MSIT Curriculum-Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda - Carnegie Mellon University

MSIT Curriculum

The MSIT curriculum has the following main components:

Component Units
Core Courses

60 Units

Elective Courses
48 Units

Master's Seminar and Practicum

36 Units

Three-month Internship


Total 144 Units


Core Courses

Computer Science Principles for Practicing Engineers
This course provides a solid background in the key principles of formal computer science for developing software-intensive systems. Learning objectives include:  the ability to generate and evaluate alternative solutions to critical computational problems; the ability to understand, analyze, and characterize factors that influence algorithmic computational performance and memory consumption; an awareness and understanding of detailed code structures and their underlying strengths and weaknesses; the ability to performed detailed, code-level design and document the design in an understandable way; competency in applying these principles in real-world situations.

Fundamentals of Telecommunications and Computer Networks
This course introduces the fundamental concepts of telecommunication and computer networks. Underlying engineering principles of telephone networks, computer networks and integrated digital networks are discussed. Topics include: telecommunication and data networks overview; OSI layers; data link protocol; TCP/IP; flow control, congestion control, routing; local area networks (Ethernet, Token Ring and FDDI); transport layer; introduction to high-speed networks and MPLS; performance evaluation techniques. Advanced topics, include network management, traffic engineering, and router internals.

Wireless Networks
This course introduces fundamental concepts of wireless networks. Topics include: an introduction to the wireless physical layer; an over view of commonly used wireless MAC mechanisms; MAC protocols including 802.11, Bluetooth and personal area networks; cellular standards and WiMax (802.16); making wireless work in today's Internet, including support for TCP over wireless, mobility, and security; and an introduction to selected advanced topics, such as vehicular networks and sensor networks. The course also considers the impact of wireless engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.

Strategic Use of Digital Information in Enterprises
This course focuses on current developments in information and communication technology and their impact on business and industry, particularly in developing economies. Topics include mobility, broadband communication and cloud computing. The course will also cover the new emerging generation of information systems used to manage the explosion of real-world real-time information and the business analytics tools that can assist decision makers in enterprises. The implications of these technologies for the future of business, industry and government and how to apply them in developing economies will be examined.

Introduction to Information Security   
The course introduces the technical and policy foundations of information security. The main objective of the course is to enable students to reason about information systems from a security engineering perspective. Topics include elementary cryptography; access control; common software vulnerabilities; common network vulnerabilities; digital rights management; policy and export control law; privacy; management and assurance; and special topics in information security.

MSIT Seminars, Internship, and Practicum


MSIT First-Year Seminar

In the MSIT first-year seminar, students select, investigate, discuss, and explore solutions for multi-disciplinary problems in information and communication technology. Students are assigned weekly reading assignments and each week different students (or student groups) prepare presentations and lead the discussions. Faculty and experts from local companies will also serve as guest lecturers on specific topics. Grades are determined by the quality of the presentations and participation in discussion.

MSIT Internship

In the MSIT internship, each student works full time in industry or in research and development with a CMU-R faculty member. This gives the student an opportunity to become familiar with a specific field in ICT, apply technical knowledge in a real-world setting, and gain experience working with ICT professionals.

Master's Practicum
This course provides the opportunity to consolidate and apply the skills and knowledge developed in previous coursework in a team-based approach to a real problem. A team of students works with a real-world client on a real-world problem of value to the client. Most important, this is an opportunity to apply the team's advanced engineering and management skills, including the specialized knowledge and skills needed to solve a real problem. In particular, team members must learn to work effectively with clients, quickly understand their problem, negotiate deliverables and then select, adapt and apply just the right amount of process and documentation to meet clients' needs and effectively manage the project.

Elective Courses


Elective courses will be offered in a variety of areas related to the technology and business of information and communication technology. These courses will be offered by resident CMU-R faculty as well as by faculty from other CMU campuses through short-term visits and distance learning. Prospective elective courses include:

  • Business Strategy and Innovation Management
  • Human-Computer Interface Design for Mobile Systems
  • Cloud Computing Systems
  • Network Information Security
  • Project and Process Management
  • Entrepreneurship in the Developing World
  • Marketing Planning of ICT Solutions
  • Independent Study