Program Overview

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Competitive Intelligence Systems degree program is designed to educate business and information systems professionals in the concepts, activities and issues related to business intelligence systems.

In additional to the traditional MS in Competitive Intelligence Systems, as of the Spring 2013 term, a new Enterprise Systems Concentration has been added to the degree.  This concentration is designed to educate business and information systems professionals in both business analytics and enterprise systems concepts, activities and issues related to mainframe-based  business intelligence systems.

Modern business organizations must leverage the vast quantities of collected information to make effective decisions and achieve a strategic competitive advantage. Competitive intelligence (CI) embodies a systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing and managing internal and external information that can affect an organization's plans, decisions and operations.

Graduates of the program can expect to support data warehousing, data mining and geographic information systems to aid in marketing research and segmentation, corporate strategic planning, facility location, and product design and distribution.

The market for business intelligence is worth about $2 billion a year worldwide. Realizing the need to create competitive strategies, a growing number of large global companies have established world-class CI functions in their organizations. A 1998 survey showed 60 percent of companies with annual revenues of more than $1 billion had an organized CI system in place. While many larger companies have departments dedicated to CI, mid-sized companies often hire CI consulting firms to gather and analyze intelligence.

About 77 percent of CI professionals work in corporations, while 17 percent are consultants. The top five industries utilizing CI professionals are consulting, communications, chemical/pharmaceutical, information and defense/aerospace. According to a 2003 survey, the median salary for CI professionals was $72,000 per year.

Program Prerequisites

Prerequisites for this program include six credits of information systems courses and six credits of business courses. These prerequisites can be satisfied by demonstrating a 'C' grade or better in equivalent undergraduate courses or by successfully completing approved undergraduate courses at Robert Morris University. In many cases, prerequisite courses may be completed concurrently with graduate-level coursework.


The M.S. in Competitive Intelligence Systems is a 30-credit degree program comprised of seven required courses (21 credits) and three elective courses (9 credits).

Required Courses - 21 credits
INFS6010    Decision Support Systems Analysis and Design 
INFS6240    Database Management System 
INFS6630    Geographic Information Systems 
INFS6490    Computer Network Security 
INFS6510    Competitive Intelligence Systems 
INFS6720    Data Mining 
INFS6730    Data Warehousing

Elective Courses - 9 credits
Choose three graduate-level courses from selected communications and information systems offerings.

Application Procedures

Students should submit the following credentials to the Graduate Admissions Office:

  1. A completed application and a non-refundable $35 application fee. Or apply online for free.
  2. Official undergraduate transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  3. Two current letters of recommendation.
  4. A current resume.
  5. A brief essay outlining goals for the program.

All application materials must be received before an admission decision can be made.


Tuition information can be found at Tuition Fees & Schedules.

Program Location

Offered in both Moon Township and on-line.