General Information | About KSI
MS Degree Program
KSI Mission Statement
KSI History & Objectives
Tuition Cost
Contact KSI
Career Programs
Online Learning
Campus & Facilities


Knowledge Systems Institute (KSI) is a fully accredited graduate school of computer and information sciences. A provider of graduate education for over 20 years, we offer a Master's program in Computer and Information Systems as well an extensive certificate programs that allows students to acquire training more quickly in a more focused specialty.

The campus is located in Skokie, just north of Chicago. We are also very near Evanston and Northwestern University. Both sites, which offer an extensive range of social and cultural amenities, are accessible to our students through public transportation.

KSI also offers online courses for students living out of state and for local students unable to attend on-site classes. This option is available both to students in the Master's program and also to those acquiring a certificate. Our online program has the same demanding standards, content and requirements as the onsite program. Experience has shown that this option is best suited to well-motivated students who are able to study independently.

KSI may make housing available to those attending the school from outside the Chicago area. These facilities are shared with other students and are within walking distance of the campus. Reservations may be made through the school's administrative office.

Applicants will note that our tuition is very affordable. Once admitted, they will find small classes and a friendly, casual atmosphere. Thus our students enjoy personal attention in classes with a favorable student-to-faculty ratio. Our fulltime faculty all hold Ph.D. degrees, and our adjunct instructors have advanced degrees as well.

The founders of Knowledge Systems Institute sought to create a private, not-for-profit facility that would allow small numbers of students to acquire professional training and thereby extend progress in the field of Information Technology. We our proud to be carrying on that tradition in the first decade of the twenty-first century.


Mission Statement

Knowledge Systems Institute is a degree granting not-for-profit institution of higher learning governed by an independent Board of Directors. Its mission is to provide instruction in graduate level academic programs emphasizing computer and information sciences and management information systems, with a faculty of recognized experts using state-of-the-art research facilities and advanced computer systems; to assist and facilitate student learning through the assessment of student academic achievement; to offer such services and facilities to professionals in the north suburban area of Chicago; and to serve the domestic as well as international student populations.

Knowledge Systems Institute offers the Master of Science (MS) degree program in computer and information sciences. The Master of Science degree program in computer and information sciences has various areas of concentration of which management information systems is the most widely recognized area. The certificate program introduces students with no previous background in computers to the computer and information sciences.


History & Objectives

Knowledge Systems Institute (KSI), originally established in 1978 for research and professional education, has grown in its scope, purpose and design. Its Founder, Dr. Shi-Kuo Chang, responded to the needs of the business and engineering community. He developed KSI into a graduate school, dedicated to training professionals in solving complex problems in science, business and engineering by employing advanced computer and information sciences methodologies.

The school's excellence is maintained by its dedicated faculty and distinguished advisors, its low student- to-faculty ratio, and the philosophy of granting ample opportunity for students to combine theory with practice. Besides learning advanced theories and concepts of computer and information sciences, students at KSI learn to translate theory into practical applications by conducting research projects under the guidance of faculty advisors. Through such projects, students gain technical excellence, improve their abilities to do applied research and develop a critical appreciation of the engineering/scientific/management aspects of the computer profession in the course of developing new and specialized knowledge.

The combination of theoretical and applied knowledge is fundamental to the education philosophy at KSI. This educational approach is both sound and meaningful for professionals in the Chicago area seeking advanced education relevant to their jobs. To train scientists and engineers, it is not enough just to put them to work in the classroom and the laboratory. They must also experience the frustration and the excitement of putting advanced technology to work.

As an institute dedicated to graduate education in computer and information sciences, KSI differs substantially from most other universities in its size. The Institute offers a master of science degree program and a certificate program in computer and information sciences. At KSI we believe that a small institute dedicated to advanced research and high quality science and engineering education will provide the best training for computer scientists and knowledge engineers.

Another unique feature of Knowledge Systems Institute is that most of its courses are offered during the evenings and weekends. On the one hand, this arrangement is ideal for working professionals who can devote their own time to the pursuit of knowledge. On the other hand, this gives KSI the opportunity to bring in talented and experienced people as part-time teachers.

KSI has an international standing and reputation. It organizes the annual International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE) and the annual Distributed Multimedia Systems Workshop (DMS). KSI also runs the editorial office of the International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (IJSEKE). The student body boasts overseas students from China, Egypt, India, Taiwan and other countries.



Knowledge Systems Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The contact information for the Commission is:

Higher Learning Commission
30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
(800) 621-7440; (312) 263-0456; Fax: (312) 263-7462

Accreditation is any form of independent peer review of educational programs for the purpose of ensuring that the learning offered is of a uniform and sound quality.

Accreditation is important because if you seek to have a public record of your learning that will be widely accepted by employers, professional associations, and other colleges and universities.

In the United States, the most widely recognized form of accreditation for degree-granting programs comes from the regional accreditation commissions. Knowledge Systems Institute is regionally accredited. When people ask if you have attended an "accredited university" in the United States, they most commonly mean a regionally accredited university.

Each of the six geographic regions of the United States has a non-governmental agency that oversees, reviews, and accredits degree-granting institutions that are headquartered in their respective territories. The six regional accreditation commissions are as follows:
1. MSA--Middle States Association
2. NASC--Northwest Association of Schools & Colleges
3. NCA--North Central Association of Colleges & Schools
4. NEASC--New England Association of Schools & Colleges
5. SACS--Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
6. WASC--Western Association of Schools & Colleges

The NCA was founded in 1895 and today is a membership organization of colleges and schools in 19 states - Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming - and Department of Defense schools and Navajo Nation schools.

These six regional commissions are weighted mutually as equal and are seen as equal in the eye of academics for the purpose of transferring credits or degree status from one college to another in or outside of their respective regions. The standings are equal among these six regional accreditation commissions. Regionally accredited colleges recognize degrees and credits earned at other institutions as equal to their own. Knowledge Systems Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).




Knowledge Systems Institute's Library contains thousands of book titles as well as numerous computer industry journals and is continuously updated to ensure that KSI students have access to the latest information in the continuous and rapidly changing field of computer science and industry.

The library is located on the second floor of the 3420 Main Street campus in Skokie, Illinois. You may peruse the library in person during the hours posted on the library door or you may visit the online library at


Instructional Computer Network/Laboratories

The Instructional Computer Network Laboratories supports both instructional computing and project-related research in computer networking, distributed systems, and microcomputer applications. Workstations, Intel Pentium, 486/386-based IBM PCs are interconnected by Novell's NetWare servers, UnixWare advanced server and Microsoft's WindowsNT advanced servers to form an Ethernet LAN. A communication server installed with BBS provides students with remote access capability to the LAN. Both Client/server and peer-to-peer architectures are supported. Dos/Windows, UNIX, OS2, Minicomputer and Mainframe's linkings are supported. An UNIX system environment is supported by workstations, servers and CISCO Router. The CISCO Router is connect to INTERNET. WAN connection is through INTERNET society.

Advanced Automation Laboratory

The Advanced Automation Laboratory supports research activities in computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, office automation, software engineering, expert systems and knowledge-based systems. The computer vision system consists of video camera and IBM PC enhanced by the EPIX image processing board. The IDI Chinese language board can be used for research in Chinese language computing. IBM-compatible personal computers are also available for instructional as well as project use. The laboratory has Microtek MSF-300C intelligent scanners and PostMouse tablet for projects in image processing, data compression and character recognition. Many sophisticated software tools are also available, including database design tools from Chen & Associates, AutoCAD from AutoDesk Inc., advanced CAD graphics tools developed by Cadlogic, Post Mouse with Hand writing recognition program from Institute of Mathematics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, the KangaTool for software development from the Institute for Information Industries, PC Consultant-knowledge engineering tools form Texas Instruments, BSWIN desktop publishing system from LeadTek Information Inc., Xformer from Elcee Computek, expert system shells, database management systems, as well as compilers and interpreters for all kinds of programming languages. This laboratory offers a rich and sophisticated environment conducive to research in advanced automation.

Multi-Media Systems Laboratory

The Multi-Media Systems Laboratory supports experimental design in Multi-media systems. A variety of multi-media interfaces, including CD-ROM drive, SONY Laser Library, Sound-Blaster Pro. and Video Blaster of Creative Labs., Sequencer Plus Pro., Win/TV video system of Hauppauge Computer Works, Toolbook of Asymetrix, Microteck's EsPlus, are installed in IBM 386 microcomputers. TV live video, images, voices, FM stereo music, MIDI music, graphics, and animations can be digitized, recorded, edited and played on the 386 microcomputers. Many other peripheral devices are also supported.

Digital Systems Laboratory

The Digital Systems Laboratory supports experimental design in digital systems and computer engineering. A variety of microprocessors, IC components and testing equipment are available. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, students will design and test digital systems, peripheral devices and simple microcomputers.
Center for Chinese Language Computing
The Center for Chinese Language Computing is concerned with all aspects of research and development activities in Chinese language computing. Supported by the Instructional Computer Laboratory and the Advanced Automation Laboratory, the Center for Chinese Laguage Computing aims at advanced research projects in computer-aided instructional systems, character recognition, Chinese document processing, visual language, machine translation, and icon-oriented system design. It also serves as an information service center, in cooperation with the Chinese Language Computer Society, a non-profit international professional society dedicated to advancing the state of the art in Chinese language computing.

Industry Affiliates Program

A company may become an industry affiliate of KSI . KSI will provide educational programs for the employees of its industry affiliates. KSI can offer short courses and seminars, or in-house training programs to suit the needs of the employees of the industry affiliates. KSI can furthermore provide technical consulting services as well as contractual services to design customized information systems or engage in advanced research projects. The Center for Chinese Language Computing is also sponsored by KSI's industry affiliates.

Current Industry Affiliates of KSI

Acer Technologies, San Jose, California
AT&T, Naperville, Illinois
Chen & Associates, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
EPIX, Northbrook, Illinois
Glad Systems, Santa Clara, California
IDI, Anaheim, California
Institute for Information Industries, Taiwan
Institute of Systems Science, Singapore
Keytech, Stamford, Connecticut
LeadTek Inc., Taiwan
Microtek International, Gardena, California
Rel-Tek, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Semantic Compaction, Pennsylvania
S.W.I.F.T., Belgium
Telecommunications Laboratories, Taiwan