Frequently Asked Questions About the Center for Information Systems & Technology
Applying and Admissions
No. There are no degree prerequisites for admission to the program. Two core courses require competencies that may be demonstrated prior to taking those specific classes, but CISAT admits students from a wide array of backgrounds looking to transition into studying information systems and technology.
Tuition for the 2016–2017 year is $1,847 per unit and each student pays $300 (flat rate) in student fees per semester regardless of enrollment. For PhD students who have completed coursework, the price of tuition drops to $1,963 per semester. Any awarded fellowship fund will be directly applied to tuition, reducing the net cost incurred by the student.
Yes. The Information Systems & Technology program offers aid in the form of fellowships, which are competitive and merit-based and reduce the total cost of tuition.
Yes. The Information Systems & Technology program offers aid for both domestic and international students in the form of fellowships, which are competitive and merit based and reduce the total cost of tuition.
The application process for international students is the same for domestic applicants. Prospective students can begin the application to CGU at , creating an account, and completing the application and submitting the required $80 application fee. You will need to complete/provide:
- Online application
- Application fee
- Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Statement of purpose
- Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions
- 2 official letters of recommendation (professional or academic)
- Official GRE or GMAT scores (where applicable)
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international applicants)
No. While a 3.0 GPA or higher (out of 4.0) is a good baseline to assess overall competitiveness, rather than examine overall GPA, we look mainly at performance levels in courses that are most relevant in the Information Systems & Technology program.
We accept either test, as long as you have taken the exam within the past five years from the time you apply to the program.
Yes. CISAT will consider waiving this requirement for applicants to the MS program with three or more years of related professional work experience. We will also consider waiving this requirement for applicants to the PhD program with eight or more years of related professional experience. Applicants should ensure the resume included with the application has clear start/end months and years for all positions held and job titles, and contains a detailed description of duties for each position. Applicants should also notify the assistant director of admissions of their request for a GRE/GMAT waiver consideration (via email) upon submission of the online application.
No minimum score on the GRE or GMAT is required for admission. A GRE score of 300 or a GMAT score of 600 are a good baseline measure for competitiveness, but standardized test scores are only one element of the application package and are considered within the context of all other application materials. A competitive score on the quantitative reasoning section of the exam may be an important factor in admission decisions, but we assess the overall strength of the applicant’s full application.
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) accepts applications on a rolling basis and operates on a priority deadline cycle. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships. Official versions of all required application materials must be received before the priority deadline for your application to be to be reviewed. After the passing of the priority deadline, CISAT will move to rolling admissions and applications will be accepted on a space-available basis until the final deadline.
CISAT follows the standard CGU application deadlines:
Priority deadline: March 1
Final deadline (international applicants): April 1
Final deadline (domestic applicants): May 1
Priority deadline: February 1
Final deadline (international applicants): July 1
Final deadline (domestic applicants): August 15
Priority deadline: November 1
Final deadline (international applicants): November 1
Final deadline (domestic applicants): January 1
While an internship or post-graduate work experience may strengthen an application, students without work experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
The time required to complete the MS program is 12 to 18 months for full-time students (3 courses per semester), and 18 to 36 months for part-time students (1 or 2 courses per semester). The time required to complete the PhD program can range from 60 to 84 months, depending on course enrollment and time required to complete the dissertation.
Yes. Many students in our program are working professionals who study part-time. There is no difference between part-time or full-time students except for the number of classes the student chooses to enroll in per semester.
Yes. Students may transfer up to 8 approved graduate units into the MS program and up to 24 approved graduate units into the PhD program.
Yes. Working professionals may have the option of the practicum requirement being waived, upon approval, reducing the MS requirements by 4 units.
No. An internship is not required, but is strongly recommended during the summer or while in the program after your first semester, especially for students with limited work experience. The Office of Career Development works closely with students to help prepare them for their internship searches. Internships can be non-credit or taken as a field study, which may apply toward the practicum requirement upon prior approval.
There are limited positions to work with professors as research or teaching assistants, and competition for them is strong. Once admitted (after the first semester), students may have the ability to secure teaching or research assistantships that provide a stipend to students in the form of paycheck. Such positions are awarded to top-performing students by faculty members based on student performance, as well as comprehension of the subject (for TA positions) or research interests and abilities (for RA positions).
No. These competencies are only required prior to enrolling in Software Development & Programming (for the programming competency) and by week eight of the Databases & Big Data course (for the databases competency).
Prior to enrollment in Software Development & Programming, students are expected to demonstrate competency in an object-oriented programming language, such as Java, Python, C++, VB.net, or Ruby.
Verifiable completion of self-instruction through any of an almost countless number of tutorials or courses is sufficient—some online, others not; some free, others not. Some options include:
- Completion of an online or in-class university, community college, or extension program course
- Coursera – Learn to Program and Analyze Data with Python
- edX – CS For All: Introduction to Computer Science and Python Programming [
- edX – Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python
- edX – Learn to Program Using Python
- edX – Introduction to C++
Students with limited knowledge of relational databases and SQL are expected to complete a series of self-paced mini-courses offered by Stanford University. At minimum, completing the following mini-courses is required: (1) Data Models: Introduction & Relational Databases; (2) Querying Relational Databases: Relational Algebra; (3) Querying Relational Databases: SQL; and (4) Database Design: Relational Design Theory.
Graduates with a background in Information Systems & Technology are afforded an array of career prospects in an ever-changing, technologically integrated world. While not a comprehensive list, some of our alumni positions include:
- IT Director
- Software Engineer
- Web Developer
- Senior Infrastructure Architect
- Senior Software Design Engineer
- Director of Academic Computing
- Database Administrator
- Systems Analyst
- Senior Big Data Analyst
- Project Manager
- Director of Health IT
- Sales Manager
- IT Analyst
- Information Security Engineer
- Health Data Consultant
- Business Intelligence Architect
- Risk Analyst
- Management Consultant
- Research Scientist
While not a comprehensive list, some of our alumni work for the following companies:
- NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- City of Hope Hospital
- University of California, Riverside
- Kaiser Permanente
- California State University, Fullerton
- Veterans Health Administration
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Southern California
- Costco Wholesale
- Taylormade-Adidas Golf
- Wells Fargo
- San Diego State University
- Loyola Marymount University