Computer Information Systems

Computer Information Systems Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree On-Campus

About Computer Information Systems

Prepare for a top career in fast-growing, high-impact computer industries.

Gain the skills necessary to develop and implement new computer technologies in the corporate world and in government, higher education and nonprofits. Choose the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at PennWest California. This undergraduate degree combines knowledge of leading-edge information technologies and systems methodologies with an understanding of the evolving needs of today's dynamic business environment.

The CIS degree is ideal for students who are interested in working with technology to find solutions to business problems. This program also is designed to critically analyze existing business processes and their systems, and to redesign them into streamlined, optimized processes. While a fundamental understanding of information technology is a cornerstone of the degree, an equally important and distinguishing element of the CIS degree is a solid foundation in basic business functions.

Gain a career advantage with PennWest California's accredited, well-respected CIS program

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program at PennWest California is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, PennWest California has been awarded this prestigious accreditation for more than 10 years. PennWest California's ABET-accredited program, which surpasses national academic standards, was designed by a team of scholars and professionals with extensive real-world experience and with the guidance of our own CIS External Advisory Board.

The CIS advisory board ensures that the skills taught throughout the program are those in demand by industry.  Our board, composed of industry representatives and graduate school stakeholders, gives annual reviews of student performance and feedback on curriculum improvements. As a result, our PennWest California graduates are in high demand. 


SOLID FOUNDATION: Our CIS curriculum offers you a strong blend of theoretical and practical concepts in business and computing topics. You will develop technical knowledge to integrate information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of any organization. You'll learn how to determine the requirements, analysis, design and implementation for an organization's information systems. For instance, you'll be able to provide a web-based sales order entry system, define ways to store information in a database, and develop decision support systems for executive decision-making.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: The CIS program enables students to achieve specific outcomes, including the ability to analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions; design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements; communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts; recognize professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities; communicate effectively with a range of audiences; function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline; support the delivery, use, and management of information systems within an information systems environment.

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Credit hours required for the bachelor's degree in  computer information systems, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
Average salary for computer and information systems managers.
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Degree Benefits

Our undergraduate CIS degree program guarantees that graduates are able to apply what they've learned through a capstone, two-semester course sequence where project teams of student programmer/analysts work together to explore a real-world business need for an external corporate stakeholder. Teams redesign work processes for optimization, design a computer-based information system documented in a detailed technical design specification, and spend an entire semester developing, testing and implementing their solution, which will be used by their client. CIS students have access to computing labs, including a Cisco lab.

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Graduate Outcomes

CIS is one of the few academic disciplines today that can prepare graduates to meet the challenges posed by the widespread outsourcing and offshoring of technical work. The demand for computer professionals equipped with top leadership, project management and interpersonal skills is skyrocketing. CIS graduates have excellent job prospects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analyst is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation, with a projected increase from 75,000 positions to 102,500 positions by 2022.  Application/software developers can expect a 22.8% increase in the number of positions nationwide, with an average expected salary of $90,060. Other position opportunities for CIS students and average salaries, according to the labor bureau, include database administrators ($77,080); network and computer systems administrators ($72,560); information security analysts ($86,170); and computer systems analysts ($79,680).    

Computer Information Systems (B.S.)
Students at a computer lab

Vital Resources

Students are supported by dedicated faculty in the Computer Science, Information Systems, and Engineering Technology Department, who provide excellent teaching and mentoring. Our high-tech classrooms and modern facilities allow many courses to be taught in computer laboratories. We maintain an emphasis on learning technologies that are in demand in the marketplace.

A student checks a server during an internship.


Once students earn the required number of credits for junior class standing, they are eligible to apply for a computing internship. To date, all CIS internships have been paid positions, averaging 20 hours a week in a CIS-related position; the intership also counts as a three-credit or four-credit CIS-related elective.  Internships help to prepare students for immediate employment upon graduation and are regarded very favorably by employers, some of whom have now made an internship a hiring requirement. PennWest California's Internship Center  assists our students with internship placements.

Handshake over table.

Personal Connections

Numerous leading companies, universities, and state and federal agencies hire PennWest California CIS graduates. Among them are Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar Inc., Central Intelligence Agency, Deloitte, Dell, FBI, FedEx Ground, Home Depot, Household Finance, Ikon Office Solutions, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, PepsiCo, Siemens, Social Security Administration, U.S. Steel, Verizon Wireless, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. and more.

B.S., Computer Information Systems Courses and Concentrations


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar  OR  HON 100  Honors and University Orientation
ENG 101  English Composition I  OR  HON 150  Honors Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 281  Calculus I  OR  MAT 273  Applied Calculus
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
CIS 110  Introduction to Information Systems
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
BUS 100  Introduction to Business
General Education Options
  • CIS 352  Global, Economic and Social Ethical Issues in Computing
  • CIS 120  Application Programming I
  • ENG 217  Scientific and Technical Writing  OR  ENG 211  Business Writing  OR  ENG 250  Honors Composition II
  • PSY 100  General Psychology
Required Major Courses 31
CIS 220  Application Programming II 3
CIS 299  Systems Analysis I 3
CIS 321  Database Design and Data Modeling 3
CIS 322  Database Application Programming 3
CIS 330  Web Programming I 3
CIS 332  Web Programming II 3
CIS 354  Systems Project Management
CIS 490  Senior Project Capstone I 3
CIS 492  Senior Project Capstone II 3
CIS Elective Courses (select 12 credits)*
  • CIS 342  CISCO CCNA 2
  • CIS 343  CISCO CCNA 3**
  • CIS 302  Visual Programming
  • CIS 304  COBOL
  • CIS 308  Python
  • CIS 325  Decision Support Systems
  • CIS 401  Concepts in Enterprise Resource
  • CIS 419  Internship***
  • CIS 474  Special Topics in Information Systems
Required Related Courses**** 15
  • MTK Course
  • MGT Course
  • ACC Course
  • ECO Course
  • FIN or BUS Course (200 level or above)
Geographic Information Systems
  • GIS 222  Geo-Business
  • GIS 303  Crime Mapping and Spatial Analysis
  • GIS 311  Geographic Information Systems
  • GIS 350  Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • GIS 413  Environmental Applications of GIS
Coursework Related to the Major 6
MAT 215  Statistics  OR  MAT 225  Business Statistics 3
MAT 195  Discrete Mathematical Structures 3
Free Electives 15 or 16
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): CIS 492 Senior Project Capstone II
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): CIS 490 Senior Project Capstone I  AND  CIS 492 Senior Project Capstone II
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

* Students may choose any course listed; however, selecting all courses from a grouping offers a specialization in a CIS area.

** Upon completion of CIS 343, student will be prepared to take certification exam.

*** A maximum of four credits can be used for internship toward the program.

**** Students will select to take 15 credits from either the Business or GIS grouping. At least three credits must be 300-level or higher.





The CIS minor consists of 19 credits of required courses and three credits of an approved elective. 

Objectives and Student Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the CIS program are to produce graduates who:

  1. meet their professional goals;
  2. continue to be life-long learners; and
  3. meet their employer or continuing education expectations.
Student Outcomes


Graduates of the CIS program will have the ability to:

  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.


  1. Support the delivery, use, and management of information systems within an information systems environment.
Student Enrollment and Degrees

2021-22 116 (On-campus: 46 / Online: 70)
2020-21 136 (On-campus: 63 / Online: 73)
2019-20 134 (On-campus: 70 / Online: 64)
2018-19 167 (On-campus: 77 / Online: 90)
2017-18 147 (On-campus: 74 / Online: 73)
2016-17 120 (On-campus: 78 / Online: 42)


2021-22 38 (On-campus: 12 / Online: 26)
2020-21 28 (On-campus: 17 / Online: 11)
2019-20 35 (On-campus: 14 / Online: 21)
2018-19 32 (On-campus: 14 / Online: 18)
2017-18 26 ( On-campus: 15 / Online: 11)
2016-17 14
Careers and Internships


Work experience in the computer information systems (CIS) field is available through several internships and co-ops. For example, you can work as a year-round intern with U.S. Steel or a summer intern with Advanced Acoustic Concepts.


What can you do with this degree? CIS specialists design computing solutions that provide companies, non-profit organizations and governments with the information they need to achieve their goals. You'll be able to employ computer systems to implement and improve the way organizations work. CIS professionals combine their knowledge of computing and organizations to bridge the gap between technical and business specialists.

PennWest California prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge, integrity, character and experience. With the help of the Career and Professional Development Center, we'll connect you to potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, on-campus recruiting, job and internship fairs, and organizational visits. 

Computer Information Systems Faculty