Computer Information Systems

Composite Major

Department Chair: Susan Pfeifer,, (701) 845-7719
Faculty Contact: Susan Pfeifer,, (701) 845-7719
Department Office: 138 McFarland Hall, (701) 845-7550
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Computer Information Systems major prepares students with a foundation in problem solving skills required to design and implement technology solutions to support business needs. The courses use project-based curricula that first teach the concepts of the subject matter and then require the students to apply the concepts. Students often work in teams to encourage the learning of group dynamics and soft-skills. The CSSE Department has joined in Academic Alliances with technology companies such as SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle, using these technologies to complete hands-on projects. 

Students graduating with a Computer Information Systems Degree have a 100 percent in-field job placement rate for the last five years. Career opportunities are Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, Database Administrator, MIS Technician, MIS Manager, Network Administrator, Computer Security Specialist, Computer Programmer, Software Engineer, Software Implementation Consultant, IT Team Leader and IT Project Manager. Visit our page at or watch the video at You don’t have to be a genius, you just have to be determined. You could be the next Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook) or Jack Dorsey (creator of Twitter). Let your dream become a reality at Valley City State University!

Practical Experience

Students are encouraged to work for internship credits while completing their degree in Computer Information Systems. Companies such as Doosan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Bobcat, Eide Bailly, Thomson Reuters, Cavendish, John Deere, Microsoft, Appareo Systems, NBC Universal, and Best Buy have welcomed VCSU students in their internship programs.

VCSU students develop excellent technology and soft skills and many are hired into full-time positions with these companies after graduation. In addition to internships, cooperative research projects with faculty give students first-hand experience with advanced research techniques. The undergraduate research ranges from Virtual Reality to the Internet of Things.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in activities such as company tours, workshops, fairs, and technology conferences.

“VCSU's course work and internship opportunities have prepared me to excel as a Tech Support Specialist. I strive to constantly learn new abilities and improve my skills every day.” —Matthew Bultema ’17, Lisbon, N.D.; National Information Solutions Cooperative, Mandan ND


General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I 1
College Composition II 2
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III: Persuasive Writing
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
College Physics I
College Physics II
University Physics II
University Physics II
Cognition and Brain Science
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Select one of the following:2
Concepts of Fitness and Wellness
Introduction to Stress Management
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems 2
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics 1
Principles of Macroeconomics 2
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
ACCT 200Elements of Accounting I3
ACCT 201Elements of Accounting II3
CIS 147Principles of Information Security3
CIS 329Information Systems Management3
CIS 369Enterprise Systems3
CIS 460Enterprise Architecture3
CIS 465IS Strategy Management and Acquisition3
CSCI 127Introduction to Programming in Java3
MATH 210Elementary Statistics3
SE 110Discovering Computing3
SE 380Systems Analysis and Design3
SE 381Project Management3
SE 385Database Theory/Design3
SE 480Capstone3
Select one of the following:3
Writing in the Major
Technical and Scientific Writing
Writing for the Web
Directed Electives
Select an additional eighteen hours from courses with the prefix CIS, SE, or CSCI with at least 3 credits of upper level classes.18
Total Credits63

Total General Education 39 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 63 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study

ACCT 2003ACCT 2013
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3Directed Elective3
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3Directed Electuve3
Literacies (GenEd)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3
SE 1103MATH 104 (Gen Ed)3
UNIV 1501 
 16 15
Second Year
Art and Music (Gen Ed)3ECON 202 (Gen Ed)3
CSCI 1273CIS 1473
ECON 201 (Gen Ed)3CIS 3293
Elective3Directed Elective3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4Speech Communication (Gen Ed)3
 16 15
Third Year
CIS 3693CIS 4603
HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2Directed Elective3
Lab Science (Gen Ed)4ECON 2613
SE 3803ENGL 4203
SE 3853SE 3813
 15 15
Fourth Year
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2Directed Elective3
CIS 4653Directed Elective3
Directed Elective3Elective3
CIS 4704Elective3
Elective3SE 4803
 15 15
Total Credits 122

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students understand problem requirements and identify technology solutions for those needs, and communicate solutions effectively.

  2. Students understand the big picture, how pieces fit together, and impact other pieces of the overall system.

  3. Students research solutions to solve problems in a self-directed manner.

  4. Students manage simple projects and work in high performing teams to complete projects successfully.