The University of Kentucky offers an online Master of Science in Information Communication Technology (ICT) through its School of Information Science. This program can be completed entirely online and requires zero visits to campus, enabling students to complete course lectures and assignments from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. This program utilizes the Canvas learning management system, which provides an online portal through which students can attend lectures, review course readings, submit assignments, participate in online discussion forums, and contact faculty for support.
The Master of Science in Information Communication Technology requires the completion of 36 credit hours, which students can complete over the course of two to three years, depending on whether they pursue a full-time or part-time course of study. Students also have the option to pursue one of three concentrations: Health, Technology and Analytics, and Policy and Regulation. Regardless of their chosen concentration, all students take five core courses (15 credits): Information Communication Technology in Society, Research Methods for ICT, Introduction to Leadership in Information Professions, either Data Analysis & Visualization or Introduction to Data Science, and a Practicum that can serve as a transition into students’ work on their final paper and presentation.
After completing all of their core course requirements (save for the practicum), students progress to their elective courses. Students have a great degree of flexibility in terms of the electives they choose to complete–they can either take electives in one of the three concentrations mentioned above, or craft their own course of study in consultation with their academic advisor. Below is a brief description of each formal program concentration:
- Health: This concentration prepares students to work at the intersection of health care and information communication technology. Students take courses in electronic information systems and resources, evidence-based health care, health informatics, consumer health information design and dissemination, and search strategy for health education and promotion. These courses equip students with the skills and knowledge to work in leadership positions in settings such as hospitals, community health centers, medical and health sciences departments of universities, non-profit health advocacy organizations, and corporations specializing in health IT.
- Policy Regulation: This concentration gives students advanced knowledge about information technology regulations and compliance at the individual, organizational/corporate, and governmental levels. Students take courses in e-commerce regulation, security and privacy rights for online users, constitutional law and its relation to information communication technologies, and corporate social responsibility. These and other classes prepare students for roles in security, compliance, government and corporate regulations, and examining and addressing the implications of widespread use of new information technologies.
- Technology & Analytics: This concentration focuses on both the theoretical and the applied elements of information technology security, preparing students to take on roles in advanced database management, software development, information backup and retrieval/recovery, and IT security. Students take courses in information architecture, web design and publishing, data analysis and visualization, network security, and the design and development of solutions to information systems challenges.
As mentioned previously, students also have the option of crafting their own course of study through an individualized choice of electives, as long as they receive approval from their faculty advisor. Examples of specific elective courses that are available to students include Electronic Information Resources in the Health Sciences, Knowledge Management, Leadership in Professional Learning Communities, Seminar in Health Communication Campaigns, Technology Security, Special Topics in ICT, Cybercrime and Digital Law Enforcement, School Technology Leadership for Digital Citizenship, and Information Architectures.
Students must also complete a practicum or internship in a setting that is related to information communication technology management. For students who have selected a concentration, they should choose a practicum setting that aligns with their area of focus–for example, a student specializing in Health should find a practicum that enables him or her to work with medical informatics, consumer health resources, health communication campaigns, or health information resources and services. Students receive guidance from both an internship supervisor and their faculty advisor.
For their culminating experience, students must complete a research paper and presentation. Based on their coursework and internship experience, students identify a problem of practice in the information communication technology space, and conduct intensive research in order to devise a solution to this problem. For their final deliverable, students write a paper outlining their solution along with justification and evidence supporting their conclusions. Students must then present their work to faculty advisors in the form of a poster or some other type of visual presentation.
The University of Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Online Master of Science in Information Communication Technology
Department: School of Information Science
Specializations/Concentrations: Tracks in Health; Technology and Analytics; Policy and Regulation
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Program uses asynchronous instruction utilizing the Canvas learning management system
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Full-time: program can be completed in 2 years taking three courses per semester with no summer classes; Part-time: program can be completed in 3 years taking one to two classes per fall and spring semesters
Start Dates: Fall and Spring admission
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Research proposal with written paper and visual presentation
Credits Required: 36 credits (12 courses)
Example Courses: ICT in Society; Research Methods for ICT; Introduction to Leadership in Information Professions; Consumer Health Information Resources; Introduction to Medical Informatics; Health Information Resource Services; Seminar in Health Communication Campaigns; Leadership in Public Health; Human Computer Interaction; Knowledge Management
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA 3.0
Testing Requirements: GRE not required (as of Spring 2019)
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; personal statement; three letters of recommendation; resume
Estimated Tuition*: ~$24,948 + fees (in-state); $61,488 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $693 per credit hour (in-state); $1,708 per credit hour (out-of-state)
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states