Computer Information Systems

Computer Information Systems Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree 100% Online

About Computer Information Systems

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

Choose a top program that fits your busy schedule and lets you learn new computer technologies to advance in your business career: the 100% online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at California University of Pennsylvania. In this undergraduate degree program, you'll learn about leading-edge information technologies and systems methodologies and how to apply this knowledge to meet the ever-expanding needs of today's dynamic business environment.

 The online 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 distinctive element of the CIS degree is a solid foundation in basic business functions.

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's accredited, well-respected CIS program.

The online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program at Cal U is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).  Cal U's CIS program has been awarded this prestigious accreditation for more than 10 years. Cal U'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 Cal U graduates are in high demand. 

 With its special mission in science and technology, Cal U helps hundreds of students prepare for various careers in computer technology.  Understanding the differences between Cal U's career-focused academic programs can help you select the computer-technology major that's right for you. 


Solid foundation: Our online 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 computer 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 apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline; analyze a problem and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution; design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component or program to meet desired needs; function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal; understand professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities; communicate effectively with a range of audiences; analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society; and pursue continuing professional development.

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Credit hours required for the online 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.


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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 wide spreadoutsourcing 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.)
A computer lab on campus.

Vital Resources

Students are supported by dedicated faculty in the Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems Department, who provide excellent teaching and mentoring. Cal U's high-tech classrooms and modern facilities allow many courses to be taught in computer laboratories for on-campus CIS students. Online CIS students benefit from Cal U's emphasis on learning technologies that are in demand in the marketplace.

An intern checks a server.


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 internship also counts as a three-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. Cal U's Internship Center assists our students with internship placements.

Handshake over a table.

Professional Connections

Numerous leading companies, universities, and state and federal agencies hire Cal U 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, Curriclum and Objectives

The CIS program focuses on the latest technologies and systems methodologies with a focus on the dynamic and evolving business environment.


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.


Admission Requirements

B.S., Computer Information Systems

  • Computer Information Systems (Minor)
    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

The CIS program of study enables students to achieve, by the time of graduation:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline;
  2. An ability to analyze a problem and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution;
  3. An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component or program to meet desired needs;
  4. An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal;
  5. An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities;
  6. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  7. An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society;
  8. Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, continuing professional development;
  9. An ability to use current techniques, skills and tools necessary for computing practices.
  10. An understanding of processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within a specific application environment.

The CIS program at Cal U began in the Fall of 2005.  Below is student enrollment and graduation data since the inception of the program.

Student Enrollment and Degrees
2017-2018 156
2016-2017 151
2015-2016 97
2014-2015 81
2013-2014 82
2012-2013 82
2011-2012 69
2010-2011 76
2009-2010 73
2008-2009 59
2007-2008 47
2006-2007 28
2005-2006 10
2017-2018 26
2016-2017 12
2015-2016 14
2014-2015 9
2013-2014 7
2012-2013 21
2011-2012 16
2010-2011 14
2009-2010 11
2008-2009 9
2007-2008 1
2006-2007 0
2005-2006 0
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 summer intern with U.S. Steel or work on applications development as a classroom project for an organization like the Senator John Heinz History Center.   


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.

Cal U 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 Science Faculty

Dr. Gina Boff

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Dr. Lisa Kovalchick

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Dr. Pratibha Menon
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Nader Mohamed
Associate Professor

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