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Information Systems Design
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Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Design

In today's business environment, ad-hoc approaches to information systems development are not sufficient. Modern approaches to the development of information systems, such as structured systems development, relational database development, and object-oriented systems development, are required. The Information Systems certificate prepares the student to design and develop business information systems that use a relational database. In this module, the student studies the strategies and techniques for dealing with the inherent complexity in the development of information systems. System development topics include coverage of (1) business systems planning; (2) fact-finding and requirements analysis techniques; (3) information systems process modeling; (4) logical and physical design; (4) user interface design; (5) introduction to database management systems and their use in business. Database topics covered include (1) data modeling, (2) normalization, (3) SQL, (4) transaction management and concurrency control, (5) physical data organization, (6) query optimization, (7) database administration, (8) distributed databases, (9) data warehousing, (10) integrating databases with the web.  

The problem of efficient data storage and retrieval is one half of one of the core problems in Information Technology. The other half of that problem is determining how to use that data to decide optimal paths in complex domains.

This set of three courses in the Information Systems Design certification will provide students with the specialized knowledge required to attack this problem domain.

Target Audience:

The target audience is professionals in organizations or fields that would utilize information systems and database management and would pursue the certification for job knowledge and career enhancement. Those students will be admitted as non-degree seeking, MIT-Commonwealth students.

We also expect graduate students, full- or part-time and currently enrolled in a VT graduate degree program related to information systems, to be interested in adding this certification as a supplement to their degree.

How To Apply:

External applications should complete the VT-MIT online application as a certificate-seeking student at

Current VT students should contact the MIT Program Office about their interest in this certification at

MIT Graduate Certificates

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admissions Requirements for the Graduate Certificate Information Systems Design

Virginia Tech requires admission to the Graduate School and completion of a Graduate Certificate Application for both degree- and non-degree seeking certificate applicants. 

Degree-seeking applicants: The Graduate School requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or greater for admission to Certificate Status. MIT applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 may qualify for Commonwealth Campus admission and will need to comply with MIT requirements of Commonwealth Campus status prior to admission to Certificate Status. Students pursuing a degree and a certificate simultaneously are classified within their degree program.

For students interested in pursuing both the MIT degree and the certificate(s), no more than fifty percent of certificate courses will be included toward completion of the MIT degree. 

Non-degree seeking applicants: Applicants that wish to obtain a graduate certificate only, without being enrolled in a VT degree program, may apply by completing an abbreviated application to MIT's Certificate program. The Graduate Certificate Application Form is required after admission.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn a GPA of 3.0 or greater or credits earned during the last half of their undergraduate degree.

  • Submit official transcripts.

  • Meet the academic background requirements of the admitting academic unit.

  • International Applicants must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

    • Earn a minimum TOEFL score of 577 paper-based (PBT) or 90 internet-based test (iBT). For the iBT, earn a minimum of 20 on each subject test (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing).

    • Earn a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

    • Some departments have higher TOEFL or IELTS score requirements than those set by the Graduate School.

Admissions - MIT Graduate Certificates

Course Requirements for the Graduate Certificate Information Systems Design

Number of Credit Hours: 

A total of nine credit hours are required. Transfer credits are not permitted. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the designated courses.

Required Courses: 

ACIS 5504 Information Systems Design & Database Concepts: Introduction to design methodologies in information systems. Structured systems analysis and design methodologies are discussed. An introduction to database design methodologies is also included. Topics related to different database models and their implementation is discussed. Students are also required to design and implement information systems using appropriate computer software. 

ACIS 5524 Advanced Database Management Systems: Relates database theories and practices to concepts from other areas such as programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and information systems. The relational, network, and hierarchical models are introduced. A major portion of the course deals with data manipulation languages for the relational model, design theory for relational databases, and query optimization. Pre: ACIS 5504. 

ACIS 5534 Information System Development: Study of theoretical and pragmatic approaches to the development of computer-based information systems. The emphasis is on the management of the systems development process. Strategies for managing the complexity of information systems are explored. The building of logical and physical models of systems through traditional non-executable models and executable computer prototypes. Pre: ACIS 5504.