Regents approve Letter of Intent for NSU master’s program in computer information systems


A Letter of Intent for a Master’s of Science in Computer Information Systems at Northwestern State University has been approved by the State Board of Regents. The degree program is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and the Board of Regents.

The 33-hour degree program would be offered completely online, the only program of its type offered by a public college or university in Louisiana. Students would take nine required classes along with two electives.

The required classes are advanced cyber security, strategic data management and analysis, advanced data communication systems, data structures and algorithm analysis, strategic information systems project management, applied project management, strategic application of enterprise software, research methods in computer information systems and research project and/or thesis.

The elective choices are emerging technologies and human-computer interaction, advanced mobile development, information assurance and decision support systems.

“This degree program will allow students to enhance their existing information technology skills,” said Curtis Penrod, coordinator of the computer information systems program. “CIS has been a growth area in the Louisiana job market for the last few years and this degree allows NSU to help meet the needs of that market.”

Three of the top 10 largest areas of growth requiring a baccalaureate degree are in the computer information system field. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree can return to college to increase computer information systems skills and develop new skills. Those who complete the adult learning and development concentration will have the skillset to teach in community colleges, technical colleges and other venues. Those without information systems backgrounds can develop new skills to change to an occupation with a higher salary and larger number of job prospects.

The master’s program would build up on Northwestern State’s nationally recognized bachelor’s program in computer information systems. Enrollment in the program has increased from 120 students to 275 in the last two years with the assistance of a grant from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and CSRA. The program was ranked first in the nation by Students in the undergraduate program have won 17 national championships in the last 17 years at the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference.