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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Information Systems

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

Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley State University are offered by the School of Computing. Computing programs prepare students for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.

One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer B.S. degrees in computer science, information systems, information technology, and cyber security. 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. We offer minors in computer engineering, computer science, data science, healthcare information systems, information security systems, information systems, and information technology.

Computers play important roles in virtually every aspect of our lives. Technological advances are extending the influences of the computer even further and many more applications of the computer remain to be discovered. For example, expert systems model the knowledge and strategies of experts in an area so others may benefit. Such systems have been developed for medical diagnosis and treatment, automotive engine analysis, and many other fields.

Information systems majors study the use of computers in organizing and processing information. This includes such topics as database management systems, networking and distributed computing, network management, and systems analysis. Cognate courses emphasize communication skills and business fundamentals. The degree includes the equivalent of a minor in business.


The mission of the School of Computing 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 computing 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 internship experience for computing majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.

Information Systems Student Outcomes

Three years after graduation, our typical information systems 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; and
  • behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.

By the time of graduation, information systems students will be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline.
  6. Support the delivery, use, and management of information systems within an information systems environment.


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. Website:

School of Computing Advisory Board

The School of Computing Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school's director and leading computing 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 major standing in information systems (IS) 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 IS Foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
  • GPA of 2.5 or above in the IS foundation.

The IS foundation includes CIS 162; CIS 230; CIS 260, MTH 125; STA 215, or STA 312 or STA 318; and COM 201. Completing the IS foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.

The IS 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 Computing 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 School of Computing advisor before scheduling their first semester.

Note: While admission to major standing in information systems may be achieved with completion of the computer science, cybersecurity, or information technology foundation instead of the IS foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses of the information systems major.

Program Requirements

The following programs are available:

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