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 know and know how to do the following:

  • Apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline
  • Analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  • Design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component or program to meet desired needs
  • Function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal
  • Understand professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • Analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations and society
  • Recognize the need for and be able to engage in continuing professional development
  • Use current techniques, skills and tools necessary for computing practice
  • Understand the processes that support the delivery and management of information systems within a specific application environment

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   201
BUSN   202
Foundations of Business I
and Foundations of Business II
6
BUSN   225Winning Presentations3
ECON   210Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON   211Principles of Macroeconomics3
INFO   160Digital Literacy: Computer Concepts, Internet, Digital Devices1
INFO   161Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills I1
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.

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

PSYC   214 and 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 Skills I1
INFO   162Digital Literacy: Spreadsheets Skills I1
INFO   165Digital Literacy: Spreadsheet Skills II1
Business General Education elective (Select credits from the approved list.)3
Total Hours16

Additional Business Foundation requirements

ACCT   203
ACCT   204
Introduction to Accounting I
and Introduction to Accounting II
6
BUSN   201
BUSN   202
Foundations of Business I
and Foundations of Business II
6
MATH   211Mathematical Structures3
Open electives8-11
Total Hours23-26

Advanced business program

Advanced business core
FIRE   311Financial Management3
MGMT   310Managing People in Organizations3
MGMT   434Strategic Management (capstone)3
MKTG   301Marketing Principles3
SCMA   301Business Statistics I3
SCMA   325Organizational Communication3
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 Hours57

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, GEOG, GEOZ, 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 I 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
BUSN   201 Foundations of Business I 3
ECON   210 Principles of Microeconomics 3
INFO   202 Introduction to E-business Technologies (or other elective) 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
ACCT   204 Introduction to Accounting II 3
BUSN   202 Foundations of Business II 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   310 Managing People in Organizations 3
MKTG   301 Marketing Principles 3
SCMA   301 Business Statistics I 3
SCMA   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 I. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Introduces students to academic and professional word processing skills. Topics include but are not limited to document preparation and modification, tables and graphic enhancements, collaboration, and formatting for research papers. 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   164. Digital Literacy: Word Processing Skills II. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Presents intermediate level academic and professional word processing skills. Topics include but are not limited to master documents, newsletters, forms, macros and linking to other applications. This course is designed for students wanting to advance their previous word processing skills. 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   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. 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 weighing individual and state secrecy, privacy and transparency. Students may not receive degree credit for both INFO   323 and MGMT 323 or MGMT/ACCT 481.

INFO   350. Intermediate Programming. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: a minimum grade of C in one of the following: INFO   202, INFO   250, CMSC   245 or CMSC   255; and MATH   211. 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, CMSC   245 or CMSC   255; and MATH   211. This course 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, CMSC   245 or CMSC   255; and MATH   211. This course 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. This course is restricted to students who have completed at least 54 credit hours (junior standing). The course covers advanced programming concepts using the Java and C++ languages. 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; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per course; maximum total of 6 credits for all topic courses. Prerequisite: 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 lecture hours. 3 credits. Pre- or corequisites: 3.2 GPA in major, permission of director of ISRI, INFO   370 and 465. Intention to enroll must be indicated to director prior to or during advance registration of the semester of credit. Involves students in a meaningful experience, typically 20 hours per week, in a setting appropriate to the major. Students enrolled in INFO   493 may register for a maximum of six credit hours of other course work.