IST launches master of professional studies degree

At a time when many adults are looking to brush up on their skills or re-enter the work force after a job loss, Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is launching a master’s degree program that can put IT professionals at the forefront of today’s business environment.

The master of professional studies in Information Sciences will be offered jointly by the College of IST and the Penn State World Campus beginning this fall.

John Van Vactor, director of online education in the College of IST, said the program allows students to receive the benefits of a Penn State education in a convenient and flexible program that teaches skills that are in high demand across industry and government.

“Our master of professional studies in Information Sciences is designed with the working professional in mind. It allows students to participate in a real-time virtual classroom and view archived presentations at their leisure,” Van Vactor said.

The degree consists of a base program in information sciences with options in software development and information assurance and decision support, as well as certificates in user-centered design, software development and information security. Students will have the option of taking courses online through the world campus or in person at the College of IST at Penn State's University Park campus.

“Unlike most master's programs, we mix theory with real-world application,” Van Vactor said. “Our virtual laboratories provide hands-on experience not seen in many programs.”

The 33-credit program can be completed in 12, 16 or 24 months. Application guidelines can be found on the MPS Web site at Applications must be received by Aug. 1, 2009 for the fall 2009 semester.

In addition to Van Vactor, the program also will be led by Chao Hsien-Chu, senior academic director for online education; Shaun Knight, associate director of online education; and Karen Brewster, program manager.

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Last Updated July 13, 2009