Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IT auditor? What do they do?

An IT auditor is a technical professional with special knowledge of management information systems (MIS) who works with companies to assess the risks associated with their information systems and determine if the company has adequate controls in place to manage that risk. IT auditors may work for a public accounting firm (external audit) or for the company itself (internal audit).

What are the job prospects for ITACS graduates?

Excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook reports that employment of information security specialists is projected to grow 18% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average of 7% for all occupations. The median wage in 2016 was $92,600, with mean salary ranges for professionals holding a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification ranging from $52,459 for less than 1 year of experience to $122,326 for 20+ years experience. Professionals with a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification range from $51,244 to $117,291 across the salary ranges.  Combining ITACS education, with CISA and/or CISSP certifications and extensive work experience throughout one’s career can lead to career paths resulting in significantly larger salaries – for example in 2016 the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) salaries in the top six U.S. metropolitan areas range from $154,000 to $380,000.

What companies are likely to hire graduates of this program?

Large companies, consultancies, public accounting firms, aerospace and defense contractors continue to be the largest employers of our graduates. Demand is growing in hospitals, insurance companies, business and financial companies, large online and brick and mortar store retailers, computer product and service providers, communications and information service providers.

If I started my career as an IT auditor, where might it lead?

As with most careers, it is difficult to predict where they will lead. Certainly it is common for Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISAs) in public accounting firms to be hired by client firms or other organizations into internal audit, IT risk manager, IT security manager, CISO or Chief Information Officer (CIO) jobs.

What is a CISA and is it really an international certification?

A CISA is a Certified Information System Auditor and yes, CISA’s are recognized and employed all around the world.

Where can I find out more about the CISA certification?

The best place to find out more about the certification is ISACA’s website.

What is ISACA?

ISACA is an international professional association focused on the governance of IT.  ISACA was previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and offers the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) for information system auditors, and other certifications for security managers and risk and enterprise IT governance roles.

What does it mean that ITACS is aligned with ISACA’s model curriculum?

ISACA created a model curriculum that described the skills and knowledge that should be taught to aspiring IT auditors in an academic setting. By approving FOX ITACS as aligned, ISACA will reduce, by one, the number of years of experience our graduates will  need to have to become a CISA.

Where can I find out more about the CISSP Certification?

The best place to find out more about the certification is ISC2‘s CISSP website.

What is ISC2?

ISC2 is the international body that certifies information system auditors, security managers and other related roles.

What does it mean that ITACS is a STEM major?

International students who graduate from a US university are eligible to work in the US for up to 12 months of OPT (optional practical training). Students graduating from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) major are eligible for an additional 17 months of OPT or a total of 29 months.

Fox School of Business ITACS Program:

How many credits is the MS in ITACS?

Students accepted to our Master of Science (MS) in ITACS program will complete 30-39 semester hours of graduate coursework.

Can I attend classes on a part-time basis?

Yes, you will be able to attend either as a full or part time student.

If I eventually choose to pursue my CPA, will these courses count toward my 150 credit hour requirement?

Yes, assuming you also have the minimum number of credit hours in accounting and auditing, business law, finance, or tax subjects.

Application Process:

How do I apply for this program?

It is a straight forward process with only a few steps. First review the admission requirements and then follow the instructions on how to apply use the online application system to complete the online application for Fox graduate programs.

How much of an IT background is required?

For the IT Audit track, you should be familiar with and enjoy IT systems. At a minimum, we expect you to have an undergraduate-level exposure to enterprise architecture, database design, SQL and business process analysis. For the Cyber Security Track we are looking for technological undergraduate degrees with at least some programming experience, understanding of computer file systems and the ability to use the DOS and Linux command line interfaces. For applicants who are working in the field, we are willing to accept your experience as demonstrating your exposure to these topics.

What majors should a person have to apply for ITACS?

We expect that most of our applicants will have a business degree in MIS, Accounting, Risk, or Finance, or a technical degree such as Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering or Geographic Information Systems. Other degrees are possible assuming the applicant has the necessary computer programming or IT background.

Are minors relevant?

For non-MIS majors, a minor in MIS or other computer and information system focused programs are  excellent ways to demonstrate that you have the necessary interest and background.

What is the application deadline?

Please check the admissions page for the upcoming deadlines for applications.

What do I need to provide to support my application?

You will need a transcript of your bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, two letters of recommendation, and an essay explaining how you became interested in the field, what your professional goals are, and how you see this program assisting you in achieving your goals. An interview may be required. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test scores are also required unless you are a Fox School graduate.

As a Temple undergraduate, are there any differences in the application process?

We will waive the GMAT/GRE requirement provided you have a 3.0 GPA or higher from the Fox Business School.

Are there additional requirements for international students?

Yes, we will expect you to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless your degree is from an English language university located in a native English language country. Your scores must accompany your application.

Is an interview required as part of the application process?

A personal interview may be requested to make a decision on your application. If you are not asked to participate in a personal interview do not view this as a negative indication towards your application.

Program Cost / Financial Aid:

How much will the program cost?

The tuition for the program will be $1,114 per credit hour or a minimum of $33,420 to complete the coursework.  In addition, you must consider your own personal expenses, textbooks and educational materials, and university related fees. For the most current information, please check the tuition page.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes, there are limited scholarships available for exceptional applicants.

Enrolled Student Questions:

Can I work part-time while in the ITACS program?

Yes you can, but as a full-time student you should not work more than part-time.  Students who have tried to work full time and carry a full-time course load time (i.e. 3 or more ITACS courses) have run into problems keeping up with their class assignments. If you are an international student, your visa limits you to 20 hours of work per week and we have had many students do that much.   You should consider this question before school starts as many of the on-campus jobs get filed in August. You can look for available part-time jobs available on campus at the Temple Human Resources careers website.

While you can look at  jobs at any Temple campus you will be spending almost all of your time on the Main Campus in Alter Hall so look for jobs there.  To apply, you will need a Temple Assess ID and Password.

Is there graduate housing available?

Yes, There are several graduate housing options available.  You must apply through Temple University Housing.  Temple University Housing offers many options for single students and a limited selection for those students with a family. For more information on housing fees and details visit the University Housing and Residential Life website.

Am I guaranteed on-campus housing if I apply?

No. Housing is determined on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage you to apply immediately after your post-acceptance deposit.  Family housing is awarded on a limited basis and accommodates those that have a spouse and one child, just a spouse, or just a child.

What options do I have if I do not want to live in graduate housing but still need to relocate to the area?

Visit Temple University’s Housing and Residential Life website  for off-campus housing options. The University posts listings for apartment and home rentals to assist you in finding the best living options during your time at Temple. You can also search independently.  Cost of off-campus housing is not included in your tuition bill.

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