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MIS in US: Top ranking universities with average GRE scores

MS in USAMasters Degree (MS) in Management Information Systems (MIS) has become a rapidly sought-after specialization in the past few decades. But the roots of this specialization are definitely not that new. Let’s say, even Chitragupta, the god of scribes, was practicing MIS while keeping track of the deeds of humans, you know, for purposes of creating a database for good and bad karma.

So, as you might have guessed already, MIS has to do with managing information. Without good practices of record-keeping and utilizing that record, Chitragupta’s ledger could have missed out on meting out fairly deserved karma kickbacks.

What has changed, since the mythological age to the Information age, is the way information can be shared and manipulated. Since early 1900s, business owners were using ledgers and punch cards to keep track of sales, data, finances, etc until they were replaced by computers, using less cumbersome, more efficient database systems.

With the internet, sweeping us off our feet, in the 90s, information realized a bigger, much easier, platform for getting shared. Lately cloud sharing has made information immensely more mobile and accessible.

Parallel to the growth, of the playing field of information, the need for trained professionals, to manage the information, grew. Now, top Universities in the US, offer some of the most well-structured, well established departments for training future business managers [read this article on the best MBA programs in Technology].

What sort of a candidate is fit for MIS

MIS is an interdisciplinary field. However, historically most student bodies have been found to be comprised of Computer Science and Business majors (like about 47% computer science majors at Carnegie Mellon University, according to Careers360).

There are so many among us who like technology and the way it has impacted our daily lives. Just like the way one can sit at home, pay bills online and get “Thank you for your payment” on five different media portals. Or how a thumb (henceforth called the wonder thumb) has the superpower of getting a list of the best tandoori places within 5kms.

And phones are getting smarter daily, while politicians are getting dumber. In other words, you enjoy technology and how it has impacted people’s lives. The field of MIS is made for individuals who want to bridge the gap between technology and the end users.

Not quite completely technical, MIS students don’t have to be adept in technology, yet not completely unaware of technological advances either. Their end goal is to learn how to improve a business organization using technology.
Simplistically put, MIS’ers understand the needs of a business, what are the problems, what needs to be solved, does information exist or need to be acquired, what needs to get integrated by the nerd, behind the computer, aka the programmer, and finally how to implement the development.

In essence, they are the tool-designers who can tell what to do to improve business processes in the long run. Hence, quite understandably, this specialization is not just for programmers, but for individuals who are creatively enterprising.

They are dynamic and can communicate very well, in both code and manager speak. One can choose multiple disciplines, under MIS, such as Business Information Management, IT Strategy, Telecom Management etc – all of which ultimately serve the goal of meaningful use of information for better business organization development.

What are the kind of job roles/salaries after MIS

A few management schools, [Eller (Arizona), NDSU, University of Dayton], have summarized the various job roles to be expected of an MIS graduate. All of them boil down to being the gal or guy who knows the business and technical side of things and brings them together on a common platform.

They are-Business Analyst, Business Application Developer, IT Consultant, Systems Analyst, IT Development Project Leader, Database Administrator, Business Intelligence Analyst, Systems Developer, Database Analyst, Web Developer, Network Administrator, Technical Support Specialist, Information Systems Manager, IT User Liaison and perhaps Chitragupta’s second in command. And average salaries, for good candidates can be as high as plus $100k, in the US [7].

The salaries of the various job roles are competitive in the business. The median salaries can be in the $60k-$80k range, while higher end salaries can be well beyond the $100k mark.
Read Job Opportunities and average salaries after MIS degrees

Which are the best universities to get an MIS degree?

Besides top schools listed here and here, there are others like University of California-Berkeley, Purdue University, Texas A&M, North Eastern, Suny Buffalo and many more.

The consensus for the four best ranked schools are, however, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and University of Arizona – Eller College of Management [US News].

Admission Requirements for MIS programs

Most schools, that offer an MIS degree, accept both GRE and GMAT, for admission processing. If there is a specific need for another test score, such as a subject score for Mathematics, they usually ask for it separately.

The wonder-thumb rule is that an applicant needs to have a pretty decent quantitative background. And going by the standards of current GRE quant section, one needs to be not afraid of high school math. [Read these related posts on GRE exam pattern & syllabus & GRE preparation].

There is, as with other graduate programs, no strict cut-off for GRE or GMAT specified by the individual schools. However here’s a snippet of the GRE scores and cost of education at the top four above-mentioned MIS schools, based on known standards of students and their GRE scores.

School Average GRE Score Tuition Fees
Massachusetts Institute of Technology GRE Verbal- 160, Quant-170 $70k [more details]

(MIT should have a discount for students who can spell Massachusetts in a single attempt.)


Carnegie Mellon University Verbal: 151-158; Quant: 160-167 ~$75k annual possibility of a merit based scholarships.[More details]
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Median GRE ~319

Although the Admissions Director at Carlson Management School doesn’t seem to provide a generally accepted cut-off.

~$49k for non-residential students with the possibility of merit based scholarships. [more details]
University of Arizona Though the University page doesn’t claim a cut-off, a combined score of above 300 is a good goal. ~$60k with the possibility of teaching/research assistantships.

[Edit: Table data updated in May 2018. Check the official site for more recent statistics.]

So, should you or shouldn’t you?

MIS demand is not likely to die soon, at least not until the next human evolution happens. In fact, it is predicted to grow by over 12%, in the next decade [Source].

So clearly, you won’t be sitting around, if you were a hot candidate for a business interested in making money-aka every possible business. If you consider yourself to be a quick thinking, smart, dynamic, technologically aware, creative and social individual, you may need a humility course but you are definitely an MIS candidate worthy of becoming the Senior Organizational Manager of a company.

Learn how to get into the top MS programs.
Additional References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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21 thoughts on “MIS in US: Top ranking universities with average GRE scores”

  1. Hi !
    This is Harish,doing B.E MECHANICAL ENGINEERING . It was really nice to read all the articles here it is really amazing. Now, the point what i need is ” How to get myself into an IVY league university?”. Because ,joining such universities has been my dream for years. Would you suggest me some important ways on how to get through GRE and most importantly how to get into IVY league univs. I know my question is so general to which a specific answer couldn’t be given but then , the reason why i asked this question is because “am totally blank “.

  2. I have done my three years Bachelor degree in Chemistry (Distinction – Pune University). I have one year research experience in college lab. (Unfortunately no publication)..
    I would like enhance my research experience by doing PhD. Can I apply on the basis of three years Bachelor degree for PhD program. Please tell me some tips about application or anything related to admission.

  3. Hai,
    My name is phaninder I am an engineering student i want to apply for ms in us but I need scholarship assitance but I don’t know the right path for applying it so please help me
    Thank you

  4. @Harish: We’ll be publishing a post specifically on Ivy League universities. Watch out for that. Till then, a short version of what admission officers look for in applicants – solid academic grades, strong test scores, good accomplishments at work and outside, clarity of career plans.

    @Lalit: Here’s a detailed account of what you need for PhD applications:

    @Phaninder: Check out the response to Harish’s query above. In addition to all those points, for scholarships, you need to be seen by admission teams as someone who’s better than most other candidates who have already been been admitted.

  5. Hello, i need your help!!
    I have done mechanical Engineering with good academic score. And have 1 year of work experiance. And i want to pursue MS in USA, and i am interested in technical plus managerial (means where i can use my both technical and managerial skills) kind of wil you please tell me which course should i select for MS? Or which field for MS should i select to get a good job?

  6. Hii,

    I am pursuing Bcom from University of Delhi and because of my interest in programming I really want to pursue MS in CS abroad. Am I eligible for it? Do you think I should give it a try??? Please help!!


  7. Hello Sameer,
    I happen to browse through this link as I was searching for my options in USA on h4.
    I have 8 yrs of IT experience back in India, unfortunately I was not through 2016-17 H1 lottery 🙁
    Now I am looking out to pursue with some degree and confused as to should I go on M.S or M.B.A or some short term course. I would like to know if Mba in finance or business analytics is a good option or If you could suggest me some more options.

  8. I am completed BE in Electronic and Telecommunications and Mtech in Electrnics. I have 4 years of experience in teaching field my GRE score is 290. Is this possible for me I will get admission for MS. Currently I am H4 visa holder.

  9. Hi Sameer,
    I have done my MCA from Mumbai University, now working in Accenture since 1 year. I am planning to do MS in MIS.
    Is it worthy to do it ?

  10. Hi,
    I am Radha. My gre score is 307( quants 157 n verbal 150) i have an academic cgpa of 8.9/10 . Can you plz suggest me a good university for MIS course which stresses more on acads than on gre score

  11. Hi friends…… I’have a serious problem of choosing a course for MS in US. I have completed my Bachelor’s of Engineering in Mechanical engineering form an Indian university and managed to bag a 69% with no back logs. My interest is Automotive engineering for MS…. But my aunt away at the USA is suggesting me to take up a course in computer science or Data sciences, the reason being that they feel that I would settle quite faster like 2 years or so with an IT career when compared to that in an automotive field. They say that automotive Engineering requires a lot of expertise to reach a salary that of the computer engineer would earn in the same time. This is a prime concern when it comes to repaying the Educational expenses. I am doubtful if I can sustain n survive in an IT industry while I am from Mechanical background and will I be able to learn Computer science subjects that effectively and easily. Please suggest me some solution to my problem.

    Thank you!

    • Hey Shashank ,

      If you are seriously interested to pursue a career in Automobile Engineering , USA is not the best option what your aunt said is absolutely true better shift to IT before going to US learn as much IT stuff as you can here in INDIA

  12. Hi Sameer,
    I’m having 8 years of experience in Software field. I have worked with Both Big (No. 1 in Mobile & Software Industry) and few start ups. Currently I’m working as a Sr. QA Engineer in one of the Security start up in Bay Area with good salary. My education background is not that impressive. I did my BCA from India. Somehow, I reached at this position after lots of Hard work. Almost all of my colleagues are MS/PHD degree holder. So I feel its a good time to complete my education. I’m thinking for a evening MS Software Eng or MSIS program as i cant leave my full time job.
    What do you think about my situation? Does it worth to spend around 30-40K for a evening MS program after lots of work experience and stable job?

  13. hi ,

    My scores are – gre : 305
    ielts – 7.5
    Btech – 83.5 in ece
    Exp – 3.6 yrs in BI domain

    I am in confusion on which course should I take among these 3 MIS/BA/DS. Can you please suggest me some good colleges as well.

  14. Hello, which MIT MIS program are we talking about here can you post a link? because there’s no way MIT’s tuition is only 27K and the GRE requirements are pretty low as well

    • MIS at MIT is part of their Master of Science in Management Studies program. Here’s the link:

      Though not explicitly mentioned there, the data we’ve used in this article has been referenced from this article: and others

      $27K was the then fee per term (not annually), as mentioned in the table. So the full fee would have been about $60k. The revised fee is about $70k now (in 2018). We’ve updated the fee column to reflect today’s data.

      MIT advises directly contacting their program office for details. Go ahead and do that, so you can be sure about the most recent requirements, and whether MIT currently offers Information Systems as a specialization option.

  15. Hi Sameer,

    I have completed my BE in Computer Engineering in 2013. I have 4.2 years experience in IT application support(Financial and Retail Domain). I am interested in pursuing MS in MIS. Could you please suggest some top universities in US(apart from ones mentioned above) along with their GRE/TOEFL cutoff scores and their average expenditure(tuition fees,boarding etc) .Also could you please suggest some certifications which might score some brownie points while applying.



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