MSI degree components

The MSI is a 48-credit degree program, which takes 2 years to complete on a full-time basis and 3-4 years if completed part-time. The MSI degree includes several components that ensure a substantial academic program yet allow for flexibility. Some requirements offer a waiver option. Waivers do not reduce the 48-credits required for the degree but enable you to choose another course of interest. See below for further details.


MSI students complete two foundations courses. The foundations provide an understanding of the theories and concepts important for all information professionals, hands-on practice in evaluating and meeting information needs in a project setting, and grounding in the network and computing technology central to the information professions. These courses are:

  • SI 501: Contextual Inquiry and Project Management (3)
  • SI 502: Networked Computing: Storage, Communication, and Processing (3)

(Note: SI 502 may be waived based on previous coursework. View the SI 502 waiver policy.)

Management and research methods distributions

Complete 3 credits from approved course lists, or request waivers based on previous coursework (graduate level) taken in the past 5 years with a grade of B or better. With approval, you may substitute a relevant UM cognate course with a grade of B- or better.

If you seek a waiver of the Management and/or Methods Distribution Requirement, send your request to Include your name, UMID, relevant course description/s (syllabus if available), and an unofficial transcript.

Management Distribution Requirement (3 credits)
The goal of this requirement is to prepare students for managerial aspects of their future roles, such as planning, leading, organizing, and controlling. Approved courses focus on learning about and applying management strategies related to getting things done through people or other organizational resources.  A course meeting the management distribution criteria would:

  1. Focus on learning about managing one or more organizational resource (e.g. financial, human, technological, etc.)
  2. Apply learning to practical problems managers face in everyday work (through discussion, case studies, assignments, etc.) and
  3. Discuss the implications of managerial functions such as planning, leading, organizing, and controlling the organization and its resources.

Courses approved to fulfill the management distribution:

  • SI 523 Information and Control (3)
  • SI 530 Principles in Management (3)
  • SI 534 Theories of Social Influence (3)
  • SI 617 Choice Architecture (3)
  • SI 627 Managing the Information Technology Organization (3)
  • SI 631 Agile Software Development for Content Management Systems (1.5) *** The course alone will not meet the requirement, but will count as 1.5 credits towards the 3-credit requirement.
  • SI 661 Managing Health Informatics (3)
  • SI 663 Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry (3)

Research Methods Distribution Requirement (3 credits)
The goal of this requirement is to prepare students to carry out activities of collecting and analyzing information in order to produce or validate new knowledge, such as training in field research, program evaluation, computer simulation, or statistical or economic analysis.

Courses approved to fulfill the research methods distribution:

  • SI 525 Empirical Methods for Health Informatics (3)
  • SI 544 Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (3)
  • SI 563 Game Theory (3)
  • SI 618 Data Manipulation and Analysis (3)

  • SI 622 Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation (4)
  • SI 623 Research Methods for Information Professionals (3)


Each specialization includes 12-18 credits of required and optional coursework. You may complete one or two specializations; courses on two specialization course lists may count for both. See MSI Specializations for additional details.

Practical engagement

Six of your 48 MSI credits must also meet the requirements of the UMSI Internship Program. You fulfill the UMSI Internship Program requirement through credit-based internships. Visit the UMSI Internship Program page for additional details.


You must complete a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 cognate credits (graduate level coursework outside of SI or cross-listed with another department as long as SI is NOT the home department) with a grade of B- or better. Learn more and see a list of UMSI student-recommended cognate courses.


Each student must accrue 48 credits for the MSI degree. Some students have more focused interests and choose to take additional credits in their area of specialization, while others select electives to diversify their skills and knowledge. If you complete two specializations, your second area will likely cover your available electives.