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MS in MIS vs CS (Computer Sciences) in USA ? Courses of MIS vs Computer Science ?

One of the most confusing things that many Computer Sciences B.Tech Students or anyone with a degree in Computer Sciences when applying to US Universities for MS is “ Should I apply for MS in Computer Sciences or MS in Management information Systems (MIS) ?” . It can be very confusing, personally I hold an MS in Computer Sciences. I hope to  explain some of the differences between Computer Sciences Vs Management Information Systems.  If you not sure of MBA or MS after B.Tech, then you may want to read this article Should I study/apply for MS or MBA in US after B.Tech/ B.Com ? Which is better ?

MS in Computer Sciences (CS) vs MS in Management Information Systems(MIS)

If you look closely at the titles of MIS and CS, you can couple of obvious keywords: one has Science and other has Management. Just as a layman without any knowledge of the degree, what do we get out of that?  One is a more Science related degree, means you are going to learn everything about Computers and how they work and other is a Management related degree with managing information Systems in Businesses.

What  does MS in Computer Sciences ( CS ) cover ?

Continuing our thought process, if you join MS in CS, you learn everything about Computers as a science. You learn advanced concepts of How Advanced Databases work, how the Advanced Operating systems work, How to write compilers, Various Algorithms, Advanced Research Methods, Advanced Programming Languages, Advanced Architectures, Advanced Network security, Artificial Intelligence, etc…   Also, you have an option to do research, if you do so then you choose Thesis option. Some universities, it is mandatory and some Universities it is not. So, it depends. But, if you choose not to do Thesis, you will do capstone(final) project instead in last semester.

What does MS in Management Information Systems (MIS) cover ?

MS in MIS is nothing but Management of Information systems. Think about it, every business collects information and uses information systems for that purpose, as an MIS graduate you will study how to store, search or use the information systems to benefit Managers, Organizations, employees, customers, etc. The point is, you are focused on the actual business side of information gathering and management to maximize the profit for company. You will study information about how to design the systems architecture to support the business, what infrastructure to use for your global systems, How to Manage IT projects, How to do enterprise models, database concepts for business, etc.  There might be some overlap with classes, but the goal of the course is to help you manage information systems in the Corporation and NOT to train  you to become a programmer or researcher.  In some of the program, you might have Accounting,  Finance classes, etc depending on the program at the school. They also offer with various names like MS in Information Technology management, Information Management. You may also read TAMU’s article on What is Management Information Systems (MIS )? 

Sample Curriculum or Program Information of MS in CS and MIS :

You may browse the below links to get some idea on the kinds of classes you take in CS and MIS and how they differ at various universities.

GRE or GMAT for MIS ?

For Computer Sciences MS, everyone knows that you need to take GRE. But when it comes to MIS it is a little different, depending on the school, they accept GMAT or GRE. The reason is, typically MIS  is offered  by the School of Business and CS program is offered by School of Science and Engineering.   Previously, as you know for most of the Business schools, GMAT was very much a requirement. But,  with recent changes, some Business schools are starting to accepting GRE too.  Anyways, some schools say you have to to take GMAT and some schools say you have to take GRE. So, there is no generalised rule and it is a preference from the Business School.  You will have to check the respective schools programs or look at ETS website for more info.  Here is the list of  MBA Programs that accept GRE General Test. It is very much possible that these list of schools that accept GRE for MBA  will also accept GRE for MIS, but for others it depends.  Either case, you have to double check.

To keep the articles short and crisp, check the continuation of this article :  Careers of MS in MIS vs CS (Computer Sciences) in USA ? MIS Careers ?

Image Credits : http://www.flickr.com/photos/mybloodyself/2225047118/


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  1. Hi Kumar,

    I have completed my BE in EEE (2016 passed) and currently working under management team and also a manual tester in Telecom company. I want to persue MIS . Do we study Python or any other coding subjects (CS related subjects)while persuing MIS ?
    what all subjects do we study in MIS ?

  2. I have completed BSc(Computer Science) and now I am studying SY MBA and choosen IT as special subject. I want to do MS in MIS. Please tell me that I am elligible or not.
    Thank You in Advance.

    • Aishwarya,
      Yes, you are eligible. The question is why do you want to study MIS again as you will get an MBA. Take some time to think on the need and then make an informed decision.

  3. I am btech in EEE 74% , senior secondary with 94% gre score 311 . Working in a MNC as system analyst .My interest is in coding and mathematics .Will this course help me

  4. I complted btech in cse.I opted a university that does not provide CS,so applied for IT.university questioned me y I had to choose IT..can u help me regarding this issue.

    • Well, you can tell the truth. In my view, you need to do something that you are passionate about…You should not choose a degree just like that. Take time to think about what you want and then apply to school that offers the same.

  5. If I take IELTS exam will it possible for me to get an admission in VIU in MIS for a CS graduate. Please reply me anyone for this post.

  6. Hie..
    I have done BMS and also done diploma in HR from welingkars.Just to get esscence of hr,but im sure i dnt wanna do dt. I am also doin mcom ryt now.

    So the ultimate dream is to go to US AND DO MASTERS/MBA AND EARN MONEY THRU A GOOD JOB.
    but im confused wether to do masters in finance or masters in information systems
    Coz both are intresting for me….but do u think i can opt for masters in information systems ? Like my background is off management! Will they entertain me or should i drop d option! Am i eligible to do so?

  7. Hi kumar,

    This is sai recently i complted my MBA and my graduation is Bsc computers now i planning for MIS in us .is it right decission or not? If it is wrong please suggest me what is right and i interested to further stufies in us

  8. Can anyone please let me know, what kind of degree BITS university alloting if i complete masters in software engineering. Is it a MS or Mtech.

  9. Hey,
    I have taken GRE and scored 304, yet to take TOEFL. Undergrad: 7/10. I have 2 years of experience of developing my own student platform which is Live (If that is considered).

    First thing I would like to know that what are the job opportunities MIS grads and also how much does the salary vary between MIS and CS undergrads? I know there’s not to the point answer for this but on I would like to know your opinion on it. Also if you could suggest some UNIVs for MIS with regard to my profile that would be great.

  10. Hi guys,

    My profile :-

    10th = 58% – Maharashtra board.

    Diploma in IT = 74% – Maharashtra board.

    B.E. Computer = 60% – Pune University.

    I have 2 years gap during my education due to some medical issue.

    And currently I am working in IT company as a Quality Analyst ( Software Test Engineer ) – 2 Years experience.

    I am very strong in my technical domain.

    My questions are,

    1) Can i get admission in top 10 University if I get 320+ score in GRE and 100+ score in TOEFL?

    Will my academic records become problematic for my admission and scholarship??

    2) And after MS I want to continue my career in Testing / quality management field / software security so which course should I choose? and jobs availability and payscales for the same.

    Name of universities who offers that course.

    One more thins is,

    I am going to marry soon, so can i take my wife with me in US? ( Spouse visa )

    If yes then tell me avg. total cost of living for both.

    please answer my questions.

    Thanks in Advance. 🙂

  11. Hi… this is Jo am little bit confused please help me in taking good decision.My specialization is maths,commerce interested in management side, but obviously am from computers background . what i have to do ?? can i prefer MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS,is it useful for me in future??

  12. Hi,
    I’m 2.5 years experienced in a Software company with engineering background.I’m planning to write GRE in October.Can you please suggest some good universities for MS. I’m sure i can score around 300 -320.Thanks in advance.

      • Arizona State University
        Brigham Young University
        Carnegie Mellon University
        Florida International University
        Florida State University
        Miami Dade College
        Ohio State University-Main Campus
        Oklahoma state Univ, Stillwater
        Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
        Purdue University-Main Campus
        Temple University
        Texas A & M University
        The University of Texas at Austin
        Univ of Illiniois Chicago
        Univ of Illiniois, Springfield
        University of Arizona
        University of Central Florida
        University of Houston
        University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
        University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
        University of North Texas
        University of South Florida
        University of Washington-Seattle Campus
        University of Wisconsin-Madison
        University of South florida ( USF)

    • This was originally written in 2010 and NOT Copied. If you were to see it somewhere, let me know, they should have copied from here !

  13. Hi,

    I want to do MIS In US(Mangement Information System)… But I am from Hotel & Marketing background…. as i see lot of scope in MIS i want to do. Can you please advise me on this and at the same time if doing any specilisation in marketing or branding what sort of future i will be having in US

  14. i hav completed b.tech in ECE but i want to do masters in CS,is there any problem with non background course & in the visa interveiw as well? plz any one suggest me.

  15. Iam planning to do my masters in computer science in national university california. I have done my b.com and MBA in international business.post the same I have been working in the ad industry as a media planner for the past 4 years. I want to know will there be any complication in getting my visa since iam from a non cs background. The reason why I want to pursue and develop my knowledge in computers is solely due to the interest I have developed over the years. I even have gone through the basics of c,c++ and java. Pls advice me whether I can apply for the same course for getting visa or should I apply to some different related course for simplifying the visa process

  16. I got following results
    GRE = 284
    IELTS = 5.5

    10th = 81%
    Intermediate = 80%
    B.Tect =55.42%
    with these results can I get Admission in US Universities and is there any problems will I face in VISA Interviews.

  17. Kumar,

    I gave my GRE scored 299 and yet to take Toefl
    Work exp : 3+ as Oracle Apps DBA
    Have four global IT certifications plus decent extra curricular activities
    10th : 68
    12th: 82
    UG : 72

    What are my chances for getting admissions in good colleges in US for MIS.

  18. HI,
    I M MSC in Computers from Pune University and Having 6 yrs of Experience in IT as software Engineer. I want to go for higher Education ,which is i am unable to decide for MS or MBA.
    AS I know MS course have financial aid available from US universities like -TA,RA.
    but for MBA no such things available.
    Please suggest I am unable to take right decision.

  19. hello sir,
    im currently pursuing B.E. in information technology. My programming skills are not good and surviving IT with aggregate of 60% (till 6th sem). Im planning to do MS in US but not able to decide between MIS and MEM. Will MEM be too very different to pursue for a person from IT background? and please gist me with what will be the job profile for MIS and MEM ? will MIS include programming for developing software for database management?

  20. hey my GRE score is around 300 and my engg %is 73.Will i be getin a good university of MS in MIS???
    I am a 2013 Comp.science passed out.

  21. Hello,
    I have completed B.tech in Electronics and Instrumentation and presently working as a Java developer for 7 months.I’m planning to sit for GRE to do M.S. in CS subjects.I’m a bit worried regarding my financial condition.Please guide me by giving the total cost required to do M.S. and other daily necessities for staying there.I also want to know about the scholarships and how much will it be less if I get a Scholarship.Please reply soon…

  22. hey ,
    I am done with my graduation(btech) and willing MS in US, so that I need some info regarding the courses for Computer Science Students. Please let me know ….

  23. Hi Kumar.
    I am still confused between MS and MIS I would like to know is there any technical stuff in MIS or its tatally related about business? and can I get decent job after doing MIS course?

  24. hi,
    this is vineeth. i am from hyderabad.i just wanted to know about different subjects in ms
    my friend has done b.tech(mechanical branch).is there an scope in doing ms in mechanical branch.
    reply plzzzzzz

  25. hi,
    this topic has brought to light a lot of aspects of MIS and CS for me but one thing i am still not clear is that if MS in MIS is offered in business schools then is it even related to the computer field? i am doing computer engineering (final year) and i want to pursue MS in something that is not very technically like that in CS but something related to little management and little technical. so does MIS have any technical stuff in it as such? and what exactly is MS in Engg Management, could you just enlighten me a little or suggest me some place i’d get to know about it?

  26. hi,
    this topic has brought to light a lot of aspects of MIS and CS for me but one thing i am still not clear is that if MS in MIS is offered in business schools then is it even related to the computer field? i am doing computer engineering (final year) and i want to pursue MS in something that is not very technically like that in CS but something related to little management and little technical. so does MIS have any technical stuff in it as such? and what exactly is MS in Engg Management, could you just enlighten me a little or suggest me some place i’d get to know about it?

  27. Hi Kumar!,

    Great Website and almost every query i had about MS directed me to you site!. amazing content(or wonderful SEO ??!!:) )

    I know this site is mainly for US, but are there any courses in Singapore offering MS in MIS ? or something similar? I was not able to find any. How are the job prospects for course there?

  28. Hi Kumar,
    Thank for your valuable articles. I have completed my BE in CS with an aggregate of 77%and presently working in Cognizant at client location(Wellsfargo India solutions). i just doesn’t realy want to end up with a minimum graduation of BE.My goal is to pursue MS in US, i have an experience of 2 years in Cognizant in Data Ware Housing domain.
    I am in bit dilemma to choose MS in CS or MS in MIS…i heard like MIS is bit related to databases which might help my carrier to grow and i can sustain easily as i have already worked in Data Ware housing field and i am very much interested to increase my business concepts and managerial things.
    The other thing what i want to know is about the Job opportunities in INDIA and US after completion of MS in MIS.
    As i am presently working as Technical ETL developer in Data ware Housing domain how would you suggest for MS in MIS?

  29. Hi Kumar,
    Thanks for this article.I want to do my masters in MIS. I have 2 years experience.
    B.E.(Computers). My aim of doing masters in MIS is to go up the ladder .I want to move from being a developer to being a business analyst only(no coding). Is it possible with MS(MIS).
    Will I have that much leverage with an employer for BA position with this degree.

  30. Gayathri,
    It depends on where you see yourself in next few years. Do you want to work in Management or Do you want be in core engineering designing products, coding, technical architects, etc..
    If you are more inclined towards business side, MIS is a good option.
    If you are more interested in Core Comp Science and Engineering Software, you can prefer MS in Comp Sciences.

    • Thanks a lot Kumar for your swift reply.
      Yaa i am more inclined toward management. Only thing I am scared is , I have heard that while doing ‘MIS’ , you have very less chance of getting assistantship or research. Is that true? I i would like to work also(permitted hours) to aid my education. Following is my profile , would i be able to get in good college for ‘MIS’ in US.
      1. Acads – Aggregate : 61%. BE Aggregate:73%
      2.6 months teaching experience.
      3.2 years experience in MNC as software developer.
      4.Have done JAVA courses/CCNA certification.
      5.Worked as Mutual Fund Consultant , Part time. Have the licence for same.AMFI Holder.
      6.Have some extra-curricular activities certificates from school days till Engg. days.
      7.GRE exam (will give Aug End).

  31. hey,
    I’m Smitha and as of now i’m done with 6th sem B.E . planning for further studies in US after engineering. i have absolutely NO IDEA about management at all… i mean ive never studied anythin abt it except for wat it wud mean, we had a subject called MANAGEMENT N ENTREPRENEURSHIP in 6th sem wich only dealt with the theory part.
    now im not able to decide whether to take up MIS or MS IN CS. im thinkin so cos i heard it has a good scope as of now. plz help me decide. and i have a aggregate of 70.5% till 5th sem,
    wich universities u think r a good choice.

  32. Hi Kumar,

    First of all thanks a ton. I read almost 10 posts by you regarding study in US in the last 1 hour. I am so involved as if like watching a movie.
    Now, here’s my BIG question. I have B.E (or B.Tech) in Instrumentation & Control (we can consider it as ECE or EEE for the time being).
    I read your article that people do switch from ECE to MS in CS. So that is even what I am looking for. Now after reading this article and the one about careers in MIS, I am not sure, should I as non-CS student apply for MIS. What I mean to say is I have missed all the computer classes which my fellows would have had at B.Tech. Will it tough for me to get a job after MIS? Or rather do non-CS guys find it hard to get jobs after MS in CS? I have heard the education there is very good and they all subjects (assuming I take the deficiency/foundation classes).

    I would like to add, that currently I have 14 months of experience in IT job (TCS).

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Akshay,

      Did you get any reply from Kumar?? Im also in same dilemma as you are. So please share inputs from Kumar if he replied you.

      Thanks in advance

    • Akash, Sorry for the late reply.
      Will it tough for me to get a job after MIS?
      Not really. It depends on where you look and how you look… you should be looking at roles more business side like a Business Analyst Role.

      Or rather do non-CS guys find it hard to get jobs after MS in CS?
      Well, there is nothing like that. There are lot of people with MS in Physics working in a Software role. It is not about that, it is about your skills and how you position yourself.

      I have heard the education there is very good and they all subjects (assuming I take the deficiency/foundation classes).

      Yes, you can tailor your program to have the courses you like and ramp up with Comp Science courses.

  33. Hello
    I have heard there is also MS available in engineering management ? How are the job opportunities and salary perspective in that field in respect to MIS AND CS?

    • Rajat,
      Yes, you have MS in Engg Management. Both are different roles, you cannot compare them. One of my friends with a degree in Engg Mgmt, works as a Sourcing manager in Supply Chain area….

  34. Can you provide me list of Universities in USA offering Masters in M.I.S course with fees . i m from india pursuing degree in IT.

  35. Sir,

    I completed ma b.tech in c.s from Pune university. Now I am in confusion that should I go for M.s or M.ba. because I am not intersted in ma computer field at all. that time i choosed wrong field because i had no knowledge and ma friends suggested so i choose engineering but now i dont want to go in ma field. but i read ur note that without experience should not go for M.b.a . So what should I do now..? please suggest me

  36. Hi.. I have a GRE score of 1010 ( 650 Q, 360 V ) . Please let me know which all universities I can apply for MS in MIS. I have done my engineering from Pune University with a good graduate record. I am working in a reputed IT company since past 2yrs. Please help. I want to go in spring 2012. I have heard many universities don’t have spring admissions ? And even if they do, it is very difficult to get through them in spring. Please help me on this too…I am yet to give toefl but I will try to get above 100 in it.

  37. hi guys.
    i have completed my BE IT from mumbai in 2009 and have a work experience of 1yr as software developer. i want to do my masters in MIS/IS in spring 2012 as i want to move to the management part of IT(more interested than coding & hence not pursuing MS in CS). by that time i would also have 2yrs exp. i would like to know whether this course has good scope for a job in US as i would be taking a huge loan.

  38. what will be the opt they offered for mis after completing our degree… and what will be the opt for masters in cis (computer information system)… i came to hear that the opt for masters in cs is high than for remaining courses…

    • Gowthan,
      OPT card does not explicitly state that this is for MIS or CS. Your degree defines what you can work on during OPT. No, it is same for all degrees.

  39. This is a wonderful topic!! Thank You for starting the topic. I have heard that MIS programs are typically useless as compared to MS in CS. IS this true ? Ofcourse, I assume that all the programs are offered at decent/good ranking schools. Does this mean that job oppurtunities are lesser for MIS grads?
    Please enlighten me . Thank You

    • Neha,
      Not really. CS and MIS are different. I would say they have equally good number of opportunities. The reality is, many internationals tend to do CS and get into Software developer kind of roles…Read the article about MIS careers at the end of above post. It will give you some idea.

      • Kumar, Thanks for the inputs. I was really confused thinking an MIS degree might be a waste. MIS is generally offered in the business school,isn’t it?
        Can I reuest you to write a post on some good schools in the US that offer MIS?

      • Hi Kumar,

        I appreciate you for guiding all the aspiring applicants for MIS course in usa,I have a small question regarding the fees structure,Is the course fee for MIS much lesser than CS in the US Universities?

        • Harshitha Ramnath,
          I highly doubt it. In general, fees is always by credit and it is usually fixed for MS programs and should be same. Maybe some schools may have some variation, but I do not think it will be different. The reason for the difference could be sometimes MIS is part of the Business School and CS is part of Engineering School, hence that subtle differences.

          • Thanks Kumar,I have a another small query,I do not know about management or economics,will be able to still cope up with my grades if i take up MIS?

          • Harshitha,
            You will be fine. You may need to put up some extra hours, but frankly, it should be fine…I have seen many do absolutely fine by changing majors.

  40. m an eltc engg….shud i opt for MIS??
    wil itb useful?? wht is my career scope nd job opportunity aftr dt?
    or shud i do MS in my field?

    • Vaishnavi, First you need to write English properly with full words…! You should study something that you are passionate about and not just because it will get you something…Think about what you like and pursue that.


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