Students at computers in class

B.S. in Information Technology

Are you currently working in the information technology (IT) field? Is your lack of a college degree holding you back from advancement opportunities? Make the most of your technological expertise with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Our information technology program is a well-rounded, well-balanced program which provides value-added skills to students in various information technology fields. Students learn hands-on skills in various information technology areas such as business intelligence, cloud computing, information security, enterprise architecture, database design, and emerging technologies. This program is STEM designated.

Program Outcomes

This program equips students with both the business savvy and technical skills necessary to become an effective IT leader. Completing the program will prepare you to develop innovative solutions for emerging technologies and address technical challenges in the private and public sectors.

Location

This program is offered at our Twin Cities location.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 122 semester credits are required for graduation with the bachelor of science degree from Saint Mary's University. All students must meet the general education credit requirements. A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete the B.S. in Information Technology.

Required Information Technology Courses 27 cr.
Required Management Courses 6 cr.
Required Communication Courses 6 cr.
Required Capstone Course 3 cr.
Electives 3 cr.
Total Credits 45 cr.

Required Information Technology Courses: 27 cr.

IT301 Information Technology Perspectives (3 cr.)

This course provides a context for understanding the information technology industry. Trends in the industry and viable career options are identified and explored. Important technological shifts in the industry are examined. The fundamentals of career management and self-identification of a specialized and marketable segment of the information technology industry are covered.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate current information technologies and their demands for business applications.
  2. Develop a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program portfolio.
  3. Describe the key components of the Information Technology Program curriculum to showcase IT skills learned during each course in the program.
  4. Develop an actionable career plan to include developing effective resumes and cover letters.
  5. Analyze career advancement opportunities.

IT303 Data and Database Management Systems (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of methods used to analyze, capture, process, and manage data resources. Database structures and models are examined. Design and normalization of data, database management systems, relational models, and query interfaces are also studied.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate fundamental database concepts.
  2. Interpret a simple business problem to extract requirements and express them in data model.
  3. Explain the value of different types of database used to solve business problems.
  4. Communicate business requirements via industry standard diagrams.
  5. Describe relational table design and the pitfalls of poor design.
  6. Explain the fundamentals of structured query language (SQL).
  7. Evaluate a data model and propose a database structure to match.
     

IT304 Business Fundamentals for IT Professionals (3 cr.)

This course details how information technology professionals and business experts work together to make investment and implementation decisions to support an organization's overall business goals. Topics such as organizational structure, business process, and return on technological investment are examined. Additionally, concepts relatively new to information technology – intrapreneuring, intercompany selling, and revenue generation – are defined and discussed. The skills needed to participate in business process definition, to estimate and measure return on investment, and to present an effective technology proposal are covered.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the scope and significance of the business mission, company values, and company goal.
  2. Analyze the impact of business operations on key stakeholders.
  3. Evaluate the functional and interdepartmental units of a business and the related information technology needs.
  4. Evaluate key business performance indicators.
  5. Analyze economic trends and the related impact on businesses and organizations.
  6. Communicate technical solutions to non-technical audiences.

IT305 Enterprise Architecture Fundamentals (3 cr.)

This course covers the fundamentals of enterprise architecture concepts, including the purpose and importance of architecture in the enterprise. It discusses current problems with efforts to establish and maintain architectures, and methods to overcome the obstacles.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the basic components of an enterprise architecture.
  2. Explain terminology and diagrams used in enterprise architecture.
  3. Evaluate and select appropriate architectural principles and understand their implementation.
  4. Identify the business drivers that affect architecture selections.
  5. Explain the real-world environment in which an architecture exists, including barriers, difficulties, and effectiveness.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work as an enterprise architect and provide assistance in implementing an architecture on various projects.
     

IT309 Information Ethics (3 cr.)

This course provides a foundation in the moral and ethical issues of doing business in the technological age. Topics include the role of information in an organization, ownership of information, and the rights of the corporation and the rights of the employees. Moral and political implications of doing business globally in an economically sustainable and culturally sensitive way are also covered.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply principles of ethical decision making to business issues.
  2. Articulate views on ethical issues clearly in both oral and written form.
  3. Analyze ethical, social, legal, and economic issues related to computers.
  4. Understand ethical standards of conduct in a business environment when relating to the corporation, employees, vendors, and customers.
  5. Recognize the ramifications of technology on how we live and how we interact with one another.
  6. Evaluate an ethical dilemma from a variety of perspectives.
     

IT312 Emerging Trends in Business Technology (3 cr.)

This course surveys the technical advancements and innovations that are reshaping business technology in the 21st century. Students examine techniques for identifying technology trends, develop methodologies for evaluating new technologies for specific business use, craft effective presentations that solicit managerial buy-in, and model adoption strategies that minimize the risk of implementation failure.


Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify credible sources for business technology trends.
  2. Evaluate new technologies.
  3. Formulate an industry standard information technology architecture strategy.
  4. Analyze the pros and cons of utilizing leading-edge technology applications for business solutions and present the conclusion to key stakeholders.

IT432 Advanced Information Security Tools and Methods (3 cr.)

This course introduces students to the information security technology and tools needed to implement security measures for a variety of information systems.  Students spend time working in computer labs to analyze and evaluate security threats that have the potential to impact various information systems. Students also recommend strategies and policies to improve the security of these systems.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze techniques to mitigate malicious software attacks and other information security threats.
  2. Inspect the operation of a certification authority and issue digital certificates.
  3. Analyze various techniques and standards to test the cyber tool kit components.
  4. Present the specified findings and facts clearly and concisely.
  5. Evaluate the relationship among people, processes, and the use of information and related technology.
  6. Explain how authentication is used with cryptography to secure information access.

IT440 Business Intelligence Fundamentals (3 cr.)

This course introduces data warehousing and decision support infrastructures that support organizational performance management. Information requirements for managerial decisions, dimensional modeling, data warehouse development, and data analysis techniques are covered.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop a general understanding of the types of problems involved in business decisions.
  2. Explain how data retrieval and analysis technologies are applied to support business decision making.
  3. Identify the organizational challenges involved in data warehouse development.
  4. Describe how to design data structures that support multidimensional analysis.
  5. Identify the requirements for successful data warehousing initiatives.
  6. Explain the relationship of the data warehouse to operational computing and how the data warehouse is maintained.
  7. Demonstrate basic data analysis techniques.

 

IT457 Cloud Computing Fundamentals (3 cr.)

This course introduces the fundamental building blocks of cloud computing and virtualized data centers, with an emphasis on the design, implementation, and operation of real-world cloud-based systems. Students examine the meaning of the term "cloud computing" and its proper context; evaluate the financial, strategic and risk implications of various solutions; develop design methodologies for evaluating, planning and implementing cloud computing; and select the optimal blend of cloud applications and services for solving common business problems. 

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Explain cloud computing concepts to a business audience in layman's terms.
  2. Explain how the architectural components in various cloud computing frameworks fit together.
  3. Evaluate the operational and financial feasibility of implementing a cloud computing solution to solve a given business problem.
  4.  Develop a project proposal for evaluating, planning and implementing a specific cloud computing solution.
  5.  Identify and discuss the pros and cons of utilizing commercially available cloud computing services.

Required Management Courses: 6 cr.

BU407 Financial Management (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of financial management of organizations. Topics covered include the assessment of types of business entities and capital acquisition sources, basic financial statement analysis, the assessment of how income taxes impact the financial decision-making process, the evaluation of capital projects using the time value of money concepts, management of an entity's current assets and current liabilities, and the maximization of shareholder wealth.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and describe the various forms of business organizations and the different ways in which they are financed.
  2. Explain the financial reporting requirements for different types of business entities.
  3. Apply the principles of managing current assets and current liabilities to different types of business entities.
  4. Assess the existence of management problems or opportunities by analyzing company financial statements and making comparisons to other companies in the same industry.
  5. Compute net present values calculations and use them in financial decision making.
  6. Prepare cash flow budgets.
  7. Prepare a breakeven analysis for profit planning.
  8. Identify and explain how the actions of the federal government may impact financial decision making.

MG405 Organizational Culture and Change (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the ability of leaders to understand and manage organizational change. It addresses a broad-based understanding of the nature, function, and complexities of organizations. Ways of dealing with change are developed from sometimes disparate views of organizations.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the basic nature of organizations, organizational cultures, and organizational change.
  2. Understand the basic processes of organizational change and change interventions.
  3. Differentiate and apply change intervention methods.
  4. Understand the nature of organizational change in global settings.
  5. Articulate positions regarding the future or organizational culture and change.

MG408 Project Management (3 cr.)

This course emphasizes leadership concepts related to directing and coordinating human and material resources for relatively short-term projects that have been established to complete specific goals and objectives. The skills and procedures needed to take a project from definition through completion are presented.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the critical technical competencies in project management.
  2. Explain the dynamics of project team development and interpersonal problem solving.
  3. Identify strategies for effective team building.
  4. Evaluate the critical dimensions of project scope, time, communication, quality, risk, and cost management.
  5. Identify strategies for effective project monitoring and controlling.
  6. Describe several project management practices that lead to project success.
  7. Demonstrate how plan development is integrated into the basic functions of a business organization.

MG410 Applied Leadership and Management (3 cr.)

This course explores the application of leadership and management theory in today's business organizations.  Contemporary organizational leadership theories and practices are examined.  Also examined are management functions such as planning, organizing, and decision making.  The course emphasizes the analysis of leadership and management skills needed by professionals in various organizational situations.  Leadership and management practices in the context of various organizational trends are evaluated.

Upon completion of this course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Assess various leadership and management theories, frameworks, and concepts.
  2. Explain the roles and responsibilities required of leaders and managers in various organizational contexts.
  3. Analyze the circumstances that require the application and practice of leadership and management skills.
  4. Evaluate the significance of both formal and informal leadership roles in an organization. 
  5. Demonstrate management skills such as planning, goal setting, decision making, and measuring outcomes.
  6. Explore emerging trends that impact organizations such as global competition, workforce diversity, corporate social responsibility, and organizational change that leaders and managers need to understand.
  7. Assess the impact of effective leadership in developing ethical organizational cultures.

MG412 Critical Thinking for Organizational Leaders (3 cr.)

This course examines the relevance and application of critical thinking and decision-making techniques for leadership and management in various organizations.  Students identify and evaluate the leadership and management capabilities of themselves and others.  The course focuses on eliciting new leadership insights, and on improving problem solving and decision-making skills.  Finally, the course emphasizes the skills leaders and managers in organizations need to articulate reasoned solutions to organizational problems and opportunities.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the roles and responsibilities of leaders and managers as problem solvers in organizations.
  2. Assess the decision-making challenges facing leaders and managers in various organizational settings.
  3. Utilize critical thinking as an imaginative process in organizational leadership and management.
  4. Evaluate the leadership and management capabilities, strengths, and skills within a team.
  5. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking to navigate the complexity of organizational challenges and opportunities.
  6. Explore various knowledge management and decision-making tools and systems.
  7. Assess the impact of change on individuals and organizations and the significance of change management strategies.

 

Required Communication Courses: 6 cr.

COM310 Oral Communications (3 cr.)

Communication skills pertinent to organizational settings form the foundation of this course.  Effective methods for design and delivery of oral communication are examined. Other topics include communication styles, effective listening, interpersonal communication skills, dynamics of small group communication and persuasive speaking, all in the context of professional workplace communications.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate effective and active listening skills.
  3. Recognize and adapt to differing communication styles.
  4. Demonstrate skill in interpersonal communication.
  5. Understand small group dynamics.
  6. Demonstrate persuasive speaking techniques.
  7. Effectively create and utilize graphics or other appropriate media in professional presentations.
  8. Deliver organized, professional informational and persuasive presentations.
     

COM409 Technical Writing (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the formal demands, as well as the underlying logic, necessary to meet many complex technical writing situations. Students examine the technical writing process with an emphasis on revision and editing skills. Students explore how style, format, and the use of visuals can affect the quality of their communication. Techniques to strategically adapt technical documents to fit a specific audience and purpose are practiced. Topics include forms of technical writing, such as definitions, descriptions, manuals, reports, and formal documentation. Aspects of developing technologies and their communication needs are explored.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Distinguish between the common forms of technical writing.
  2. Effectively adapt technical documents for a specific audience and purpose.
  3. Articulate the interaction between written and visual communication.
  4. Demonstrate a technical writing style.
  5. Outline and apply the writing process.
  6. Employ revision and editing skills.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of writing needs for new media modalities.

Required Capstone Course 3 cr.

IT490 Bachelor of Science Completion Capstone (3 cr.)

This course provides an opportunity for students to integrate knowledge and skills developed in the Information Technology program and to apply them to a relevant topic. Students select a problem or controversial issue in their area of specialization, research the issue, analyze and critique material related to the topic, and design an application or approach that addresses the issue. Additionally, students demonstrate the educational outcomes of the Information Technology program. The capstone is presented in a business context.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills.
  2. Understand ethical implications as they relate to their project.
  3. Develop strategies for continuing education and competence in the student's chosen field of study.
  4. Communicate using inclusive methods in a variety of modes.
  5. Identify management principles relevant to their final project.
  6. Address diversity as it relates to their selected issue, field of study and profession.
  7. Identify available resources within their field pertaining to their final project.
  8. Recognize and adapt to trends in their field of study.

Electives: 3 cr.

IT415 Leveraging Mobile Technologies (3 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to mobile devices, networks, and applications. Topics include the roles of financial institutions, operators, content providers, and other key parties in the mobile commerce value chain; core mobile technologies; and the differences between m-commerce and e-commerce. The current mobile infrastruction, mobile technology trends, and emerging business opportunities are covered.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate the most promising mobile technologies and their potential application.
  2. Identify the key components of the mobile Internet.
  3. Identify the roles of financial institutions, operators, content providers, and other key parties in the mobile commerce value chain.
  4. Discuss mobile security issues and payment methods.
  5. Contrast and compare the possibilities and the limitations of the mobile environment.
  6. Describe the intrinsic differences between m-commerce and e-commerce.
     

IT438 Advanced Computer Forensics (3 cr.)

This course presents the theories and techniques for investigating intrusions and illegal activities that occur in information systems. Students work in a computer lab setting to investigate cybercrimes and gather evidence of unlawful activities.  Students also evaluate the use of various software forensic tools and related technologies.  The use of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption, virtual private networks, and operating system hardening are examined.  Students use open source technologies to evaluate security breaches and protect various information systems.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Examine the variety of network security issues that enable hackers to breach information systems.
  2. Evaluate the various ways that hackers can access information.
  3. Analyze the encryption and security policies of a system.
  4. Evaluate problems associated with operating system features and settings.
  5. Evaluate defenses against virus attacks, Trojan horses, and spyware.
  6. Analyze computer-based espionage and terrorism.
  7. Synthesize concepts behind penetration testing phases.
  8. Integrate the use of reconnaissance tools and produce reconnaissance against prepared targets.
  9. Use various forensic tools to provide solution-based results to mitigate security issues.

IT441 Applied Business Analytics (3 cr.)

This course introduces the computer-assisted process of evaluating enormous sets of data to find previously undiscovered patterns, draw conclusions, and then make decisions based on the patterns. Concepts are introduced and applied using current software tools.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Manage databases using current business intelligence tools.
  2. Create interactive reports using a report writer.
  3. Enable ad hoc reporting using a query builder.
  4. Design and create relational data marts and on-line analytical processing (OLAP) cubes.
  5. Perform powerful data analysis using queries and scripts.
  6. Uncover behavior patterns and proclivities using data mining.
     

IT458 Advanced Cloud Computing Techniques (3 cr.)

This course reviews the fundamental building blocks of a viable cloud computing software application. Students design a scalable prototype application that minimizes local storage and processing. Students implement, and manage their own cloud computing application. This course also explores the use of mobile devices to access cloud computing resources.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate a mastery of open source cloud computing tools.
  2. Design, implement, and manage a working cloud computing software application.
  3. Identify, evaluate, and deploy mobile client software for accessing cloud computing resources.
  4. Identify and discuss the cloud computing architectures employed by commercial cloud computing companies.



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