Major in Information Systems-Information Systems - Carnegie Mellon University

Major in Information Systems

From programming to project management to real-world projects, the Information Systems Program has it all. The flexible nature of the program encourages students to explore their own interest in contemporary content areas such as: business/enterprise systems, computing and information systems & technology, social and global systems, and quantitative analysis and research methods. A wide variety of elective courses, additional majors and minors, and accelerated masters degree programs allow IS students to take advantage of the many unique educational opportunities available at Carnegie Mellon University. For specific information regarding courses and requirements, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

Teamwork, Professional Communications and Project Management

In our team-based project courses, students gain experience in leadership, peer collaboration, project management, accountability, and cross-cultural communication. Students lead in a number of roles, including quality control, client advocacy, technology, design, documentation, and team management.

The curriculum is built on four key areas:

  • General Education to give students a broad grounding in humanities, social sciences, arts and natural sciences.
  • A Disciplinary Core to give students exposure to professional communications, quantitative analysis and research methods, and organizations, policy and social science.
  • A Professional Core emphasizing system analysis, database, user-centered design, efficient development practices, teamwork, decision making and leadership. We provide the technology, project management and business-facing skills needed to design and build effective real-world systems solutions.
  • A Content Area intended to build skills and understanding in a supporting area such as Business and Enterprise Systems, Computing and Information Systems & Technology, Social and Global Systems, Quantitative Analysis, and Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe). 

Project Courses

All Information Systems students put theory into practice by completing two semester-length, team-based projects.

These courses help students develop an innovator's frame of mind. Doing real stakeholder research, seeking opportunities for improvement, delivering a 'Minimum Viable Product' in a short amount of time (and then iterating frequently) are all innovator's activities, even if done within the bounds of a large organization or within real-world constraints.

Project teams in these courses will focus on rapid development of systems, mobile apps, or innovative business solutions. To do this, teams will talk to real users; observe people in their native environments; think about real physical, technical, and social constraints; and understand how to meet stakeholder needs. Connections and collaborations beyond the team's boundaries and comfort zones are encouraged.   

Junior Year

Junior level Information Systems students design and implement an operational information system solution for a client organization, typically a non-profit, charitable or education organization. Through this experience, students gain valuable practice, confidence and skills in managing complex projects, working with teammates and project sponsors and dealing with the ambiguities inherent in every large-scale systems project. (See Project Showcase for some recent projects.)

Senior Year

Senior level Information Systems students design and implement an operational information system solution for a client organization, typically a non-profit, charitable or education organization. Through these projects courses, students gain valuable practice, confidence and skills in managing complex projects, working with teammates and project sponsors and dealing with the ambiguities inherent in every large-scale systems project. (See Project Showcase for some recent projects.)