School of Information Sciences - Information Science & Technology Program

Database and Web Systems Specialization

Storage and distribution subsystems are fundamental components of any information system. As information moved to digital form, storage systems evolved into various forms of database systems. In the environment we call the World Wide Web, people interact with databases and information storage systems through web protocols using web-based interfaces to facilitate distribution.

We have a strong specialization in database and web systems and technologies. The database coursework consists of classes covering both fundamental concepts of modern database management systems (DBMSs) and advanced issues that typically arise in the context of large-scale-enterprise data management. Coursework is focused on developing practical skills in building and administering realistic database systems, data integration, data warehousing, and Web-based data management. Database research projects offer tremendous opportunities for students in specialties including scalable architectures for wide-area environments with heterogeneous information servers, query optimization in highly distributed databases, and wireless and mobile databases.

The web systems coursework introduces current Web technologies including XML, and new distributed architectures for service provision. Hands-on projects will teach you technologies that can be applied to solve an organization’s information processing needs.

If you specialize in database and web systems, career options include positions such as a systems analyst, systems architect, database administrator, data steward, senior programmer/analyst, design analyst, and Web services manager.

Lead faculty:


The MSIS program requires Math, Statistics, and a programming language as prerequisites. Given the number of advanced-systems courses in this track, students should have an undergraduate data-structures course as well. While this course can be taken after admission, it would require that 13 courses rather than 12 be taken to complete the degree. Finally, students are encouraged to have programming experience in more than one language — C or C++ and Java are the ideal combination. Thus, before beginning the specialization, students should have completed courses in:

Courses and Electives

Any changes to the distribution of credits must be requested, in advance, through petition to the GIST faculty.

Two (2) Foundations Courses

Two (2) Cognitive Courses

Four (4) Core Courses in Systems and Technology

Two (2) Advanced Courses in Systems and Technology

While any two courses listed above would meet the basic requirement for the track, students interested in Database Centric Systems are urged to take 2711 and 2621, while students interested in E-Business should take 2730 and 2731. 

One (1) Elective Course in Systems and Technology

The elective should be from among the four advanced courses listed above.  However, students, in consultation with their advisor, may substitute another systems and technology course to meet the 3-credit elective requirement of the track.  In all cases, the elective should be chosen to contribute to the educational goals of the student.

One (1) Capstone Course – IS 2739 Web Services and Distributed Computing


To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings.

Click here for the current plan of study.

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