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Computer Information Systems

Bachelor of Computer Information Systems

Our program is designed to provide a mixture of theory and hands-on applied knowledge in our modern well-equipped labs. The Computer Information Systems program offered at UCFV provides depth in both software development and systems and networking areas.

Graduates from the certificate are knowledgeable and experienced with smaller single-user systems, and graduates from the diploma are capable of working with both single and networked systems. Diploma graduates are also capable of supporting and maintaining systems through the regular and changing requirements placed by ongoing business demands.

The final years of the degree program build on this base to provide graduates with additional technical knowledge and skills as well as more educational breadth and a better business background. This will also prepare graduates to move into managerial positions in information technology.

Effective information systems must be supportive of the strategy, goals, and objectives of the organization they serve, and therefore it is critical that IT professionals have not only the technical skills to handle these systems, but also 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 need to possess good communications, personal management, and teamwork skills.

Graduate Studies

Students completing the BCIS degree program who wish to pursue graduate studies would normally choose a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems or an MBA program. Students wishing to enter an MBA program should consider taking the BCIS with a minor in Business Administration.

Students wishing to enter a graduate studies program in Computing Science should consider taking the BCIS with a minor in Mathematics.

Career opportunities

Rapid change and the increased use of outsourcing have made the IT workplace a very volatile one over the last few years. The CIS department meets twice a year with an external advisory committee to track and predict change, and to keep our programs relevant to current and future organizational needs. Our diverse committee is peopled by members of industry and the public sector whose knowledge and experience is pertinent, timely and crucial to our decision-making processes.

Careers for information technology professionals fall into several categories, including but not limited to:

• Software development
• Systems analysis and design
• User interface design and human factors
• Web and database design and programming
• Project management
• Computer security
• Network design and administration
• System and database administration
• End user support
• Management of technology

Our programs and courses provide the choices for students to design their degree for entry into any of these areas.

Entrance requirements

Option 1: High School (for students with high school graduation only)

• B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent
• B.C. Principles of Math 11 or MATH 085 with a minimum grade of C
• The prerequisite to CMNS 125 (See Note 2)

Option 2: University Entrance (for students who have attended some post-secondary school)

• B.C. Principles of Math 11 or MATH 085 with a minimum grade of C
• The prerequisite to CMNS 125 (See Note 2)

And one of the following:
• Completion of a minimum of 15 university-level credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all credits attempted
• Completion of a minimum of nine university-level credits with a GPA of 3.0 or better on all credits attempted
• Completion of a minimum of nine CIS/COMP university-level credits (excluding CIS 100 and CIS 110) with a GPA of 2.33 or better on all credits attempted

Option 3: Mature Students (for students 19 years of age or older)

• B.C. Principles of Math 11 or MATH 085 with a minimum grade of C
• The prerequisite to CMNS 125 (See Note 2)
• Those students 19 years or older may be considered if they can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success. Applicants will be required to submit a portfolio and be interviewed.

Note 1: All students entering the CIS programs are expected to be computer literate. This includes knowing how to run programs and manage files in a Windows environment and having basic Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet skills. Students should consult the CIS website for specific prerequisite skills needed for beginning courses.

Note 2: Completion of the prerequisite for entry into CMNS 125. This course is normally taken in the first semester of study in the CIS diploma program. Basic English skills are a requirement for all CIS programs. Students should note that if the Composition Placement Test (CPT) is used to meet the prerequisites, it should be written at least four weeks prior to registering in CMNS 125.

Note 3: Requests for transfer of computing-intensive courses will be checked for currency relative to the current CIS program.

Qualifying and conditional admission

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

Students who do not meet the entrance requirements might also consider the Computer Information Systems Studies program path.

Admission to courses

Admittance to the program does not guarantee admittance to any particular course section in any particular semester.

Technology requirements

Students entering any Computer Information Systems program are strongly advised to ensure that they have home access to a personal computer and an internet connection, both with adequate resources for their level of study. Students may consult the CIS department or the Computer Information Systems Student Association for hardware and software recommendations.

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. You can also print an application form from our website at, or you can apply directly through the internet at See the Program Charts for a complete list of application dates and general information.

Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or permission from the program head.
• Transcript (or interim transcript) showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements.

• An official transcript (original sealed envelope) from every post-secondary institution you have attended. Unofficial copies may accompany the application form if official transcripts have been ordered.

2. You will be informed of the orientation meeting date. This meeting is usually held on a weekday evening in April or May. You must attend or make special arrangements with the department.

3. Upon admission to the program you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register (see the Fees and Other Costs section). The deposit will be applied to the tuition fees. 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.

Basis for admission decision

Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted in order of their application date. This date is set when an application, all required documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section. Books and additional supplies would normally cost $75 to $150 per course. There may be some additional recommended and mandatory costs in Computer Information Systems program courses, above tuition and textbook costs. These may include training manuals, software, and hardware costs. These expenses will vary from year to year. Students should budget between $500–$1,000 for such costs over the four years of a degree program. 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 program

The full degree program may be completed in four years (eight semesters) of full-time study.

The diploma 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 computing 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 certificate requires two full semesters and can be completed in one year or less.

Need to apply for re-admission

Students in the CIS degree program who fall into any of the following categories must apply for re-admission.

1. Absence from the CIS program for more than three consecutive semesters (including fall, winter, and summer). A student who withdraws from all courses in a semester will be considered not to have registered in that semester.

2. Withdrawal from the first semester of attendance before completing any course work, or failure to register.

3. Official completion of a CIS program or a change to another program.

Course challenge policy

Course challenge is intended to grant credit for knowledge gained outside of UCFV that is not transferable under existing arrangements. A list of undergraduate courses approved for course challenge is available at the Admissions and Records office. Course challenge should be applied for at the time of entry to the CIS program.

To apply you must formally submit a typed letter to the CIS department head for all course challenges, preferably at the time you enter the CIS program. You are expected to explain which course(s) you wish to challenge, and be able to support your request by describing your prior knowledge and experience in the course material, including documentation such as certification, resumes, etc.

Applications for course challenge will then be considered by the CIS department, and if approved, the course challenge will be arranged in the beginning of the next semester in which the challenged course is offered. If you are unsuccessful in the course challenge, you will have to re-enroll for the regular course at your own expense. Please see the CIS department for more detailed information.

Program requirements

In order to complete the BCIS degree, students are required to complete 40 courses with a cumulative value of approximately 132 credits. There are 10 courses in each of the four years of the degree program.

General and upper-level electives

Students are encouraged to choose electives that will complement their career choice, and should plan their lower-level electives carefully so that prerequisites are met for upper-level electives.

The general electives can 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.

Academic performance

Students in CIS programs must maintain semester and cumulative grade point averages of at least 2.0 (a C average) in order to be awarded a certificate, diploma, or degree. CIS and COMP courses used to satisfy degree requirements in years three and four 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 from the program. Students who have been required to withdraw are not normally readmitted to the program.

Course repetition

Students may not register for a course more than twice. No more than five course duplications will be permitted in work used towards any CIS program. When a course has been repeated, only the higher grade is counted in the GPA calculation.

Transfer credit

At least 25 per cent of the course work must be completed at UCFV, including at least 30 upper-level credits (courses numbered 300 and above).

Course withdrawal deadlines

Refer to this section for details.

Co-operative Education option

The Co-operative Education option offers students in the Computer Information Systems program the opportunity to obtain paid, career-related work experience in their field of study during their education at UCFV. Both the diploma and degree are available with a Co-op option. After completing their first year of study, Co-op students alternate between semesters of full-time study and full-time paid employment. See the Co-operative Education section of the calendar for further details.

Web Design and Animation option

Students wishing to attain the CIS certificate can choose to complete a Web Design and Animation option. Please see this section for further details.

Program outline

Students who want a certificate as a basic exit credential can choose any 30 credits from the CIS offerings, including degree program non-CIS courses, at least one half of which must be CIS or COMP courses.

Students who wish to continue on to attain the diploma or degree are advised to take the courses listed below. The CIS diploma is available as an exit credential to students who complete the first two years.

(Example of typical program)

Year I

Semester one

Course Title Credits
CIS 145 Web Publishing 3
or CIS 146 Intermediate Web Publishing (see Note 1 below) 3
CIS 190 Systems Hardware Concepts 4
COMP 125 Principles of Computing 3
COMP 150 Introduction to Programming 4
CMNS 125 Business Communications 3

Semester two

Course Title Credits
CIS 180 Introduction to Visual Programming 4
CIS 192 Introduction to Networking 4
COMP 155 Advanced Programming 4
MATH 125 Introduction to Discrete Mathematics 4
or COMP 138 Applied CIS Math Concepts 3
Elective Approved Arts or other approved elective (see Note 3) 3–4

Year II

Semester three

Course Title Credits
CIS 230 Databases and Database Management Systems 4
CIS 270 Analysis and Design 3
CIS 291 Networking Theory and Applications 4
COMP 251 Data Structures and Algorithms 4
Elective Business or Communications elective (see Note 5) 3

Semester four

Course Title Credits
CIS 285 End User Training and Support 3
COMP 256 Introduction to Machine Architecture 4
CMNS 251 Professional Report Writing 3
Two: CIS electives chosen from the following: CIS 221, 245, 280, 292, 296 8 (total)

Year III

Semester five

Course Title Credits
CIS 385 Project Management 3
COMP 340 Operating Systems 3
One: Statistics course (see Note 2) 3 or 4
Elective Approved Arts elective (see Note 3) 3
Elective Lower-level elective in another discipline (see Note 4) 3

Semester six

Course Title Credits
CIS 390 Data Communications 3
CIS or COMP Course numbered 200 or above 3
CIS or COMP Course numbered 300 or above 3
Elective Business or Communications elective (see Note 5) 3
Elective Lower-level elective in another discipline (see Note 4) 3

Year IV

Semester seven

Course Title Credits
CIS 485 Ethics & Other Management Issues 3
Three: CIS or COMP courses numbered 300 or above 9 (total)
Elective Upper-level elective in another discipline 3

Semester eight

Course Title Credits
CIS 440 Project 3
Three: CIS or COMP courses numbered 300 or above 9 (total)
Elective Upper-level elective in another discipline 3

Note 1: CIS students cannot obtain credit for both CIS 145 and CIS 146 towards their program.

Note 2: Statistics options: MATH 106 (recommended), or MATH 104 (with a grade of B+ or higher), or PSYC 110 (with a grade of B+ or higher), or CYC 425.

Note 3: The current approved Arts elective options are available online in this section of the CIS website.

Note 4: Students who have completed COMP 138 (rather than MATH 125) must complete an approved elective as specified on the CIS website. Students who have completed MATH 125 as part of CIS program requirements are free to take an elective of their choice.

Note 5: Business or Communications electives options: BUS 100, 102 (previously offered), 120, 143, 144, 145, 162, 201, 203, 223; CMNS 212, 235, 275.


The following concentrations are available in the BCIS:

• Software Development
• Systems and Networking
• Security

See this section for concentration requirements.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

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