School of Information Sciences - Telecommunications and Networking Program

MST Specializations

Students who wish to focus on one of our specializations are encouraged to take as many courses as possible in that area of specialization as part of the 21 credits of electives.

Students can specialize in more than one area by taking offered courses in those particular areas, again as part of their 21 credits of electives.

Telecommunications Systems

Telecommunications systems are built on an infrastructure, similar to that classically used for telephony. In this specialization, you will investigate the physical technologies (copper and fiber) used for information transmission, the enabling transmission processes (such as multiplexing, synchronization, and noise filtering), and the systems that provide telephony (classic circuit switched and VOIP). If you pursue this track, you would likely be hired by a carrier, equipment manufacturer, consultant, or business for a career as a system engineer, network designer or manager, switching system designer, or telecom manager.

Suggested courses for this specialization are listed here.

Computer Networks

Computer networking enables efficient communication and information sharing to take place among widely dispersed participants. The recent emergence of the global Internet—and the availability of ever cheaper, more powerful computation and communication devices—is paving the way for a new generation of ubiquitous and pervasive networks.

In this specialization, you will explore a variety of problems encountered in designing computer networks and learn common techniques to solve these problems. Courses are designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the field of data communication and networking. The focus is on network models and architectures, protocol design and implementation, resource management, quality of service support, and security. You will acquire a solid conceptual and practical understanding of how computer network technologies operate and the ability to analyze the benefits and limitations of current and future networking technologies. You will also gain valuable insights into the design, management, and security of computer networks, and have an opportunity to take additional electives from the Department of Computer Science, depending on your interests.

Suggested courses for this specialization are listed here and here.

Policy and Management

Telecommunications systems exist in social and organizational contexts. In this specialization, you will explore the relationships among telecommunications technologies, service providers, end users, and governmental entities. In telecommunications, industry structure and government regulation is closely tied to the details of technology, so it is important that students forging a career in this area have a thorough understanding of not only the technology, but also the historical and existing economic and political structures. In this specialization you may take additional courses from the Katz Graduate School of Business or the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, depending on your interests. Upon graduation, you will be prepared for a career as a policy analyst or network manager.

Suggested courses for this specialization are listed here and here.


Wireless systems have become a vital infrastructure in today's society, and significant professional opportunities exist in this growing field. In this area, you will investigate the physical technology and enabling processes; the systems that provide cellular telephony, wireless LANs, and sensor networks; and mobile applications. You may select additional electives from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Graduates of this track have been hired by wireless carriers, manufacturers, and other organizations as system engineers and wireless network designers.

Suggested courses for this specialization are listed here.


Just as we safeguard data within computers, we must also assure that the information flowing over networks is protected. In this specialization you will investigate firewalls, encryption, fault tolerant network design, and other procedures for information assurance. Additional electives may be taken from both the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematics. If you follow this track, you will be prepared for a career as a network security specialist with carriers, manufacturers, consulting firms, the government, financial institutions, and other enterprises.

The Course of Study for this specialization is provided here.


If you choose not to specialize in one particular area, the general course of study allows you to sample courses from all the specializations in preparation for dealing with the constant changes in telecommunications technology. Since change is the only constant in the telecommunications industry, your versatility as a generalist will enable you to handle challenges as they arise in the industry. Employers such as carriers, manufacturers, consultants, and other organizations (especially smaller ones) are seeking those graduates with a broad set of skills for careers as system engineers, network designers or managers, and telecommunications managers.

A generalist can take courses from any of the areas of specialization in consultation with the faculty advisor.

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Learn More!

The iSchool hosts a number of opportunities for you to explore the Telecommunications program. Attend Information Sessions at the iSchool or online, whichever suits your schedule. More >

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