Computer Information Technology, Master

Personalized Learning

Online, Statewide, and Education Innovation

The Master of Computer Information Technology (MCIT) program is designed to train students in the information technology domain while also helping students develop highly valued industry-relevant skills.  This 30-credit hour non-thesis based master’s program has been developed in consultation with an advisory board of professionals to ensure the program meets current and anticipated workforce needs.

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Data Analytics - Emphasis
  • Mobile and Web Application Development - Emphasis
  • Project Management - Emphasis
  • Information Security & Assurance - Emphasis

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

You may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your faculty mentor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Emphasis Required

An emphasis is required for this degree.

Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The CIT Master’s program prepares students to advance their careers in the information technology domain as technology supervisors and project managers, business analysts, lead coders and designers, and researchers.  Given the pervasiveness of technology worldwide, students outside the information technology domain may weave their prior industry experience with information technology theories, processes, and best practices to take on roles within the information technology industry.  Students who would benefit most from completing this degree include individuals pursuing career advancement in the computer information technology domain as well as individuals transitioning their careers from non-technical backgrounds to the computer information technology domain.

The program emphasizes skills related to the interplay between computer information technology and its supervision, the organizational and human impact of technology, technical innovations, the global reach of technology, and research and associated methods as applied to the computer information technology domain.  Theories and models associated with computer information technology, best practices, and current research and examples will provide students with learning experiences rooted in both theory and application of computer information technology concepts and methods to solve business problems.  Students will also develop skills associated with critical thinking and reading, reflection, research, analysis, problem solving, and technical and scholarly writing. 

Emphasis areas such as Project Management, Information Security and Assurance, and Mobile and Web Applications Development, will provide students the opportunity to garner skills specific to a given computer information technology area.  Student interested in a deep exploration of project management principles will learn how to use the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK® framework, and corresponding knowledge areas and process groups to effectively initiate, manage, and close information technology projects.  Students interested in a deep exploration of information security and assurance will learn how to negotiate and minimize risks and threats to information technology systems, construct security policies, and apply ethics to information technology and security management efforts.  Students interested in a deep exploration of mobile and Web applications development will learn how to program Web content using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well as develop programming and design skills for Android and iOS platforms.  Students will explore additional topics such as database utilization, responsive application design, software versioning, and the use of various tools applicable to the domain of study for example.  

Student Learning Outcomes

Core Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and explain overarching computer information technology concepts with respect to computer hardware and software, networking and security, business analytics and intelligence, big data, the importance of a Web presence and Web design across platforms, and the strategic use of information systems as business assets in a technology-infused society;
  • Evaluate the impact of technology on business organizations and how information systems can be leveraged to improve the production of goods and services to maintain a competitive advantage;
  • Outline the human challenges and opportunities associated with using computer information technology use in business organizations;
  • Explain how ethics plays a role when using computer information technology for business purposes;
  • Evaluate the impact of disruptive and innovative technologies on business organizations;
  • Synthesize an understanding of change theories and prescribe solutions to problems associated with mitigating change in business organizations born of disruptive and innovative technologies;
  • Analyze the impact of globalization and technologies for advancing globalization for business organizations as well as provide recommendations for advancing globalization;
  • Examine processes and techniques associated with conducting scientific research and the components undergirding scientific research;
  • Apply techniques for solving business problems from a scientific research-based perspective.
Emphasis Learning Outcomes:

Data Analytics: 
  • Analyze principal expectations of the multiple linear regression model, data classification techniques, and implement diagnostics to assess the validity of expectations.
  • Evaluate and apply different data analytic tools. Analyze random effects to statistical models and apply, assess, and decipher mixed models in R.
  • Apply imputation methods to missing data.
  • Utilize regression models for analyzing and evaluating predictions.
  • Evaluate issues with scaling multiple regression analysis to large datasets; implement methods for large data sets.
  • Demonstrate data analysis and evaluation of results. Create research questions, evaluate model assumptions and take applicable
  • corrective action; interpret the results and create reports.
  • Analyze principal expectations of the multiple linear regression model, data classification techniques, and implement diagnostics to assess the validity of expectations.
  • Evaluate and apply different data analytic tools. Analyze random effects to statistical models and apply, assess, and decipher mixed models in R.
  • Apply imputation methods to missing data.
  • Utilize regression models for analyzing and evaluating predictions.
  • Evaluate issues with scaling multiple regression analysis to large datasets; implement methods for large data sets.
  • Demonstrate data analysis and evaluation of results. Create research questions, evaluate model assumptions and take applicable
  • corrective action; interpret the results and create reports.
  • Categorize, evaluate, and demonstrate use of large-scale analytics tools. Analyze the effects of big data in organizational decision making. Evaluate and critique concepts and principles of Big Data Analytics and Management.
  • Analyze current trends and challenges faced by organizations in dealing with Big Data.
  • Evaluate data sets using Big Data Applications.
  • Employ appropriate analytic methods to improve organizational decision making and predictive results.
  • Recommend, choose, and use an open-source software solution to analyze large data sets. Assess big data tools, technologies, and structures. Choose appropriate analytic tools and manipulate large data sets.
  • Summarize and interpret privacy and ethical concerns in data analytics.
  • Use the open source R Language in combination with other tools to access and process big datasets. Build and evaluate multivariate visualization systems.
  • Compare and contrast visualization literature. Analyze and interpret quantitative data graphically, figuratively, and statistically.
  • Communicate quantitative data verbally, graphically, and numerically.
  • Appropriately integrate technology into mathematical processes.
  • Formulate problem-solving concepts in data modeling
  • Apply techniques utilized in visualization, to include visual encoding, and data modeling.
  • Evaluate data domains and analysis tasks, including multivariate data, networks, text and cartography.
  • Construct visualization systems and evaluate perception. Create and demonstrate interactive data visualizations for the web.
  • Compare and contrast data models, graphical perception and techniques for visual encoding and interaction.
  • Analyze and explain techniques and theory utilized in data visualization.
  • Apply supervised learning algorithms to prediction problems and evaluate the results. Analyze data using unsupervised learning programs and evaluate performance. Implement and test reinforcement learning for control and optimization problems.
  • Formulate given learning problems appropriately as instances of supervised, unsupervised, or reinforcement learning problem. Summarize the history and evolution of text analytics.  Review of the terminology and different metaphors and perspectives of text analytics. Evaluate several text analytics models and techniques. Apply text analytics techniques.
  • Analyze and explain managerial concerns in security, privacy, and governance.
  • Demonstrate the collection and processing of data. Design methods to solve a Big Data problem.
  • Implement a solution to the problem and interpret the accuracy of results.
  • Develop research proposals concerning methodology, problem solving, and solutions.
  • Create a research report containing the research problem, selected approach, solution, and results.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in data presentation.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement required software using R.
  • Demonstrated ability to professionally present the project plan and results.
Project Management:
  • Examine key project management theories, project manager roles, and project management frameworks and apply those concepts to information technology project management;
  • Outline the key components of the PMBOK or Project Management Body of Knowledge;
  • Apply project management techniques to initiate an information technology project;
  • Examine the implications for making ethical decisions when managing information technology professionals as well as information technology projects;
  • Create a project charter appropriate for an information technology project scenario;
  • Analyze the components of a project scope document and how it applies to information technology project management;
  • Explain how a project schedule is constructed based on a WBS, project scope, and resource requirements and techniques for project time management;
  • Evaluate tools and methods for scheduling project deliverables and apply those concepts, including a Work Breakdown Structure, to identify roles and scheduling resources for information technology project scenarios;
  • Create a project scope document for an approved information technology project charter;
  • Create a transition plan appropriate for an information technology project scenario;
  • Evaluate methods for managing information technology project related human capital including motivational theories, conflict management techniques, methods for building team cohesiveness, conflict management techniques, and communications tools;
  • Apply communication strategies to relay complex information technology concepts to both internal and external stakeholders at all levels of an organization including remote/offsite project team members;
  • Create an internal/external communication plan appropriate for an information technology project scenario;
  • Evaluate types of costs and their relevance to information technology project management, and apply project cost estimating methods to information technology projects;
  • Outline techniques for analyzing project risks and opportunities;
  • Create a cost management plan for a given information technology project scenario;
  • Create a risk management plan appropriate for an information technology project scenario;
  • Apply project procurement processes to information technology project management scenarios;
  • Perform an impact analysis on an information technology project plan in terms of time/schedule, cost/resources, quality, and scope;
  • Identify change, explain how to document change, recommend techniques for mitigating change, and evaluate techniques to acquire stakeholder approval for change associated with a project management scenario;
  • Apply quality management theories, tools, and processes to project management scenarios to ensure high quality deliverables;
  • Assess techniques and processes associated with closing a project at multiple levels;
  • Create a quality management plan appropriate for an information technology project scenario;
  • Create a project closure plan for an information technology project management scenario;
  • Apply information technology concepts to an information technology research project;
  • Demonstrate project management skills, problem solving skills, and communication skills;
  • Synthesize research findings in a technical document including the purpose of the research including the problem being solved, a literature review and appropriate theory, a data collection plan, findings and conclusions, and summary and recommendations;
  • Create a comprehensive project plan document that at a high level of abstraction includes the following sections: pre-project setup/initiating, project planning, project execution and delivery, project change control and communication, and project closure; and
  • Engage in an oral defense of the master’s project highlighting key components including: the problem and rationale for the project, solution, stakeholders, resources including human capital, time requirements, budgetary requirements, risks and opportunities, quality management, ethical considerations, and project closure.  
Information Security and Assurance:
  • Explore the technical, legal, social, and political theories and issues of Information Security and Assurance including cybersecurity including privacy and data classification as well as vulnerabilities and threats posed by cyber criminals, terrorists, and other threats to our national infrastructure including computer networks as legally regulated by federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and cases related to surveillance, cyber intrusions of national and global proportion, data breaches, privacy issues, and important civil liberties;
  • Evaluate best practices associated with planning, managing personnel and processes, generating policies and procedures, and assuring adequate security measures to maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer systems including secure software development, operating systems security, and database design security;
  • Identify ethical and legal issues using technology and procedures to manage an equitable, sustainable, and safe computing environment including maintaining compliance with securing and protecting information, copyright laws, and privacy laws from state and national perspectives while accounting for social, ethical, and legal implications when designing technology initiatives and practical applications;
  • Integrate risk assessment and management strategies including Control Focused Risk Management and Event Focused Risk Management as well as short and long term risk management and remediation techniques for information technology projects based on an assessment of the security landscape that also includes identifying possible threats, potential vulnerabilities, and likely consequences of security failures;
  • Compare and contrast common security standards, associated catalogues of security controls, and cybersecurity models including the CIA triad as well as best practices for implementing security training including certification and accreditation;
  • Justify the need for business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, addressing incident response mechanisms and processes, and describe the components of such plans and processes including information security metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), security policies, and associated documentation and processes as part of a security assessment and governance initiative to manage cyber-attacks, computer crimes, or natural disasters;
  • Explore key concepts and theories of network architecture and associated topics such as network architecture, network security, logical and physical security, cryptography, encryption/decryption, network and security management tools including firewalls, VPNs, virtualization, cloud technologies, intrusion detection DNAs, DMZs, and wireless networks and accompanying security issues;
  • Explore techniques and processes associated with computer forensics including computer crimes, electronic evidence, data extraction, and data preservation across various hardware platforms and operating systems incorporating the use of varied media types, boot processes, file systems, and file metadata as well as data recovery, encryption/decryption, steganography, recovering deleted files, identifying hidden files, and log files and monitoring software;
  • Apply network forensic techniques and processes including collecting and analyzing network-based evidence, reconstructing Web browsing history, email activity, windows registry changes, intrusion detection, and tracking offenders by using tools and techniques such as intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems;
  • Evaluate the impact of information security and assurance on corporate culture as well as techniques for regulating compliance with security measures and policies in a corporate setting; and
  • Demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills in research, writing, and oral presentation by critically applying theories, concepts, and skills to a master’s project. 

Mobile and Web Applications Development: 
  • Outline a history of the Internet.
  • Examine the foundations of mobile and Web application development.
  • Assess trends in mobile and Web development.
  • Apply the software development life cycle to mobile applications.
  • Explore business uses associated with mobile and Web application development.
  • Examine the concept of full stack Web development.
  • Survey various types of tools used in mobile and Web application development.
  • Outline the need for software versioning or version control and associated tools.
  • Differentiate between client and server-side programming/processing.
  • Examine the use of databases in mobile and Web applications.
  • Explain essential database concepts.
  • Survey SQL as a means of accessing databases.
  • Explore Web server uses.
  • Synthesize a protocol for user interface design techniques and best practices.
  • Explore editing environments for writing HTML and CSS code.
  • Examine the Document Object Model.
  • Specify the general HTML structure for a Web page.
  • Apply HTML tags for specific uses in Web pages.
  • Apply HTML validation techniques and interpret the results.
  • Explain the value of CSS and why it is used.
  • Evaluate the placement of CSS and when to use each variant.
  • Apply CSS to various HTML tags for an enhanced aesthetic and user experience.
  • Examine responsive Web design.
  • Explore JavaScript scripting language foundations.
  • Examine core programming concepts including but not limited to sequence of code, syntax, declarations, data types, variables, assignment, operators such as mathematical, Boolean, and comparison, and control structures such as conditions and looping, and comments.
  • Evaluate scripting languages and frameworks for server-side scripting.
  • Examine Android fundamentals.
  • Download and install the Android Studio development environment.
  • Synthesize various Android Studio interface options for application (app) development.
  • Implement Android application features using Java.
  • Submit applications to Google Play.
  • Examine iOS fundamentals.
  • Download and install the Xcode development environment.
  • Synthesize various Xcode interface options for application (app) development.
  • Implement iOS application features using Swift 3.
  • Submit applications to the Apple App Store.
  • Demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills in research, writing, and oral presentation by critically applying theories, concepts, and skills to a master’s project.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • One professional reference. Note: a second reference may be requested to support conditional admission decisions.
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 30 units distributed as follows:

    • Core Curriculum: 12 units
    • Select an emphasis area: 18 units
      • Data Analytics
      • Mobile and Web Applications Development
      • Project Management
      • Information Security and Assurance

    Take the following 30 units: 

    Core Curriculum (12 Units)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.