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Master of Science in Information Technology

The Master of Science in Information Technology (MIT) program prepares students for leadership roles in the IT industry. The program provides knowledge and skills across the entire range of topics in the industry – systems engineering, decision-making for IT, ethics and law, computer networking, database technologies, IT governance and strategy, Web development, and information assurance.

The core of the program is focused on building a foundation of critical thinking skills on which to make professional judgments and design and implement solutions aligned with business needs. The MIT program builds these thinking skills through a solid understanding of theoretical methods, principles, and tools and an examination of fundamental information technology issues and processes. Topics include systems engineering, decision-making for IT, ethics and law, computer networking, database technologies, IT governance and strategy, Web development, and information assurance.

Faculty with both academic and industry backgrounds also provide practical perspective. Real-world problems and opportunities with software intensive systems are explored, and methods to evaluate, adopt and take advantage of emerging technologies are learned. MIT students will be working closely with fellow IT professionals, to complete class assignments within teams, in order to prepare students for the real-world work environment and build their professional networks.

Possible career path: Network Administrator, Network Architect, IT Manager, Chief Technology Officer, Network and Security Engineer, Web Developer, Integration Engineer, Network and Systems Administrator.

Degree Requirement

The program consists of seven (7) Core Courses and five (5) Elective courses. The elective courses provide the opportunity for the students to develop further competencies covered in the core courses, based on their area of interest.

Credit Requirements

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core Courses 7 21
Electives Courses 5 15
Total 12 36

Pre-MIT Program

Students who have earned their bachelor’s degrees with less than 120 undergraduate credit hours can be given conditional admission to the MIT program, provided they enroll in and successfully complete the remaining credit hours by selecting from the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BCS) undergraduate courses offered at VIU. Among the 120 required credit hours, the MIT program prerequisite courses must be fulfilled. Before choosing the Pre-MIT courses, students must consult their academic advisor who will advise them on the appropriate course selections from VIU’s BCS program while complying with MIT program prerequisites. Successful completion of the Pre-MIT courses will allow these students to complete the undergraduate credit hour requirement of 120, and enter into the program..

Core Courses

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 110 Introduction to Computing 3
CMP 120 Programming Logic 3
CMP 210 Programming I 3
CMP 220 Programming II 3
CMP 230 Discrete Mathematical Methods for Computing 3
CMP 250 Computer Architecture 3
CMP 260 Operating Systems 3
CMP 330 Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis 3

Elective Courses:

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 130 Ethical, Societal, and Legal Aspects of Computing 3
CMP 340 Principles of Programming Languages 3
CMP 355 Programming with C/C++ 3
CMP 360 Web Development Methods 3

Additional prerequisite courses may be required in order to register for some MIT electives.

Objectives

The program objectives fall in two general categories: technical and organizational. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. In the technical domain:
    • Utilize a methodological approach to system design and implementation.
    • Develop architectural solutions for computer systems and associated technologies.
    • Develop applications using database technologies.
    • Implement and maintain networking and system infrastructure.
    • Apply problem solving skills in web site development, web-database integration, and network and system administration.
    • Develop depth in a selected area of expertise.
  2. In the organizational domain:
    • Contribute to business processes through a process of analysis, design, and optimization in response to organizational needs.
    • Interact effectively within the organization.
    • Communicate effectively in oral, written, and graphical modes.
Prerequisite Courses

All new MIT students need certain basic skills to succeed in the MIT program. Students who do not have the requisite background in computing need to take some or all of the prerequisite courses before they begin work on the core courses. In some cases, the program prerequisite courses may have course prerequisites to be taken before enrolling in the program prerequisite courses.

Course Code Course Name Credit
CMP 220
Prerequisite: CMP 120
This course concentrates on the concepts of object oriented programming (OOP) paradigm. Concepts presented are exemplified using a selected object oriented programming language. Topics include: fundamental abstraction, modularity and encapsulation mechanisms in OOP, classes, inheritance, polymorphism, exception handling, concurrent programming, data structures. Students complete a term project that utilizes object oriented programming.
3
CMP 260
Prerequisite: CMP 110
The course is an introduction to the fundamentals of operating systems. Topics included: concurrent processes and synchronization mechanisms; processor scheduling; memory management, virtual memory; paging, file management; I/O management; deadlock management; interrupt structures, interrupt processing; device management; performance of operating systems; synchronization in a multi-programmed OS and with virtual memory management. Formal principles are illustrated with examples and case studies of one or more contemporary operating systems.
3
CMP 270
Prerequisite: CMP 110
This course includes the fundamentals of network standards, concepts, topologies and terminologies including LANs, WANs, Internet Protocol (IP) addressing, subnet masking and network design, and various protocols. This course teaches concepts from the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Networking Reference Model, developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO) to describe the function and structure of network communications protocols.
3
CMP 350
Prerequisite: None
This course introduces the fundamental concepts for design and development of database systems. Topics include: review of relational data model and the relational manipulation languages SQL and QBE; integrity constraints; logical database design, dependency theory and normalization; query processing and optimization; transaction processing, concurrency control, recovery, and security issues in database systems; object-oriented and object-relational databases; distributed databases; emerging database applications.
3

Core Courses

Core Courses provide students with the skills and knowledge that all computer scientists need to succeed. Each candidate must complete the following seven Core Courses.

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 511
Prerequisite:CMP 250/CMP 260
This course surveys architecture and organization of modern computing systems including: CPU design, instruction sets, memory hierarchy, pipelined machines, and multiprocessors. The emphasis is on the major component subsystems of high performance computers: pipelining, instruction level parallelism, thread-level parallelism, memory hierarchies, input /output, and network-oriented interconnections. This course introduces techniques and tools for quantitative analysis, evaluation, and implementation of modern computing systems and their components.
3
CMP 540
Prerequisite:None
This course provides in - depth coverage of the role of information systems in business organizations, with a focus on their applications and current issues facing managers and users. Lectures , discussions, presentations and student project work will promote an understanding of the strategic importance of information systems, their impact on people and organizations, the many ways they can improve work practices, and the ways they can improve p roducts and services.
3
CMP 553
Prerequisite: None
This course provides an overview of the systems development life cycle. It introduces tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems and the management and organizational skills needed for their implementation. Information analysis in entity-relationship modeling and process modeling in data flow diagrams will be covered as the key skills in structured system analysis and design.
3
CMP 556
Prerequisite:CMP 350
This course provides an introduction to relational models, normalization, query facilities, transactions, indexing, security issues, relational algebra, SQL database design stages, distributed databases, data warehousing, data and database administration, the JSON data inter-change format, and Internet database environments. Students will learn about various DBMS software products and multi-user database environments and how they are controlled.
3
CMP 559
Prerequisite: CMP 540/CMP 550
The course provides an overview of several related topics in information security and assurance. The topics covered include: security architecture, security models, access control systems and methodology, applications and systems security, operation security, database security, cryptography, physical security, network and Internet security, business continuity planning, security management and law and ethics in information assurance.
3
CMP 562
Prerequisite: CMP 270
This course examines data communication and computer networks. Topics include interconnection of networks, network hardware and software, reference models, data communication services and network standardization; the OSI and the Internet (TCP/IP) network models; encoding digital and analog signals, transmission media, protocols; circuit, packet, message, switching techniques, internetworking devices, topologies; routing algorithms, routers, switches, bridges, addressing and names; LANs/WANs, Ethernet, IP, TCP, UDP; the application layer protocols: HTTP, TELNET, SMTP, FTP, and SNMP; cloud computing architectures; and the domain name services. The course covers each network layer in details, starting from the physical layer towards the application layer, and includes an introduction to network security topics.
3
CMP 663
Prerequisite: CMP553 or CMP561 Internship / CPT Qualified
This course overviews the processes and techniques for developing software for web applications. The concepts of client - server computing in e - commerce theories of usable graphical user interfaces and models for web - based information retrieval and processing are covered. Students study approaches for evaluating and using various common software tools and languages.
3

Elective Courses
In addition to the Core Courses, students are required to choose five (5) additional Elective Courses (15 credits), according to their interests, from the following:

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 558
CMP 550/ CMP 562
3
CMP 560
Prerequisite:None
3
CMP 570
Prerequisite: CMP 550 or CMP556
This course provides a process-oriented view of the organization and its relationships with suppliers, customers, and competitors. The topics covered include: processes as vehicles for achieving strategic objectives and gaining a competitive advantage and transforming the organization; process analysis, design, implementation, control and monitoring; processes as a means of achieving compliance; impact of processes on work and work practices; the role and importance of management; the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems; the process continuum: from structured to unstructured processes; the role of systems in transforming organizations and markets; outsourcing, offshore management, acquisition management and global perspectives.
3
CMP 620
Prerequisite: None
Internship / CPT Qualified

This course presents an integrated approach to IT governance. It discusses major roadmaps components and IT Governance strategies and frameworks. Topics include strategic alignment of IT with the business, use of assets and resources, delivering on plans and commitments, establishing and/or improving accountability of constituents, managing risk and contingencies, audits, compliance, performance measures and organizational maturity.
3
CMP 630
Prerequisite: Prerequisite: CMP 550/CMP 562
Internship / CPT Qualified

This course examines computer network forensics. The topics covered include digital evidence concepts relating to a digital crime scene; the identification, preservation, collection, examination, analysis, and presentation of evidence for prosecution purposes; network forensics investigative methodology (OSCAR); sources of network-based evidence; evidence acquisition, packet analysis, statistical flow analysis, and wireless network forensics; network intrusion detection and analysis, event log aggregation, correlation and analysis; and malware forensics. The course also studies auditing and compliance requirements and standards, strategies for achieving and maintaining the same, and the laws and ethics related to computer forensics and challenges in computer forensics.
3
CMP 641
Prerequisite:CMP 260
This course discusses the design and implementation of computer operating systems. Topics include operating system structures, functions of the kernel, process management, CPU scheduling, deadlocks, memory management, input/output, file system facilities, concurrent processes, security, and integrity.
3
CMP 674
Prerequisite: Dean’s approval Internship / CPT Qualified
This course will cover topics of current interest selected by the faculty. Subjects will be announced before each semester.
3
CMP 680
Prerequisite: None
This course discusses the organizational impact and the social implications, rights and duties related to the actions of computing professionals. It investigates the context in which professionals work, the laws and how they are created, human aspects of running a company, software contracts and liability, intellectual property rights, and the legislation that affects the way in which computers are used or misused. Topics include social, legal, financial, organizational and ethical issues in the context of the IT industry; the role of professional codes of conduct and ethics; and, key legislation.
3
CMP 591
Prerequisite: All core courses, Dean’s approval (plus one specialization elective course for MCS & MIS Program students)
This course represents an opportunity for students receive academic credit through supervised practical training and earn industry experience in an actual work environment. The internship course guides the learning contract established in the beginning of the term, on which students have to report at the end of term. Students are expected to work at least 135 hours per semester. Students are required to attend two meetings/seminars with their faculty advisor to determine learning objectives and assess how well learning objectives are being accomplished.
3
CMP 691
Prerequisite: All core courses, Dean’s approval (plus two specialization elective courses for MCS & MIS Program students)
This course offers hands-on experience to students enrolled in MIS or MCS degrees in a domain close to their main career path intentions. Students are encouraged to pursue projects that would allow them to apply engineering design concepts gained in the classroom; going through all stages of system development, from analysis and design to implementation and testing. This three (3) credit hour project internship is for students who are expected to work a minimum of 135 hours during the semester. Students are required to attend two meetings/seminars with their faculty advisor to determine learning objectives and assess how well learning objectives are being accomplished.
3
CMP 696
Prerequisite: Dean’s approval
Offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student; and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term.
3
CMP 697
Prerequisite: Dean's permission.
Offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student; and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term.
3
CMP 698
Prerequisite:All core courses, academic advisor’s approval
Students may choose this thesis option or take two elective courses. The thesis work can comprise basic research or a practical project. Students are encouraged to start their thesis work as early as possible. Usually after completing two semesters of course work, the student will be asked to work with a faculty advisor to choose a suitable master's thesis topic and prepare a thesis proposal.
3
CMP 699
Prerequisite: CMP 698
CMP 699 is a continuation of CMP 698: Master Thesis I. Students can take this thesis option after completion. The thesis work can comprise basic research or a practical project.
3
CMP 600
Prerequisite: None
In-depth exploration and assessment of career values, occupational interests, skills, personality style, work environment preferences; concentration and career exploration; exposure to career and occupational information resources. Students learn and practice job search strategies and tools, including resumes and interviewing skills; decision-making, goal-setting and action planning; and self-marketing techniques for effective career management.
3

The School of Computer Information Systems at VIU also offers other graduate degree and certificate programs in our Fairfax, VA campus and online .