Information Systems

Help make a difference with data

In the Information Systems concentration, you’ll learn how to apply the latest technological tools to confront complex societal and environmental challenges and to make the most of the new opportunities our digital world presents. You’ll develop the technical skills necessary to inform and direct discussion on a range of policy issues and tasks, including environmental planning, natural resource management, and facility siting.

A world of high-tech opportunity

You’ll get hands-on experience with database design and advanced training in geographic information systems (GIS). You’ll be prepared for a variety of in-demand positions in the public and private sectors, including chief information officer, systems analyst, systems designer, database administrator, and webmaster.

How to apply

5MPA students focused on Information Systems (Spring 2021)

1:2Faculty:Student Ratio (2021)

89%All O’Neill MPA placement rate (2020)

A broad base, plus depth and detail

You’ll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in our MPA program’s core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. You’ll then build on this foundation with three required courses that apply the fundamental aspects of information systems specifically to the public sector.

  • Vector-based Geographic Information Systems (E 518)
  • Public Management Information Systems (I 516)
  • Database Management Systems (I 519)

The remainder of the coursework comes in a wide range of elective courses. These will allow you to tailor your Information Systems program to your own specific interests. A sample of electives are listed below:

Geographic Information Systems 

  • Application of Geographic Information Systems (E 529)

Decision Support and Analysis

  • Environmental Risk Analysis (E 560)
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
  • Management Science for Public Affairs (P 539)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)
  • Design and Management of Information Systems (drop down)
  • Design of Information Systems (I 611)
  • Strategic Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations (M 602)

Networking and Telecommunications 

  • Foundations of Business Telecommunications (BUS-S 515)
  • Government Information ( ILS-Z 525)
  • Information Architecture for the Web (ILS-Z 532)
  • The Information Industry (ILS-Z 643)

With the approval of your advisor, you may also take one elective graduate course in information technology offered by another IU unit, such as the Department of Computer Science, School of Informatics, or the Kelley School of Business.

Combining your Information Systems concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Public Financial Administration or Policy Analysis—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

Experiential learning

Our MPA offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentration's course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

Recent placements and internships:

  • U.S. Congressman - Todd Young
  • Serve IT
  • SinoCarbon Innovation & Investment
  • City of Bloomington, Indiana
  • Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences

Learn from faculty with expertise in information systems


Senior Lecturer

(812) 855-8336

Rachel Breck, MPA’16

Data Manager, Parent Possible, Denver

“I gained technical skills that made me a strong applicant and prove useful on a daily basis in my new position.The instructors in Information System’s core classes make sure students understand the concepts and encouraged me to choose projects that related to my professional interests.”


Kerri Arndt Roselli, MPA’88

Clinical Application Specialist (Statistical Analyst), AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Park, Ill. (contractor through LG Associates)

“I have had a very fulfilling career, with many wonderful opportunities that I attribute to my Information Systems background from IU.”


50 years at O'Neill