Grand Valley State University's Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Information Systems is intended for anyone wanting focused skills in the area of computing. The program incorporates topics from both computer science (CS) and information systems (IS) to allow students great flexibility in tailoring a graduate degree to suit their needs.

Students pursue the M.S. in Computer Information Systems in any of the following content areas: biomedical informatics, cybersecurity, databases, distributed systems, information systems management, software engineering, or web and mobile computing. 

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Job Growth in West Michigan
GVSU Ranking as West Michigan Talent Provider
Median Annual Wages for CIS Professionals
$87,089  Average

Source: EMSI, 2019


Computer information systems (CIS) professionals are in demand both region- and nationwide. According to 2019 EMSI data, job opportunities for computing professionals is projected to grow 11% in West Michigan and 8% in the U.S. by 2024. The median annual wage for computing professionals ranged between $76,336 and  $95,368 in 2019. CIS graduates often hold the following job titles:

  • Systems Analysts
  • Business Analysts
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Software Engineers
  • Information Technology (IT) Managers
  • Data Scientists
  • Systems Managers
  • Analytics Leaders
  • Chief Technology Officers (CTO)
  • Directors of Application Development

Source: EMSI, 2019

The Skills Employers Want

The M.S. in Computer Information Systems degree at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in computing.

Advanced Skills

  • Agile Software Development
  • Information Systems
  • SQL (Programming Language)
  • Business Process
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Requirements
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Auditing

Common Skills

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Communications
  • Innovation
  • Operations
  • Integration
  • Computer Sciences
  • Presentations
  • Written Communication

Source: EMSI, 2019

Course Offerings

The M.S. in computer information systems curriculum includes content areas for depth of study, electives for breadth, and a capstone project/thesis. Specialization in content areas include:

  • Biomedical informatics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Database management
  • Distributed computing
  • Info systems management
  • Web and mobile computing
  • Software engineering
  • Software design and development

Looking for information about a project or thesis? We have a handy comparison of the two. We also have a page describing the process of starting a project or thesis. If you would like to see course offerings and degree requirements for this program, visit the online catalog.

Course Offerings


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For Fall 2020, the admission deadline for the Computer Information Systems program is July 15, 2020. The deadline for a Winter entry is October 15. This program has specific requirements for entry. You can review them below. The $30 application fee is waived if you’ve already applied to Grand Valley. Visit the online catalog to see admission requirements for this program.

If you don't have an undergraduate degree in a computing discipline, we will work with you to develop a plan to reach your goals. Please contact the graduate program director to set up a time to talk.

Admission Requirements



For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website. You could also be a graduate assistant (GA). Find out more about this opportunity and more on our Financial Support page.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.

Digital Badge Opportunities

Not interested in the full degree? The School of Computing also graduate-level digital badges. A digital badge, or simply "badge", recognizes a student’s completion of a coherent and meaningful academic experience, but something smaller than the full MS-CIS degree.

A badge allows students to promote academic achievements online more effectively and in different venues than would be possible with a transcript. For example, you could link your digital badge to your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. The university uses to issue badges. 

Combined Degree Programs

CIS offers combined degree programs for students pursuing Computer Science and Information Systems bachelor's degrees to graduate with both the B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Information Systems within a shortened timeframe.

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