Find your degree

Online College Plan is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
best online masters programs in management information systems

The best online master’s in Management Information Systems are often designed for professionals and offer the convenience of studying when the time is best for you.

Originally published in August 2019 and revised to reflect the latest information in January 2024.

New technologies radically transform the way our organizations work. While much of the hype around new technology is often around the “building” and adoption stages, anyone who has worked for any amount of time knows that simply getting a new technology is only part of the battle.

There’s technology that works well, and then there’s technology that works well for you. And when the time of workers, outcomes of deals, or livelihood of corporations are on the line, you need to make sure your information systems work for you to the max.

That’s where the management of information systems comes in. While information technology and computer engineering focus on the building of better technologies, information systems focus on how to build better human/computer systems.

This means attaching new technologies to key organizational metrics, tracking the result of information system changes, and keeping an eye on the “big picture” of how information systems blend into an organizational landscape.

online masters programs in management information systems, IT, business degrees

While management information systems is a relatively new academic discipline, it’s quickly jumped to the top of many organizations’ wish lists for new candidates. There may be a shortage of skilled tech workers. But there’s an even greater shortage of skilled tech workers who can also make key business and management decisions.

What’s more, as important applications of technology have multiplied, so too requires information systems professionals with knowledge of one sub-discipline within information systems. This has led to the proliferation of master-level academic programs that allow students to focus on one concentration area. Common concentrations within Master’s in Management Information Systems programs include:

  • Management Information Systems (generalist track)
  • Information Security and Management
  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Software Development
  • Project Management
  • Logistics Information Systems

With degree concentrations such as those listed above, motivated management information systems professionals can work in a wide range of roles. Common careers for management information systems graduates include:

  • online masters in management information systems, cybersecurityChief Information Officer
  • Project Manager
  • Product Owner
  • Information Security Manager
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Specialist
  • Logistics Manager

For this year, we were able to survey more online Master’s in Management Information Systems than any year prior. In narrowing down our selections, we employed a multivariate ranking system that can be broken down into the following categories.

Methodology for Ranking

  • Program financial score (33.3%): the percentage of students whose financial need was met, the robustness of the financial aid department and offerings.
  • Academic Support Measures (33.3%): including student-to-faculty ratios, average graduation rates, and time until graduation.
  • Academic Quality (33.3%): the presence of high-profile research opportunities and designations such as the NSA Center of Academic Excellence designation for cybersecurity.

Costs for schools shown below are from the National Center for Education Statistics average Tuition and Fees, choosing in-state and graduate options when available. In some cases, tuition and fee information were researched from College Data with the same options chosen. No schools are ever given preference over any others in this or any other ranking by OnlineCollegePlan.

Students considering advanced opportunities in the field might also be interested in our ranking of the 10 Best Online PhD Programs in Management Information Systems.


Spread the love
  1. MERIT: 295
    View Profile Average Cost: $40,940

    Master’s in Information Systems

    online master's degrees, stevens institute of technology, SIT

    Stevens Institute of Technology offers a multi-disciplinary, fully online master’s degree in information systems. The program is also available in person, as well as in a corporate format.

    This program is placed first in our ranking due to quality support, financial, and admissions standards, as well as the depth and flexibility of the program curriculum.

    Students in the program take courses that blend technical knowledge with management and business courses. All students within the program complete a business and an information systems core before moving on to a specialization area. Specializations in this program include:

    • Project Management
    • Software Engineering
    • Business Process and Service Innovation
    • Cybersecurity Risk Management
    • Business Analytics and Intelligence

    Stevens Institute of Technology has the distinction of being the first university in America to be wholly dedicated to studying mechanical engineering. While Stevens offers a much wider range of degrees today, they’ve kept their focus on providing top-notch training related to engineering, science, and technology for the last 130 years.

    Two governmental agency-endorsed centers of academic excellence exist within the campus including a designation for being a top educator of information assurance topics, as well as being a top research center for information assurance topics.

    More Information
  2. MERIT: 292.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $565 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Information Systems

    online masters programs, Liberty University, LU

    Liberty University offers a fully online Master of Science degree in Information Systems that places highly in our ranking due to the quality of program support metrics as well as flexibility for adult learners.

    All courses within the program are eight weeks long, which enables adult learners to squeeze in coursework when they can in more accelerated bursts.

    Additionally, the program has a lenient transfer policy, allowing up to half of the program to be transferred in for students with life experience or who have already taken some graduate courses in the discipline. Two specializations are available in the program including:

    • Information Assurance
    • Technology Management

    Liberty University holds the distinction of being the largest non-profit private university in the United States. The university is regularly lauded as one of the best universities in the nation for support for veterans, as well as one of the best universities in the nation for evangelical Christian students to find like-minded peers.

    Current enrollment is over 110,000 students in a huge range of topics for a private university. The university is known to have one of the most politically conservative student bases in America.

    More Information
  3. MERIT: 290.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,737.92

    Master of Science in Management Information Systems

    Florida State University, online masters programs, masters in management information systemsFlorida State University offers a fully online Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree that places highly in our ranking due to the quality of instruction as well as adult-student-suited program design.

    This program may be completed in as little as two years just taking two courses at a time. Curricula is interdisciplinary, lending faculty from Florida State University’s top-ranked engineering and business schools.

    Unlike some other programs in our ranking, there are no specialization tracks within this program. This means that students get to choose from a wide range of electives and tailor their course of study exactly as they wish to support personal and career goals.

    Florida State University is one of a few senior members of the Florida State University System. This large tier-one research university holds designations including being a space-grant and sea-grant university. The university has long been perceived as one of the best public universities in the southern United States and one of the top 30 in the nation.

    A variety of programs are well-regarded. In particular, programs in education, business, and law are lauded by a wide range of publications.

    More Information
  4. MERIT: 290.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $969 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Information Systems

    online masters degrees, NSU

    Nova Southeastern University offers a fully online master’s degree that places highly in this year’s ranking due to quality academic support measures as well as an adult learner-friendly format.

    The Master of Science in Information Systems program offers a wide range of unique specializations that include:

    • User Experience and Human-computer Interaction,
    • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics,
    • an Information Assurance Management cluster of courses

    Courses are offered through three terms annually allowing students to progress through their degree more quickly if they should so choose.

    Nova Southeastern University is a mid-to-large-sized (by enrollment) private university located in Florida. Nova is also known as a large provider of online degrees for those not based in Florida. The university was originally founded as a science and engineering university meant to support the robust aerospace and defense industries within the state.

    Years later, the university merged with Southeastern University of the Health Sciences, expanded its offerings to include a wide range of healthcare-related degrees, and assumed its current name.

    More Information
  5. MERIT: 289.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $19,080

    Masters in Management Information Systems

    online masters programs, management information systems degrees online, friends university

    Friends University offers a fully online Master’s in Management Information Systems degree that we’ve placed in this year’s ranking due to the quality support measures at the university as well as its adult-friendly learning measures.

    One aspect of the Friends University online master’s program that we valued was the wide range of concentration areas that students may focus on. Available focus areas include:

    • Business Administration concentration
    • MIS concentration
    • Security concentration
    • Supply Chain and Logistics concentration

    Friends University is a religiously-affiliated, Christian university with a main campus located in Wichita, Kansas. A small school, the university has less than 3,000 students at graduate and undergraduate levels. With that said, a wide range of degree offerings are available for the university’s size.

    Originally founded by Quakers, the school started as a traditional liberal arts institution. Today, degree offerings range and include business, adult and professional school, and graduate programs.

    More Information
  6. MERIT: 289.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $57,136

    Master of Science in Information Systems

    online masters degrees in information systems

    Drexel University offers a Master of Science in Information Systems, which is a fully online master’s degree, that we’ve placed in this year’s ranking due to a high level of academic support measures, an innovative course structure, and adult learner-ready presentation of program components.

    Courses are offered in 10-week quarters, which enables students to accelerate their time-until degree if they so choose. Unlike other programs in this year’s ranking, no concentrations are offered within the program. Students may instead choose from a wide range of electives to fully tailor their course of study to meet career and personal goals.

    Drexel University is a privately-held top-tier research university that houses the main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university has regularly been a leader in cultivating entrepreneurship and helps to bridge the gap between its academic programs in engineering and technology and business initiatives through a variety of programs.

    Students at the university are required to complete paid work in a real-world setting related to their degree. Additionally, a range of incubators help students compete to gain funding for real-world applications of their academic coursework.

    More Information
  7. MERIT: 289.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $35,870

    Master of Science in Information Systems and Technology

    online masters programs, UMich Dearborn, online collegeThe highly-regarded College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan Dearborn offers one of the more technical online master’s programs in this year’s ranking.

    The Master of Science in Information Systems and Technology emphasizes both business principles as well as technical topics and provides a wide range of specializations. Current specializations within the program include:

    • Web Information Management
    • Information Security and Quality
    • Supply Chain and Information System Design
    • Information Systems Engineering
    • Information Management Applications

    The University of Michigan- Dearborn is part of the University of Michigan system and is located in Dearborn, Michigan. While every campus in the UMich system is unique in the experience they offer their students, one thing they have in common is the overall high quality of the programs they offer, whether on-campus or online. Over 9,000 students currently attend the university at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

    More Information
  8. MERIT: 289
    View Profile Average Cost: $920 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Information Systems Management

    affordable online masters programs, marist college, management information systems online

    Marist College offers a Master of Science in Information Systems Management that can be taken as a fully online master’s program or in-person.

    This degree is meant for aspiring or current systems analysts, project managers, chief information officers, or cybersecurity managers. Three concentrations are offered entirely online in this program by Marist College including:

    • Computer Network and Security concentration
    • Information Systems Management concentration
    • Business Analytics concentration

    Marist College is a privately funded and historically religious university providing a comprehensive spectrum of liberal arts and related degrees. The school is small to mid-sized based on enrollment, with over 6,600 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels at last count.

    While the college has historically offered liberal arts degrees, today degree offerings span 44 bachelor’s-level programs and 12 master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines.

    More Information
  9. MERIT: 288.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $699 per credit hour

    MBA in Management Information Systems

    online master's programs, concordia university wisconsinConcordia University-Wisconsin offers a unique online master’s program within our ranking, an MBA in management information systems. Among other choices in our ranking, students seeking additional coursework in the management and business sides of information systems should be particularly pleased with this program.

    In addition to being offered online, satellite campuses across the state of Wisconsin are available for students who would like to take some (or all) of their courses in person. At 39 credit hours, the length of the program is slightly different from most MS in management information systems. However, students should rejoice that this program also steps students through a series of technical certifications related to Oracle technologies.

    Concordia University-Wisconsin is a private, religiously affiliated university that is a member of the Concordia University System. This System of schools spans several states, with most locations also providing a robust offering of online degrees. Over 7,000 students attend this mid-sized school and are busy pursuing degrees ranging from the bachelor’s to the doctoral level.

    Aside from traditional liberal arts offerings, CU-Wisconsin is known for its range of online education, business, technology, and human services degrees.

    More Information
  10. MERIT: 287.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $2,075 per credit hour

    Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management

    George Washington University offers a particularly unique online master’s degree in their Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management degree.

    This degree program hones skills related to information technology, homeland security, and cybersecurity, as well as technical skills within one fast-paced 36-credit program that can be completed in as little as 16 months.

    Among additional offerings of the program is the university’s deep alumni network among some of the largest government agencies out there. Even for students online, George Washington can be a great way to find your next job in the Beltway.

    George Washington University is a high-research activity privately-funded university with the main campus in Washington, D.C. Named after our the first president of the United States, GWU has a long history of providing valuable education to many top government officials, diplomats, and leaders within government-related roles.

    Today this world-class institution is particularly well known for programs in International Business, International Law, and Intellectual Law.

    More Information
  11. MERIT: 287.6
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,640

    Master of Science in Management Information Systems

    online master's programs,. university of illinois springfield

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, a university known for high-quality professors and small class sizes, offers an innovative and fully online program in their Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree.

    Students in the program may take any combination of in-person and fully online courses they choose. Coursework within the degree program is unique in that there are not any concentrations. There is, however, a wide range of highly technical as well as managerial coursework. For students looking for a highly curated experience taught by top-notch professors, UIS is a great choice for your MIS.

    The Springfield branch of the University of Illinois System is the newest addition to the system. This public university was instituted in the ’60s but joined the UI System in the ’90s as the dedicated liberal arts branch of the university. Roughly 5,500 students call this university “home” in 27 bachelor’s and 20 master’s disciplines. A wide range of online degree offerings have also been offered at the university since 1999.

    More Information
  12. MERIT: 287.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $427.75 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Management Information Systems

    Mississippi State University offers a fully online master’s degree with an MS in Management Information Systems that makes its way into our ranking for its top-notch support services as well as a few unique features about the program.

    All students are required to take a set of business prerequisites before moving on to core courses. This makes this program a great fit for someone without much experience in related fields or academic subjects. Once students are in their core courses, a wide sampling of electives is available.

    While there are no concentrations within this course of study, the range of electives allows students to tailor the degree to fit their own career and personal goals.

    Mississippi State University is the largest university – by enrollment – in the state of Mississippi. This land-grant-designated university provides courses and research opportunities for some 22,000+ students. As a university with an agricultural focus (MSU originally started as an agricultural and mechanical college) in a state known for agriculture, the university has played a pivotal role in spreading the advancement of practical sciences.

    Particularly well-regarded programs at the university include Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, and Engineering.

    More Information
  13. MERIT: 286.3
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,310 - 25,641

    Master of Science in Management Information Systems

    online master's programs, florida tech

    Florida Institute of Technology — known as FIT — is a known leader in online technical education and offers a fully online MS degree in Management Information Systems.

    This 33-credit hour program is offered in any arrangement of online and in-person delivery. Florida Institute of Technology isn’t only in Florida, either. Their MIS degree is offered in a range of locations with some of the highest concentrations of MIS jobs including Huntsville, Alabama, the Florida Space Coast, and broader D.C. region.

    While there are no concentrations within this course of study, students may choose from a wide range of electives to round out this course of study how they see fit.

    Florida Institute of Technology is a science and technology-centered university located within the “Space Coast” of Florida. This private research university has degree offerings in a range of fields, but over half of the students within the university are enrolled in the College of Engineering. Around 6,500 students attend the university at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

    While a large percentage of students at the university take courses online, those who take courses in person are ideally situated within one of the largest concentrations of aerospace, defense, and engineering firms in the world.

    More Information
  14. MERIT: 284
    View Profile Average Cost: $836 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Management Information Systems

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – perhaps the most well-known university related to aviation and aerospace – provides its own unique take on the online master’s programs with its Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree.

    We liked this degree program due to the university’s reputation as a technological university as well as the range of adult learner support services throughout the program. Students in the program may choose from two specializations:

    • Business Intelligence and Analytics track
    • IT Management track

    Both tracks are available fully online or at a variety of Embry-Riddle campuses. Additionally, both specializations are available on a part-time or full-time basis.

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a privately funded university system that offers degrees primarily focusing on aerospace and aviation. Noted as the largest private university to specifically focus on the sciences related to these fields, over 30,000 students currently call the university home.

    Degrees are offered at the associate’s through doctoral levels at Embry-Riddle, as well as in-person, online, and blended. For students wishing to take some courses in-person, campuses are available in Daytona Beach, Florida, as well as Prescott, Arizona.


    More Information
  15. MERIT: 284
    View Profile Average Cost: $941 per credit hour

    Master of Science in Information Management

    online master's degrees, online college

    University of Illinois (Illinois) offers a Master of Science in Information Management that is designed as a flexible online master’s program.

    Only three of the courses in the program are required:

    • Information Modeling
    • Data Statistical Models and Information
    • Socio-technical Information Systems

    Students are then afforded the freedom to tailor their degree to match their specific interests or follow one of two of Illinois’ professional pathways in data science and analytics or knowledge management and information consulting.

    Graduates of this program report loving the customizability of the program for not only advancement in their career but a deeper sense of purpose in their career.

    The University of Illinois is a public university with “very high research activity” according to Carnegie and ranks as one of the top 50 schools in the nation. This flagship university enrolls over 40,000 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1. Their academic programming is world-renowned and their global ranking according to US News is 54.

    Illinois is known for its programming in STEM subjects but some of its lesser-known accolades are equally impressive including in the arts and humanities.

    More Information

What Jobs Can You Get With a Master’s in Management Information Systems?

online masters degrees in management information systemsManagement information systems degrees are versatile, multidisciplinary degrees that blend business, management, and technical courses.

This selection of topics helps to prepare students for a range of positions that need some technical know-how, but that also need the ever-so-important understanding that technology only works when aligned with organizational objectives.

While an information technology or computer science degree may be more likely to gain you a job “making” new technology, management information systems employ the technology throughout an organization. They are also in charge of ensuring that technology projects make a meaningful impact within an organization.

Some of the most common jobs that master’s in management information systems graduates may obtain include:

  • Systems Analyst
  • online master's degrees, management information systems degrees onlineInformation Technology Project Manager
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Product Owner
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Manager
  • UX Researcher
  • IT Sales Manager

The unique aspect of an MIS degree is that it provides you with many more directions in which you can go than more technical degrees. While you can continue to hone technical skills and move in that direction, the elements of business and management within your program can help to move you up the corporate ladder in other paths as well.

What is an MS in Management Information Systems?

management information systems masters degreesAn MS in Management Information Systems degree is a professional master of science degree. Professional master’s are different from research master’s in that they tend to focus on applied learning that students can immediately take into the workplace.

In research master’s, students are often preparing for a doctorate within the same subject, and are often required to complete a thesis (and sometimes teach courses). Oftentimes professional master’s are more career-centered and can be completed even more quickly.

MS in Management Information Systems typically requires 30-36 credit hours, and most programs can be completed within 2 years. While all courses of study require some core requirements, programs will differ in that some will give students a choice to choose from a wide range of electives, while others will provide a choice between prescribed specializations. Among specializations offered within management information systems degrees, some of the most common include:

  • online masters degreesCybersecurity
  • Application Development
  • Mobile and Web Applications
  • Logistics Information Systems
  • Project Management
  • Among Others

In Management Information Systems Master’s degrees, you’ll take some business coursework, some project management coursework, and a good number of technical courses.

Is MIS a STEM Degree?

online master's programs, STEM degreesSTEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Generally speaking, many employers value STEM program graduates or simply graduates with STEM skills for their versatility and ability to problem solve.

MIS degrees are multidisciplinary. The range of topics within most management information systems degrees means that not every course you’ll take within an MIS program will be under the STEM designation.

With that said, you will likely take courses in the following disciplines:

  • Science: economics courses, business courses, psychology
  • Technology: a wide range of courses
  • Engineering: some courses depending on your track
  • Math: graduate statistics in some programs

If you are particularly interested in a rigorous quantitative education through an MIS degree, then you may want to pursue a program that has a concentration related to data science. Common concentrations in this area are called business analysis, data analysis, or business intelligence tracks.

Additionally, some master’s in MIS programs do designate that they are entirely STEM programs. Browse through some of the offerings in OnlineCollegePlan’s ranking above to find STEM-centered MIS degrees that may fit your needs.

What Is the Purpose of Management Information Systems?

Management information systems is the study of organizations, technology, and people. This multidisciplinary field doesn’t just look at how to make technology “work,” but rather how to best isolate and solve real problems with technology.

online master's programs in management information systemsSkilled management information systems workers including data analysts, project managers, cybersecurity analysts, and more, are tasked with not only knowing the technical underpinnings of a set of technology products but seeing how they fit into the broader equation of personal and organizational use.

Put in other terms, the purpose of management information systems is to erect and maintain information systems that solve real problems. Today, nearly every component of every organization uses an information system of some sort. Accounting uses information systems to track expenses.

Sales teams use information systems to track leads and conversion. Management uses information systems to track the status of projects. Human Resources use information systems to onboard, hire, and fire employees. Cashiers use information systems to stock shelves and “check out” customers. And so forth.

online master's degrees in information systemsThe job of information systems professionals is to ensure that this myriad of systems performs as expected. Furthermore, the job of information systems professionals is to make sure that information systems are progressing to solve not only problems we know we have but those we haven’t even realized we have yet.

What is the Difference Between an MIS and an IT Degree?

online master's degrees in management information systemsInformation technology and management information systems are disciplines that may work on the same problems but from very different vantage points.

While information technology degrees are focused on questions related to how technology works (and how to fix it), management information systems degrees are interested in questions related to how businesses and people work with technology.

Management information systems wouldn’t be a particularly useful discipline without the many innovations created by information technology professionals.

With that said, the many innovative creations of information technology professionals wouldn’t work for organizations nearly as well without management information systems professionals.

As far as coursework differences between the two degree types, you’re much more likely to take the following courses in an MIS degree:

  • online masters programs, business degreesBusiness
  • Economics
  • Data Analysis
  • Project Management

With that said, there is a good deal of overlap. Many MIS programs offer specializations in areas that have traditionally been taught in IT programs. These include cybersecurity, information assurance, and networking technologies.

While you can work your way into many of the same positions with an MIS and IT degree, MIS degrees are more geared towards preparing analysts and managers, while IT degrees are more geared towards creating support workers, technicians, administrators, and technology specialists.

Need More? OnlineCollegePlan has it!

If you aren’t ready to commit to getting your online master’s degree in management information systems or simply want to check out other information about online college, feel free to use the links below or browse around.