Study Options
Full-time Option

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Degree Requirements

A minimum of 12 courses is required to earn the Master of Science in Information Technology degree.

  • Six courses must be MSIT courses (i.e. courses taken on Saturday with the part-time MSIT students).
  • The other six courses must be graduate courses offered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Computer Science or other Northwestern departments and programs. All courses must be relevant to information technology, which can be decided by your adviser and the MSIT faculty board.

The ECE and CS courses listed below are suggestions to aid students in their course selections. Full-time MSIT students are required to meet with their MSIT academic adviser quarterly to receive approval for their MSIT/ECE/CS course schedules. MSIT students may take at most one 200-level course as a technical elective, if it is deemed helpful for student's career plan and with advisor approval. MSIT students may also take at most two graduate-level courses from the School od Professional Studies with advisor approval. 

Financial Management (1 Unit)

Required during the first fall quarter

Probability and Statistics (1 Unit)

Required during the first fall quarter

Communication Infrastructure (1 Unit)

Computing & Data (1 Unit)

Business Electives (2 Units)

Technical Electives (4 Units)

  • Any course listed above as a computing and data or business elective and not used to satisfy another requirement
  • Any CS/ECE graduate course
  • Technical courses from other Northwestern programs with adviser approval

Open Elective (1 Unit)

  • Any graduate level course not used to satisfy another requirement, with adviser approval

Capstone Course (1 Unit)

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Students may petition to use a different course, such as a ECE special topics course (ECE 395/495), to fulfill a requirement. The petitioned course must be in the indicated area. A student may also petition to waive a requirement if they can demonstrate that they have suitable experience in an area. If a requirement is waived, the student must still take 12 courses to graduate including at least six MSIT courses. All petitions must be signed by the student’s advisor and approved by the MSIT faculty board.

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Independent Study

With approval, students may take up to two quarters of independent study as part of their 12 courses. The course taken for independent study must still satisfy the requirement area of the course it is replacing, e.g. an independent study course in networking could be taken to satisfy the communication infrastructure requirement. Independent study can not be used in lieu of the capstone course. No more than two units of independent study can be used to satisfy the degree requirements.

Please complete the Independent Study Form if you are interested in requesting an independent study.

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Capstone Course

One of the unique features of the MSIT curriculum is the required capstone course. Taken in one of the final quarters, the capstone is intended to give students the experience of managing a business entity as its chief executive officer. In this role, students apply all the business and technology concepts learned in MSIT’s functional core courses to a case study presented by a practicing IT professional. Specifically, students learn to integrate operations management, strategic analysis, forecasting, decision making, redesign and restructuring of an enterprise. Additionally, they will demonstrate decision-making processes, report writing and presentation skills. This distinctive opportunity provides students the chance to manage the technology challenges currently facing most industries today.

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Study Groups

MSIT students find study groups to be one of the most rewarding and valuable aspects of the program, not only for the academic benefits, but for the personal and professional relationships that develop as a result.

These groups are typically composed of three to four students and usually meet once a week to discuss class material and homework, prepare for tests, and work on group projects. Study groups provide opportunities for students to harness multiple points of view for handling work-related IT problems, as well as to develop skills for managing group dynamics, often a key component to successful IT work.