Each year, U.S. News & World Report publishes rankings of the best colleges in the United States. In addition to ranking schools according to type (liberal arts colleges versus master’s universities, for example), U.S. News also ranks business schools according to specialty based on surveys of business school deans and senior business faculty. According to these business school surveys, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Arizona are the best schools in the country for students interested in majoring or specializing in management information systems.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When one thinks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the words “science” or “engineering” typically come to mind. However MIT’s Sloan School of Management is consistently ranked at or near the top of U.S. News surveys in several business specialties, and Sloan takes the top spot among programs in management information systems.

Students who choose the Information Technologies concentration within Sloan’s management science bachelor’s degree will first gain a general IT background via two courses: Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving and Information Technology Essentials. Students then must take at least two additional courses that will help them apply their IT knowledge to issues of how these technologies impact businesses on the organizational, managerial, and ethical fronts.

Carnegie Mellon University

U.S. News & World Report survey respondents rate Carnegie Mellon University as having the second-best management information systems degree program in the nation. Computing and Information Technology is one of eight specialization tracks offered by Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

Students who pursue the Computing and Information Technology track at Tepper must take four required courses: Introduction to Data Structures, Systems Analysis and Design, Information Resources Management, and Telecommunications and Network Management. Beyond required courses, students then choose to take at least two electives in courses ranging from Artificial Intelligence to Internet Marketing.

University of Arizona

The Management Information Systems major at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management ranks third in the nation according to U.S. News. The program consistently ranks among the top five schools in the nation.

Eller College of Management is considered a pioneer in the field of Management Information Systems, having developed one of the first curricula in the subject. Students who study MIS at Eller do so under one of the most prestigious faculties in the field, as they have been rated first in the nation in scholarly/research productivity by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Decision Line Survey, and they are the only MIS program in the nation to have generated over 80 million dollars in grant funding.

Regardless of major or interests, students should not take their college choice lightly. They should explore publications, such as U.S. News & World Report and others, that rank colleges overall and by specialty, and they should not hesitate to contact colleges directly to set up campus tours and interviews with admissions personnel and faculty in their field of interest. Only through careful research and campus visits (if possible) can students be sure to choose the school that is right for them in terms of curriculum, cost, student life, and career opportunities after graduation.