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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the MS-IS program?
The MS-IS program is designed to provide students with an advanced information systems skills that will help prepare you to advance your career in the information technology field.
Who enrolls in the MS-IS program?
The MS-IS program is designed to meet the needs of three distinct groups of students:
  1. students with a baccalaureate degree in Information Systems,
  2. students with a baccalaureate degree in another area who have information systems skills and desire to develop new career skills in Information Systems.
  3. students with a baccalaureate degree in another area who lack information systems skills and desire to develop new career skills in Information Systems.
What is the Online Degree Program?
The Online Degree Program is the Department of Computer Information Systems effort to deliver the MS-IS program to students that are unable to regularly attend courses at a traditional campus. The online degree program delivers courses in an online format using the Blackboard learning system.
Are the online courses taught by Tarleton professors?
All the courses in the online MS-IS program are taught by members of the Department of Computer Information Systems graduate faculty.  From time to time, an adjunct faculty may be hired to teach on a temporary basis to bring new expertise to the department or to maintain the course rotation in case of faculty shortages.
What are the program requirements?
The MS-IS program requires completion of at least 36 hours of graduate credit. Students may choose to do a thesis as part of this degree program.
  • Core Courses: CIS 504, CIS 507, CIS 511, CIS 516, CIS 592, CIS 598 or GB 598(18 Hours)
  • CIS Electives (12 Hours)
  • Electives(6 Hours)
  • Comprehensive Exam: A student must satisfactorily complete the comprehensive exam before receiving the MS-IS degree. The student’s academic advisor should be contacted for information about comprehensive examination requirements and policies.
Can I be successful in an online course?
A number of research studies have concluded that students can and do learn in online environments. However, online learning environments are not the "best fit" for all students. Students are required to be motivated and dedicated to participating in the online class and communicating with the instructor.  Tarleton offers many tutorials and other resources to help distance students.
How do I apply?
Submit an application to the College of Graduate Studies and indicate on the application your interest in the MS-IS program.
What type of software and hardware will I need for the program?
The software and hardware requirements will vary from course to course. However, all of the software and hardware required for CIS courses are available in the computers laboratories located in the College of Business Administration on the Stephenville campus. However, many students are unable to visit the Stephenville campus so the following information is provided for those students that wish to obtain their own software and hardware.

Software: Many of the software tools required for your CIS courses are available at "no cost" through the Department of Computer Systems. Additionally, many of the other software tools can be purchased at a substantial discount through the University bookstore. Be sure to check with your instructors concerning course specific software requirements. For more information contact Ms. Deidra Collier Newman ( in the CIS Office.

Hardware: For taking online classes, you will need a computer capable of connecting to the internet and one that allows you to play sound and view video and images.  A high speed internet connections is HIGHLY recommended for online courses.  Although rare, there are additional hardware requirements in a specific course, you will be notified by your instructor.