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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Jul 16, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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.

Director: Leidig. Assistant Director: Grissom. Program Chair: Adams. Professors: Alsabbagh, Ferguson, Grissom, Jorgensen, Leidig, Tao, Tusch, Wolffe; Associate Professors: Adams, Dulimarta, El-Said, Engelsma, Kotman, Kurmas, McGuire, Nandigam, Reynolds, Trefftz; Assistant Professors: DeHondt, Kalafut, Scripps; Affiliate Faculty: Brege, Mansour, Posada.


Degrees offered: M.S. in Computer Information Systems; M.S. in Medical and Bioinformatics; B.S., B.A. in Computer Science, B.S., B.A. 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. 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. Each 3-course content area constitutes a Certificate Program. A certificate is awarded to a student each time they complete a content area. The seven content areas available are Biomedical Informatics, Database Management, Distributed Systems, Information Systems Management, Object-Oriented Technology, Software Design and Development, or Software Engineering. The last two courses in the content area must be completed at Grand Valley State University.

Admission criteria for a certificate program are identical to admission criteria for the master’s degree program. Certificate candidates enroll in the standard master’s degree program courses, with grading criteria being identical. Should a certificate candidate decide to change to the master’s degree program, all coursework taken toward the certificate will apply to his or her master’s degree program.

School of CIS Mission  

The mission of the School of Computing & 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.

Admission Requirements:

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

  1. 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 & Information Systems for advising.
  2. Candidates must have a base of underlying knowledge relevant to graduate study in the computing field. This can be demonstrated by previous academic study or work experience. A consultation with a faculty member may be necessary to verify appropriateness of work experience as a substitute for academic preparation. Candidates without relevant background experience may satisfy any deficiency with appropriate courses. For comparison, the relevant courses at Grand Valley are CIS 162, 163, 251 or 230, 350 or 330 and 333 or 350. In addition, the material covered in CIS 500 forms a foundation for study in the program. A student not having this knowledge will be required to take this course also.
  3. Submit acceptable recommendations from at least two individuals attesting to the likelihood of the candidate’s successful completion of the program.
  4. Submit a resume detailing work experiences and accomplishments.
  5. Submit a personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.

 The following program is available:

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems