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Central Washington University

New CWU ITAM Master’s Degree Takes Just One Year to Complete

Central Washington University has announced the launch of the state’s first master of science degree in Information Technology and Administrative Management (ITAM) that can be completed within a calendar year.

“This master’s program was designed specifically in response to the needs of industry and the requests of students,” says Natalie Lupton, CWU ITAM professor and the program’s coordinator. “ITAM serves a high-demand field, and this will quickly become a very high demand master’s degree.”

This new master’s degree is the first to receive funding through the university’s Innovation Fund, which, in part, helps sponsor new campus initiatives that have the potential to grow student enrollment and respond to the needs of state business and industry.

ITAM is among the fast-growing sectors of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. The CWU degree prepares graduates to manage a division or business of a technology or technology-driven organization. 

“Our master’s graduates will leave here with expertise, which will allow them to manage employees working in the computer science and information system fields, among others,” Lupton explains. “They will leave with advanced skills in leadership, team building, conflict resolution, and other ‘soft skills.’ Right now, that’s where there’s a big gap.”

The job base for ITAM graduates is predicted to continue to grow through 2022, based on a recent US News and World Report study. The median salary range right now for this field is $97,000, Lupton points out.

“With the cost of our program being less than a quarter of that for full-time, in-state students, it offers individuals a great investment for their future,” she added.

Instead of the typical master’s program, which requires a thesis, CWU’s program requires a yearlong research project, which could be related to—and used in—a student’s career.

“Most master’s programs are set up for students who want to get their PhD degrees,” adds Natalie Lupton. “Our MS-ITAM is different in that it’s designed for students going into, or moving up, or cross-training in the workplace. It’s not that our students couldn’t go on to get a doctorate, but this program is suited for those looking to expand their career opportunities through application-based coursework.”

Starting next fall, the program will be available both fully online and in-class on the Ellensburg campus. Even without a marketing effort, Lupton says the ITAM department is already receiving daily inquires from interested students about the program.

Applications for the innovative program are now being accepted. More information is available at justaskmsitam@cwu.edu.


Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, loweryr@cwu.edu

April 9, 2014