Master of Professional Studies in Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture — Strategy, Business, and Planning

Enterprise architecture (EA) is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key requirements, principles, and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution and transformation. This transformation process entails the analysis and design of an enterprise in its current and future states from a strategic, organizational, and technological perspective. The goals of EA are to improve the organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and agility by delivering business-aligned enterprise systems.

At the core of modern-day enterprise architecture is finding better, more effective ways to analyze, design, and implement solutions that support the business capabilities of the organization. In addition, EA provides an analysis and planning discipline to help ensure that enterprise systems have the agility needed to align with and support changes in business strategy and underlying business capabilities.

The EA process produces several things of value to the organization:

  • a clear understanding of the strategic requirements of the enterprise
  • models of the future state, which illustrate what the enterprise should look like across all EA viewpoints in support of the business strategy
  • a road map of the change initiatives required to reach that future state
  • the requirements, principles, standards, and guidelines that will steer the implementation of change initiatives

EA is an important transformational resource for any organization, large or small, in providing the enterprise-wide view needed to effectively develop and utilize systems and technology for competitive advantage.

Why Enterprise Architecture at Penn State

The successful EA professional requires a unique combination of skills and perspectives. These professionals need to integrate strategic, business, and technology planning methods with an ability to understand, analyze, justify, and communicate the solution of enterprise architecture problems.

Penn State's online Master of Professional Studies in Enterprise Architecture (MPS in EA) program bridges many disciplines needed for success. The enterprise architecture degree is not focused solely on the technocentric side of enterprise architecture; it is an interdisciplinary degree that covers business and engineering, information sciences, and project/portfolio management, offering you a broader, more comprehensive perspective.

Providing a focal point for research and education in this evolving discipline, Penn State's Center for Enterprise Architecture was launched in January 2011 and bolsters current College of Information Sciences and Technology degrees and supports the college's ongoing efforts to develop and deliver new curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In addition to the master's degree program, World Campus offers a 9-credit graduate certificate in enterprise architecture, composed of courses from the master's core curriculum. If you choose to begin with the certificate program, the credits you earn may be applied to the master's degree in enterprise architecture.

Along the way to earning a master’s degree in EA, you can further enhance your résumé by earning a certificate in project management. The 12-credit certificate uses problem-based learning to provide a strong foundation in project management theory and practice. The program is AACSB accredited, and Penn State is a Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), so your certificate will be a well-respected credential. To earn the Graduate Certificate in Project Managment, you must apply for it separately. 

Who Should Apply?

The MPS in EA program is multidisciplinary in nature, designed for working professionals with a variety of backgrounds, including information technology, business, engineering, and others (liberal arts, political science, and education). The courses are offered in a flexible, online delivery format to meet the needs of postgraduate students who are employed full-time, as well as the needs of the international student. If you want to enhance your professional competencies, advance your career, and position yourself to take on greater roles or change careers altogether, the MPS in EA is an excellent choice for you.

Career Opportunities

One of the many advantages of enterprise architecture is its application to a host of positions and opportunities. Although a relatively new career field in many organizations, EA is rapidly evolving, and many career paths are emerging. EA professionals are found in all types of organizations and industries today, including:

  • federal government
  • defense
  • aerospace
  • health care
  • insurance
  • financial services
  • pharmaceuticals
  • telecommunications
  • consulting

The Penn State Advantage

Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology is a leader among an emerging group in higher education known as i-schools, or information schools. Your faculty members in this online program are the same faculty who teach our respected on-campus programs. They are a diverse group of thought leaders from numerous fields, including business, information science, computer science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and more.

You can expect:

  • an academically rigorous, yet career-focused curriculum
  • courses taught by highly respected faculty members
  • access to a full range of student support services
  • technology to support your learning goals, not simply for convenience

When you have successfully completed this program, you will receive the same Penn State diploma that all of our graduates receive. You will become part of a worldwide network of alumni and can choose to join the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world with more than 160,000 members.

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about the Penn State World Campus.