Carnegie Mellon University

Curriculum for MS28

For Students Starting the MSIN in Fall 2016 (MS28)

The MSIN curriculum consists of three main components: the core courses, restricted electives, and a curriculum option.

Course Lists

The core courses establish the necessary background and a common competence level, and the restricted elective courses build upon the core. Students can choose from a wide variety of technical and management elective courses according to their interests and career needs.

For the curriculum option, students have unprecedented flexibility to customize the program according to their career goals, whether they want to focus on an industry or specialized area of study.

Core Course Requirements 72 units
Restricted Electives 36 units
Curriculum Option 36 units
Total  144 units

Please note: Students that choose the Cyber Forensics and Incident Response Track do not add any additional units. The forensics track consists of 48 units, which will be fulfilled by one security elective (12 units) and the curriculum option (36 units). All INI students are required to complete a summer internship as part of their degree program. 

Disclaimer: The INI cannot guarantee that courses will be offered each semester or in a specific semester as advertised below.  Students must refer to the 'Schedule of Classes' to determine course availability. The INI cannot guarantee that a student will be offered a seat in a specific course.  These apply to courses at the INI as well as other departments at Carnegie Mellon. In addition, it is the sole responsibility of the student to read and understand the following information regarding this program and its requirements. Should an individual have any further questions, they are encouraged to contact the INI Academic Affairs Office (AAO) at ini-enrollment@andrew.cmu.edu for assistance.

MSIN Curriculum Framework

*Please review the additional course information for all prerequisites.

72 Units Core Courses


Of these units, 60 are Networking & Systems courses and 12 are management courses. 

12 units: Choose FROM One Course BELOW

14-642: Introduction to Embedded Systems (FALL)
15-605: Operating System Design and Implementation (FALL or SPRING) 

12 units: Choose FROM One Course BELOW

14-740: Fundamentals of Telecommunications and Computer Networks (FALL or SPRING)
18-756: Packet Switching and Computer Networks (FALL)
15-641: Computer Network(FALL)

24 units

Courses from ECE/CS in the areas of Software Systems & Computer Networking and Signal Processing & Communications. 
Note: The units for these courses are applied first to Core, then any remaining units will be applied to Restricted Electives. 
Please refer to the MSIN Core Courses list on the Course List page.

12 units: Choose from one course below

15-640: Distributed Systems (FALL or SPRING)
18-746: Storage Systems (FALL or SPRING)
18-749: Building Reliable Distributed Systems (FALL)
18-842: Distributed Systems (SPRING)

6 units

14-774 Managerial Economics (FALL or SPRING)

6 units

14-775 Business Management (FALL or SPRING)

36 Units Restricted Electives 

Students have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of electives in which they have a special interest. Restricted electives may not be taken as pass/no pass/audit.


12 UNITS: CHOOSE ONE FROM BELOW

Course from the INI (14-XXX), ECE (18-XXX) or CS (15-XXX) that is numbered 300 or above

One of the following EPP courses: 19-608, 19-682, 19-712, 19-713 or 19-784

24 units

The remaining 24 units are fulfilled by any approved courses in the Heinz College or Tepper School or any courses* in ECE, EPP, SCS, INI, or III (49-XXX) that are numbered 300 or above. Some exceptions may apply

36 Units Curriculum Option

Choose one of the following options: 

Course Option: Set of courses that will equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the industry.

Development-Based Project: Students increase their knowledge and skills in delivering successful solutions for industry.


Thesis Research Paper: Allows students to delve deeply into a problem and create a solution for a research-based project, providing the opportunity to gain significant knowledge and skills in a particular area.

0 Units Internship

All students must complete an INI-approved internship.

The MSIN is 144 units in total. 

*Please review the additional course information for all prerequisites.

14-642: Introduction to Embedded Systems (FALL), prerequisite to 18-842 Distributed Systems

15-605: Operating System Design and Implementation (FALL or SPRING), the prerequisite to 18-842 Distributed Systems.

Prerequisite: 15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (SUMMER, FALL or SPRING) or 18-600 Foundations of Computer Systems. Students must receive at least a 'B' in 15-513 to be eligible to take 15-605, with priority given to those who receive an 'A'
18-756: Packet Switching and Computer Networks (FALL) Prerequisite: either prior networking coursework or 18-345 Introduction to Telecommunication Networks (SPRING); 18-345 is considered overlapping with 14-740.
14-740: Fundamentals of Telecommunications and Computer Networks (FALL or SPRING) Note, this class has a limited enrollment.
15-641: Computer Networks (FALL) Prerequisite: 15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (SUMMER, FALL or SPRING) or 18-600 Foundations of Computer Systems.
15-640: Distributed Systems (FALL or SPRING). Prerequisite: 15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (SUMMER, FALL or SPRING) or 18-600 Foundations of Computer Systems.
18-746: Storage Systems (FALL or SPRING). Prerequisite: 15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (SUMMER, FALL or SPRING)or 18-600 Foundations of Computer Systems.
18-749: Building Reliable Distributed Systems (FALL) Prerequisites: Graduate standing or instructor permission

18-842: Distributed Systems (SPRING) Prerequisite: you must take one of 14-642, 15-605, 18-348, 18-349, 15-513, or 18-600 --AND-- one of 14-740, 18-756, 15-641, or 18-345.

Cyber Forensics and Incident Response Track (CyFIR)

The CyFIR Track is made up of the following courses:

  • 14-761 Applied Information Assurance (prerequisite to all other track courses) (FALL or SPRING)
  • 14-822 Host-Based Forensics (SPRING)
  • 14-823 Network Forensics (FALL)
  • 14-832 Cyber Forensics and Incident Response Capstone (SPRING)