2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Computer Science - Program Description
For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section in this catalog.
Degrees offered: M.S. in computer information systems; M.S. in medical and bioinformatics; B.S. in computer science; B.S. in information systems; Minors offered: computer engineering, computer science, computer science (6-12 Secondary Teacher Certification), health care information systems, information security systems, information systems, and information technology.
Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley State University are offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems. Computing programs prepare IT professionals for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.
One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer majors in computer science and information systems. All programs share faculty, courses, and laboratory resources. Also, by choosing electives and minors in related subject areas, students can further tailor their degrees to fit their individual needs and career goals.
Two key elements in computer education are a theoretical foundation and practical experience. Computer science majors prepare to design and implement software, discover new uses of computing, and to solve computing problems.
Theoretical and practical aspects of computing are emphasized. Operating systems, software engineering, data communications, programming languages and their implementation, and the analysis of algorithms are among the topics covered. Cognate courses emphasize communication and analytical reasoning.
School of CIS Mission
The mission of the School of Computing and Information Systems is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.
To enable students to attain this goal, the CIS faculty have two primary responsibilities. First, we offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in information technology. Second, we provide direct, experiential knowledge of technology necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.
To achieve these goals we:
- Work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission.
- Ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class.
- Establish and nurture industrial contacts.
- Establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for CIS majors.
- Provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.
Computer Science Objectives
Three years after graduation, our typical computer science alumni are expected to be computing professionals who:
- Use technical communication, and teamwork skills to solve problems and develop software systems.
- Continue to develop their professional knowledge and skills.
- Behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.
By the time of graduation, computer science students will:
- Demonstrate an understanding and apply computing fundamentals, contemporary computing topics, and mathematical principles to solve problems.
- Use integrated development tools with a variety of programming languages, and familiarity with more than one computing platform.
- Analyze a problem and design, implement, and test software systems of varying complexity to meet desired needs.
- Demonstrate an understanding of ethical, professional, and social responsibilities; and the ability to analyze the impact of computing in a global context.
- Function effectively on teams.
- Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- Show recognition of the need for, and ability to engage in, continuing professional development.
The computer science majoris accredited under the General Criteria and Computer Science Criteria by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD, 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org.
The information systems major is accredited under the General Criteria and Information Systems Criteria by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org.
The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board
The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school's director and leading computing and information systems experts in West Michigan. The board meets twice each year and advises the school on curriculum development and continuing education. It serves as an important interface between the school and the computing community.
Admission to the Computer Science Major
Admission to major standing in computer science (CS) is competitive and requires an application for admittance into the major. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Overall GPA of 2.5 or above in all Grand Valley State University coursework.
- Completion of each course in the CS Foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
- GPA of 2.5 or above in the CS Foundation or the IS Foundation.
The CS foundation includes CIS 162 and 163; MTH 225; STA 215, 312 or 318; and either COM 201 or WRT 350. Completing the CS foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.
The CS foundation GPA is calculated on no more than one repeat per course. Achievement of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. The School of CIS will also consider internship availability and the applicant's suitability for internships before granting admission. Transfer students must complete at least six hours of CIS coursework before applying, but should consult with a CIS advisor before scheduling their first semester.
NOTE: While admission to major standing in computer science may be achieved with completion of the Information Systems foundation instead of the CS foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses of the computer science major.
The School of Computing and Information Systems currently is participating with the following programs/colleges/schools to offer students varying computing programs:
- The professional science master's program: Master of Science in medical and bioinformatics
- The School of Engineering: computer engineering major
- The School of Engineering: computer engineering minor
- The Allied Health Sciences Department in The College of Health Professions: healthcare information systems minor
- The School of Criminal Justice: information security systems minor
Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the international Honor Society for the Computing and Information disciplines. The Gamma Chapter of Michigan (GVSU's student chapter) was established on April 4, 1992. It has received endorsements from the two largest computer organizations in the world, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS). According to certain criteria, students are invited to become members and are inducted at the Initiation Ceremony, which is scheduled in the fall of each year.
To be eligible for election to membership, undergraduate students
- shall have attained a general scholarship rating, in all college work thus far completed, of not less than 3.0/4.0 grade-points provided; and
- shall have completed at least 45 semester hours of college work including 15 semester hours in the basic courses in the computing and information disciplines.
The following programs are available:
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Computer Science Minor (6-12 Secondary Teacher Certification)