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Computer Information Systems

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Business

Why Choose Computer Information Systems?

The Associate in Applied Science degree, offered through the College of Business at Ferris, prepares students to support computing systems by providing programming, systems analysis, network administration, and some database management skills.

Entry-level positions include jobs such as programmer/analyst, network administrator, systems analyst, computer support specialist, and other related positions in the field.

This program has close relationships with industry through a program advisory board and offers internships as a practical hands-on experience. The hands-on approach gives graduates a real-world look at their professional field.

Career Opportunities

Job growth rates for computing professions from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (US-BLS) can be summarized with one word: BIG.  Today’s market has big demand with big salaries for qualified professionals.  Computing occupations are estimated to grow rapidly over the next decade – many between 21% and 54% (US-BLS), far outpacing overall job growth in the United States.


With more choices and more opportunities, it’s a better time than ever to begin a career in computing.  In fact, the US-BLS predicts that, for the foreseeable future, nearly 75% of new science or engineering jobs in the U.S. are going to be in computing.  Employment of web developers is projected to grow 20% through 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.  Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.


Web developers design and create websites.  They are responsible for the look of the site.  They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle.  They also may create content for the site.


With an AAS in CIS, typical positions include Web-based jobs such as:

  • Web architects or programmers are responsible for the overall technical construction of the website.  They create the basic framework of the site and ensure that it works as expected.  Web architects also establish procedures for allowing others to add new pages to the website and meet with management to discuss major changes to the site.
  • Web designers are responsible for how a website looks.  They create the site’s layout and integrate graphics; applications, such as a retail checkout tool; and other content into the site.  They also write web-design programs in a variety of computer languages, such as HTML or JavaScript.
  • Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated.  They ensure that websites operate correctly and test for errors such as broken links.  Many webmasters respond to user comments as well.


The AAS in CIS helps professionals integrate their computing and business skills to radically improve the ways in which all organizations collect, manage, and use data to achieve their goals.  They also facilitate communication between technical and business specialists in order to identify optimal computing solutions.


The CIS program provides maximum flexibility for students, and easily changes with the market place. The curriculum core is aligned to a national standard (IS 2002) produced by the ACM, AITP, and AIS professional societies. This core was created from skills and attributes listed in thousands of job advertisements for IS positions.

The Associate in Applied Science degree is aligned to easily flow into the four-year bachelor degree in CIS.

Admission Requirements

New students: 2.5 high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and two of the three criteria below: (1) English ACT score of 16 or higher, or SAT Writing score of 370 or higher; (2) Math ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Math score of 460 or higher; (3) Reading ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Reading score of 430 or higher.

Transfer students: Combined college or university GPA of 2.35 (on a 4.0 scale) from all institutions attended. GPA is based on completion of 12 credit hours or more. Transfer equivalency for FSU's ENGL 150 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT English score of 16 or higher; Compass score 70 – 100. Transfer equivalency for FSU's MATH 115 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT Math score of 19 or higher; Compass Algebra score 46 - 74 and high school Algebra with 2.0.

Exceptions for new and transfer students: Applicants not meeting the above criteria but having a 2.35 high school GPA and at least a 16 ACT in Math and Reading and a 13 ACT in ENGLISH (2.00 overall GPA for transfer students) can be considered for conditional admission into a College of Business pre-program. Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business dean’s office.

Pre-program students must complete a minimum of 12 FSU credits (excluding developmental courses) with a 2.35 GPA; courses must include ENGL 150 and MATH 115 before being considered for admission into their program of choice. Students must meet admission criteria for their chosen degree program by the time they have earned 30 credits.

More Information:
Additional guidance can be found on the College of Business web page under the Admissions tab.

General Education Requirements

All general University General Education requirements can be found here:

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives:

Graduation Requirements

The Computer Information Systems program at Ferris leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA in core classes, in the major, and overall.

More Information

Accountancy, Finance & Info Systems
119 South Street, BUS 212
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2284

The College of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).  Next Accreditation Review is February 2018.

Required Courses
Credit Hours

Computer Information Systems - 61 Credits

Professional Business Component - 12 Credits
Princ. of Financial Accounting
Introduction to Statistics
Contracts and Sales
Principles of Marketing
CIS Core - 12 Credits
Fund of Computer Info Systems
Database Design-Implementation
A+ Certification 1
A+ Certification 2

Choose one concentration from below:
Systems Support Concentration - 12 Credits
Windows Client Administration
Windows Server 1
Windows Server 2
Choose one:
Network +
Linux Administration
Programming Concentration - 12 Credits
Introduction to Visual Basic
Intro to Java Programming
Web Application Development
Advanced Java Programming
Custom Concentration - 12 Credits
NOTE:  Faculty advisor and program coordinator approval is required for Custom Concentration class selection.  CIS or CIT internship highly recommended (ISYS 291 or CITS 291).

University General Education

Communication Competence - 9 Credits
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
English 1
English 2
Scientific Understanding - 4 Credits
Scientific Understanding Lab
Quantitative Skills - 3/4 Credits
If MATH ACT is 24 or higher, subtitute a general education elective.
Choose One:
Quantitative Reason for Pro 2
Intermediate Algebra
Cultural Enrichment - 3 Credits
Introduction to Ethics
Social Awareness - 3 Credits
Principles of Macroeconomics
College of Business Additional General Education - 3 Credits
Note: CIS students must be able to demonstrate competency in ISYS 105 topics or take ISYS 105.