Online Master of Science in Information Technology

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Available entirely online!

Start Earning Your Advanced IT Degree Online

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for Information Technology workers is expected to continue its growth trajectory through 2018.

To respond to that need, UMass Lowell's Department of Computer Science offers a Master of Science Degree in Information Technology (MSIT) through the Division of Online and Continuing Education.

This contemporary degree is technically-focused and features cutting-edge knowledge content critical to the workforce needs of the IT industry.

Offered fully online, this degree also provides a pathway for students who have completed a Bachelor’s in Information Technology degree and for working professionals who want to pursue advanced graduate studies in information technology. The online delivery framework provides an accessible format for students juggling work and family responsibilities.

Students may also count courses in the two graduate IT certificate programs in Systems Models and Management and Network Security towards the Master’s Degree in Information Technology.

The 10-course master's degree program is designed to provide both a principled and applied exposure toward designing, managing and deploying networked systems of computers. The program places emphasis on practical skills based on Linux/Unix, Windows and Apple platforms, but also teaches general principles along with their technical and ethical foundations. Courses include general system administration, virtualization technologies, core networking, cloud computing, routing, large scale application deployment, mobile computing, security analysis and regulatory compliance.

Working professionals completing the degree program are better-prepared to fill senior level IT management and consulting positions as well as information security and IT strategic planning functions.

Program Outline

10 courses total

Systems Infrastructure Courses

Choose 2 of the following:

  1. MSIT.5110 Network and Systems Administration (3cr)
  2. MSIT.5170 Operating Systems Foundations (3cr)
  3. MSIT.5190 Virtual Systems (3cr)
  4. MSIT.5140 Systems Security and Auditing (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
Network Infrastructure Courses

Choose 2 of the following:

  1. MSIT.5600 Network Infrastructures (3cr)
  2. MSIT.5610 Computer Network Security (3cr)
  3. MSIT.5620 Digital Forensics (3cr)
  4. MSIT.5630 Secure Mobile Networks (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
  5. MSIT.5650 Cloud Computing (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
Software Management Courses

Choose 2 of the following:

  1. MSIT.5180 Large Scale application Deployment (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
  2. MSIT.5310 Project Management (3cr)
  3. MSIT.5320 Managing Large Data Sets (3cr)
Program Electives

Choose 4 additional courses from this Program Electives category or from any of the first three categories above, as long as you have not already taken the course to fulfill the above category requirements.

  1. MSIT.5350 Agile and Iterative Project Management (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
  2. MSIT.5660 Advanced Cloud Computing (3cr)
  3. MSIT.5410 Information Security, Privacy and Regulatory Compliance (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
  4. MSIT.5430 Intrusion Detection Systems (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!
  5. MSIT.5450 Designing and Building a Cybersecurity Program (3cr)
  6. MSIT.5360 Data Mining (3cr) - Available Fall 2016!

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of an undergraduate BS or BA degree from an accredited institution
  2. Mathematical Maturity: Students should have completed a minimum of one semester of precalculus mathematics, one semester of discrete mathematics and one semester of statistics as part of their undergraduate studies, or possess the equivalent experience
  3. C Programming proficiency, to include a minimum of one semester of C Programming and one semester of Data Structures, or the equivalent experience.

Note: Students who do not meet the requirements above may need to take additional undergraduate courses in order to meet the requirements.

Course Descriptions

MSIT.5110 Network and Systems Administration

This course introduces the concepts and techniques of systems and network administration. The course covers topics in a wide range from host management, network management, host and network security to automating system administration. In this course learners will be installing and configuring various popular network based services in a Linux environment. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5140 Systems Security and Auditing

This course examines the strategies for deploying and auditing secure systems. IT auditors primarily study computer systems and networks form the point of vies of examining the effectiveness of their technical and procedural controls to minimize risks. Risk analysis and the implementation of corresponding best practice control objectives will be studied. The material will include methodologies that help auditors to: Discover what's really going on at a point in time., Find out about potential problems, before it's too late to fix them., Evaluate business situations objectively., Make informed, if difficult decisions., Implement corrective actions, changes and improvements where needed. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5170 Operating Systems Foundations

This course investigates the organization and deployment of contemporary operating systems. The process model is examined both generically and in the context of the current Linux/Unix and Windows implemantations. Process attributes such as address spaces, threads, channels and handles, access rights, scheduling behaviour and states and state transitions will be studied. Memory management, deadlock management and the file system development are also evaluated. A subsystem of system configuration options will be considered during the course in order to highlight the functional deployment of the core OS issues discussed. Pre-req: BS in IT or equivalent. Cannot be used toward MS or PhD in Computer Science. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5180 Large Scale application Deployment

This course will develop a systematic framework for the life cycle management of large scale applications. Beginning with requirements assessments, and impact analysis, and continuing through regulatory compliance, lifetime maintenance, scalability concerns, and end-of-life evolution, the material in this course will characterize the stages and transitions of large scale applications. Deployment and management tools will be examined in the context of live applications, with an emphasis on convergent analysis and configuration. Several case studies will be considered, including operating systems, database applications, mailing systems and collaboration systems. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5190 Virtual Systems

This course will investigate the current state of virtualization in computing systems. Virtualization at both the hardware and software levels will be examined, with emphasis on the hypervisor configurations of systems such as Vmware, Zen and Hyper-V. The features and limitations of virtual environments will be considered, along with several case studies used to demonstrate the configuration and management of such systems. Para-virtualized software components will be analyzed and their pros and cons discussed. Processor and peripheral support for virtualization will also be examined, with a focus on emerging hardware features and the future of virtualization. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5310 Project Management

This course explores the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques that project managers use when managing information technology projects as well as the current IT factors that affect IT project management decision making. Special emphasis will be placed on learning the best practices currently used by organizations and practitioners to ensure the best chance for project success by learning and applying the concepts of managing scope, risk, budget, time, expectations, quality, people, communications, procurement, and externally provided services. Students will be expected to perform research in the above areas as well as using tools such as Microsoft Project to solve project management related problems. Special attention will also be placed on the issues affecting project managers today such as PMOs, virtualization, green IT, and out sourcing. Practical examples will be used to demonstrate the concepts and techniques, plus you will receive hands on experience by working on a case study. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5320 Managing Large Data Sets

The amount of data generated by businesses, science, Web, and social networks is growing at a very fast rate. This course will cover the algorithms and database techniques required to extract useful information from this flood of data. Data mining, which is the automatic discovery of interesting patterns and relationships in data, is a central focus of the course. Topics covered in data mining include association discovery, clustering, classification, and anomaly detection. Special emphasis will be given to techniques for data warehousing where extremely large datasets (e.g.,many terabytes) are processed. The course also covers Web mining. Topics covered include analysis of Web pages and links (like Google) and analysis of large social networks (like Facebook). 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5350 Agile and Iterative Project Management

This course explores the differences between the Traditional Project management and the Agile management approaches, introduces the principles of Agile Development through applications within each major Project Management process: Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, and Project Closing. The project will be developed in a timely manner, using Agile techniques that encourage frequent adaptation, self-organization, accountability and with a focus towards rapid delivery. upon completion, students will understand how to apply Agile principles and practices, recognize ways to increase team performance through better communication and close involvement of stake holders, and recognize the key success criteria for implementing Agile Projects. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5360 Data Mining

Today, we are surrounded by big data applications. Smartphone and sensor data, medical and scientific data, financial data, web and text data, and social network data are just a few examples. As a result, mining useful information and discovering knowledge from the big data are increasingly important. It is fair to say that, without data mining, we would not be able to make good use of this large amount of data. In this course, we learn the state-of-the-art techniques in data mining and analysis. Topics include types and properties of data, exploring data, classification, association analysis, cluster analysis, and anomaly detection. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

MSIT.5410 Information Security, Privacy and Regulatory Compliance

This course focuses on enterprise-level information security, privacy and regulatory compliance through study of the rapidly emerging Information Governance (IG) discipline which is applied to electronic documents, records management and output of information organization-wide. The key principles of IG will be examined including the security, privacy and compliance of corporate e-documents/records as well as email, social media, instant messaging, cloud computing, and mobile computing. The student will learn how IG leverages existing information technologies to enforce policies, procedures and controls to manage information risk in compliance with legal and litigation demands, external regulatory requirements, and internal governance objectives. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5430 Intrusion Detection Systems

Intrusion Detection Systems is a survey of the hardware and software techniques that are applied to the detection, identification, classification and remediation of compromised information systems. From this introduction to intrusion detection systems, students will develop a solid foundation for understanding IDS and how they function. This course will give students a background in the technology of detection network attacks. It will introduce all the concepts and procedures used for IDS (intrusion Detection Systems) and IPS (intrusion Prevention Systems). Students will have hands-on experience with implementing and configuring software and hardware based IDS in a network infrastructure. This course is designed with a network administrator in mind. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5450 Designing and Building a Cybersecurity Program

This course focuses on best practices for designing and building a comprehensive Cybersecurity Program based on the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (The Framework). The Framework was issued on February 12, 2014, as directed by President Obama in Executive Order 13636. This framework provides guidance for reducing cybersecurity risk for organizations, and this course will examine its basic tenets of: Cybersecurity Fundamentals, techniques applied to Building a Controls Factory, Cybersecurity Programs Establishing Cybersecurity Centers of Expertise and The Cybersecurity Program Implementation Roadmap. 3 credits.

MSIT.5600 Network Infrastructures

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts in the design and implementation of computer communication networks, their protocols, and applications. Topics to be covered include: an overview of network architectures, applications, network programming interfaces (e.g. sockets) , transport, congestion, routing, and data link protocols, addressing, local area networks, network management, and emerging network technologies. Cannot be used toward MS or D.Sc. in Computer Science. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5610 Computer Network Security

This course is aimed to provide students with a solid understanding of key concepts of computer network security and practical solutions to network security threats. Topics to be covered include common network security attacks, basic security models, data encryption algorithms, public-key cryptography and key management, data authentication, network security protocols in practice, wireless network security, network perimeter security and firewall technology, the art of anti-malicious software, and the art of intrusion detection. Pre-Req: BS in IT or Equivalent. Cannot be used toward MS or D.Sc. in Computer Science. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5620 Digital Forensics

Identifying, preserving and extracting electronic evidence. Students learn how to examine and recover data from operating systems, core forensic procedures for any operating or file system, understanding technical issues in acquiring computer evidence and how to conduct forensically sound examinations to preserve evidence for admission and use in legal proceedings. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5630 Secure Mobile Networks

This course covers principles and practices of wireless networks, including cellular networks, wireless LANs, ad hoc mesh networks, and sensor networks. The potential attacks against these wireless networks and the security mechanisms to defend these networks will be discussed. Topics to be covered include cellular network architecture, wide-area mobile services, wireless LANs and MACs, introduction to emerging wireless networks, survey of malicious behaviors in wireless networks, securing wireless WANs and LANs, securing wireless routing, securing mobile applications, wireless intrusion detection and prevention, challenges in securing next-generation wireless networks, and privacy issues in wireless networks. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5650 Cloud Computing

This course starts with an overview of modern distributed models, exposing the design principles, systems architecture, and innovative applications of parallel, distributed, and cloud computing systems. The course will focus on the creation and maintenance of high-performance, scalable, reliable systems, providing comprehensive coverage of distributed and cloud computing, including: Facilitating management, debugging, migration, and disaster recovery through virtualization. Clustered systems for research or ecommerce applications. Designing systems as web services. Principles of cloud computing using examples from open-source and commercial applications. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT,IT Certificate Program

MSIT.5660 Advanced Cloud Computing

This course is a continuation of the 94.565 Cloud Computing course and will cover in further detail such topics as Cloud Based Storage, Virtualization, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), High Availability, Scaling, and Mobile Devices. The course will also study the role of Open Source cloud software such as Hadoop, OpenStack and others. Similar to the first course where hands-on projects included the use of Cloud Services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Apps and App Engine, and Windows Azure, this course will continue with those services and add others such as Rackspace and VMware. Current articles and publications in this fast moving field of Cloud Computing will also be followed. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MSIT.5650. This course may be used towards UMass Lowell’s M.S. in Information Technology; it cannot be used towards UMass Lowell’s M.S. or Ph.D. in Computer Science.

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