The J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems offers the Master of Information and Telecommunication Systems (MITS), a professional or research interdisciplinary degree focusing on the technical and strategic issues related to telecommunication and information technologies, systems and services. Principal focus is on voice and data networks, with special emphasis on the interaction of technology and management/policy issues in the successful design, deployment, and operation of complex networks and information systems.
Technology topics includes network theory and infrastructure, quality of service, network assurance and security, network services and IT integration, broadband, and wireless communications. Management/Policy topics include strategy, lifecycle management, IT governance and compliance, government regulation, competition and market structure, international telecommunications, and social/ethical issues. Perspectives include those of network system and service providers, consumers, policy makers, and IT managers. Industry perspectives include telecommunication carriers, communication system equipment vendors, and enterprise voice and data network providers.
The degree is offered in two formats:
- Residential program
- Remote attendance program
The residential program is taught to students attending class at Ohio University’s main campus in Athens, Ohio. The remote attendance program is taught to students who login remotely to specific ITS residential classes from an internet connected device located in the United States. The remote attendance program is not offered to students at international locations.
University financial aid is not available to students in the remote attendance program. However, university financial aid is typically available each academic year for residential students who render graduate research and/or teaching assistance to ITS faculty. The available financial aid is offered to residential program applicants based on the strength of their graduate application. Typically, not all residential students are offered financial aid.
The Residential program is geared for completion in 3 semesters (about 1 year and 4 months). The Remote Attendance program is geared for completion in 4 semesters and 1 summer term (about 1 year and 9 months). However, these completion times are the minimum program completion times. Actual completion time is dependent on: (1) residential or remote student status, (2) academic preparation/level of industry experience, (3) selected pace of the student, and (4) type of degree culmination – thesis, comprehensive exam, or professional project. To finish the remote attendance program in the minimum time requires completion of 2 courses per semester, and 1 course in the summer term.
Core courses provide a background in both technology and management/policy. By the end of the first semester of enrollment, students select one of two telecommunication and networking system tracks (technology or policy) and design with their advisor specialty and cognate coursework to meet the students’ educational and career objectives.
Students receive the same degree, Master of Information and Telecommunication Systems, whether they are part of the Residential or the Remote Attendance program. However, those applying for the Residential program must apply to the program with major code MI-5366 while those applying to the Remote Attendance Program must apply to the program with major code MI-5367.
Decisions regarding admission to the MITS program will be made by the McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems Graduate Admission Committee. Full unconditional admission to the MITS program will be based on the following criteria:
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with sufficient undergraduate course work to constitute at least a minor in Information and Telecommunication Systems, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Engineering, Economics, Public Administration, Political Science, or related areas deemed relevant by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Undergraduate coursework should include at least one statistics course.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) earned for all undergraduate or graduate course work.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Section is preferred; the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) can be substituted for GRE if taken prior to application date. The GRE requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Admission Committee, for those with 3 or more years relevant job experience. In these cases, the Committee will consider other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate work, such as written professional reports authored by the applicant. However, GRE/GMAT scores are mandatory if an applicant wished to be considered for financial assistance.
- A completed application, including the applicant’s Personal Goal Statement.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation.
- Further information as necessary; the Graduate Admission Committee may request a personal interview if additional information about the applicant is required.
It is possible for applicants to substitute professional experience for completion of course work in the relevant areas listed above. Applicants who meet the above requirements, but lack the relevant undergraduate course work, can demonstrate preparation for study in this field by having completed at least three years of professional experience in which the applicant performed tasks or duties covered by the MITS curriculum. Applicants demonstrate this experience by information submitted in their resume, which will be reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee to determine Information and Telecommunication Systems relevance and adequacy.
Conditional admission to the MITS program is possible for applicants who have neither relevant course work nor professional experience and for applicants lacking a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate and/or other graduate work and/or have not taken GRE or GMAT. For residential program students, university financial aid cannot be awarded while a student is in conditional acceptance status. Those applicants who cannot demonstrate preparation for this field of study through relevant course work or professional experience, but who meet the other admission criteria, may be granted conditional admission to the program, if one of the following two criteria is met:
- Applicants must agree to complete 14 undergraduate hours of Information and Telecommunication Systems course work, from the following: ITS 2140 (Introduction to Information and Telecommunication Systems), ITS 2300 (Data Communications), ITS 3100 (Internet Applications and Networking Systems) and ITS 3020 (Information and Telecom Policy). Upon completion of these 14 hours of course work, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, the applicant will attain full admission status.
- Applicants with substantial relevant industry experience who do not meet the 3.0 coursework requirement, but meet the other admission criteria may be granted conditional admission to the program. Upon completion of the first three courses in the core curriculum (ITS 6000, ITS 6020, and ITS 6250), with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, the applicant will attain full admission status.
The graduate director will screen applications to determine if the minimum requirements for admission to the program have been met. These requirements include: a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for full admission, submitted scores for the GRE/ GMAT or other evidence the applicant can succeed in graduate work, and if an international student, TOEFL scores. There is no minimum GRE/GMAT scores, however these scores will be considered as part of the entire application. To be considered for university financial assistance, international students must have acceptable TOEFL scores. GRE or GMAT scores are mandatory for applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid.
The final screening is done by the graduate committee, which ranks qualified candidates based on academic record, professional experience, GRE/GMAT, recommendations, and in the case of international students, TOEFL scores. The graduate committee makes all applicant acceptance (full or conditional) and applicant rejection decisions. Decisions are made on a rolling basis; however for those desiring full consideration for financial assistance, applications should be received by December 15th (International students) or as late as February 1st (US citizens or permanent US residents) for a Fall Semester entrance into the program. For those not seeking, or ineligible, for financial assistance, admissions are rolling—U.S. citizens and permanent residents should apply at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester; and international applicants should apply six months prior to the beginning of the semester they wish to enter.
Students are awarded the degree after the successful completion of core, specialization, cognate, and culminating experience courses (9 courses total, 36 semester credit hours).
Core (4 courses): Core courses ensure the student is well versed in both the technology and policy aspects of communication network and information systems, telecommunication carriers, and enterprise voice and data networks. The program includes four (4) mandatory core courses from the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems.
Electives (3 courses): Specialization elective courses are geared toward establishing either communication technology or policy as the student’s principal area of emphasis. Students take three (3) electives from the pool of electives offered by the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems. Not all electives are offered in the remote attendance program.
Cognate (4 credit hours): The Cognate requirement is intended to enrich and further focus the student’s interests and expertise by either pursuing related coursework outside the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems or by taking additional coursework within the School. Possible cognate areas outside the School include engineering, computer science, mathematics, finance, management, marketing, economics, interpersonal communication, and political science. ITS courses are 4 credit hours. More than one course is required if the student takes courses less than 4 credit hours. Previous graduate credit transferred to Ohio University may be considered for cognate credit.
Culminating Experience (1 course): The culminating experience involves the completion of either a Thesis, Professional Project, or Comprehensive Examination. Students take either a thesis, professional project, or readings course, depending on their selection of culminating experience.
The culminating experience course is one of the following: project, comprehensive examination, or thesis.
- Students selecting a professional project are expected to identify a specific project relevant to this field of study. Students are then expected to research relevant literature, identify specific problems or issues involved, identify and examine available alternatives, select the optimal alternative explaining why it is optimal, and carry out the project. They then produce a well written, coherent report detailing goals/objectives, methodology, and project results.
- Those selecting the comprehensive exam will complete an advanced readings course, which will consist of a readings list with specific guidance and learning objective for each reading. The questions for the comprehensive examination will be based upon the readings.
- Students electing to write a thesis are expected to identify a significant technical or management/policy research problem or question (depending upon the student’s specialization), do a thorough literature review of material relevant to the topic, formulate an appropriate research approach to the problem, collect and analyze data, draw pertinent and defensible conclusions, and produce a well written, coherent thesis. It is expected that the student will apply applicable theory or theories to specific questions or problems.