Information Systems BS

Program Purpose


The Information Systems Department prepares undergraduate management students to function as information systems professionals. Information systems involves two broad areas: (1) the acquisition, deployment, and management of an organization's information systems resources and services and (2) the management, design and development and maintenance of computer-based systems and technology infrastructures for use in organization processes

BSIS graduates require a wide variety of competencies including being fluent in interpersonal, business, and technology skills. They must understand business processes, accounting and reporting methods, business strategy, and a wide variety of related business skills. They must also be good communicators, able to deliver high-quality oral presentations and written reports. BSIS graduates must also possess first-rate technical skills in database management systems, networking and telecommunications, systems analysis and design, software development, and project management.


Information systems graduates work in large and small organizations of all types. They help manage, design, develop and maintain existing technology infrastructure and specifying technology solutions to business needs. Often, they serve as the bridge between an organization's technical personnel and its business side. Challenging career opportunities are found in accounting firms, consulting firms, large corporations, government agencies, and smaller entrepreneurial concerns. The variety of employment prospects includes opportunities for everyone from those who are primarily interested in people and organizations to those who enjoy very technical activities such as database and network administration or software development.


We support the missions of Brigham Young University and the Marriott School of Management. The BSIS program seeks to assist students in their quest for perfection and eternal life, and seeks to attract, develop, and place men and women of faith, character, and professional ability who will become outstanding leaders capable of dealing with change in a global environment. Our core values include:

  1. Building a strong and broad-based business and technical education,
  2. Recruiting top-quality students,
  3. Developing leadership skills,
  4. Preparing students for exemplary professional practice
  5. Instilling an attitude of life-long learning.

We believe that it is necessary to teach students both business and technical skills in order for them to compete effectively in the workplace, so we provide additional education on "expanded competencies" that prepare students for real-life types of work experiences. We design specific projects and activities to teach oral and written communication, teamwork, work under time pressure, and the development of interpersonal relationships necessary to a successful, leadership-oriented career. Since the field of information systems is evolving so rapidly, our students must be prepared for self-directed learning throughout their careers. So we believe we should teach our students not just basic skills, but how to acquire those skills and adapt to change as the field evolves and new technologies are developed.

Curricular Structure

BSIS students must satisfy university requirements for a BS degree (120 credit hours minimum, with specific hours in general education, religious education, and so forth). Additionally, BSIS students must complete 64 credit hours within the Information Systems program:

Students take 30 hours of information systems classes. Prior to admission, applicants take 7 hours of introductory information systems courses. In the junior year, admitted BSIS students take 24 hours over 2 semesters in an integrated core format. These courses include systems analysis, database systems, principles of business programming, data communications, systems design and implementation, enterprise application development, business processes and controls, and a systems capstone course.

A major activity in our junior-year core is the Integrative Exercises. In the Fall Integrative Exercise, held for one week near the end of the fall semester, the students integrate and extend the principles they will use in the workplace. Students are organized into teams, given a substantial information systems task, and must present their project results orally and in written format. This is all done under significant time pressure, simulating an effective "real-world" project. The capstone course (IS 415) provides the students with a second Integrative Exercise, a similar exercise which takes place at the end of winter semester. In this semester long course, they build a complete information system from scratch.

Given the dynamic nature of the information systems field, we strongly encourage our students to participate in the Association for Information Systems student club. It adds significant benefit to student members through current-topics seminars, national competitions, and other resume-building activities.
 

Undergraduate Application Requirements
Admitted applicants to the information systems program begin major coursework each fall semester.  The following items are taken into consideration for all applicants during the admission process:

  1. Average GPA of prerequisite courses and cumulative GPA.
  2. Review of academic transcript.
  3. Applicant essay.
  4. Comments from Information Systems professors.

Application Guidelines

  1. Completion of the following prerequisite courses: IS 100 & IS 102 (OR IS 110 beginning in Fall 2014), IS 201, IS 303 (or CS 142), ACC 200, FIN 201, and BUS M 241.  Note: A minimum 3.0 average GPA in the prerequisite courses is required, with no less than a B grade in IS 201 and IS 303 (or CS 142).
  2. Repeating courses to improve a grade is strongly discouraged.  Repeated and transfer courses are discounted 0.3 of a grade for admission purposes only (e.g. an A- grade would be discounted to a B during the admission process).
  3. Completion and submission of the online application, including the applicant essay.  The deadline to submit the application is the last working day of June at 4:30pm.
  4. Meeting or exceeding admission criteria does not guarantee admission.  The Information Systems department reserves the right to make exceptions to admission policies as deemed necessary to admit the most qualified applicants.

Major Requirements

  1. No more than 12 semester hours of upper-division transfer credit will be accepted toward the major and only 6 hours beyond the Pre-Systems Core.
  2. Students are encouraged to enroll in courses outside the Marriott School of Management. Only 50 upper-division Marriott School hours count toward graduation.
  3. Pass a computer proficiency requirement for spreadsheet skills. Students may demonstrate spreadsheet skills either by earning a Pass grade in IS 100 and 102 or a B grade in equivalent transfer courses.  The IS 100 course requirement (but NOT IS 102) may also be fulfilled by presenting Microsoft Office certification (either MOS or MCAS) validating core-level competency in MS Excel.  
  4. Complete the following prerequisite courses: Acc 200, Fin 201, Bus M 241, IS 100, IS 102, IS 201, and IS 303.  NOTE: The pre-Information Systems Core must be completed with at least a 3.0 GPA ( a grade of B or better is required in IS 201 and IS 303), with no more than one repeat for each course.  Repeated and transfer courses will be discounted 0.3 of a grade during the admissions process.  Meeting or exceeding admission criteria does not guarantee admission.
  5. Apply and be formally accepted into the program.
  6. Complete the following required courses: Acc 241, Econ 110, and M Com 320.  Stat 121 is not required, but is strongly recommended.
  7. Complete the following Information Systems Core 1 courses (taught fall only): IS 401, IS 402, IS 403, IS 414.
  8. Complete the following Information Systems Core 2 courses (taught winter only): IS 404, IS 411, IS 413, IS 415.
  9. Complete the following Integrated Management Core courses: Bus M 361, Bus M 390, Org B 321, and Bus M 387.
  10. Complete the following after IS 401, IS 402, IS 403, IS 404, IS 411, IS 413, IS 414, and IS 415: Bus M 498.
  11. Complete Marriott School exit survey online.

Links

Catalog Information

Major Academic Plan

Learning Outcomes


1. Gain a Knowledge of Information Systems and Business

Program graduates will apply knowledge of information systems as well as general business to bridge the gap between technical and business personel.

Courses that Contribute: IS 110 IS 303 IS 401 IS 402 IS 403 IS 404 IS 411 IS 413 IS 414 IS 415 IS 551
Linked to BYU Aims: Quantitative reasoning, Competence
2. Create and Manage Organizational Technical Functions

Acquire, deploy, maintain, and manage, information technology systems, infrastructure, security, resources, and services

Courses that Contribute: IS 303 IS 401 IS 403 IS 404 IS 414 IS 415 IS 543 IS 551
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Quantitative reasoning
3. Make Informed Business and Technical Decisions

Graduates will be able to make informed business and technical decisions and solve unstructured problems in a rapidly changing environment. 

Courses that Contribute: IS 401 IS 402 IS 403 IS 404 IS 411 IS 415 IS 543 IS 551
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge, Competence
4. Develop Lifelong Learning Skills

Graduates will be prepared to pursue lifelong learning.

Courses that Contribute: IS 401 IS 402 IS 404 IS 405 IS 411 IS 413 IS 414 IS 415 IS 551
Linked to BYU Aims: Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning


Evidence of Learning

  1. One-on-one faculty mentoring, advisement, and interviews.
  2. One-on-one faculty and staff mentoring in Information Systems labs
  3. Program applications after students have completed their pre-major course work.

Direct Measures

  1. Instructor assessment at the course level. This includes: written quizzes, written exams, project evaluations, research papers, skill proficiency exams, homework that strengthens student skill development, student self-assessment and peer reviews
  2. An evidence room with various examples of student exams, quizzes, projects (including INTEX 1 and 2), assignments, and papers and what is an A, B, and C grade
  3. Success of student groups at national competitions, and on a national assessment exam given to IS students on the 2002 model Information Systems curriculum
  4. Placement of students in positions related to their degrees
  5. Evaluations by fellow group members
  6. Video tapes of student presentations
  7. Placement of students in graduate degrees
  8. External assessment of student skills through participation in various regional and national competitions

Indirect Measures

  1. Exit surveys
  2. Student Evaluations
  3. Focus Groups
  4. Alumni surveys and placement data
  5. Recruiter surveys
  6. Evaluations from internship providers on preparation and abilities of students

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


The Department Chair continually monitors the BSIS program and related issues. After each semester, the Chair brings relevant information to the information systems curriculum committee which meets regularly throughout the year to consider adjustments to the program. The information systems curriculum committee monitors assessment information at least twice annually. Plans for improvement are discussed among the curriculum committee members and monitored by the Chair. He ensures that there is follow-through on all action items. The college curriculum committee is viewed as an integral participant in the curriculum development process. The Associate Chair sits on the college curriculum committee, and he attends monthly or bi-monthly college meetings throughout the year to coordinate efforts and ensure alignment of information systems activities with college standards and goals. Students evaluate courses and faculty teaching through the standard university process. Faculty evaluate their peers, considering both teaching methods and course content. Faculty self-evaluate their teaching performance each year and report their assessments to the department and college. A department committee evaluates the teaching of faculty yearly. The evaluation process is monitored by our department Chair, who shares results of these evaluations with the faculty. The college oversees the process. Recruiters give input to the program on a regular basis. The information systems group meets periodically throughout the year to study placement data, student feedback, and other measures of program effectiveness. The entire department meets annually to discuss program feedback. Some of our faculty are involved in a national effort to establish information systems certification standards associated with the Institute for Certified Computing Professionals. We have participated in pilot certification exams and have found that our students are clearly above the average in the national pilot study.