrolled for more than two consecutive semesters are required to reapply to the program before enrolling in additional courses. Credits that are more than seven years old as of the date of graduation will not count toward the degree.

The Master of Arts in IT Leadership curriculum is made up of 13 courses for a total of 37 credits.  The curriculum consists of 4 foundational courses to prepare students with a core set of skills and knowledge, 3 leadership courses, 3 advanced strategic technology courses, and 3 courses associated with the capstone project.  The foundational courses should be completed prior to enrolling in the advanced and specialization courses and there are course prerequisites identified in the course descriptions.

Summary of Curriculum

Foundational Courses

CIS 6101: Leadership Communications 
CIS 6105: Strategies of Information Technology 
CIS 6113: IT Management Ethics 
PRM 6119: Strategic Decision Making

Leadership Courses

CIS 6208: IT Project Management 
CIS 6235: Professional Relationships 
CIS 6248: IT Change Leadership

Advanced Courses

CIS 6550: Business Process Analysis 
CIS 6575: Optimizing Intellectual Property 
CIS 6599: Emerging Topics in Information Technology

Capstone Project

CIS 6795: Research and Writing 
CIS 6800: Capstone Project I 
CIS 6900: Capstone Project II

Following is a list of ALL graduate courses and their descriptions in the School of Business and Technology:

CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses CIS Courses

CIS 6101 - Leadership Communication - 3 cr.
An examination of the importance of leadership theories and styles, and the essential importance of communication. Oral and written communication methods will be studied to determine how effective communication is integral to the success of IT initiatives. Topics include communicating complex ideas, collaboration in a team environment, and using communication to lead a team and work effectively with complex interpersonal and team processes. (8weeks)

CIS 6105 - Strategies of Information Technology - 3 cr.
Discussion of best practices in information technology (IT) with focus on how IT is used strategically in different organizations. The current trends in IT are studied and how IT infrastructure is changing in light of these trends. Case studies of specific organizations will be analyzed. (8 weeks)

CIS 6113 - IT Management Ethics - 3 cr.
An examination on how technology affects societal thinking and the ways information technology challenges traditional ethical, legal, and social concepts. Additionally, a high level overview of security threats and corresponding policies are explored within this ethical context. Students will analyze different leadership, technology, and security issues and develop solutions to proactively address these concerns.

CIS 6208 - IT Project Management - 3 cr.
A discussion of the project management process through the framework prescribed by a project management certifying body. Providing an IT perspective of planning, estimating, leading, and monitoring projects. Students will not only use project management software, but will also explore communication and personnel issues related to project management. (8 weeks)

CIS 6235 - Professional Relationships - 3 cr.
A study of the skills and traits for effective leadership and team development. In this course, students learn and apply various methods and techniques used to effectively build and foster professional relationships and increase the performance of individuals. Topics include networking, negotiating, conflict resolution, motivation, listening skills, constructive feedback and team and individual staff development.

CIS 6248 - IT Change Leadership - 3 cr.
This course will focus on leveraging information technologies to affect change from an individual, team and organizational perspective. 21st century leaders must understand the strategic importance of change in their organizations. More and more, it is the IT leader that is expected to lead this change efficiently and effectively. This course will provide IT leaders with the opportunity to explore current change literature and apply it to their professional and personal situations.

CIS 6550 - Business Process Analysis - 3 cr.
A detailed study on the skills and techniques used to partner with functional departments to analyze, model, and improve the business processes across the organization. Students will examine the methods used to create collaborative relationships with functional units, model business processes, and evaluate system options to support integrated data management and business process management.

CIS 6575 - Optimizing Intellectual Capital - 3 cr.
An in-depth study of the methods and techniques organizations use to effectively discover, capture, manage, and reuse knowledge assets. During this course, students explore the approaches used to design, implement, and apply knowledge management and business intelligence practices as well as the cultural and technical environments needed to support these practices.

CIS 6599 - Emerging Topics in Information Technology - 3 cr.
A study of methods used for developing and maintaining project budgets and the procuring the products and services supporting projects. Topics include project financial estimates, project budgeting, expense reporting, vendor relations, and contract management.

CIS 6777 - Independent Study - 3 cr.
A special offering presented by the CIS graduate program to present emerging developments in the field. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (8 or 16 weeks)

CIS 6795 - Research and Writing - 3 cr.
A preparatory course for the Final Applied Project. Students prepare a project proposal while refining research and scholarly writing skills. Topics include defining a problem statement, APA publication guidelines, writing a literature review, and developing a scholarly voice. The course concludes with the development and approval of a formal proposal outlining the purpose and scope of the Final Applied Project. (16 weeks)

CIS 6800 - Final Applied Project - 2 cr.
Working with an assigned project advisor, students assimilate knowledge from prior courses with findings from research in the current literature of the selected topical area. The findings from the literature research are integrated in the development of a project introduction and literature review. (16 weeks)

CIS 6900 - Final Applied Project Seminar - 2 cr.
Working with an assigned project advisor, students complete the remaining work on the Final Applied Project by synthesizing a solution to the defined business problem. The course concludes with an approval, publication, and oral presentation of the Final Applied Project. (16 weeks)

CIS 6910 - Cont. Enroll: Final App Proj - 0 cr.
Cont. Enroll: Final App Proj

Prerequisite Course: CIS 6900

CIS 6999 - Independent Study - 0-4 cr.
Independent research and reading in an area of special interest. Students initiate study in form of a written proposal and complete it under faculty supervision. Prerequisites: consent of supervising faculty and department chair. (8 or 16 weeks)