For admission to the Graduate School, you must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Students intending to earn the MSIS should hold a bachelor's degree in information systems, information science, or other quantitative, scientific, or business discipline. Those with experience in information technology will also be considered for admission to the program. Students should have earned at least a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) in their baccalaureate program.
Although not required, scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) will be considered by the admissions committee if submitted. If the admissions committee determines an area of weakness or insufficient baccalaureate preparation, the student may be required to take one pre-program requirement course (IST 140). The pre-program requirements do not count toward the 33-credit program total.
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
What You Need
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA and Test Scores — All applicants are expected to have earned a junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
GRE or GMAT scores are NOT required for admission but will be considered if provided.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Reference (1) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering the name, email address, and mailing address of one (1) reference. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to your reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment to success in an online program. Please inform your reference that they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.
Statement of Purpose — Provide a one-page written statement of intent, highlighting academic background, work experience, skills, strengths, academic interests, and professional goals.
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
Start Your Application
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
Given the scale of data and computing used in this program and the continuous advances in tools and platforms used in information science, students are urged to check individual course technical requirements vigilantly. At a minimum, students will need a PC or laptop that runs Windows 10 or higher with 8GB of RAM and 250GB of free space on the hard drive. Mac OS machines are not compatible for most courses in the program and are not recommended.