Residential and Online Graduate Program Overview
Details on McClure School Remote Attendance Master's Program Option
The J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems offers the Master of Information and Telecommunication Systems (MITS), a professional or research interdisciplinary degree focusing on the technical and strategic issues related to telecommunication and information technologies, systems and services. Principal focus is on voice and data networks, with special emphasis on the interaction of technology and management/policy issues in the successful design, deployment, and operation of complex networks and information systems.
Technology topics includes network theory and infrastructure, quality of service, network assurance and security, network services and IT integration, broadband, and wireless communications. Management/Policy topics include strategy, lifecycle management, IT governance and compliance, government regulation, competition and market structure, international telecommunications, and social/ethical issues. Perspectives include those of network system and service providers, consumers, policy makers, and IT managers. Industry perspectives include telecommunication carriers, communication system equipment vendors, and enterprise voice and data network providers.
The degree is offered in two formats:
The residential program is taught to students attending class at Ohio University’s main campus in Athens, Ohio. The remote attendance program is taught to students who login remotely to specific ITS residential classes from an internet connected device located in the United States. The remote attendance program is not offered to students at international locations.
For the online program, courses will be delivered live to each student’s remote location. Students will supply a computer with browser, camera, headset and have access to a high‐speed internet connection. Students will be “in‐class” simultaneously with both residential and other remotely attending students. Your location can be at home, office, or any other location of your choice.
University financial aid is not available to students in the remote attendance program. However, university financial aid is typically available each academic year for residential students who render graduate research and/or teaching assistance to ITS faculty. The available financial aid is offered to residential program applicants based on the strength of their graduate application. Typically, not all residential students are offered financial aid.
The Residential program is geared for completion in 3 semesters (about 1 year and 4 months). The Remote Attendance program is geared for completion in 4 semesters and 1 summer term (about 1 year and 9 months). However, these completion times are the minimum program completion times. Actual completion time is dependent on: (1) residential or remote student status, (2) academic preparation/level of industry experience, (3) selected pace of the student, and (4) type of degree culmination – thesis, comprehensive exam, or professional project. To finish the remote attendance program in the minimum time requires completion of 2 courses per semester, and 1 course in the summer term.
Core courses provide a background in both technology and management/policy. By the end of the first semester of enrollment, students select one of two telecommunication and networking system tracks (technology or policy) and design with their advisor specialty and cognate coursework to meet the students’ educational and career objectives.
"The online courses have exceeded my expectations. It is just like being in the classroom with the other students. The technology provided has been fantastic and very easy to use. It has also been a great benefit to have the lectures posted online for review after the class is over. The coursework has already helped me in my Engineering role at my current job. I took a research class which has helped me prepare for upcoming projects
and a wireless course which relates directly to my job duties. The instructors have done a good job of engaging the online students and keeping us involved. I look forward to continuing my education and completing my degree through the online Master's program."
"I am able to apply the knowledge I am gaining in the Information and Telecommunication Systems graduate program immediately to resolve complex technology issues."
Director of Telecommunications
"The online course offerings from Ohio University for the ITS Masters degree have been a blessing. Since I left the campus of Ohio University, I've often pondered if I had left just a year too soon. Being able to join the online classes in the evenings still allows me to gain access to the quality education that is unparalleled by other universities and reminds me that being a Bobcat is a tradition. The knowledge I gained as an undergrad at OU positioned me well in today's workforce. The continuing education I receive from the Master's program polishes those academic foundations and gives me more breadth to those foundations previously laid. Sure, other organizations offer similar programs, but there is only one Ohio University experience."
Clinton Swart, PMP
The Metropolitan Washington Council
Washington DC 20002
To contact us, fill out our online "Contact us" form by clicking here.
For those considering applying for a Fall 2013 start in the online program, be sure to read the rest of the information under the "Graduate Program" tab, and also be sure to read this one-page document: Online MITS.
Master's Degree Graduation Requirements
Students are awarded the degree after the successful completion of core, specialization, cognate, and culminating experience courses (9 courses total, 36 credit hours).
Core Courses (4 courses)
Core courses ensure the student is well versed in both the technology and policy aspects of communication network and information systems, from the perspective of both telecommunication service provider and enterprise voice and data networks. The program includes four (4) mandatory core courses from the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems.
Elective Courses (3 courses)
Specialization elective courses are geared toward establishing either communication technology or policy as the student's principal area of emphasis. Students take three (3) electives from the pool of electives offered by the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems.
Cognate Courses (1 course)
The Cognate requirement is intended to enrich and further focus the student's interests and expertise by either pursuing related coursework outside the School of Information and Telecommunication Systems or by taking additional courses within the School, either additional policy courses for those emphasizing technology or additional technical courses for those emphasizing policy. Possible cognate areas outside the School include engineering, computer science, mathematics, finance, management, marketing, economics, interpersonal communication, and political science.
Culminating Experience (1 course)
The culminating experience involves the completion of either a Thesis, Professional Project, or Comprehensive Examination. Students take either a thesis, professional project, or readings course, depending on their selection of culminating experience.
Graduate Course List
ITS core, specialization, and culminating experience courses are first listed, followed by course descriptions.
Core Courses (All four required):
- ITS 6000: Research Methods in Information and Telecommunication Systems
- ITS 6020: Policy and Regulation for ICT Networks
- ITS 6250: Information Networks
- ITS 6440: Strategic Issues in Information and Telecommunication Systems Technology and Policy
Elective Courses (Three courses required):
- ITS 5290: Communication Network Analysis and Design
- ITS 5370: Wireless Telecommunications
- ITS 5390: Communication Technology Lab Practicum
- ITS 5410: Voice over IP
- ITS 5510: Telecommunication Network Security
- ITS 5530: Encrypted Communication
- ITS 5750: Internet Engineering
- ITS 6790: Theory of Communication Networks
- ITS 6930: Independent Study
- ITS 5050: Competition and Market Structure in Telecommunications Industries
- ITS 5070: International Communication Networks
- ITS 5110: Pricing of Telecommunications Services
- ITS 5310: Privacy in the Internet Age
- ITS 5320: Gender and Information Technology
- ITS 5330: IT Compliance and Planning
- ITS 6030: Advanced Policy and Regulation for ICT Networks
- ITS 6090: Telecommunications and Economic Development
Core Course Descriptions:
ITS 6000: Research Methods in Information and Telecommunication Systems
Provides an overview of the field and introduces the students to the fundamentals of research, including the steps involved in identifying a research problem, how to formulate a problem statement, selection of appropriate research methodologies, accumulating and analyzing relevant empirical data, writing research results. Will explain and analyze various research methods and tools, both quantitative and qualitative.
ITS 6020: Policy and Regulation for ICT Networks
Introduction to the major theoretical and legal issues and debates that have shaped the communication network industry. Students will examine issues of anti-trust, common carrier regulation, and public utility law and will examine their impact on market outcomes and policy goals. Also examines the impact of competition on the industry and its regulation.
ITS 6440: Strategic Issues in Information and Telecommunication Systems Technology and Policy
Employs extensive readings and illustrative case studies in the analysis of the strategic concerns involved in the successful deployment of voice, data, image and information technologies and services within user organizations, service providers, and vendor enterprises. The successful deployment of these technologies and services requires an understanding of the interplay of an array of technical concerns, policy considerations, markets and human/social issues. Provides students with the opportunity to grasp the interplay of these concerns and issues through strategic assessment, lifecycle management, and information and telecommunication systems procurement.
ITS 6250: Information Networks
Introduction to the architecture of information networks and the applications built on this architecture. Students study the fundamental concepts of communication networks, switching techniques, transmission systems, protocols, and distributed applications. Voice, data, image and video communication networks are all addressed.
Technical Elective Course Descriptions:
ITS 5290: Communication Network Analysis and Design
The study and use of methodology for analysis, specification, and design of communication networks. Extensive application case studies derive requirements from statistical traffic characterization and modeling of voice, data, and video sources. Networks designed include fiber optics, wireless, Ethernet, SONET/TDM, and IP packet technologies.
ITS 5370: Wireless Telecommunications
Covers wireless communications principles as well as a study of modern commercial wireless systems. Starts with a discussion on the challenges inherent to wireless communications and then proceeds with a study of RF propagation over noisy channels, S/N ratio, antennas and frequency assignment. Discusses satellite communication basics: components, operations, orbits, frequencies and Earth stations. A detailed discussion of wide area terrestrial wireless systems: analog and digital cellular, 3G and 4G broadband systems provides students with an overview of the advantages and limitations of diverse modern and legacy systems. Local and personal area networks discussions are also included, with an overview or their structure, security and the deployment planning process.
ITS 5390: Communication Technology Lab Practicum
An extensive hands-on experience in voice and data communication technologies. Students analyze problems of both a managerial and a technical nature through extensive lab exercises. Involves hands-on experience in posing, validating, and analyzing problems in switching and transmission technologies; network design, internetworking, protocol issues, distributed databases, and network management.
ITS 5410: Voice over IP
Study of transmission of voice information using Internet Protocol techniques. Topics include: consumer-oriented services such as Vonage or Digital Voice, use of VolP to replace traditional PBX's, VoIP as a tool for connectivity in the corporate enterprise, E911 and VolP, use of VolP protocols: H.323, SIP, Megaco, and others. Specialized voice applications such as call centers, voice enabled web sites, and distributed voice systems.
ITS 5510: Telecommunication Network Security
Structured study of telecommunication network security. Theoretical aspects include risk as basis for security planning, taxonomy of exploits including malware, and network architecture. Practical aspects common attack vectors and relevant software tools: firewalls, IDS/IPS, and VPNs. Additional exercises may include adversarial games and penetration testing.
ITS 5530: Encrypted Communication
The basic principles and technology of telecommunication using encryption as a security tool, including hash functions, symmetric key encryption. The basic concepts of data security: availability, confidentiality, authentication, non-repudiation. Digital signatures. Some topics are: SSH, VPN, IPsec, Kerberos. A key topic will be PKI - Public Key Infrastructure - systems.
ITS 5750 : Internet Engineering
Internet status and future, including IP addressing. DNS, DHCP, and utilities such as ping and traceroute. Router configuration and operating systems, Linux and Windows.
ITS 6790: Theory of Communication Networks
Intensive study of communications networks organized by the layered protocol architecture model. Topics include transmission media, topology, and encoding; link-layer access methods, flow control and error detection; network addressing and routing; and end-to-end transport mechanisms. Special emphasis on traffic characterization, network performance, and network security. Suggested background includes probability and statistics; class involves extensive analysis and introduces simulation software tools.
Policy Elective Course Descriptions:
ITS 5050: Competition and Market Structure in Telecommunications Industries
An in-depth analysis of policy and market issues of fundamental concern to the voice/data communication competitive environment. Examples of such issues could include monopoly and competitive market benefits to the consumers, measuring market concentration, merger analysis, antitrust, and other government remedies for market power.
ITS 5070 International Communication Networks
A study of international communication organizations (PTTs, the ITU, etc.), international satellite organizations, and other international record carriers. Will explore current issues in international standards and regulations.
ITS 5110: Pricing of Telecommunications Services
Examination of pricing, price-setting and price changes for telecommunication services. Pricing topics examined include: competitive market pricing; regulated pricing; flat-rate and measured service pricing; pricing of equipment; pricing of local, interconnection, and long-distance services; and the pricing of mobile and Internet-based telephone services.
ITS 5310: Privacy in the Internet Age
Examines the impact of communication and information technologies on personal privacy. Theories of privacy, constitutional bases for privacy, and privacy laws are discussed. The impact of technologies like computer databases and surveillance cameras and of methods like data mining, telemarketing and cookies on financial, medical, and workplace privacy are considered. The information technology aspects of the war on terrorism and the related privacy issues are also addressed.
ITS 5320: Gender and Information Technology
Examines the impact of information technology on work and domestic life, specifically focusing on the issue of gender. Men and women have interacted with information technologies in strikingly different ways. For example, computing has developed as a male dominated field, while the telephone has been strongly associated with women. Analyzes the social forces underlying this gender difference, focusing on feminist theories and theories of masculinity. The development of information technologies (telegraphy, telephone, computer, and Internet) will also be discussed.
ITS 5330: IT Compliance and Planning
Compliance is an important component in the IT planning process. Examines the various federal, state, and international compliance requirements and IT's involvement in meeting these requirements. The various IT compliance frameworks are also examined. Also examines
the IT planning cycle and analyzes the appropriate role of compliance in the strategic IT planning process.
ITS 6030: Advanced Policy and Regulation for ICT Networks
An advance exploration of advanced topics in telecommunications policy and regulation in the United States. Emphasis will be on primary sources, e.g., FCC and State Public Utility Commission Orders, appellate court decisions, and other documents. This elective will build on the foundation provided by ITS 6020. Subject matter will include state and federal activity related to local competition, access charge reform, regulation of broadband services, and spectrum management.
ITS 6090: Telecommunications and Economic Development
An examination of economic development issues and potential telecommunications strategies to assist in solving development problems. The problems of less developed countries will be studied, as well as the potential impact of communication networks and services on development in undeveloped pockets of the developed world. Will also examine urban ills that exist in the developed areas of developed countries and will explore the potential role of communication networks to implement solutions to those urban ills. Will also explore the potential role of communication networks on the development of global markets in the service sector and the impact of this trend on both developed and less developed nations.
ITS 6900: Topical Seminar
A focused, in-depth analysis of a significant current communication policy concerns. Students conduct a literature search of the policy or technical issues surrounding the specific topic, develop a historical context for the issue under discussion, and produce a substantial paper analyzing an important aspect of the topic. Topics will be current issues in the industry.
Master's Degree Culminating Experience
The culminating experience course is one of the following: project, comprehensive examination, or thesis.
Students selecting a professional project are expected to identify a specific project relevant to this field of study. Students are then expected to research relevant literature, identify specific problems or issues involved, identify and examine available alternatives, select the optimal alternative explaining why it is optimal, and carry out the project. They then produce a well written, coherent report detailing goals/objectives, methodology, and project results.
Those selecting the comprehensive exam will complete an advanced readings course, which will consist of a readings list with specific guidance and learning objective for each reading. The questions for the comprehensive examination will be based upon the readings.
Students electing to write a thesis are expected to identify a significant technical or management/policy research problem or question (depending upon the student’s specialization), do a thorough literature review of material relevant to the topic, formulate an appropriate research approach to the problem, collect and analyze data, draw pertinent and defensible conclusions, and produce a well written, coherent thesis. It is expected that the student will apply applicable theory or theories to specific questions or problems.
Culminating Experience Course Descriptions:
ITS 6950: Thesis
Requires students to identify a problem or issue in the field, conduct relevant research, and write a thesis resulting from this work. The thesis provides students, working under the supervision of an advisor and a faculty committee, with an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the field.
ITS 6945: Professional Project
Requires students to complete an applied project, under the supervision of an advisor and a faculty committee, as a demonstration of the student's mastery of the skills and knowledge covered in the program. Required to complete the MITS degree via the Professional Project option.
ITS 6935: Advanced Readings in Communication Technology and Policy
Extensive reading, selected by the faculty, in preparation for the Comprehensive Exam. Readings will be assigned from the current research literature in the technical, public policy, and project management areas. Readings may also be drawn from established fundamental texts in these fields.
Residential Master's Program Sample Sequences
Students select either a technology or policy specialization. Following is an example of a schedule for a student with a 1.5 year plan of study, which we anticipate most students will elect.
One and a Half (1.5) Year Plan of Study: Three Semesters
Core: ITS 6025, ITS 6020; Cognate; (12 Credits)
Core: ITS 6000, ITS 6044; Specialization: One ITS Elective (12 Credits)
Specialization: Two ITS Electives; Culminating: ITS 6935, ITS 6945, or ITS 6950 (12 Credits)