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Online Master's Degree in Information Technology to Be Offered in August
16-week courses offer new alternative for IT professionals

March 7, 2005 :: No. 140

Information technology professionals who are interested in earning an advanced degree, yet don’t have time to return to the classroom, can earn that degree online from Cal State Fullerton beginning in August.

The master of science in information technology will be the first online program offered through the university’s College of Business and Economics and the third online degree program available to Cal State Fullerton students.

“We developed this program after a number of students — many already working for medium to large organizations in this area — expressed an interest in getting a master’s degree,” said Barry Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences, noting that ISDS has offered online courses since 1999. “The program will prepare individuals for careers in the field of information technology, as well as give professionals the skills needed to advance in their careers. It focuses on the managerial and technical skills needed to succeed in an information technology organization.”

"By having class materials and instructional resources available online, students will have far greater options for scheduling learning activities as compared to a traditional course setting."

The two-year program includes classes in systems analysis and design, programming concepts, database management, data communications and electronic commerce, as well as management of information in the corporate environment, and financial and managerial accounting. The final required course is a seminar in information systems implementation in which students work collaboratively to develop an information technology solution.

Each course is 16 weeks long; students are expected to enroll in two courses each session. Lectures and supplemental materials will be available to students online, and participants will have the opportunity to interact with fellow students and their instructors through chat sessions and e-mail.

“By having class materials and instructional resources available online, students will have far greater options for scheduling learning activities as compared to a traditional course setting,” says program coordinator James K. Hightower, emeritus professor of information systems and decision sciences.

The program will kick off with a weekend orientation session, “Boot Up Camp,” scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20, and another seminar at the midway point in the program. Tests will be offered on campus or at an approved testing center, Pasternack noted.

In addition to admission to Cal State Fullerton, students are required to have at least two years of practical experience and submit an essay explaining why they believe they would be a good candidate for the program, noted Hightower. “We’re looking for students who are disciplined enough to successfully complete a course in a distance-learning format.”

Applications for admission to the university and the new degree program are now being accepted. To learn more about the program, go to

Cal State Fullerton’s other online master degree programs are in instructional design and technology offered through the College of Education and software engineering through the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Media Contacts: James Hightower at 657-278-4191 or
Barry Pasternack at 657-278-2221 or
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852 or

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