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Computer Information Systems

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science
College(s): College of Business

Why Choose Computer Information Systems?

The Bachelor of Science degree offered through the College of Business at Ferris prepares students to be team leaders in the development and maintenance of Business Information Systems. Starting positions include application programmer/analyst, business analyst, systems analyst, networking administrators, consultants, software developers, computer support specialist, systems administrators, project leaders and web developers.

To assure relevance and enduring value, our Computer Information Systems (CIS) program has been designed to align with the national standard (IS2002) established by computing professionals. In addition, we have drawn upon our tight linkages with industry to assure that our labs and our required internships provide the level of hands-on experience that ensures our students are sought after by employers who recognize Ferris as a source of skilled, knowledgeable IS/IT graduates that can hit the ground running and grow from there.

Computers and Information Systems have become essential to all aspects of business and life. Professionals are needed to relate the problem-solving abilities of a computer system to an individual business department, corporation, or multi-national enterprise.

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

Career Opportunities

The need for computing professionals and executives in the country is growing as companies become more global.  Almost every major challenge facing our world is turning to computing for a solution, from conquering disease to eliminating hunger, from improving education to protecting the environment. 

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. 

Software Developer/Engineer top at least two “Best Jobs” lists and Software Architects, IT Configuration Managers, Computer Systems Analysts, Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers and Computer Network Architects are in several “Top 10” lists (Forbes, CNN Money, U.S. News and World Report). 

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 3 out of 4 new science or engineering jobs in the U.S. are going to be in computing, and that 140,000 brand new software developer jobs will be created by 2022.  With the growing importance of topics like Big Data, Cybersecurity, and Human-Computer Interaction, the sky’s the limit for careers in computing. 

Do you enjoy finding better ways to get things done using computers?  Are you interested in understanding how information systems can improve business processes and make organizations work better?  Information Systems (IS) professionals analyze, design, implement, and manage innovative technology-based solutions.  They help modern enterprises in virtually any industry create value using information technology. 

IS 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 IT 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) which was produced by the ACM, AITP, and AIS professional societies. This core was created from skills and attributes listed in thousands of job advertisements for Information Systems positions.

The CIS curriculum provides students with a broad understanding of core business functions, competency in computer programming, knowledge of information technology infrastructure, and a sound foundation in web-based systems analysis and design. Furthermore, this curriculum provides the necessary related business skills for immediate employment in Information Systems and for advancement to management positions.

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 HS 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 in 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 a Bachelor of Science degree. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA in core classes, in the major and overall. Students must complete all general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website.

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 - 126 Credits

Business Core - 27 Credits
Princ. of Financial Accounting
Princ of Managerial Accounting
Contracts and Sales
Financial Management 1
Business Information Systems
Principles of Marketing
Applied Management
Quality-Operations Mgmt
Integrating Experience
CIS Major - 39 Credits
Fund of Computer Info Systems
Database Design-Implementation
Intro to Java Programming
Web Application Development
Advanced Java Programming
Networking Essentials
Systems Analysis and Design 1
Adv Database Design-Implement
Systems Analysis and Design 2
Proj Management Fundamentals
Database Administration
Web-Based Sys Develop-Implem
CIS Internship
1 TO 6
Directed Electives - 12 Credits
Directed electives can include a mix of programming courses, network courses, transferred courses from another program or institution, another program's minor, or other related Ferris academic program courses that provide skills necessary for managing or supporting IT resources. Directed electives can be customized with a faculty advisor to meet a student's desired career choices.

Students must obtain advisor approval prior to selecting their elective courses.

University General Education

Communication Competence - 15 Credits
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
Tech and Prof Presentation
English 1
English 2
Advanced Business Writing
Scientific Understanding - 7 Credits
Lab Science Elective
Science Elective
Quantitative Skills - 3/4 Credits
Must pass with C or better before enrolling in ISYS 216
Choose One: 
Quantitative Reason for Pro 2
Intermediate Algebra
Cultural Enrichment - 9 Credits
Introduction to Ethics
Social Awareness - 9 Credits
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
College of Business Additional General Education
Related Courses - 3 Credits
Introduction to Statistics
CIS students must be able to demonstrate competency in ISYS 105 topics or take ISYS 105.

Students are expected to participate in a professional organization for at least two years - AITP is highly recommended.