Founded in 2013 in the Language Technologies Institute by Professor James Callan, the MIIS program prepares professional Masters' students for careers in industry and government by offering three types of practical experience: coursework and research; a one-semester internship (which can be waived for students with sufficient prior professional experience); and a capstone project completed in collaboration with classmates. This combination of working closely with CMU faculty, professional experience, and group-oriented work with peers uniquely equips MIIS students with a broad set of skills acquired over a relatively short time.

A typical MIIS student (16-month track) completes the program in four semesters (fall, spring, summer internship, fall). 

In 2019 MIIS introduced an Advanced study option (21-month track) that is completed in five semesters (fall, spring, summer internship, fall, spring).