Computer Information Systems (Major, Minor)

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Studies Department

Alexandra Chaillou, Ph.D., Chair
Thomas Narock, Ph.D.
Kyongil Yoon, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

The Computer Information Systems Program of Study provides the tools needed for career options in diverse fields such as applications development, system and/or software support, computer programming, software engineering, information systems management, systems analysis and design, Web page development and maintenance, and database support.


Computer Information Systems (CIS) is the study of the effective and efficient use of computer technology to advance the missions of organizations.  A Major or Minor in Computer Information Systems or a Minor in Computer Science prepares students to effectively implement computer resources for organizations. It requires the ability to learn and utilize constantly evolving computer technology and social media. The curriculum reflects the basic activities of computer information systems: analyzing, planning, programming, developing, implementing and evaluating new uses of computer technology.  Courses in Computer Information Systems prepare students for teamwork and leadership and stress the importance of workplace and life skills including written and verbal communication. 

Based on recommendation of the Association of Computing Machinery, the goals of the CIS program are:

    1. Foster a broad business and real world perspective in technology;
    2. Develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills;
    3. Enhance interpersonal communication and team skills, and encourage ethical principles;
    4. Model creative information technology solutions that enhance organizational performance.

The Computer Studies Program of Study in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business offers a Major and Minor in computer information systems to students in the Women's College. The Computer Information Systems Minor can be paired with any Major and is particularly useful with a Major in Business. In addition, a Minor in Computer Science is offered in the Women's College.

A minimum grade of C is required in all computer information systems courses for Computer Information Systems Majors and Minors, and in all Computer Science courses.

Required Courses for a Major in Computer Information Systems (Credits)

       CST-141 Fundamentals of Information Systems (3)
       CST-171 Programming Concepts (3)
       CST-261 Web Page Design (3)
       CST-295 C++ Programming (3)
       CST-321 Java Programming (3)
       CST-385 Systems Analysis (3)
       CST-421 Database Concepts (3)
       CST-489 Computer Studies Seminar (3)
       ECO-211 or ECO-212 (3)
       BUS-302 or 303 (3)
       MAT-215 Basic Statistics (3)

       Two electives from:

       CST-355 Project Management (3)
       CST-356 Internet Communication (3)
       CST-411 Topics in Computer Information Systems (3)
       CST-481 Telecomm & Networking (3)

Required Courses for a Minor in Computer Information Systems

       CST-141 Fundamentals of Information Systems (3)
       CST-171 Programming Concepts (3)
       CST-261 Web Page Design (3)
       CST-295 C++ Programming (3)
       CST-385 Systems Analysis (3)
       CST-421 Database Concepts or CST-489 Computer Studies Seminar (3)

Four-Year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for the full-time Computer Information Systems Major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor.



First year    
CST-141 Fundamentals of Information Systems 3

CST-171 Programming Concepts

NDMU-100 Perspectives in Education 3

ECO-211 Macroeconomics or
ECO-212 Microeconomics

ENG-101 College Writing 3


Foreign Language 3

General Education/Electives

General Education/Electives 3

Physical Education

[15 credits]  

[16 credits]

Second year    
CST-295 C++ 3

CST elective

MAT-215 Basic Statistics 3

COM-106 Fundamentals of Oral Communication

History 3

Natural Science

BUS-302 Management or
BUS-303 Marketing

RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies

General Education/Electives 3

CST-321 Java Programming

[15 credits]  

[16 credits]

Third year    
CST-261 Web Page Design 3

CST-385 System Analysis

Philosophy (200-level) 3


General Education/Electives 9

Religious Studies (300/400-level)

[15 credits]  

General Education/Electives

Fourth year  

[15 credits]

CST-421 Database Concepts 3

CST-489 Computer Studies Seminar

Philosophy (300/400-level) 3

CST elective

Fine Arts 3

General Education/Electives

General Education/Electives 6

[15 credits]

[15 credits]    


CST-110 Technology for Instruction and Management

Provides prospective classroom teachers with opportunities for planning, designing and producing projects that support the instructional needs of students in grades K-12, including best practices for the integration of technology into curriculum with state and national technology standards. Students complete a variety of projects to develop skills in word processing, Web page development, computer presentations and other technologies. For education majors only. [3 credits]

CST-130 Introduction to Computer Applications I Applications

Emphasizes problem-solving skills for all disciplines, such as creating formatted documents, using spreadsheets to analyze information quantitatively, editing image visual computer presentations to accompany reports. In addition, course examines up-to-date computer security and privacy issues. Course focuses on computer competencies for the non-major. [3 credits]

CST-141 Fundamentals of Information Systems

Introduces the characteristics and architectures of information systems and their impact on businesses. Explores elements of computer hardware, a variety of software capabilities, telecommunications infrastructure and the system development life cycle. This is the gateway course in the major. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [3 credits]

CST-171 Programming Concepts

Introduces computer programming using a common small business language such as Microsoft Visual Basic. Emphasizes programming structures such as decisions, repetitions, sub procedures, functions, and arrays using structured program design with object-oriented concepts. Students learn to write a variety of program types to meet various business needs. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [3 credits]

CST-261 Web Page Design

Focuses on coding and design of Web pages using HTML and JavaScript to create high-level Internet content. Includes legal and ethical issues as well as human-computer interaction design concepts. Students demonstrate the progression of their skills through the successful completion of a number of practical projects. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [3 credits]

CST-295 C++ Object-Oriented Programming

Introduces object-oriented programming including objects, classes, inheritance and polymorphism. Includes high-level structures such as pointers and arrays as well as data structures with stacks and queues. Prerequisite: CST-171 or MAT-211. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [3 credits]

CST-321 Java Programming

Introduces object-oriented programming using objects and classes to write Java applications and Web applets for simple gaming. Includes graphical features of Java such as objects, images, event handling, color control and layout control. Prerequisite: CST-171 or MAT-211. [3 credits]

CST-355 Project Management

Investigates project management as it applies to the systems development life cycle with an electronic project management tool. Emphasizes resource allocation and sub-project definition. Students will apply theory and principles learned to solutions for practical business problems. Prerequisite: CST-171 or CST-261. [3 credits]

CST-356 Internet Communication

Examines the advantages and challenges of the Internet for businesses communication. The uses of social media as business tools will be explored. [3 credits]

CST-385 Systems Analysis

Examines the system life cycle and alternative methodologies, emphasizing techniques of project management, system documentation, logical and physical system specification, system development and installation. Students complete a number of systems design projects. Prerequisite: CST-171 or CST-261. [3 credits]

CST-411 Topics in Computer Information

Offers an intensive, advanced study in a particular area of technology focusing on current issues encountered in the professional world. Topics vary, but recent classes have considered Ecommerce, legal issues and computer security. Prerequisites vary according to topic. [3 credits]

CST-421 Database Concepts

Introduces concepts and techniques of structuring, storing and retrieving data. Includes database and database table design, data normalization and introductory SQL programming. This is a project-based course. Prerequisite: CST-385. [3 credits]

CST-463 Directed Study in Computer Science

Provides an opportunity for a student to pursue advanced study of a topic of special interest under the direction of a faculty member. [1, 2 or 3 credits]

CST-481 Telecommunication & Networking

Introduces network types, architecture, protocols and standards. Evaluates efficiency, security and integrity. Prerequisite: CST-171. [3 credits]

CST-489 Computer Studies Seminar

Provides opportunities for majors to research and evaluate current social and ethical issues related to computing such as copyright laws, computer crime, personal rights, work environment and invasion of privacy. Class is designed as a highly collaborative seminar and is the major capstone experience. Requires design and implementation of an extensive project. Prerequisite: CST-295 and junior or senior status. [3 credits]

CST-511 Topics in Information Systems

Includes a variety of topics which focus on applications and issues related to the current technology. Students develop technology-related projects to enhance business. [ 3 credits ]

CST-515 Technology in Contemporary Communication

Explores the use of technology in expression and culture, including legal, social and ethical issues. Introduces the development of Web pages and multimedia as forms of expression. Students demonstrate an understanding of the power of technology through a series of computer projects. CST 515 should be taken within first 12 credits of program. [ 3 credits ]

CST-530 Foundations of Analytics

Introduces the data, information, knowledge, wisdom continuum. Topics covered include the historical roots of knowledge management, theories/definitions of knowledge, and culture and strategies of knowledge management. [ 3 credits ]

CST-531 Data Design and Management

Covers fundamental concepts for the design, use and implementation of database systems. Concepts include basic database modeling and design, query optimization, concurrency control, recovery and integrity. [ 3 credits ]

CST-532 Data Tools

Studies concepts for SQL procedures, functions, packages and Internet database connectivity. Web application development techniques based on client and server-side programming are introduced. Standard methods and protocol for knowledge representation and exchange over the Internet such as XML, RDF, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI are discussed. Prerequisite: CST-531. { 3 credits ]

CST-540 Data Visualization

Explores the field of data visualization, including data types and visualization categories such as time-series, statistics, maps, hierarchies, and networks. Includes a study of visualization tools, infographics, and other issues related to the display of "big data." [ 3 credits ]

CST-550 Project Management

Reviews the application of project management tools as they apply to the systems development life cycle, including planning, organizational structure, and control mechanisms. Research assignments relate to the design and implementation of knowledge construction and management. [ 3 credits ]

CST-554 Principles and Issues in Information Systems

Introduces the fundamental principles of informa-tion systems and subsystems and how they work together to facilitate decision making. Students will evaluate cases in database organization, data communication, systems analysis and design, and computer security in terms of their impact on the data/information/decision process. [3 credits]

CST-580 Managing Information in a Web-Based World

Examines the Internet as an organizational tool for data gathering, marketing, learning and communication. Students will study the advantages and disadvantages of using the Web as a major organizational decision support tool, including its social, legal and ethical impact. [3 credits]

CST-593 Web Development

Focuses on a user-centered approach to designing Web sites, including requirements gathering, conceptual design, physical design, coding, testing and implementation. Students will complete a number of practical projects as well as a Web site for a nonprofit organization. [3 credits]

CST-595  Digital Design

Explores strategic uses of various developmental platforms in businesses and organizations. Students will engage in hands-on activities while developing a broad understanding of how digital media can play a strategic role in developing an organization's communication goals and objectives. [ 3 credits ]

CST-610 Critical Inquiry Capstone

Studies the role of critical thinking, evaluation and research in information and knowledge work. The course will cover the steps in carrying out a research project: problem identification, theoretical framework, methodological design, data collection and analysis; developing a research proposal; communicating research results; and assessment and use of results of research studies. The course will also provide a critique and review of research studies, and discuss ethical concerns and issues associated with research. Prerequisite: MAT-575. [ 3 credits ]

CST-611 Data Security

Provides an overview of both the theory of and applications for providing privacy, ethics and security in database management systems. Concepts include discretionary and mandatory access control, data integrity availability and performance, secure database design, data aggregation, data inference, secure concurrency control and secure transactions processing. [ 3 credits ]

CST-620 Data Mining and Warehousing

Provides an overview of the data mining and warehousing components of the knowledge discovery process. Data mining applications are introduced, and the application of statistical algorithms and techniques useful for solving problems are identified. Students will study development issues such as identification, selection, acquisition, processing, search and retrieval. [ 3 credits ]