Mike Walker's Blog:

Here recently there has been a fair amount of activity happing in academic community around enterprise architecture. Most notably Penn State University and Kent State University. Both focus on Enterprise Architecture but have differing approaches.

This is clear of recognition of the profession of Enterprise Architecture. While in the past you needed to learn EA on your own or portions of it through a framework. Not we are seeing it in colleges. I hope to see this trend continue.

Ideally, I would like to see EA programs at universities evolved to the next stage in the next few years. The next stage is to take EA out of the MIS area and move to a MBA like program. But this stage is a necessary first step in our overall EA maturity. So I can’t knock it. Like all things there is always room for improvement at the right time..

Below are the programs offered by Kent State and Penn State. I also added some of my thoughts on this as well.


Kent State


Kent State Overview

Thanks to a recent gift from the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE), a unique feature of Kent State University’s new School of Digital Sciences is its offering of courses and degree concentrations in the field of enterprise architecture.  Both the School’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Sciences and Master of Digital Sciences degree offer a concentration in Enterprise Architecture.


The following course will be offered in the Fall 2011 semester.  The course syllabus and plans are currently being finalized, but the School plans are to offer this course simultaneously both in-person and synchronously via distance learning (i.e., students will can view the lectures remotely in real time).

DSCI 61010 Enterprise Architecture (3)
Facilitates the alignment of IT and IS investment decisions with business goals. Enterprise architecture is increasingly used in industry as a result of the continued emergence of new technologies and ongoing pressures to re-engineer business processes to achieve improved efficiency and greater customer focus. Enterprise architecture identifies the main components of an organization and the ways in which these components work together. The components include performance and strategy, people, business capabilities, applications, technology, knowledge and information, as well as financial and other resources. Prerequisite: graduate standing.


Kent State university uses the EACOE and Zachman framework exclusively. I suspect that it is highly likely that there is a direct correlation of this generous financial gift of 3.2 million dollars to the fact that Kent State is using the EACOE methods exclusively. I don’t actually think this is a good thing. After going through the methods of EACOE it is very limiting based on what you find in the Open Group.


Penn State


Mission Statement

The purpose of the Center for Enterprise Architecture (EA) is to gather intellectual resources across Penn State to address open and important research concerns and questions that span the design, functioning, and governance of contemporary, information-driven enterprises. Research includes the underlying information technology architectures, data and application architecture and the complex, enterprise-level systems of systems that make use of these underlying architectures in a legislative and institutional marketplace. The Center applies multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research methods to address large-scale application domains such as healthcare informatics, large service-based and manufacturing firms, non-profit initiatives, federal and state government transformation, and the design of homeland security agencies. The architecture and systems of systems perspective allows for addressing concerns focused on the design and effective functioning of organizations and networks of organizations with results such as enterprise transformation, enterprise and network design, global information infrastructure design and management, and global enterprise presence and competitiveness.

The Center for Enterprise Architecture strives to design, extend, and invent practices, tools, and theories, in partnership with industry, to produce effective outcomes at the intersection of theory and organizational practice. We help organizations understand, utilize, and extend enterprise architecture as a strategic resource. Our goals include:

  • Achieving efficiencies in operations across company and network activities
  • Leveraging aligned enterprise technology to drive innovations in products, services and business models
  • Competing in a networked, global world
  • Providing advice and support in undergraduate education, graduate education, professional continuing education, and research.

In contrast to Kent State, Penn State University is a completely different animal. With Penn State there is a rich ecosystem of partners that is involved in the program. The Penn State Center for Enterprise Architecture provides a focused hub of expertise and resources to serve their client organizations. They are creating new knowledge, applied research outcomes and new theoretical perspectives, as well as applying established theories in collaboration with industry partners through five key ways:

  • Conducting projects with industry collaborators, government sponsors and others to confront demanding problems and provide thought leadership around EA-related issues
  • Developing cross-organizational and cross-industry models to create benchmarks and scorecards that client companies c
    an use for self-assessment
  • Creating a group of new enterprise architecture professionals who are trained and experienced with the demands of this evolving profession
  • Providing a neutral meeting place where client organizations can interact with faculty and other advisory group members and to explore possible solutions to common problems
  • Publish leading-edge collaborative research in a variety of EA-related areas


Penn State’s partners include:


What is really strange about this list is that IASA is missing from it. The primary purpose of IASA is to create a profession around EA. It seems counter intuitive not to participate. On the flip side, The Open Group has a strong partnership with Penn State and is providing a great deal of leadership.


[UPDATE – Additional University]


Thank you to Michael Lambrellis for pointing this one out.


RMIT is another university that has a specialized program for Enterprise Architecture. Based out of Australia, the state that it is the Master of Technology (Enterprise Architecture) and is accredited at the professional level by the Australian Computer Society.

Below is their program description:

The Master of Technology (Enterprise Architecture) is a high-level IT postgraduate coursework program, specifically designed for ICT professionals who wish to advance their career to the role of Enterprise Architect within an organisation. Building on an existing understanding of the design and development processes for business software systems, the program is intended to provide students with:

  • An understanding of business strategy and of how to architect cost-effective enterprise IT architectures and systems to help achieve the business goals of the enterprise;
  • The ability to communicate how an enterprise architecture supports the organisation’s strategic IT objectives and plans;
  • The ability to communicate and market an enterprise architecture to the organisation and oversee its implementation;
  • The ability to develop and maintain an enterprise architecture for an organisation, taking into account its strategic plan, current IT portfolio, and key business and ICT industry drivers and technologies, including hardware and software standards;
  • An understanding of the required governance for successful enterprise architecture development and adoption within organisations to support business and technology strategy.


As Michael states in the comments below in this post, RMIT takes a similar approach as Penn State University. I agree with this holistic approach. Focusing on one framework is a fallacy in my opinion. I did find it a bit strange that their were programming courses in the EA program. I could possibly see this in a lower level architecture program but not EA. On a positive note, I am really impressed by the inclusion of business courses such as:


Links to RMIT




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