Business Administration

What Are the Best Information Systems MBA Programs?

What Are the Best Information Systems MBA Programs?
While pursuing this master’s degree, students complete coursework in finance, accounting, and marketing—it is a business degree, after all—but they don’t dive as deep into these topics as a traditional MBA candidate might. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry September 12, 2019

The 10 best Master of Business Administration programs in 2019 that offer an information systems concentration or focus. In this guide, we highlight the degree type offered by each university, tuition, core courses, concentration courses, electives, and features.

MBA/Business and I.T. Degree Programs You Should Consider

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As businesses collect more and more information about customers, users, subscribers, and other people whose decisions drive the economy, it’s increasingly important that people in the business world have at least a passing understanding of how, where, and why data is:

  • collected
  • organized
  • stored
  • analyzed
  • disseminated

Some people with a knack for business make the decision to specialize in this field by pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems.

Unlike more technical degrees (such as a Master of Science in Computer Science) , an MBA with an information systems concentration isn’t focused on building or maintaining software systems. Information systems MBAs are mainly concerned with the human component of information systems and how those systems can be used to further organizational goals. While pursuing this graduate degree, students complete coursework in finance, accounting, human resources, and marketing—it is a business degree, after all—but they don’t dive as deep into these topics as a traditional MBA candidate might.

More course time is devoted to topics like:

  • Business intelligence
  • Computer systems
  • Using data-mining tools
  • Finding the best systems to make processes more efficient

Many information systems MBA programs can be completed in one to two years of full-time study—the average tuition varies greatly from school to school—but if you need flexibility or you want to earn your master’s degree more quickly, there are part-time programs that take two to three years along with accelerated programs that take less than a year to complete.

The best information systems MBA programs

The programs listed below were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Curriculum
  • Cost and return on investment
  • Selectivity
  • Reputation
  • Alumni network

In compiling this list we consulted a number of sources, including US News and World Report, Poets and Quants, and the programs’ websites and graduate catalogs. All programs listed are AACSB-accredited.

For each of the programs below, we’ve included information about the most relevant things to consider when choosing an information systems MBA program. We list:

  • Degree type
  • Tuition
  • Graduation requirements
  • Core and concentration courses
  • Electives
  • Distinctive features of the program

Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business__

  • Degree: MBA with an Information Technology Management concentration
  • Format: Full-time on-campus, evening MBA, or executive MBA
  • Tuition: Full-time students pay $29,508 per year for residents / $40,752 for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: 54 credit hours including 21 semester hours of core coursework, which can be completed in 22 months by full-time students
  • Core courses: Financial and Managerial Accounting I; Analytical Tools for Decision Support; Leading People and Organizations; Principles of Finance; Managerial Economics; Operations Management; Managing Information Resources; Marketing Management; Business Communications; Strategic Management; Leadership Assessment Workshop
  • Concentration courses: Managing Information Resources is required, and students can choose among such concentration electives as Database Development and Applications; Electronic Commerce; Business Process Analysis and Design; IT Practicum; Emerging Technologies; Data Analytics in Business; Project Management; Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Features: Experiential learning opportunities; leadership development assessments and workshops; self-study groups; the IMPACT Speaker Series; the Ideas to Serve (I2S) competition

Hofstra University Zarb School of Business__

  • Degree: Information Systems, MBA
  • Format: On-campus, full-time, or flex MBA
  • Tuition: $1,430 per credit hour
  • Graduation requirements: 38-45 credit hours (23-26 in core coursework, 12 in concentration coursework, three in a required capstone course)
  • Core courses: Business Ethics and Society; Accounting and Financial Reporting; Managerial Finance; Global Business Decision Making; Information Systems for Managers; Operations and Supply Chain Management; Organizational Behavior and Leadership Skills for Strategic Advantage; Marketing Analysis and Management; Advanced Quantitative Analysis for Managers
  • Concentration courses: Systems Analysis and Design; Database Management Systems; and two elective courses chosen under advisement in Information Systems
  • Features: No specific undergraduate course of study is required for admission; Long Island location facilitates access to high demand business community in surrounding area and nearby New York City

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management__

  • Degree: MBA (no Information Systems degree program is offered, but students can create their own via electives)
  • Format: Full-time, on-campus and on-campus executive
  • Tuition: $77,168 per year
  • Graduation requirements: two years for full-time students or 20 months in the executive MBA program
  • Core courses: Economic Analysis for Business Decisions; Data, Models, and Decisions; Communication for Leaders; Organizational Processes; Financial Accounting
  • Core electives: Managerial Finance; Intro to Operations Management; Competitive Strategy; Marketing Innovation
  • Concentration courses: 144 units of electives over three semesters chosen by the student
  • Features: Experiential learning; customized coursework; thesis optional; access to six cutting edge research centers, including the Center for Information Systems Research; incoming students are automatically considered for fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid; students can earn certificates in sustainability, healthcare, or business analytics

University of Arizona Eller College of Management__

  • Degree: MBA with a Management Information Systems concentration
  • Format: Full-time, evening, and executive
  • Tuition: Full-time in-state resident students pay $24,900 per year; full-time out-of-state residents pay $46,000 per year.
  • Graduation requirements: 55 credits completed in 21 months (for full-time students)
  • Core courses: Leadership and Teams; Applied Business Statistics; Communication for Managers and Professional Development; Economics for Managers; Finance; Introduction to Financial Accounting; Market-Based Management; Business Strategy; Global Business Experience; Introduction to Managerial Accounting; Operations Management; Business Consulting Projects; Strategic Management of Information Systems
  • Concentration courses: Healthcare Information Systems; Information Technology Audit; Introduction to Enterprise Computing Environments; Business Intelligence; Data Mining for Business Intelligence; Enterprise Data Management; Information Security Risk Management
  • Electives: Students can select 25 elective credits to customize their master’s degree further, and electives can be taken as part of a student’s concentration or as a standalone course
  • Features: There are multiple dual degree program options; advanced consulting projects allow students to build a portfolio

University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics__

  • Degree: MBA/MS Information Systems & Technology Management
  • Format: Dual degree, full-time, on-campus
  • Tuition: $825 per credit hour for residents, $1,000 for non-residents, and $1,250 for international students
  • Graduation requirements: 59 credit hours with 29 credits in the MBA curriculum (continuous enrollment required)
  • MBA courses: Financial Reporting and Analysis; Economic Analysis for Business Policy; Fundamentals of Analytics; Managing People, Teams and Organizations; Marketing Management; Operations Management and Management Science; Financial Management; Ethical Issues in Domestic and Global Business Environments; Corporate Strategy; Building Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking; Communicating, Branding and Career Networking
  • MS courses: Data Mining for Business Analytics; Big Data Technologies; Enterprise Architecture: Digitally Transforming Business, Business Intelligence and Analytics; Project Management; Security & Control; Information Technology and Organizational Effectiveness; Fundamentals of Analytics; Decision Analytics and Visualization; Optimizing and Spreadsheet Modeling; Current Issues for Information Systems Managers; Internal Auditing; Introduction to Cybersecurity; Applied Data Base Management
  • Electives: None
  • Features: Opportunities to manage real-world IT project portfolios; this is a STEM-designated master’s degree program

University of Maryland – College Park Smith School of Business__

  • Degree: MBA with an Information Systems focus
  • Format: On-campus and online program, full-time and part-time
  • Tuition: $1,658 per credit hour for in-state / $1,998 per credit hour for out-of-state
  • Graduation requirements: 54 credit hours (with 26-34 credits during the first year and the remaining credits in the second year)
  • Core courses: Data Mining for Business; Games and Strategy; Incentives & Contracts; Data Mining for Business; Financial Forecasting; Operations and Supply Chain Strategy; Pricing and Revenue Management; Managing Digital Business; Managing Emerging Technologies;Technology & Industry Transformation
  • Concentration courses: Modeling and Designing IT Systems; Data Management Systems; Telecommunications and the Internet; Information Technology & Corporate Transformation; Security and Control of Computer Information Systems; Project Management in Dynamic Environments; Digital Business Models and Technology; Management of Technology
  • Features: Option to pursue a combined MBA/MS in Information Systems degree; an alumni network of more than 66,000 business professionals; program culminates with a capstone business simulation; program-wide focus on data analytics

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Carlson School of Management__

  • Degree: MBA with Information Systems Specialization
  • Format: Full-time on-campus
  • Tuition: $38,208 for residents / $48,936 for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: 64 credit hours completed within two academic years
  • Core courses: Financial Accounting; Leading Self; Leading Others; Leading Organizations; Data Analysis and Statistics for Managers; Managerial Economics; Marketing Management; Supply Chain & Operations; Financial Management; Competing in a Data-Driven Age; Strategic Management; The Ethical Environment of Business
  • Concentration courses: Financial Information Systems and Technologies; Enterprise Systems; Sourcing and E-Auctions; Business Intelligence; Advanced Business Intelligence; Web 2.0: Business of Social Media; Sourcing of IT and IT Enabled Services; Knowledge Management; Managerial Decision Making; Topics in Information Systems Management
  • Electives: Advanced Corporate Finance Analysis and Decisions; Management of Innovation and Change; International Strategy and Organization; Service Management; New Product Design and Business Development; plus 70 more course options
  • Features: 96 percent of graduates received job offers 90 days after graduation; access to a network of 55,000+ alumni in 100 countries; experiential learning opportunities

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School__

  • Degree: MBA Major in Operations, Information, and Decisions with an Information Systems track
  • Format: Full-time on-campus
  • Tuition: $81,378 per year, plus the cost of the Global Immersion Program
  • Graduation requirements: 19 credit units completed in 20 months (including a three-and-a- half-month summer internship)
  • Core courses: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership; Marketing Management; Microeconomic Foundation; Advanced Topics in Managerial Economics; Regression Analysis for Managers; Speaking and Writing; Quality and Productivity; Business Analytics; Information Technology and Business Transformation; Innovation; Operations Strategy
  • Concentration courses: Information Technology and Business Transformation; Enabling Technologies; Decision Support Systems
  • Electives: Students can choose from 200 courses across 10 academic departments
  • Features: Career Treks to various domestic and international cities for networking; opportunities to develop IT projects for overseas NGOs and small businesses; 40 percent of students complete their degree with two majors; students have the opportunity to study for one semester in San Francisco

University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business__

  • Degree: MBA – Management of Information Systems
  • Format: On-campus full-time, accelerated, executive MBA, or professional flex MBA
  • Tuition and fees: For the full-time two-year program, $13,705 per term for residents, $18,4300 for non-residents
  • Graduation requirements: a minimum of 57 credits completed in 11 months or two years
  • Core courses: Financial Accounting, Economic Analysis For Managerial Decision: Firms And Markets; Statistical Analysis: Uncertainty, Prediction, and Quality Improvement; Financial Management; Information Systems; Organizational Behavior: Leadership and Group Effectiveness; Marketing Management; Economic Analysis For Managerial Decision: Firms And Markets; Business Ethics and Social Performance; Decision Technologies in Manufacturing and Operations Management
  • Concentration courses: Management Information Systems Practicum; Business System Platforms; Strategic Information Technology in Global Supply Chains; Information Systems, Enterprise Systems and Integration of Business Processes; Technology-Enabled Business Transformation; Data Mining; Data Analysis
  • Electives: Decision Making in a Complex Environment; Marketing Management; Managerial Accounting; Competitive Intelligence; Project Management; Financial Accounting; Staffing Organizations; Commercializing New Technologies; Business Law; many more
  • Features: Fewer than 100 MBA students in each program; this degree is highly customizable; students can earn one of nine cross-functional certificates; experiential learning integrated into curriculum; global learning opportunities

The University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management__

  • Degree: MBA with an Information Technology Management concentration
  • Format: Full-time, executive, part-time evenings, or self-paced online MBA program
  • Tuition: A full-time student enrolled under the guaranteed tuition plan would pay tuition and fees approximately $38,057 (in-state) or $73,106 (out-of-state) for the full program
  • Graduation requirements: 53 credit hours, typically completed in 16 months by full-time traditional MBA students or two years by online students
  • Core courses: International Business Management, International Marketing, International Strategic Management, Cross – Cultural Communications and Management, Marketing Management, Managing IT in the Analytics Age, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, Business Economics, Financial Accounting, Financial Management, Managerial Accounting, Operations Managements, Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Concentration courses: 21 credit hours are devoted to electives specific to information systems, like Data Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Analytics, Cybersecurity Fundamentals, and Applied Machine Learning
  • Features: More than 200 elective courses; access to the Career Management Center; 90 percent post-graduation job placement rate; 13 double MS/MBA degree options

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024)

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Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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