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2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section of this catalog.

The Master of Science degree in computer information systems is offered in the School of computing and information systems. The primary purpose of the program is to make educational opportunities available to the professional computing community in West Michigan. It is intended for computer professionals who are already working in industry. Because the Master of Science degree in computer information systems is offered for the working professional, the courses are scheduled in a one night per week (6-9 p.m.) format and located at the downtown, Grand Rapids, PEW Campus in Kennedy Hall. The program consists of eleven 3-credit courses (33 credit hours), consisting of two content areas of 9 credits each, electives, and either a Capstone course, a project course or a thesis option. The content areas available are biomedical informatics, database management, distributed computing, information systems management, software design and development, and software engineering. The last two courses in the content area must be completed at Grand Valley State University.

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.

The Master of Science degree in computer information systems is offered in the School of Computing and Information Systems. It provides a solid foundation in computer information systems for working professionals and those with prior experience in computer science and information systems.

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 will offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in information technology. Second, we will 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.


The website for the computer information systems master's program is


In addition to the requirements listed in the Graduate Admission section, candidates must satisfy all of the following:

  • All international students must have a satisfactory score on their GRE Test;
  • U.S. students with a GPA below 3.0 from all of their undergraduate coursework must contact the School of Computing and Information Systems for advising.
  • Candidates must possess knowledge of a programming language.
  • Candidates are expected to possess knowledge in the following areas. Candidates lacking coursework or work experience in one or more of these may be considered for conditional admission. Please speak with the Graduate Program Director for advising.
    • Computer architecture and/or organization
    • Data structures and algorithms
    • Databases
    • Discrete math
    • Networking
    • Operating systems
    • Software engineering
  • Submit acceptable recommendations from at least two individuals attesting to the likelihood of the candidate's successful completion of the program.
  • Submit a resume detailing work experiences and accomplishments.
  • Submit a personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.

Program Location

Courses are normally scheduled in the evenings from 6-9 p.m. at the downtown Grand Rapids Pew Campus in Kennedy Hall.

Minimum number of hours for graduation

Eleven 3-credit courses (33 credit hours) make up the Master of Science in computer information systems degree.

Requirements for the M.S. in Computer Information Systems

All candidates for the degree must complete a total of 33 credits, as indicated below:

  • Foundation Courses (6 credits)
  • Core (9 credits)
  • Concentration (9 credits)
  • Electives (3 or 6 credits)
  • Capstone (3 or 6 credits)

The following program is available:

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.