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.
Director: P. Leidig. Assistant Director: Grissom. Program Chair: Ferguson. Professors: Alsabbagh, Ferguson, Grissom, Jorgensen, P. Leidig, Nandigam, Tao, Tusch, Wolffe; Associate Professors: Adams, Dulimarta, El-Said, Engelsma, Kotman, Kurmas, McGuire, Reynolds, Trefftz; Assistant Professors: Du, Kalafut, J. Leidig, Schymik, Scripps; Instructors: Hornik, Lange, Peterman; Affiliate Faculty: Brege, Mansour, Posada.
Degrees offered: M.S. in computer information systems; M.S. in medical and bioinformatics; B.S. in computer science; B.S. 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.
Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley State University are offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems. Computing programs prepare IT professionals for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.
One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer majors in computer science and information systems. 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.
Two key elements in computer education are a theoretical foundation and practical experience. Computer science majors prepare to design and implement software, discover new uses of computing, and to solve computing problems.
Theoretical and practical aspects of computing are emphasized. Operating systems, software engineering, data communications, programming languages and their implementation, and the analysis of algorithms are among the topics covered. Cognate courses emphasize communication and analytical reasoning.
School of CIS Mission
The mission of the School of Computing and 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 offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in information technology. Second, we 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.
Computer Science Objectives
Three years after graduation, our typical computer science 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.
- Behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.
By the time of graduation, computer science students will:
- Demonstrate an understanding and apply computing fundamentals, contemporary computing topics, and mathematical principles to solve problems.
- Use integrated development tools with a variety of programming languages, and familiarity with more than one computing platform.
- Analyze a problem and design, implement, and test software systems of varying complexity to meet desired needs.
- Demonstrate an understanding of ethical, professional, and social responsibilities; and the ability to analyze the impact of computing in a global context.
- Function effectively on teams.
- Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- Show recognition of the need for, and ability to engage in, continuing professional development.
The computer science major is accredited under the General Criteria and Computer Science Criteria by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD, 21202-4012 - telephone: (410) 347-7700, www.abet.org.
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, www.abet.org.
The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board
The School of Computing and Information Systems Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school’s director and leading computing and information systems 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 the Computer Science Major
Admission to major standing in computer science (CS) or 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 CS Foundation or the IS Foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
- GPA of 2.5 or above in the CS Foundation or the IS Foundation.
The CS foundation includes CIS 162 and 163; MTH 225; STA 215, 312 or 318; and either COM 201 or WRT 350. (The IS foundation is listed in the catalog with the Information Systems major.) Completing the CS (or IS) foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.
The CS/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 CIS 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 CIS advisor before scheduling their first semester.
NOTE: While admission to major standing in computer science may be achieved with completion of the IS foundation instead of the CS foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses of the computer science major.
Is the field of computers for you? You’ll need technical knowledge and skills as well as the ability to concentrate on your work and to think logically. You should enjoy working with ideas and solving problems. If you do, you will find that a degree in this field can open the door to a rewarding career in the computer industry.
Job opportunities in the computing and information technology industry are expected to grow rapidly, particularly as computers are used to solve problems in ever-expanding areas. Positions in the computing and information technology field include those in computer programming, systems analysis, systems programming, applications programming, software engineering, telecommunications, computer operations, teaching, and a variety of positions in computer sales, design, manufacturing, health care, and customer service.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects six of the fastest growing occupations for 2004-2014 are in computing: network systems analyst, software engineer, systems software developer, network administrator, database administrator and systems analyst. Money Magazine and Salary.com researched hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels, and other factors (2006). Software engineering was ranked number 1 and computer IT analyst was ranked number seven.
In short, the employment prospects indicate high demand for college graduates with majors or minors in the computing fields.
Graduate School Opportunities
Computer science graduates are well prepared to continue in their academic preparation in other graduate studies in computing related disciplines, with success at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The School of Computing and Information Systems at Grand Valley offers two graduate programs: a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, or a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Medical and Bioinformatics.
The primary purpose of the master’s degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS) is to make educational opportunities available to west Michigan’s professional computing community. The degree is intended for working professionals who are already using computer and information systems in industry. The MS-CIS is an applied computing program that uses a hands-on approach, combining core-computing fundamentals and expanded concentrations in advanced computing topics. Graduates complete two of the following seven content areas designed to provide sustained coverage of topics of value in the regional computing community: software engineering, software design and development, object-oriented technology, information systems management, distributed computing, database management, or biomedical informatics. Either a computing application project or a thesis research provides a culminating Capstone experience.
The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) Program in Medical and Bioinformatics (MBI) is an applied program that uses a hands-on approach. The MBI program integrates computing skills with bio/life science disciplines. Students complete a core curriculum that includes cross-disciplinary and professional science courses, along with computing courses in data mining, analysis and visualization, high-performance computing and clinical information systems, and an advanced integrative Capstone experience. The program includes a required internship experience in the biomedical informatics industry.
The School of Computing and Information Systems currently is participating with the following programs/colleges/schools to offer students varying computing programs:
- The Professional Science Master’s Program: Master of Science in Medical and Bioinformatics
- The School of Engineering: computer engineering major
- The School of Engineering: computer engineering minor
- The Allied Health Sciences Department in The College of Health Professions: health care information systems minor
- The School of Criminal Justice: information security systems minor
Scholarships are available in the following categories:
(1) Freshman Scholarships:
Scholarships are available to a limited number of incoming first-year students who have indicated an interest in majoring in either computer science or information systems. These scholarships are available to a select group of students who meet the minimum requirements. The scholarship is dependent on maintaining certain academic standards while at GVSU.
A student is eligible to apply for a School of Computing and Information Systems Scholarship if the student satisfies all of the following:
- The student must be admitted to Grand Valley State University and have declared a major in either computer science or information systems.
- The student must have at least a high school GPA of 3.5 and an ACT score of 28 or better.
- The student must be enrolling at GVSU as a full-time student.
To apply for the School of CIS’ First-Year Computing Academic Scholarship, a student meeting eligibility requirements listed above must submit to the School of Computing and Information Systems a completed application package containing all of the following:
- The scholarship application.
- An essay explaining the student’s academic goals. The essay must be typewritten and double-spaced (approximately 2 pages).
- In addition, the student must have their high school grades delivered or sent to the School of Computing and Information Systems.
In the evaluation of candidates for a scholarship, all of the above items will be considered, including the quality of the essay and the candidate’s academic performance.
(2) Academic Scholarships:
Academic Scholarships will be awarded to computer science and information systems majors to honor those students for their outstanding performance and to encourage them to continue in the field of Computer Science or Information Systems at his/her level of excellence. These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of contributors to the School of Computing and Information Systems Endowment Fund. Students who apply in the winter semester by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Spring Break and who satisfy the eligibility requirements will be considered for a scholarship. The winners will be announced by the end of the winter semester. The scholarships will be awarded for the following academic year.
A student is eligible to apply for a School of Computing and Information Systems Scholarship if the student satisfies all of the following:
- The student must be admitted into either the computer science or information systems major.
- The student must have at least 45 credit hours completed at the time of application.
- The student must have completed at least 14 credit hours in the major (excluding cognates) at Grand Valley State University and be enrolled in at least one course in computer science or information systems at the time of application.
- The student must be returning to GVSU, as a full-time student, the following fall semester and is expected to take at least one computer science or information systems course that academic year.
- The student must have an overall GPA of 3.2 or better.
Go to www.cis.gvsu.edu/scholarships/Academic for more details and forms for applying.
(3) The Eric Jon Gillette Scholarship:
A scholarship of up to $1,500 is made available through the generosity of donors in memory of Eric Jon Gillette to provide financial support to students with financial need who are completing an undergraduate degree in computer science or information systems.
- Must be a full-time student going into their junior or senior year.
- Must be enrolled and admitted into the computer science or information systems major with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
- Must demonstrate financial need by completing a FAFSA.
- Applications must include a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
- Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and meet other criteria to renew. Scholarship is renewable for a maximum of 4 semesters.
- Students, who apply in the winter semester by 5:00 p.m. of the Friday before Spring Break and who satisfy the eligibility requirements, will be considered for a scholarship. The winners will be announced by the end of the winter semester. The scholarship will be given for the following academic year.
A student is eligible to apply for a Gillette Scholarship, if they satisfy all of the following criteria:
- Preference is given to the student embarking on a second career and seeking a new challenge in their life. (i.e., has worked for a year or more, then has either returned or started school to obtain a degree).
- The recipient should have demonstrated ability as a self-starter and have a flare for innovation.
- The recipient must provide examples of their ability to perform in a team environment.
- The recipient must show financial need. (Preference given to persons with the greatest financial need.)
To apply for the Gillette Scholarship, a student (meeting eligibility requirements listed above) must submit to the School of Computing and Information Systems a completed application containing all of the following:
- A completed Personal Data form. (For this form, go to www.gvsu.edu/scholarships and search for Gillette.)
- A letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
- An essay explaining the student’s professional goals. The essay must be typewritten and double-spaced (approx. 2 pages).
- The student must have an unofficial GVSU transcript brought to/or sent to the School of Computing and Information Systems.
In the evaluation of candidates for a scholarship, all of the above items will be considered, including the quality of the essay and the candidate’s performance in major courses at GVSU.
(4) Study Abroad Scholarships:
Scholarships are available to CS and IS majors who study abroad at an institution of higher learning in another country. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide students with greater opportunities in their study of computer science or information systems. Students who apply in the winter semester by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Spring Break and who satisfy the eligibility requirements will be considered for a scholarship. The winners will be announced by the end of the winter semester. The scholarship will be awarded for the following academic year. These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of contributors to the School of Computing and Information Systems Endowment Fund.
- Admitted into the computer science or information systems major.
- 45 credit hours completed.
- 14 credit hours in the major completed at GVSU.
- GPA of 3.2 overall or better.
Go to www.cis.gvsu.edu/scholarships for more information and application form.
(5) Lt. James Parmelee Memorial Scholarships:
This scholarship is awarded to a rising senior each year through nomination by Padnos College faculty. The scholarship recognizes a student’s accomplishments through diligent pursuit of academic excellence.
(6) PCEC Graduate Scholarship
The Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, School of Computing and Information Systems, and School of Engineering are offering part-time scholarships for MS: CIS/MBI, and MSE graduate students entering their first semester of studies at GVSU. This scholarship can be used for tuition on any 3 credit course required within the graduate program.
These are competitive scholarships awarded for one semester. Students who apply for this scholarship should:
- Be accepted into a graduate program in Computer Information Systems, Engineering, or Medical & Bioinformatics;
- Be entering their first semester of graduate studies;
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0 scale) in undergraduate studies;
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Not be receiving an assistantship appointment.
Students must write and submit an essay discussing their educational and career goals. This essay should be one page in length, written in a standard font and attached to the application. For the application, go to www.cis.gvsu.edu/scholarships/. To apply for the PCEC Graduate Scholarship for the MS in CIS or MBI Programs, submit the completed application to the School of Computing and Information Systems Graduate Program at C-2-100 Mackinac Hall.
$500 per semester for up to $1,000 per academic year (fall, winter, and spring/summer terms).
The scholarship can be renewed for a second semester. To be eligible for scholarship renewal, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher during their first semester.
The Computing Club is GVSU’s student organization for computer science and information systems majors and minors, students taking computer science classes, or anyone interested in computers and technology.
The Cyber Defense Club, which is sponsored by the School of CIS, prepares students to be security professionals and to be aware of current threats on the Internet. Also, it prepares them for the National Cyber Defense Competition, which is usually held in February.
The CIS Ethics Group, which is sponsored by the School of CIS, is a group of students and faculty interested in exploring the ethical issues that computer professionals face in today’s society. The club meets weekly and has multiple guest speakers presenting case studies to the group. The main event the group sponsors is a campus-wide seminar on ethics in the computing field.
Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the international Honor Society for the Computing and Information disciplines. The Gamma Chapter of Michigan (GVSU’s student chapter) was established on April 4, 1992. It has received endorsements from the two largest computer organizations in the world, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS). According to certain criteria, students are invited to become members and are inducted at the Initiation Ceremony, which is scheduled in the fall of each year.
To be eligible for election to membership, undergraduate students:
- shall have attained a general scholarship rating, in all college work thus far completed, of not less than 3.0/4.0 grade-points provided.
- shall have completed at least 45 semester hours of college work including 15 semester hours in the basic courses in the computing and information disciplines.
The following programs are available:
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Computer Engineering Minor
Computer Science Minor
Computer Science Minor (6-12 Secondary Teacher Certification)