11 Week Graduate Program New Student Orientation

MS-IST Program Information

The MS-IST program strives to provide a stimulating, intellectually rigorous, ethically sensitive and personally fulfilling program of learning. The course work is relevant to the professional and lifelong learning needs of professionals and managers in technology-related careers in business, education, government, religious and service organizations. The program is designed to develop competencies and skills for innovative and responsible leadership. The program is designed to provide a strong core of skills required for all technology professionals, along with considerable flexibility to enable students to choose courses for their program that fit their particular needs and interests.



All MS-IST students will be involved with the common body of knowledge characteristic of all elements of leadership including the following:

the ability to solve problems, based on a knowledge of tools, concepts, and theories of key technology disciplines;

the ability to transcend functional boundaries, synthesizing and integrating information to make complex, short-term decisions with limited information, as well as conduct the research, competitive analysis, and environmental scanning necessary for long-term strategic decisions;

the ability to work in a range of technology-specific areas, and to collaborate both with technologists and with business and organizational people to leverage technology to accomplish the goals of the organization;

the ability to effectively harness and use information technology;

effective written, oral and presentation skills;

the interpersonal and team leadership skills needed to build an organizational environment that is effective and conducive to collaboration;

a sense of professional and social responsibility in the conduct of organizational affairs, especially as they relate to information and technology. 



On-campus Master of Information Systems and Technology courses are offered year round in four 11-week terms: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Classes are scheduled in the evening once a week to accommodate adult learners who are employed full-time and pursuing course work on a part-time basis. Occasionally, a class will be scheduled on Saturday mornings or there are sometimes compressed courses offered. Those who choose to do so may complete their program in two years by taking two courses per term. Those who wish to proceed at a slower pace may do so as long as they complete the program within seven years after their first registration.

On-line courses are offered by the Master of Business Administration program, year round, in five 8-week terms: Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4 and Term 5.  All students admitted to the Master of Information Systems and Technology program are eligible to register for on-line courses, to fulfill their Foundation course requirements as well as to fulfill their business core course requirements.



The MS-IST requires 36 semester credits of course work (9 foundation course credits, 18 core course credits and 9 elective credits) which must be completed within a seven-year period. Pass/Fail grading is not permitted for any courses taken towards graduation credit in the MS-IST.  Basic knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet and database applications is expected.  Each course listed below is the equivalent of 3 credits. 

Foundation Courses (9 Credits)

    • BUS 567                   Behavior Science for Managers
    • BUS 581                   Management Concepts for Information Technology
    • IST 586                     Information Systems and Business Strategy 

Core Courses (36 Credits) Select four of the following IST core courses for program completion:

    • IST 503      Project and Change Management
    • IST 532      Distributed Systems and Applications
    • IST 534      Relational Technology
    • IST 535      Information Security Management
    • IST 570      Emerging Technologies and Issues
    • IST 583      Business Systems
    • IST 584      Data Communication and Networking 

Business Core Courses (6 Credits)

Select two additional business courses from across the MBA program offerings. 

Electives (9 Credits)

Select three electives courses from other IST course offerings, as well as graduate IT courses from the School of Management or graduate courses in Computer Science

    • IST 501      Healthcare Information Systems (BioInformatics)
    • IST 502      Information Technology Infrastructures
    • IST 587      Management Concepts for e-Business
    • IST 599      Integrated Project


Students who wish to modify courses or program academic requirements may submit a Graduate Petition Form to the appropriate graduate office. All requests are reviewed by the appropriate program director and dean. Waiving a course does not grant credit. It simply means the student does not have to enroll in the course and may substitute an elective course, if necessary.


Independent Study

Independent study is research in an area not covered by course work listed in the CLU graduate course catalog and is always listed with the appropriate department number as “Independent Study.” Approval of independent study must be obtained by completing the appropriate request form available from the Registrar’s Office. The form must be signed by the student, instructor and appropriate program director and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the last day to add a class. Standards and work requirements for independent study are the same as those for a course which is part of the regularly scheduled curriculum.  

Academic Limits

A student’s program is limited to a maximum combination of 12 credits of course waivers, transfer of credit, credit by examination, tutorial work and independent study.  Students have seven years to complete a master’s degree program after initial registration for courses. Under special circumstances, prior to the end of the seven-year period, students may petition for an extension of time. A student is considered to not have been continuously enrolled if she or he does not register for classes for one calendar year. Continuous enrollment or re-entry into a program requires normal progress toward a degree. Students who do not enroll continuously must meet with a university adviser prior to subsequent enrollments to determine if changes in the program have occurred. These students must also complete, with their adviser, a new program advisement form and admission application. Such students are subject to new program requirements and a review of course recency and transfer credit.


Grades and Grade Points

The cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU and transferable course work. The CLU grade point average (CLU GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU course work. CLU policy does not allow for rounding up decimals when computing the GPA. When the GPA is recorded, it is truncated at the third decimal.  Only courses with grades of “C” (2.0) or better will be counted toward the total number of credits required for the degree. Courses resulting in a grade of C- or below must be repeated. A “B” (3.0) average is required for continued enrollment in the graduate program and for receiving the master’s degree. Graduate grades and grade points are assigned according to the following grading scale:  

Grade Grade Points Per Attempted Credit Hour Earned
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0


C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

The following grades are not used in computing the GPA:

IN              Incomplete - No grade points, no credit given

IP              In Progress – No grade points, no credit given

P               Passing - No grade points, credit given

NC            No Credit - No grade points and no credit given

W              Withdrawal - No grade points and no credit given

AU            Audit - No grade points and no credit given

NR            No Report - No grade points, no grade report submitted by faculty 

A grade of “IN” (Incomplete) may be assigned only in the case of a student who, for illness or other circumstances beyond his or her control, has missed a final examination or major piece of work. A student may not make up the Incomplete by repeating the course. Make-up work must be evaluated by the instructor who assigned the original grade of Incomplete. If not made up within one year’s time, an “IN” automatically becomes an “NC.” A student may petition in writing to extend an “IN” beyond one year if there are extenuating circumstances.

“IP” (In Progress) is given for theses, practica, internships and courses wherein the work has been evaluated and found to be satisfactory to date, but the assignment of a grade must await its completion. “IP” carries no credit until replaced by a permanent grade. The “IP” grade may be replaced by the appropriate final letter grade within one calendar year from the start of the class. “IP” grades which have not been resolved will be changed to “F” (undergraduate) or “NC” (graduate) at the time the student’s degree is posted.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Grades for all courses, including those that may have ended prior to the last day of the semester, are processed at the semester’s closing date. Grades are available online through WebAdvisor available through your MyCLU portal. Grade reports will not automatically be mailed to students. Official transcripts of a student’s complete record may be requested in writing by the student from the Registrar’s Office. CLU reserves the right to withhold grade reports or transcripts if the student’s financial obligations to the University have not been met. 

Grade Challenges and Changes

The normal presumption in the administration of grades at California Lutheran University is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in his or her courses and to assign grades to that work.

If a student believes that a grade was assigned in error, he or she should approach the instructor immediately. If the instructor believes that the grade was assigned in error, he or she will submit a grade change form identifying the reason for the change. Grade Changes must be submitted within on semester following the term in which the initial grade was earned.

If a student believes that a particular grade was assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust or that crucial evidence was not taken into account, the student may file a grade challenge. The challenge must be presented in writing to the instructor by the end of the semester in which the disputed grade was given. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the student may present a written appeal to the department chair or program director who is the instructor’s immediate supervisor. If the conflict cannot be resolved at the departmental level, then the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate dean, who will follow the process described in the Faculty Handbook.

Repeated Courses Students may repeat a course, unless otherwise specified, regardless of the grade received. Grades of C- or lower, however, cannot be used to meet degree program requirements and must be repeated. Grades for the initial attempt and all subsequent repeats remain on the student’s academic record and are factored into the GPA. Credit for the course will be given only once and all repeated courses must be completed at CLU.



A minimum 3.0 CLU GPA and cumulative GPA are required of all students enrolled in a graduate program or enrolled in the teacher preparation program. Students whose CLU or cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation are required to meet with their Program Director before the next term.  They have two terms to bring their CLU GPA and cumulative GPA up to 3.0. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 CLU and cumulative GPA are subject to academic disqualification from the University.


Attending graduate classes should be stimulating, informative and sometimes even fun, but only when the environment is conducive to learning. While teachers have varying levels of tolerance for various classroom behaviors, basic classroom etiquette shows courtesy and respect toward your classmates and teachers alike.

 Do ... 

  • Arrive on time and return from any breaks on time
  • Be respectful of other individuals - their thoughts, ideas and opinions
  • Address your professor with a formal title, unless told otherwise
  • Turn off your cell phone ring; if you must answer the phone, leave the room
  • If food is allowed, eat quietly
  • Ask the instructor questions if you do not understand the material being covered
  • Dress appropriately; don't reveal too much skin
  • Visit the professor during office hours, if needed
  • Be attentive and respectful
  • Actively participate without dominating discussions
  • Be courteous and listen to what others have to say
  • Respond to conflicting ideas and perspectives in a respectful manner
  • Speak so that all members of the group can understand what you are saying
  • Have FUN!


Don't ...

  • Text-message friends, answer the phone or surf the Web
  • Crunch food loudly or crinkle wrappers
  • Argue with the professor
  • Carry on side conversations during class (even if it relates to the class topic)
  • Leave class early without clearing it in advance
  • Send professor e-mails that are written too casually or lack punctuation
  • Make offensive comments or gestures or use offensive language
  • Bring children and/or pets (service animals excepted) to class


*The above lists are a compilation of recommended classroom DOs and DON’Ts.  These lists in no way constitute a complete listing.  Additional rules and regulations may be determined in class by the professor.



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