Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership

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At a Glance

Graduates of the MS in Information Technology Leadership degree program will gain a comprehensive understanding of IT fundamentals that enables them to manage complex systems and articulate the value of technical solutions to non-technical decision makers.

20 Months
30 Units
September 5, 2023
August 1, 2023


Students are admitted throughout the year into one of three terms (Spring, Summer and Fall).

The program is designed to be completed in five semesters and students can focus on one 7 week course at a time.



In today’s digital world, every industry needs IT leaders who can be more than technical specialists. Companies are looking for experienced professionals who understand business processes, can develop integrated solutions to meet strategic objectives, and effectively communicate issues and solutions to non-technical stakeholders.  

If you’re looking to advance your IT career, you need to progress beyond specializing in a particular skill set or acquiring specific technical knowledge. Too often, graduates of IT programs are trained in skills that allow them to succeed within their specialization, but not in the practices and perspectives that allow them to excel as leaders. If you want a career at the higher levels of information technology, then you must have the ability to analyze, rethink, redesign and automate complex IT systems to achieve an organization’s strategic goals. 

The University of San Diego’s 100% online Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MS-ITL) is designed to prepare current and future IT leaders in effectively understanding and managing these complex systems. No matter the industry or organization, as a graduate of our program you’ll be able to develop and articulate comprehensive solutions to large scale information technology challenges.


The MS-ITL program is designed around the philosophy that IT leadership is a position of earned influence. This means that effective IT leaders possess:

This program is designed to serve professionals from all IT workforces, including database administrators and architects, computer systems analysts and network and computer systems administrators. 


Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 16% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.


The most recent median annual salary for computer and information systems managers was $159,010.


Demand is projected to grow 15% in the next decade, much faster than the average as organizations increasingly rely on IT leaders who can plan and oversee computer hardware and software needs.

Statistics sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


We aim to provide IT professionals with the knowledge, skills and training to excel as IT leaders and managers. As a graduate of the MS-ITL program, you will be able to:

USD MS-ITL is open to all IT professionals. Get a closer look at the application process with detailed instructions on how to apply for this unique program designed to grow your career as an information technology leader.


The Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership is a 30-unit project-based program designed to be completed in 20 months over five semesters.

The program is offered 100% online using the Canvas learning management system and requires students to take two seven-week-long courses each semester, including a culminating three-unit capstone course that focuses on developing a proposal for an IT infrastructure initiative.

The MS-ITL program is designed around the following themes and topics:

  • Fundamentals for IT Leadership
  • Networking
  • DevOps
  • IT Service Management
  • The IT Profession
  • Project, Vendor and Construction Management
  • Server Operations
  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise Applications, Data Management and Reporting
Capstone Project

The three unit capstone project requires students to develop a proposal for a significant IT infrastructure initiative. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze a proposed course of action, make clear recommendations to non-technical stakeholders and generate a deep understanding of an organization’s mission, resources and constraints. 

Featured Courses



Our MS-ITL faculty has extensive experience in the IT industry — and many continue to work in the field as well as in higher education. Every faculty member is dedicated to teaching the fundamental knowledge and leadership skills required for successful IT leadership. Together, they bring a diverse set of experiences, skills and backgrounds to the program. 


Accreditation is an important quality indicator for college and university degree programs, generally regarded as a stamp of approval that ensures you will be able to apply for financial aid and transfer your credits if you decide to switch schools. Most state universities and private non-profit universities will have a regional accreditation. The University of San Diego has earned both regional and national accreditations.

Accreditations include:

The WASC Senior College and University Commission – WASC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid. Learn more about the importance of selecting a regionally accredited program.

How to Apply

For details on specific requirements needed for admission, please visit our Admissions page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a GRE required for admission?

Candidates who have a GPA above 2.75 are not required to take a GRE; however, a standardized test such as GRE is recommended for applicants with a GPA under 2.75.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in IT or a related field?

MS-ITL applicants don’t need an IT degree, but they must have a bachelor’s degree (BS or BA) from an accredited institution. It is preferable to have at least two years of work experience in the information technology field.

How many units is the MS-ITL program?

The online MS-ITL program is a total of 30 units. Students will enroll in two prescribed courses each semester for a total of six (6) semester units

How much is my tuition?

Tuition for the MS-ITL program is $925 per unit, which equates to $27,750 for the entire 30 unit program.

You can calculate your full cost, including transfer credits and military discounts, at our tuition calculator.

Does the program have to be completed within 20 months?

No. Students have a total of 5 years to finish the full course. The curriculum schedule functions on a rotational system, meaning that if a student skips a course they will have to wait for the rotation to complete before jumping back in. We encourage individuals who are interested in the program to speak with an enrollment advisor or to work with their program coordinator, who is available to help every step of the way.

Does USD offer career development/advising support?

The University of San Diego is committed to steering you on a path toward educational and professional success. From the start, you’ll receive support and guidance from experienced University of San Diego advisors who are invested in helping you achieve your education goals!

What kind of IT experience do you need to have for this program?

Applicants should have at least two years of experience in an IT-related field, such as network and systems support, server operations, DevOps, etc. Examples of relevant experience can include computer user support specialists, database administrators and architects, computer systems analysts, and network and computer systems administrators.