Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s online MS in Information Technology degree expands students’ IT and business knowledge to equip them with the technical and leadership skills employers look for. Through a hands-on, project-based curriculum, MSIT students learn how to manage enterprise-grade IT systems, gain practical experience with cutting-edge analytics techniques, and prepare to establish themselves as technology leaders in the digitally driven future.

Guided by our faculty of expert practitioners, students learn how to leverage existing and emerging information technology and analytics tools in business applications. Our online MSIT program draws on our strengths in technology, engineering, and science. It covers a wide spectrum of industry topics ranging from organizational and technological challenges of large systems and data to security management, information systems innovation, systems development life cycle, and analytics.


Learning Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of how to leverage existing and emerging information technology and analytics tools in business applications.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of policy, technology, and security in an organizational setting.
  • Expand your leadership skills to lead technology and business innovations.

Who Can Benefit From an Online Master’s in Information Technology

WPI online MSIT graduate students come from many different industries with varying goals for the program. Regardless of your background, this STEM-focused curriculum expands your technical knowledge and offers hands-on experience with enterprise-grade software. Our students include:

  • New graduates who want to gain IT experience and hone technical problem-solving skills
  • Those who have some IT experience and want to expand their business sense to seek advancement into management or senior-level technical positions
  • Experienced IT professionals who want to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and industry research, while also strengthening their practical IT skills
  • Business-minded professionals who want to gain a deeper understanding of how technology and data analysis can shape better practices in an increasingly data-driven world

View our admissions requirements page to learn how to become an MSIT student.


Online Master’s in Information Technology Curriculum

WPI’s online master’s in information technology program requires the completion of 33 credit hours, including core and specialty courses, as well as a capstone project.

We aim to develop highly-skilled IT professionals, which is why we offer four stackable specializations for students to choose from:

  • Information Systems Design focuses on computer-based data management and design, covering data security and integrity, while also giving students a competitive understanding of how to create systems that optimize the user experience.
  • Data Analytics prepares students to solve business problems and drive sales using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and market research.
  • Digital Transformation equips students with the project management techniques needed to utilize existing and emerging information technology innovatively to create business opportunities.
  • IT User Experience gives students an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and how companies can benefit from research techniques like eye-tracking and emotion detection.

This program also includes two capstone courses that every student must complete to earn their degree. These allow students to integrate the technical skills, business theories, and STEM-based knowledge they’ve learned into a hands-on team project.

Coursework and Format

The online MSIT includes:

  • Recorded lectures
  • Discussion boards
  • Weekly assignments
  • Case studies
  • Simulations
  • Group and solo projects

Core Courses

  • MIS 581 Policy and Strategy for IT and Analytics (3 credits)
  • MIS 584 Business Intelligence (3 credits)
  • MIS 502 Data Management for Analytics (3 credits)

Specializations

MSIT students must complete two of the following three-course specialties:

Specialty in Information Systems Design

  • MIS 571 Database Applications Design and Development (3 credits)
  • MIS 582 Information Security Management (3 credits)
  • MIS 585 User Experience Design (3 credits)

Specialty in Data Analytics

  • MIS 587 Business Applications in Machine Learning (3 credits)
  • MIS 568 Data Mining Business Applications (3 credits)
Select one of the following:

  • MKT 565 Digital and Social Media Marketing and Analytics (3 credits)
  • MKT 562 Marketing Research (3 credits)

Specialty in Digital Transformation

  • MIS 500 Innovating with Information Systems (3 credits)
Select one of the following:

  • OIE 501 Designing Operations for Competitive Advantage (3 credits)
  • OIE 544 Supply Chain Analysis and Design (3 credits)
  • OIE 558 Designing and Managing Lean Six Sigma Processes (3 credits)
Select one of the following:

  • MIS 576 Project Management (3 credits)
  • OBC 533 Negotiations (3 credits)
  • OBC 537 Change Management (3 credits)

Specialty in IT User Experience

  • MKT 561 Consumer Behavior and Analytics (3 credits)
  • MIS 583 User Experience Applications (3 credits)
  • MIS 586 User Experience Research Methods (3 credits)

Capstone Courses
MSIT students must complete a two-course capstone project experience as follows:

  • OBC 505 Teaming and Organizing for Innovation (3 credits)
  • BUS 596 Master of Science Capstone Project (3 credits)

Online Master’s in Information Technology Course Listing

Required Core Courses

This course focuses on the core IS capabilities that IS managers must consider when managing technology within an organization, such as IT strategy, policy development, management, and IT’s role in data analytics. Fast-paced changes in technology require IT managers to quickly understand, adapt, and apply technology. Successful companies are those that can react quickly by introducing innovative technologies and respond to market demands using data-driven solutions. Students will learn how IT managers engage data to develop and enhance their departments’ strategies.
Today’s business computing infrastructures are producing the large volumes of data organizations need to make better plans and decisions. This course provides an introduction to the processes, technologies, and techniques for organizing, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data and information about business operations in a way that creates business value. During the course, students will study a variety of business decisions that can be improved by analyzing data about customers, sales, and operations, preparing students to be knowledgeable producers and consumers of business intelligence. Students will apply commercially available business intelligence software to develop performance dashboards to facilitate organizational decision-making. The course explores the technical challenges of organizing, analyzing, and presenting data and the managerial challenges of creating and deploying business intelligence expertise in organizations. The course includes business cases, in-class discussion, and hands-on analyses of business data. It is designed for any student interested in learning about data-driven business performance management and decision-making, including students whose primary focus is Data Science, IT, Marketing, Operations, or Business Management.
This course develops the skills business students need for handling data. It focuses on student skills in (1) cleaning and preparing data for analysis, (2) writing SQL queries to access and manipulate data, and (3) ethical uses of data and data privacy issues. It also covers the types of data typically found in organizations, e.g., employee, customer, product, marketing, operations, and financial data.

Specializations

MSIT students must complete two of the following three-course specialties:

Specialty in Information Systems Design

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of computer-based data management, including the delivery of high-quality data in information processing and analysis. The course focuses on the design of database systems to meet an organization’s needs for data analytics. The course also covers data security, data integrity, and data quality, as well as backup and recovery procedures. Students will be exposed to commercially available database management systems, such as Microsoft Access and Oracle. As a project during the course, students will design and implement a small database application that meets the data needs of some real-world business opportunities. The project report will include recommendations for ensuring data security, data integrity, and data quality.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Information Security Management. It is designed to develop in students an understanding of and appreciation for the importance of information security to all enterprises, and to enable current and future managers to understand the important role that they must play in securing the enterprise. This course is appropriate for any student interested in gaining a managerial-level understanding of information security. A combination of readings, lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and discussion of real-world events will be used to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The course will primarily explore the Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) of information security, along with other related topics. It will also explore the interaction between People, Process, and Technology as the cornerstone of any effective information security program. Upon completion of this course, the student will have an in-depth understanding of the essential components of a comprehensive information security program, as well as an understanding of the technology at work behind the scenes.
Designing positive user experiences is becoming increasingly important in staying competitive in the marketplace. This UX design course offers students hands-on experiences, through the use of real-world projects, that provide them with a strong portfolio of work that showcases their skills in UX/UI, visual, service, experience, and product design. Throughout this course, students will create innovative experiences that enrich their technical fluency in both web and interactive development. The course provides a foundation in art and design to help students articulate their work to stakeholders and translate outcomes as business value.

Specialty in Data Analytics

This course explores how machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are applied to solve business problems, to satisfy specific business needs, or to discover new opportunities for businesses. Applications of ML and AI are constantly evolving across many industries. This course utilizes existing AutoML solutions to address issues identified in business case studies (e.g. predicting hospital readmissions, loans likely to default, customer churn). The course covers the machine learning project life cycle starting with defining ML project objectives, acquiring and exploring data, modeling using AutoML tools, interpretation of models and communication of outcomes, and implementation and deployment of predictive models in organizations.
This course provides students with the key concepts and tools to turn raw data into useful business intelligence. A broad spectrum of business situations will be considered for which the tools of classical statistics and modern data mining have proven their usefulness. Problems considered will include such standard marketing research activities such as customer segmentation and customer preference as well as more recent issues in credit scoring, churn management, and fraud detection. Roughly half the class time will be devoted to discussions on business situations, data mining techniques, their application, and their usage. The remaining time will comprise an application laboratory in which these concepts and techniques are used and interpreted to solve realistic business problems. Some knowledge of basic marketing principles and basic data analysis is assumed.
Select one of the following:

The rapid evolution of technology has led to increasingly well-informed buyers who are connected, communicative, and more in control than ever. This course discusses the theory and practice of digital marketing and its role in building relationships and, ultimately, driving sales. It examines digital technologies and their impact on business models, the marketing mix, branding, communication strategies, and distribution channels. Emphasis is placed on contemporary topics that face today’s marketing managers – including online lead generation, search, social networking, and eCommerce – and their application within a comprehensive, integrated digital marketing strategy. The course considers the opportunities and challenges faced in business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets. It covers the latest research, current practices, and hands-on project work.
This course is designed to equip students with research methods and tools that are used for marketing decision making. Students will learn to conduct, use, apply, interpret, and present marketing research in order to become effective decision makers. The topics covered in this course include problem formulation, research design, data collection methods, data analysis, and finally presentation of a research plan. This course will be an activity-based course involving design, implementation, and presentation of a marketing research plan. Basic knowledge of marketing and statistical concepts is assumed.

Specialty in Digital Transformation

This course focuses on information technology and innovation. Topics covered are information technology and organizations, information technology and individuals (privacy, ethics, job security, job changes), information technology and information security, information technology within the organization (technology introduction and implementation, data analytics for competitive analysis), business process engineering and information technology between organizations (electronic data interchange and electronic commerce). This course provides the knowledge and skills to utilize existing and emerging information technology innovatively to create business opportunities.
Select one of the following:

The operations function in an organization is focused on the transformation processes used to produce goods or provide services. Operations design is driven by strategic values, and innovative improvements can support sustained competitive advantage. In this course, a variety of analytical and statistical techniques are introduced to develop a deep understanding of process behavior, and to use this analysis to inform process and operational designs. Topics such as process analysis and value stream mapping, postponement and global and local supply chain strategies, queuing models, and managing system constraints are covered using case studies and hands-on activities such as online simulations. Non-traditional operations systems are also explored. The skills required to model an operational system, to reduce variation and mitigate bottlenecks, to effectively present resource needs, and to adjust capacity and inventory service levels are practiced during the course. (Students cannot get credit for OIE 501 and OIE 500)
This course studies the decisions, strategies, and analytical methods in designing, analyzing, evaluating, and managing supply chains. Concepts, techniques, and frameworks for better supply chain performance are discussed, and how digital technologies enable companies to be more efficient and flexible in their internal and external operations are explored. The major content of the course is divided into three modules: supply chain integration, supply chain decisions, and supply chain management and control tools. Students will learn how to apply some of the techniques in operations research such as linear programming, dynamic programming, and decision trees to aid decision-making. A variety of instructional tools including lectures, case discussions, guest speakers, games, videos, and group projects and presentations are employed.
In this course, Lean Six Sigma is presented as an organizational improvement system and a set of process analysis and statistical tools that have helped the world’s leading organizations achieve operational excellence, saving millions of dollars and improving customer satisfaction. This course is organized in three parts: part one covers the essentials of Lean Six Sigma, including fundamental concepts and problem-solving methods; part two of the course covers Lean Six Sigma tools, including topics such as value-stream mapping, process capability, and experimental design; part three describes the major activities in a Lean Six Sigma roadmap, from identifying core processes to executing improvement projects to sustaining Lean Six Sigma gains.
Select one of the following:

This course presents specific concepts, techniques, and tools for managing projects effectively. The role of the project manager as a team leader is examined, together with important techniques for controlling cost, schedules, and performance parameters. Lectures, case studies, and projects are combined to develop skills needed by project managers in today’s environment.
This course focuses on improving the student’s understanding of the negotiation process and effectiveness as a negotiator. Emphasizes issues related to negotiating within and on behalf of organizations, the role of third parties, the sources of power within negotiation, and the impact of gender, culture, and other differences. Conducted in workshop format, combining theory and practice.
This course focuses on the role of leadership in the design and implementation of organizational change. Topics include visioning, communication, social influence, power, resiliency, and resistance to change. Teaching methods include classroom discussion of readings and cases, simulations, and experiential exercises.

Specialty in User Experience

We are living in a data-driven world. Everything we do from getting our news in the morning to buying goods and searching for information leaves trails of data across the Internet. Consumers have changed and companies need to find new ways to engage with consumers in order to stay profitable and relevant. As a working professional, you will be tasked to use data to make business decisions and develop strategies that create value for consumers and your organization. This course will introduce traditional theories of consumer behavior and then take you on a beginning journey through the dynamic practices of how to use consumer data and analytics in the digital age. Topics covered include consumer behavior theory, an examination of attitude formation and value creation, the challenges of consumer protection, market research, and the influence of technology on consumer decision making.
The UX Applications course provides an introduction to using UX methods to study user experience. The course teaches students how to use the newest research tools, including eye-tracking and emotion detection, to study user experiences of technological products and services. Students will learn how businesses can benefit from these techniques. Both theoretical concepts and practical skills will be addressed within the scope of the class through hands-on projects, class exercises, and assignments.
In today’s digital economy, understanding how people use and experience technology is crucial to designing successful technological products and services. This course covers the methodologies and tools for conducting research in the user experience (UX) field. The course covers both qualitative and quantitative methods for conducting UX research in academia and industry, including surveys, persona development, customer journey maps, and other industry-standard tools for studying user experience. Both cutting-edge theoretical concepts and proven practical skills will be addressed within the scope of the class through hands-on projects, class exercises, and assignments.

Capstone Courses

Students must complete a two-course capstone project experience as follows:

How do we navigate complex human systems in organizations? How do we foster innovation within organizations? In this course, we explore the paradoxes, opportunities, and hidden systemic challenges that arise on teams and projects, and in working across networks and within innovative organizations. Students will learn to more deftly manage the inherent challenges and opportunities of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams; work through or avoid dysfunctional team and organizational conflicts; wrestle with ambiguity and uncertainty; negotiate change by learning to work with networks of power and influence; and analyze the individual, group, organizational, and contextual dynamics that enable and constrain productive and innovative work in organizations. (Students cannot get credit for OBC 505 and OBC 500)
This course is the capstone course for the STEM-based, specialty MS programs in the Foisie School of Business. This course serves as a practical integration of the STEM-based tools, techniques, and skills and the related business theories and practices that students learned in their MS program. The medium is a major team-based project in the form of an actual corporate STEM-based business need for which students will develop solutions. Students will produce a written report that documents and provides the financial, organizational, and technical rationale for the solutions. They will also formally present their results to the project sponsors. Students are expected to have completed (or be currently completing) the course requirements for their MS program prior to taking the capstone project. While the capstone requirements are the same for all STEM-based, specialty MS programs in the Foisie School of Business, the actual content of the project will differ by sponsor and by MS program. Students must take the appropriate section of BUS 596 for each MS program they complete.