CIS degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels; students can also earn a certificate in the field. These highly interdisciplinary programs integrate training in computer science and business.
10 Schools with CIS Programs
Here are some schools that offer education in CIS:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Tuition and Fees, Out-of-state (2015-2016)**|
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$7,440|
|Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $7,050 Graduate: $9,900|
|Brandeis University||Waltham, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $49,598 Graduate: $45,988|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $50,665 Graduate: $41,371|
|Franklin University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $11,641 Graduate: $15,240|
|Howard University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $23,970 Graduate: $31,778|
|Idaho State University||Pocatello, ID||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$20,182|
|John Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's||$50,510|
|Lewis University||Romeoville, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $29,040 Graduate: $14,410|
|National University||La Jolla, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $12,744 Graduate: $10,962|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Don't forget the following when choosing a CIS program:
- It is important to consider what facilities are available on-campus, as these technological features can supplement student learning and research opportunities.
- Researching a school's student-to-teacher ratios is crucial for CIS programs, as hands-on components and adequate teacher attention are particularly important in such technical programs.
- Students may want to consider what internship and placement opportunities are offered through the school, as these can facilitate the transition to the job market.
- Students who are considering associate's degree and certificate programs may want to find out if credits are transferable to higher IT-related programs.
Associate's Degree Programs
CIS programs introduce students to the basics of the information technology (IT) field, including computer programming, database management and computer systems analysis. Students also take basic business courses in marketing and administration. Upon completion, graduates are prepared for careers applying their technological expertise to solve information management problems for businesses and other large organizations. They may also advance to bachelor degree programs in other IT subjects.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Like associate's degree programs, Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems provide general education and introductory instruction in computer science and business, with a focus on how to effectively utilize technology in organizational concepts. However, students must fulfill more extensive requirements in both disciplines. Through a combination of classroom coursework and computer lab-based training, students learn about the design, development, implementation, analysis and security of information systems and databases.
Master's Degree Programs
At the master's degree level, students can earn a Master of Science (MS) in Computer Information Systems or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in the field. MS programs tend to focus more heavily on the technological aspects of the field, offering a concentration on topics such as computer networks, data analytics, security and web application development. In MBA programs, students complete a core set of business courses and pursue a series of advanced electives on the applications of information technology in the business world.
Doctoral Degree Programs
PhD programs are available for students who want to take high-level CIS courses and conduct doctoral research in a particular subfield of interest. Teaching assistantships may also be included in the curriculum. Upon completion, graduates are prepared for jobs as university professors, or they can pursue leadership positions in industry.
Undergraduate certificate programs are available in some of the basic concepts of CIS, including computer programming, tech support, systems administration, web development and network security. Certificates may be earned in standalone formats or in conjunction with associate's degrees. For experienced IT professionals, there are graduate certificate programs in CIS that allow students to take advanced courses without committing to a full degree program.
CIS programs prepare students for careers at the intersection of business and technology. These programs can be found as certificates or degrees at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.