The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems is to equip students for successful careers as information systems professionals by offering a curriculum that combines technical computing skills with relevant business knowledge.

Generally, students take 12 courses (36 hours) in information systems. Five of these courses are required; four more must be taken from the School of Business’s flexible core in information systems (viz. INFO 323, INFO 361, INFO 320 and INFO 461), and students then choose three upper-level courses from the list of approved electives.

INFO 202 is a prerequisite for many upper-level information systems courses. Exceptions to prerequisite courses require recommendation of the faculty adviser and permission of the department chair.

Students who wish to concentrate their electives within a track to gain enhanced proficiency may do so. The recommended tracks are:

Application development
INFO 450Advanced Programming3
INFO 451Advanced Technology for E-business3
Business analysis
INFO 463Business Process Engineering3
INFO 468Information Engineering3
Information and communications technology
INFO 472Infrastructure Services3
INFO 474Advanced Networking and Security3

Learning goals (program objectives)

The major in information systems provides a curriculum that:

  • Prepares students to begin professional careers upon graduation by providing experience with the most current technologies needed to support the delivery and management of information systems
  • Supports career advancement over time by giving our graduates the academic foundation in information systems needed for continued professional development
  • Supports the needs of the business community

Learning outcomes (student outcomes)

Upon completing this program, students will have:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline
  • An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  • An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component or program to meet desired needs  
  • An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities
  • An understanding of the processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within a specific application 
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society 
  • Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development
  • An ability to use current techniques, skills and tools necessary for computing practice 
  • An understanding of processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within business application environments 
 

Special requirements

The foundation program specifies course work required during the freshman and sophomore years. Students are eligible for admission into the advanced business program with a major in the School of Business upon meeting the minimum cumulative GPA requirement and successful completion of:

A minimum of 54 credits in the foundation program54
ACCT 203
ACCT 204
Introduction to Accounting I
and Introduction to Accounting II
6
BUSN 201Foundations of Business3
BUSN 225Winning Presentations3
ECON 210Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
INFO 160Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices1
INFO 161Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills1
INFO 162Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I1
INFO 165Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II1
SCMA 212Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business3
or MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II (with a minimum grade of C)3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument (with a minimum grade of C)3

The admission requirements for the School of Business detail the deadlines for students to be admitted to the advanced business program with a major in the school. At least 30 hours of the required business courses for the Bachelor of Science must be taken at VCU.

Students may need to take additional mathematics courses as prerequisites to SCMA 212 or MATH 200. These credits will count as electives in the foundation program. The sample curriculum outline includes SCMA 171 since many of our students will need to complete this course.

The INFO 160, INFO 161, INFO 162 and INFO 165 requirements may be waived upon successful completion of a Knowledge Equivalency Test administered by the Undergraduate Studies Office. No more than two additional credits may be applied to the degree from the INFO 16x series.

A maximum of six credits in INFO 491 may be applied to the degree.

No more than four credits in physical education courses may be applied to the degree.

INTL 493 may not be counted toward a business degree.

Degree requirements for Information Systems, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Business foundation

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy:3-4
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Business General Education requirements
BUSN 225Winning Presentations3
ECON 210Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
INFO 160Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices1
INFO 161Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills1
INFO 162Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I1
INFO 165Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II1
MATH 211Mathematical Structures3
Total Hours16

Additional Business Foundation requirements

ACCT 203
ACCT 204
Introduction to Accounting I
and Introduction to Accounting II
6
BUSN 201Foundations of Business3
INFO 202Introduction to E-business Technologies3
Open electives8-11
Total Hours20-23

Advanced business program

Advanced business core
BUSN 325Organizational Communication3
FIRE 311Financial Management3
MGMT 303Creativity and Ideation3
MGMT 310Managing People in Organizations3
MGMT 434Strategic Management (capstone)3
MKTG 301Marketing Principles3
SCMA 301Business Statistics I3
Major requirements
Advanced core (flexible by major)
INFO 320Business Intelligence and Data Mining3
INFO 323Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in Information Systems3
INFO 361Systems Analysis and Design3
INFO 461Information Systems Planning and Project Management3
SCMA 302Business Statistics II3
Major-specific courses
INFO 300Information Technology Infrastructure3
INFO 350Intermediate Programming3
INFO 364Database Systems3
INFO 370Fundamentals of Data Communications3
INFO 465Projects in Information Systems3
Approved INFO electives9
Total Hours60

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Business general education electives

Additional University Core Education Curriculum approved courses
Any AFAM, ANTH, ANTZ, ARTH, BIOL, BIOZ, CHEM, CHEZ, CRJS, DANC, ENGL, ENVS, FRSC, FRSZ, HIST, INNO, INSC, INTL (except INTL 493), MASC, MATH, PHIL, PHYS, PHYZ, POLI, PSYC (except PSYC 214), RELS, SOCS, SOCY, USRP or WRLD course
Any foreign language course
Any honors-designated course taught outside of the School of Business
Any of the following UNIV courses:
Food for Thought
The Truth About Lying
Finding Your Voice in Contemporary Society
Pseudoscience
What's the Big Idea?

Information systems electives

BUSN 400
BUSN 401
Principles of Consulting
and International Consulting Practicum (if this option is chosen, both must be taken)
6
INFO 450Advanced Programming3
INFO 451Advanced Technology for E-business3
INFO 463Business Process Engineering3
INFO 468Information Engineering3
INFO 472Infrastructure Services3
INFO 474Advanced Networking and Security3
INFO 491Topics in Information Systems1-3
INFO 492Independent Study in Information Systems (requires departmental approval)1-3
INFO 493Internship in Information Systems3

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
INFO 160 Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices 1
INFO 162 Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I 1
SCMA 171 Mathematical Applications for Business 3
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
University Core Education Curriculum approved courses 6-8
 Term Hours: 14-16
Spring semester
BUSN 225 Winning Presentations 3
INFO 161 Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills 1
INFO 165 Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II 1
SCMA 212
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
or Calculus with Analytic Geometry
3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
University Core Education Curriculum approved course 3-4
 Term Hours: 14-15
Sophomore year
Fall semester
ACCT 203 Introduction to Accounting I 3
ECON 210 Principles of Microeconomics 3
INFO 202 Introduction to E-business Technologies (or other elective) 3
MKTG 301 Marketing Principles 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
ACCT 204 Introduction to Accounting II 3
BUSN 201 Foundations of Business 3
ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
INFO 323 Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in Information Systems 3
MATH 211 Mathematical Structures 3
Elective 0-2
 Term Hours: 15-17
Junior year
Fall semester
INFO 361 Systems Analysis and Design 3
MGMT 303 Creativity and Ideation 3
MGMT 310 Managing People in Organizations 3
SCMA 301 Business Statistics I 3
BUSN 325 Organizational Communication 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
INFO 300 Information Technology Infrastructure 3
INFO 364 Database Systems 3
INFO 461 Information Systems Planning and Project Management 3
SCMA 302 Business Statistics II 3
Business General Education elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Senior year
Fall semester
FIRE 311 Financial Management 3
INFO 320 Business Intelligence and Data Mining 3
INFO 350 Intermediate Programming 3
INFO 370 Fundamentals of Data Communications 3
Approved information systems elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
INFO 465 Projects in Information Systems 3
MGMT 434 Strategic Management 3
Approved information systems electives 6
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 118-123

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

INFO 160. Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Overview of basic computer concepts, the Internet, new technologies and digital security. Topics include but are not limited to computing devices -- hardware and software -- skills for using and evaluating Internet content and security with digital devices. This course provides the foundation in digital technologies to prepare students for other business courses and application software courses in the INFO16X series. Administered as a self-paced course with all online content. Graded as pass/fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 161. Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Presents academic- and professional-level word processing skills. Topics include but are not limited to document preparation and modification, tables and graphic enhancements, collaboration, formatting for research papers, newsletters, forms, and linking to other applications. The course will help students prepare documents to support professional tasks and other VCU course work. Administered as a self-paced course. Graded as Pass/Fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 162. Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Introduces students to academic and professional spreadsheet skills. Topics include but are not limited to the entering of text, numbers and formulas; formatting; moving; copying; recalculation; retrieving; charting; saving; and printing with introductory coverage of data manipulation. The course will help students prepare analyses, tables and charts to assist with professional tasks and other VCU course work. Administered as a self-paced course. Graded as pass/fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 163. Introduction to Web Page Design and Application Software. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Introduces students to Web page design and construction using application software. Topics include Web page creation and modification, hypertext links, tables, graphics, and website organization. Graded as pass/fail. Administered as a self-paced, computer-aided instructional course.

INFO 165. Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II. 1 Hour.

Semester course, 1 credit. Presents intermediate-level academic and professional spreadsheet skills. Topics include but are not limited to advanced formulas, statistical and financial functions, multiple worksheet/workbook management, macros and pivot tables. This course is designed for students wanting to advance their previous spreadsheet skills. Administered as a self-paced course with all online content. Graded as pass/fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 166. Digital Literacy: Database Skills. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Introduces students to academic and professional database skills. Topics include but are not limited to creating and editing tables and forms, sorting and filtering data, and generating reports. Administered as a self-paced, online course. Graded as pass/fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 167. Introduction to Internet Researching. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Course emphasizes Internet search tools and research skills development while expanding students understanding of the World Wide Web and its resources. Students will learn to explore and evaluate the various types of search sites, including the VCU Library Internet resources and learn skills for developing researching strategies. Using a microcomputer-based Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, students will learn about advanced browser features that will aid them in their search efforts. This course provides the necessary foundation to help students better find and use Web resources for documents and papers that other VCU course work may require.

INFO 168. Digital Literacy: Presentation Skills. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Introduces students to academic and professional presentation skills. Topics include but are not limited to creating and editing presentations, creating and modifying images/graphics, and use of video/audio media tools. The course will help students prepare presentations for professional tasks and other VCU course work. Administered as a self-paced course. Graded as pass/fail at 80 percent pass level with on-campus assessment. Purchase of online training/assessment package required.

INFO 169. Multimedia Presentations. 1 Hour.

Short course; 1 lecture hour. 5 weeks. 1 credit. Familiarizes students with the fundamental use of multimedia to enhance presentations. Topics include adding animation, creating templates, linking to other resources as well as audio and video. The course will help students to prepare more effective and professional presentations.

INFO 202. Introduction to E-business Technologies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INFO 160 or passing score on the Knowledge Equivalency Test (see: www.business.vcu.edu/infosys/ket.html). Introduces students to the technologies used in e-business. Students will be introduced to current or emerging Web languages, e-business software development environments, Web application servers and other packages used in creating and running Web applications.

INFO 250. Introduction to Programming. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 160 and MGMT 171. Introduces students to writing, testing and debugging Java programs using simple logic and algorithms. Basic Java applets and the graphic user interface are covered. Cannot be used as an elective in the information systems major.

INFO 291. Topics in Information Systems. 1-3 Hours.

Variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per topic. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. An in-depth study of selected business topics. Graded as pass/fail at the option of the department.

INFO 300. Information Technology Infrastructure. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Pre- or co-requisite: INFO 202, CMSC 245 or CMSC 255. Principles of computer hardware and software architecture, network communications technologies and security. Introduction to data structures.

INFO 320. Business Intelligence and Data Mining. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MGMT 301. Restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Modeling business-related problems using information systems tools and quantitative techniques. Focus is on extraction, translation and loading of relevant business and external data, quantitative analysis, and presentation of findings. Typical problem situations involve suggested productivity improvements, revenue enhancement opportunities and marketing.

INFO 323. Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students with junior standing. In-depth coverage of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities in information systems. Topics include principles of ethics and ethical codes of conduct in the computing professions; contracts, law and regulations specific to information systems and cyberspace; and social issues such as individual and state secrecy, privacy and transparency. Students may not receive credit toward graduation for more than one of INFO 323, SCMA 323 or MGMT 323.

INFO 350. Intermediate Programming. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 202, INFO 250, CMSC 245 or CMSC 255; and MATH 211, both with a minimum grade of C. Object-oriented programming and algorithmic design are introduced using C# and the .NET Framework. Emphasizes building business applications using the .NET Framework Class Library and the components, events and message handling therein. Intermediate Web application development is also covered. Students cannot receive credit for both CMSC 256 and INFO 350.

INFO 360. Business Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INFO 160. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Provides an understanding of the importance of computer-based information in the success of the firm. Emphasis is on the role of information systems within each of the functional areas of business. Major concepts include data management, decision support and management information systems.

INFO 361. Systems Analysis and Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Examines the concepts, tools and techniques used to develop and support computer-based information systems. Systems planning, analysis, design and implementation are covered. Behavioral and model building aspects of systems development are emphasized throughout.

INFO 364. Database Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 202, INFO 250, CMSC 245 or CMSC 255; and MATH 211, both with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Designed to prepare students for development of systems involving databases and database management.

INFO 370. Fundamentals of Data Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 202, INFO 250, CMSC 245 or CMSC 255; and MATH 211, both with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). Computer networks and data communications. Provides an understanding of the underlying concepts of computer networking. Emphasis is placed on terminology, techniques and issues in networking systems.

INFO 450. Advanced Programming. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INFO 350 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). The course covers advanced programming concepts. Topics include pointers, advanced GUI components and the building of multithreaded applications containing reusable components based upon design patterns and advanced data structures. Students cannot receive credit for both CMSC 245/246 and INFO 450.

INFO 451. Advanced Technology for E-business. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in INFO 350 and 364, and junior standing. Focuses on the technical aspects of developing e-business systems using Web services and Web server controls to build visually interactive and highly responsive Web applications. Students will learn how various XML APIs (processing, messaging and distributed registries) are used under the umbrella of Web services to support the sharing of data and processes for e-business applications. The course will integrate the students' prior knowledge of client-side GUI development with server-side controls, components and behaviors in a multitiered environment that includes database connectivity.

INFO 461. Information Systems Planning and Project Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INFO 361. Concentrated study of planning methods and techniques required for defining, planning, integrating and implementing information technology projects consistent with the organizational strategic plan and mission.

INFO 463. Business Process Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: INFO 361. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). A survey of legacy system re-engineering technologies in which the student becomes familiar with a variety of tools used in practice and has the opportunity to develop applications using these tools under supervision. Selection of technologies is determined each semester.

INFO 465. Projects in Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 350, 364, 370 and 461. The student's behavioral and technical skills developed in listed prerequisite courses are challenged by participating in a team systems development project. Appropriate computer-assisted software engineering tools are used throughout the project, from requirement specification to implementation and testing.

INFO 468. Information Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 361 and INFO 364. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). A study of information engineering as a model-based, data-centric approach to integrating organizational strategic planning with enterprise information systems development. Involves readings, group discussion and case studies.

INFO 472. Infrastructure Services. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 370 and junior standing. Concepts and principles related to administering and securing information and communication technologies. Topics include management of infrastructure, hosts, applications and network security.

INFO 474. Advanced Networking and Security. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: INFO 370 and junior standing. Detailed coverage of the TCP/IP protocol suite and its application to internetworking. Emphasis is placed on security, vulnerabilities and controls.

INFO 491. Topics in Information Systems. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Maximum of 3 credits per course; maximum total of 6 credits for all topics courses. Enrollment restricted to students with junior standing. An in-depth study of a selected business topic, to be announced in advance.

INFO 492. Independent Study in Information Systems. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits. Maximum total of 3 credits. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing as a major in a business curriculum and approval of adviser and department chair prior to course registration. Intensive study under supervision of a faculty member in an area not covered in-depth or contained in the regular curriculum.

INFO 493. Internship in Information Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 field experience hours. 3 credits. Enrollment restricted to students with senior standing and permission of department chair prior to or during advance registration of the semester of credit. Involves students in a meaningful work experience, typically 20 hours per week, in a setting appropriate to the information systems major.