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Computing technology continues to change at a rapid pace and the impact of both the technology and the change on the business world is significant. Businesses and organizations throughout the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland require trained personnel to not only use, but also to design, implement, maintain, support, and manage their systems.

The Computer Information Systems programs offered at UCFV provide such training. Graduates from certificate programs are knowledgeable and experienced in using smaller single-user systems, and graduates from diploma programs are capable of working with both single and networked systems, as well as mid-size systems.

Diploma graduates are also capable of supporting and maintaining systems through the regular and changing requirements placed by ongoing business demands. The degree program builds on this base to provide graduates with additional technical knowledge and skills as well as a better business background. This will provide graduates with an ability to more easily move into managerial positions in the information systems categories or to become more involved in the software development industry.

UCFV offers the following programs to prepare students for careers in a business computing environment:

Workshops, employee in-service training, and upgrading can be provided at a reasonable cost on a contract basis. For further information, contact (604) 864-4616 (Abbotsford), or (604) 792-0025, local 4616 (Chilliwack).

Career Opportunities

Careers for software workers fall into two general categories: those involved in the software development industry and those that are in-house software driven. The BCIS degree program aims to provide an up-to-date skill set for the in-house worker category, and a skill set for the software industry worker category that will be fairly narrowly defined initially, but will expand as courses are added to the program.

Effective information systems must be supportive of the strategy, goals, and objectives of the organization they serve, and therefore it is critical that IS professionals not only have the technical skills to handle these systems, but that they also have the organizational and managerial backgrounds necessary to understand the business functions and role of their systems. In addition to a sound computing background and ability to speak the language of business, graduates generally require good academic, personal management, and teamwork skills. Because of its importance in the business world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on writing throughout the program.

Students completing the BCIS degree program who wish to pursue further studies would normally choose an MBA program or a master’s degree program with an Information Systems speciality. Students wishing to transfer to honours or major programs in preparation for graduate work in computing science should include Computing 160 and Mathematics 111 in their first semester and should discuss their goals with the CIS department head prior to their second semester.

Graduates of the diploma programs are qualified for entry-level programming or analyst jobs, or positions in small businesses that already have computerized systems or are expanding in that direction. While the initial work might be related to specific computerized applications, graduates would be involved with all phases of computer growth in the company, and would normally expect to supervise the other employees in this area after sufficient on-the-job experience.

Graduates of the certificate program would be employed primarily by companies that are using specific computer applications such as inventory control or accounting. The graduate might be the only employee familiar with computers in a small office, or might work under supervision in a larger office. Some office tasks, such as data entry and word processing, would likely be involved, and the employee's career would be expected to develop together with the data processing needs of the company.

Computer Information Systems,
Co-operative Education Option

The Co-operative Education option offers students in the Computer Information Systems diploma and degree programs the opportunity to obtain paid, career-related work experience in their field of study during their education at UCFV. After completing their first year of study, Co-op students alternate between semesters of full-time study and full-time paid employment.

A typical study and work schedule is:






Study term 1

Study term 2

Work term 1


Work term 2

Study term 3

Work term 3


 Study term 4
diploma graduation

Study term 5

Work term 4


Study term 6

Work term 5

Study term 7


Work term 6

Study term 8

Degree graduation

*These study and work term sequences will vary for students entering into a UCFV Co-op option at the third-year level. See the Co-operative Education section for further details.

Students wishing to enter the Co-op diploma program should apply through the Centre for Co-operative Education and Employment Services in the fall by October 31. Students are expected to follow the schedule of work/study as established for the program, be taking all of the semester courses as described in the calendar, and have credit for all previous courses in the program maintaining a grade point average of at least C+. Refer to the Co-operative Education section of the calendar. Students in certificate programs who wish to consider the co-op diploma option should contact the CIS program head prior to registering for their second academic term.

Entrance Requirements for All Programs

Students who do not meet program entrance requirements or who lack recent B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, are encouraged to consult with the department head at (604) 854-4556 or the departmental assistant at (604) 854-4589 to discuss their likelihood of success.

A. Certificate and Diploma Requirements

1. B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent.
In addition, those 19 years or older and lacking graduation may be considered if their work experience indicates a reasonable chance of success.

2. The math requirement for the Microcomputer certificate is Math 11 (Algebra, or Principles of Math 11) or Applications of Mathematics 11, or equivalent.

The math requirement for the diploma is Math 12 (Algebra) or Applications of Math 12, or UCFV MATH 095, or UCFV MATH 109, or equivalent. Students who have graduated from Grade 12 but have not completed Math 12 may apply to the Microcomputers in Business certificate program and will be permitted to transfer to the CIS diploma program upon successful completion of MATH 095 or MATH 109, or equivalent.

3. All students entering the CIS programs are expected to be computer literate. This means knowing how to run programs from a Windows environment and having basic Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet skills. Students must therefore obtain a passing grade on the Computer Skills Placement Test (CSPT) prior to enrolment, or register in CIS 100 in their first semester.

4. A minimum score of 48 on the Composition Placement Test is required prior to registration in Communications 125.

5. Students wishing to ladder into the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree should consult the degree program requirements before registering for diploma courses. Prerequisites for electives and required courses in departments other than CIS may be higher than those necessary for diploma completion.

B. Degree Entrance Requirements

1. UCFV Computing Information Systems diploma or other similar two-year Computer Information Systems diploma,


completion of 20 courses from the Bachelor of Computing Information Systems degree offerings to include the following:

Students completing the ‘20-course option’ should note that due to scheduling and course sequencing, they may find they require additional time for degree completion.

2. CGPA of at least 2.67 (B-) is required for all courses listed above.

3. Graduates of similar CIS diploma programs throughout the province may require some additional course work prior to admittance.

4. Requests for transfer of computing-intensive courses will be checked for currency relative to the current CIS program.

Students with minor deficiencies may at the discretion of the Computing Information Systems department be considered for conditional or qualifying admission.

Admittance to the program does not guarantee admittance to any particular course section in any particular semester. However policies at UCFV provide that:

How to Apply

1. Submit the application fee along with your UCFV application for admission form to the Admissions and Records (A&R) office. Application forms are available from any A&R or Student Services office. See complete list of application dates and general information.

Additional documents required for a complete application to certificate/diploma:

Additional documents required for a complete application to degree:

2. In April you will be informed if an interview or orientation is required. You must attend or make special arrangements with the department head to be eligible for admission to the program.

3. Upon admission to the program you will be invited to register. A deposit is required when you register (see the Fees and Other Costs section). This money will be applied to the tuition fees and is not refundable. Final payment of all course fees is due the end of the second week of classes.

If the program is full, or you are waiting to find out about admission to the program, you will be given an opportunity to register as a general student. It is not necessary to submit a separate application form. If you meet the entrance requirements and a space becomes available later, you will be contacted.

4. In some cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admission decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements. Proof of completion of entrance requirements is due by the end of the first week in August.

Priority Admission

Applications for priority admission are accepted for Bachelor of Computer Information Systems. For further Priority Admission details, refer to information Admissions section.

Fees and Additional Costs

The fees for a full-time certificate or diploma student (five courses or 17–20 credits) would be approximately $700–$850 per semester. Fees for a full-time degree student would be around $900 per semester. Books and additional supplies would cost $75 to $150 per course. See the Fees and Other Costs section for more information.  Credits and fees also apply to the co-op work terms.


All courses are offered in Abbotsford and many first-year Business Administration and Computer Information Systems courses are offered in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission. Some courses will be offered in the evening for people working full-time who wish to take courses on a part-time basis.

Length of Programs

The full degree program can be completed in four years of full-time study; however, formal entry to the degree is at the third-year level after students have completed two years through the diploma program or a similar combination of 20 courses.

The full diploma program takes two years (four semesters) of full-time study. This is the minimum length of time required for students who enter the program with no previous data processing experience and who expect to have a solid grounding in the subject. The co-op diploma is 28 months and includes four academic semesters and three work terms.

The Microcomputer certificate program requires two full semesters and can be completed in one year or less. It is expected that such students will continue to take courses from the second level of the program on a part-time basis.

Micro-Computers in Business certificate

This program is designed to meet the needs of small companies converting to computerized systems who require employees with accounting skills and some computer experience.

Program Outline

Students who want a certificate as a basic exit credential can choose any 30 credits from the CIS offerings, at least one half of which must be CIS or COMP courses. Those who may want to ladder this credential into the diploma are advised to take the courses listed for the first year of the diploma. Students entering the certificate program without any computer literacy skills will need to take CIS 100 or COMP 100 in addition to the 30 credits.

Computer Information Systems diploma

This program combines studies from both the computing and business fields, so students will acquire enough skills to obtain a first job and also a broad base from which to expand their training. The four-semester program provides theoretical groundwork and specific skill development courses, with major emphasis on practical, hands-on work.

Academic Performance for the Diploma Program

Students in the CIS diploma program must maintain semester and cumulative grade point averages of at least 2.0 (a C average) in order to be awarded the diploma.

Students who do not maintain the required cumulative grade point average will be placed on Academic Warning for one semester. If they do not attain the required CGPA, they will be required to withdraw from the program. Students who have been required to withdraw are not normally readmitted to the program.

Program Outline

Diploma and Years 1 and 2 of the Degree Program

The CIS diploma is the foundation of the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree program. The diploma represents the first two years of the degree and is a prerequisite for entrance into the actual degree program, which begins in third year and continues into fourth year.

Year I
Fall Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 110    Computerized Business Applications    4
CIS 115    Foundations of Computer Information Systems    3
CIS 190    Systems Hardware Concepts    3
COMP 150    Introduction to Programming    4
CMNS 125    Business Communications I    3

Winter Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 145    Web Publishing    4
CIS 180    Introduction to Visual Programming    4
CIS 195    Local Area Networks I    4
COMP 155    Advanced Programming    4
CMNS 225    Business Communications II    3

Year II
Fall Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 270    Analysis and Design    3
CIS 280    Application Programming    4
CIS 295    Introduction to Data Communications    3
CIS 296    Local Area Networks II    4
COMP 175    Data Structures and Algorithms    4

Winter Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 230    Databases and Database Management Systems    3
CIS 285    End User Training and Support    3
COMP 250    Windows Programming    4
Elective        Business elective (see note)     3
MATH 104   Introductory Statistics  or
 MATH 106    Statistics I        4

Note: Business elective options: BUS 120, 143, 144 or 203.

Bachelor of Computer Information Systems

Program Requirements

BCIS degree students are required to complete 40 courses  with a cumulative value of 129 credits. The 20 pre- admission courses will normally be from the lower-level courses listed for the CIS diploma program or equivalent (see above for details).

General and Upper-Level Electives

Students will select two approved upper-level electives. Students are encouraged to choose electives that will complement their career choice. These could include math or science courses focusing on problem solving, or business administration courses focusing on management. Suggested courses include those with writing, applied communications, or media components; analytical skills components; or presentation and teamwork-building components.

Students should plan their lower-level electives carefully so that prerequisites are met for the two required upper- level electives.

Academic Performance for the Degree Program

Students in the third and fourth years of the BCIS degree program must maintain semester and cumulative grade point averages of at least 2.0 (a C average) in order to be awarded the degree. Non-elective upper-level courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher in order to be counted for credit towards the degree.

Students who do not maintain the required cumulative grade point average will be placed on Academic Warning for one semester. If they do not attain the required CGPA, they will be required to withdraw. Students who have been required to withdraw are not normally readmitted to the program.

Duplicated or Repeated Courses

A course may be repeated in order to improve the CGPA. However, students may not register for the same course more than twice.

Transfer Credit

At least 50 per cent of the course work must be completed at UCFV, including at least 30 upper-level credits. This requirement may be reduced by up to 30 credits for courses taken at the Open University.

Course Withdrawal Deadlines

Refer to Schedule of Events for details.

Program Outline

Years I and II: see Diploma, Years I and II above

Years III and IV of the Degree Program:

Year III
Fall Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 370    Software Engineering    3
COMP 340    Operating Systems    3
MATH 111    Calculus I or
MATH 113    Differential Calculus or
MATH 115    Differential & Integral Calculus I    4
Elective        Business elective (See Note 1)     3
Elective        Approved elective (See Note 2)     3

Winter Semester
Course,Title & Credits
CIS 390        Data Communications    3
COMP 315    Computer Simulation and Modelling    3
COMP 351    Advanced Website Programming    3
Economics    Economics (university transfer)    3
Elective        Approved elective (see Note 2)     3

Year IV
Fall Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 380    Artificial Intelligence    3
CIS 430    Advanced Database Topics    3
CIS 485    Ethics and Other Management Issues in IS    3
COMP 355    Web Server Installation and Maintenance    3
Elective    Approved elective (See Note 2)    3

Winter Semester
Course, Title & Credits
CIS 440    Project    3
CIS 480    Decision Support Systems    3
COMP 455    Advanced Topics    3
Elective    Approved elective (see Note 2)    3
Elective    Approved elective (see Note 2)    3

Note 1: Business elective options: BUS 120, BUS 143, BUS 144 or BUS 203.
Note 2: General and Upper-level Electives:
Degree students over the four-year program must meet the following elective university transferable requirements:

Students are encouraged to choose electives that will complement their career choice. These could include math or science courses focusing on problem solving, or business administration courses focusing on management. Suggested courses include those with writing, applied communications, or media components; analytical skills components; or presentation and teamwork-building components. Contact the department regarding appropriate choices.

Course Listings

For complete details on courses see Course Descriptions.


Paul Franklin, MSc (SFU), Department Head
Stephen Bohm, BEng, MASc (Concordia)
Lee Chen, PhD (Calgary)
Elaigh Guidera, BS, MS (Cal–Berkeley), MSc, PhD (SFU)
Duncan Jeffries, BSc (UBC), MSc (UBC)
Edward Lo, MASc (UBC), Peng
Veena Merz, BSc, BBA, MA
Patrick O'Brien, BComm (Windsor), MSc (BSU)
Gary Ridsdale, PhD (SFU)
Frank Tong, BSc, MSc, PhD (SFU)
Randall Venhola, BSc (Carleton)

Part-time Faculty

Trish Blondin, Computer and Systems Dip. (BCIT)
Lucy De Pieri, BSc, MSc, PhD
Jim Hamlin, BCIS (UCFV)
Chuck Konrad, BComm (UBC), CA

Program Staff

Daphne Cockerill, Dip. CIS (UCFV)
Karen Giebelhaus, Departmental Assistant
Ken Wong, MCSE

Program Advisory Committee

The Computing department receives both advice and assistance from members of an advisory committee on all aspects of the program. Current members are:

Jim Ainsley, The Abbotsford News
Dave Brown, Intra-West Corp.
Rosalea Brown, East Chilliwack Agricultural Co-op
Don Calnek, SRB Software
Robert Carnegie, Surrey Municipal Office
Terry Cox, Computing Services, UCFV
Lance Duthie, Gescan Electrical Distributors
Vance Eden, Peat Marwick Thorne
Kimberley Hicks, Health Canada
Mike Hildebrandt, Premdor
Brian Kidder, Clarke Group
Ian McLeod, Surrey School Board
Vic Morcom, City of Abbotsford
Cesar Rodriguez, Conair
Fred Snooks, Correctional Services Canada
Student, UCFV
Dave Tomlinson, Fraser Valley Credit Union
Susan Vernon, graduate, SRB Software
Wayne Welsh, UCFV
Frank Winters, East Chilliwack Agricultural Co-op
Richard M. Yen, MSA Hospital

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