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College of Engineering and Computing

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Computer Information Systems Undergraduate Program

Computer Information Systems integrates computing and business. In this program, you’ll focus on the practical application of computer science and engineering, strategic thinking about technology and understanding and communicating both the details and the big picture with other people.

Why study Computer Information Systems?

Computer information systems (CIS) professionals are the "communication bridge" between business needs and technology. This means that you must learn how to figure out how things work, solve problems, find things out, communicate what you found, and pick up new skills on a regular basis. It's a dynamic field, and it takes dynamic people to do well in it. If you like computers and people, can think fast, work hard, and balance many tasks, then computer information systems is right for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

CIS professionals work in a wide variety of industries, including banking, broadcasting, education, health care, high tech, insurance, music, media, gaming, government, retail and surveillance. Just about every industry depends on CIS. Demand for these professionals will grow as firms increasingly expand their operations to digital platforms, bolster cyber security and engage in data processing, cloud computing, hosting and related services.


CIS students learn the programming skills necessary to become effective software developers. However, the CIS major differs from other computing majors in that a minor in Business Information Management is built into the degree. The CIS curriculum is based on practical business mathematics and statistics rather than the science-focused calculus courses and requires only two laboratory science courses from the Carolina Core.

Major subjects in the computer information systems curriculum include:

  • Algorithmic Design
  • Computing in the Modern World
  • Computer Security
  • Computer Hardware Foundations
  • UNIX/LINUX Fundamentals
  • Software Engineering
  • Business Applications Programming
  • Operating Systems
  • Data Structure and Algorithms
  • Computer Networks
  • Database System Design
  • Information Security Principles
  • Professional Issues in Computer Science and Engineering
  • Capstone Computing Project
  • Computer Information Systems Electives

 Optional concentrations in the major allow students to specialize in either:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity

The curriculum also includes the Carolina Core, foundational math and science courses, electives, and the minor in Business Information Systems. Independent study and special topics courses also provide unique learning opportunities.

Visit Undergraduate Curricula and Courses for additional details.

Information Systems Minor

Through the Business Information Systems minor, CIS students learn how businesses use computing and information to improve a company’s operations. Students also learn how to manage various information systems so that they best serve the needs of managers, staff and customers.

Courses in the minor include: subjects of accounting, economics, management and management science.

Electives include: entrepreneurship, international business, finance and marketing. The end result is that you will be equipped to plan, develop, and manage business information systems involving hardware, software, databases, telecommunications and the internet.

Capstone Projects

Our capstone computing experience is a two-semester course sequence for seniors that pairs a student team with a client to design a solution to a real-world problem. Students plan the project, specify requirements, and complete system implementation, testing, verification and validation of results. Written reports and oral presentations are integrated in this technical setting. Examples of past capstone projects include:

  • OpenVLab: a web application for building hands-on learning labs consisting of networked virtual machines
  • Healthy Spirits: a mobile application intended to give users the ability to determine the nutritional values of the mixed drinks
  • Pollinate: a social e-commerce platform
  • iDealCars: an all-in-one web application for managing a car dealership


Computer information systems students participate in a variety of clubs including our student chapters of:

  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Carolina Gamers Club
  • Minorities in Computing
  • Women in Computing

Undergraduate research opportunities in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and evolution, emerging networks and information assurance are available. Undergraduate researchers get involved on a volunteer, course credit, or paid position basis.

With other undergraduates in our college, computer information systems students take full advantage of living-learning communities, mentorship opportunities, study abroad, intramurals, internships, just hanging out with friends, and more.

Visit Student Experience to learn more.

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