Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

The 16-20 month MSIT program strikes a fine balance between technology, business and innovation, preparing the next generation of ICT leaders in Africa. This program is for students interested in an interdisciplinary curriculum that covers key topics in data science, cyber security, software engineering and telecommunications among others.

On average, a student spends over 900 hours interfacing with industry through the master's practicum and corporate internship, which are prerequisites for degree completion.

MSIT tracks

There are two tracks from which students may choose, the professional track or the academic track.

The professional track is for:

  • Students who are interested in becoming IT professionals
  • Students looking to develop a career in existing businesses
  • Students who wish to start their own business

The academic track is for:

  • Those interested in pursuing a research career and/or Ph.D. after their MSIT. A faculty research advisor must first approve students based on their skills and interest in the faculty’s work. Students will then work closely with that professor, who will guide and supervise their research.


Students in the MSIT program also can choose two of six optional concentrations. The concentrations are meant to help students who are interested in a specific skill by giving them guidance when they select courses.

The six concentrations are:

  • Cyber security: Become a security expert by learning to regulate and operate networks, storage systems, software and web-based systems.
  • Data Science: Learn how to collect and analyze data and develop statistics that can help businesses make informed decisions or be used for research.
  • Software Engineering: Study and apply engineering to designing, developing and maintaining software.
  • Information Technology (IT) Entrepreneurship: Learn the business aspects of information technology while also using information and communication technology to help underserved communities.
  • Telecommunications and Networking: Learn to design, maintain and operate telecommunication systems and networks.
  • Energy Systems: Learn to find effective solutions to today’s energy problems by gaining technical depth in energy and grid technology, and analytical skill in project development, energy analysis, and infrastructure planning.

Concentrations are not mentioned on degree certificates, though CMU-Africa uses them to refer students to employers who require specific skills.

Each concentration includes one core course and a selection of elective courses. For a student to acquire the skills of a concentration, s/he must complete 36 units in that concentration. Students also should select an internship, practicum, and/or research in their concentration(s).

Requirements for the MSIT

Those interested in an MSIT degree must complete components that involve a defined number of units.

There are core courses for each component that provide a solid engineering foundation as well as electives that allow students to customize their degree.

What are units?

CMU uses units instead of credits to indicate the number of hours required per week for each course—a nine unit class requires nine hours of work a week on the course.

Course requirements

Students must have:

  • 144 units to graduate (but no more than 168)
  • A cumulative quality point average of at least 3.0 (which is a B in each course).

Each focus has its own unit or time requirements.

For the professional track, the 144 units include 60 units of core courses, 48 units of elective courses, which can include up to 12 units of undergraduate credit (courses with numbers between XX-300 and XX-599), and up to 15 units of MSIT Independent Study (04-980), 24 units of Practicum (04-900), 12 units of seminars, and a three-month master's internship.

For the academic track, the 144 units include 60 units of core courses, 36 units of elective courses, which can include up to 12 units of undergraduate credit (courses with numbers less than XX-600), 36 units of MSIT Research Project (04-990), 12 units of seminars, and a three-month master's internship. 

Check out the MSIT program options.

Course catalog

To get an idea of what courses CMU offers, check out the course catalog.

Mandatory orientation

Before their first semester, those who are accepted into the MSIT program must attend a four-week orientation in July-August.

The orientation will include:

  • Seminars
  • Discussions and assignments
  • Common procedures
  • Tools and methods used in the master’s program

MSIT Application deadlines

Early Admission: Submit your application by this date to be considered for GRE & TOEFL/IELTS test fees payment by CMU-Africa and to be considered for scholarships. 

Final Application: Submit application with GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores. Last date for test score submission by Early Admission Applicants.