Earn a CIS Degree Online
- $320/credit (120 credits)
- Learn how to serve as intermediary between IT and business units
- Develop information systems that support organizational goals
- Transfer up to 90 credits
- Get hands-on experience with a variety of business intelligence applications
- No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required
Online Information Systems Degree Program Overview
Use technology to drive crucial business strategies with the online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems program at Southern New Hampshire University.
A CIS degree will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to bridge the gap between IT and business. You'll take an active role in helping support your organization's strategic goals through technology.
If you've completed your associate degree in business or an AS in IT, this program is especially well-suited for you. With 18 free electives, you'll have the power to finish your program faster – saving you time and money along the way.
Learn how to:
- Use business intelligence applications to analyze the data models
- Analyze existing business information systems and identify new ones
- Develop communication strategies
- Apply learned concepts to develop and implement systems that support an organization’s goals
You also have the option to enroll in the general track or in one of 2 career-focused concentrations.
Data Validation and Decision Making
Help drive business decisions through data with the online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Data Validation and Decision Making program.
This online CIS concentration program offers a foundational overview of essential data analysis concepts. You'll gain exposure to areas such as emerging technologies, big data, ethics and privacy.
Big Data plays a prominent role in business today. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's one of the top reasons that computer and IT occupations are projected to add over 530,000 new jobs through 2029.1
Upon completing these concentration courses, you'll gain the skills you need to apply data to a variety of different business environments. Using industry best practices, you'll learn how to assess the quality of data sets and make ethically informed, legally sound strategic decisions.
You'll also explore how today's systems and technologies – such as the cloud, AI and machine learning – are impacting the field of data analytics.
Understanding data can help distinguish you in your career. Whether you're looking to break into education, healthcare, software development or finance, your degree can help you get where you want to go.
If you're interested in a career in data or business analytics, you may also want to check out our full online data analytics degree program.
Courses may include:
- Data Validation: Getting the Right Data
- Data Validation: Quality and Cleaning
- Data Policy and Decision Making
- Emerging Technologies and Big Data
Networking and Security
Pair business and tech savvy with a foundation in cyber security with the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Networking and Security program.
This online concentration will help you build a foundation in cyber security policies, procedures and best practices. You'll learn how to design basic and secure networked computer environments. Finally, you'll gain valuable troubleshooting and problem-solving skills related to the field.
Information security is crucial for employers today. With more sensitive information to protect – such as medical or financial records – cyber attacks are increasingly common. This enhances the need for professionals who can help design and build secure computer systems.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for information security analysts are set to grow 31% through 2029 – far faster than the national average for all occupations.1 Professionals in this field have a typical entry-level education of a bachelor's in computer science or a related field.1
In these courses, you'll identify common operating systems and learn how to troubleshoot solutions to typical organizational challenges. You'll design a secure computing environment, complete with a network, server, client system and firewall.
Finally, you'll examine the fundamentals of cyber security. This includes concepts critical to forming an organizational information security plan.
If you're interested in a career in this fighting cyber crime, you may also want to check out our full online cyber security degree program.
Courses may include:
- Computer Operating Systems
- Introduction to Computer Networks
- Computer Systems Security
Lightning-fast access to information is no longer a "nice to have" – it's essential for any business to thrive.
For this reason, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for computer and information systems managers will grow 10% through 2029 – much faster than the national average for all occupations.1 What's more, the BLS reports that typical entry-level education for these roles is a bachelor's.1
Therein lies the need for an educated workforce to step out into the field.
"With job growth on the rise, a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems will help graduates as they seek employment and meet workforce needs," said Ann Marie Moynihan, associate dean at SNHU.
Graduates of the computer information systems degree program may pursue a number of different careers, including but not limited to those in:
- Computer systems analysis and design
- Computer and information systems management
- Information technology
- Project management
- Data analysis
If it's a more business-focused career you seek, you may also be interested in studying management information systems (MIS) through our online bachelor's in business administration, which offers an MIS degree concentration.
At SNHU, we know how important networking and experience can be in helping you get your foot in the door. That's why we offer CIS students multiple opportunities to participate in national events and competitions each year. Highlights include:
- National Cyber League (NCL) spring and summer competitions. Ever wonder what it's like to disarm a real cyber threat? The NCL offers a virtual training ground to do just that. You'll join a team to face practical cybersecurity challenges, such as pen testing vulnerable websites, recovering from ransomware attacks and more. Our students have made several top 10 placements. Additionally, the first-ever all-women team to compete was comprised of SNHU students.
- Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up only 25.2% of all computer and mathematical occupations in 2020.1 Billed as the largest gathering for women technologists, the Grace Hopper Celebration aims to change that. Each event is jam-packed with keynote speakers, job fairs and opportunities to connect with some of the leading names in tech today.
- Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) conference. Similar to Grace Hopper, WiCyS is a networking event dedicated to correcting the gender imbalance in a male-dominated industry. Attendees can access a number of career-building activities, including workshops, walk-in resume reviews and job fairs. As Moynihan points out: "WiCyS is an important conference for SNHU learners because it provides extraordinary networking opportunities with women in cyber security from academia, research and industry."
- Association for Computing Machinery student chapter: Join peers in our student chapter for ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Computer Information Systems Degree
Why SNHU for Your Online CIS Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so SNHU can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
"The Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems prepares graduates to implement effective solutions in support of organizational needs," said Ann Marie Moynihan, associate dean at SNHU.
The curriculum helps accomplish this goal by exploring key tech concepts like systems thinking, scripting, database environments, application development and object-oriented analysis and design. You'll think about these ideas in a business context, with courses that cover client systems and support, enterprise information systems and business intelligence and reporting.
You'll also apply what you've learned through a culminating capstone experience.
"The capstone course offers an opportunity to work on a CIS project-based design where you can work with a team to generate a plan in support of business needs," Moynihan said.
Using practical, real-world situations as a launchpad, you'll apply what you've learned throughout the program.
"The knowledge, skills and principles of systems analysis and design, project management, quality assurance and resource management are applied as the team works to formulate and recommend solutions."
Introduction to Quantitative Analysis and Applied Statistics for STEM are dictated courses for the General Education Program.
- General education courses: All online bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Save time and tuition: Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment with our Pathways to Math Success assessments.
Earn Credits for What You Already Know
- Earn transfer credits for IT certifications and credentials: If you've earned IT certifications through organizations like CompTIA, Google or Amazon Web Services (AWS), you may be eligible to receive credit toward your degree program. Or If you’re seeking certification, some IT and computer science courses can help you prepare for specific exams.
- Earn credits for work and life experience: Did you know certain work and life experiences - like industry-recognized certifications, law enforcement training and math knowledge - could save you time and money at SNHU? Learn how you could get credit for work or life experience.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BS in Computer Information Systems|
|Courses May Include|
|BS in Computer Information Systems Online|
|CIS 255||Applied Data Structure and Database||This course reviews the data structure concepts such as link lists, stack and queues, binary trees, graph representation and traversals, sorting, and hashing. The course is also an introduction to the basic principles and practices underlying the analysis, design, and implementation of the database, as they are used in the contemporary business environment. Students will learn the major approaches used in designing database applications. Students will also learn the details of the logical and physical design techniques of data modeling. The course has an extensive hands-on technical component using Structured Query Language (SQL).|
|CIS 335||Business Systems Applications||This course covers a variety of business types and the appropriate information systems to help run them. Students will demonstrate an ability to identify and model a business process with the goal of improving the process with a business system application. Examples include systems to assist in customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), helpdesk management, payroll, accounting, decision-making, supply chain management, and other business functions. The course also covers the pros and cons of various means of acquiring information systems, for example using cloud services, purchasing software, using public domain software, building software in-house, and integrating multiple business applications into a whole. Students will gain hands-on experience with several business system applications, gain experience in proposing and justifying recommendations of information systems for particular businesses, and gain experience in quantifying the effectiveness of a business system applications.|
|CIS 355||Business Intelligence Applications||This course introduces concepts in business intelligence and explores how business intelligence (BI) applications can help improve management effectiveness through better decision-making in various scenarios. The benefits of BI and appropriate applications are discussed. Students use current BI tools to develop realistic solutions and gain hands-on experience. Current trends are discussed, as is the growing role of big data.|
|CIS 410||Enterprise Systems||Enterprise Systems are now essential infrastructure to organizations of all sizes, as well as they remove the need to have individual business systems within functional departments. This course examines the implementation process of enterprise systems and how these systems fit into business operations. Functionalities of enterprise systems will be presented and analyzed, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and supply chain management (SCM) systems. Topics covered include business processes, implementation tools and methodology, project planning, enterprise systems integration, vendor/product selection and web services.|
|CIS 435||Capstone in Information Systems||The course is designed for students to learn to integrate a large number of concepts they have studied in previous course work within the department and school. The class uses a case/project-based design that requires students to identify and develop a detailed managerial analysis of an information technology and/or computer information system (IT, CIS) project, and design an implementation plan that takes into account business needs and constraints. This requires the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques of systems analysis and design, project management, quality assurance, and people management. Students will work in teams, and will be required to present their solutions as a way of honing their communication skills.|
|IT 145||Foundation in Application Development||Students will use programming as a problem-solving technique in business and engineering applications. In writing computer code in a logical, structured, and organized manner, students will learn how to incorporate the key concepts of object orientation into their programming. Additionally, students will learn to write, review, and document interactive applications and work with Software Development Kits and Integrated Development Environment tools.|
|QSO 345||Project Management for CAPM Certification||This course teaches the five process groups and nine knowledge areas described in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK ) of the Project Management Institute (PMI ). The course is designed to help students prepare for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM ) certification exam. However, it neither guarantees to help satisfy the eligibility requirements for taking the CAPM certification exam nor ensures success on the CAPM certification exam.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What does CIS major stand for?
CIS stands for "computer information systems."
The study of computer information systems refers to the practical use of technology in a business context. This is especially relevant in a world where data is king for organizations across industries.
From healthcare to finance, manufacturing to software, all kinds of fields rely heavily on information systems and data to drive better business decisions.
How long does it take to get a CIS degree?
The length of time it may take you to earn your CIS degree depends on a few factors.
First, if you've attended other accredited institutions previously, you may have credits to transfer in. At Southern New Hampshire University, we'll accept up to 90 credits – that means 75% of your degree could be completed before you even begin your first class with us! (Not only does that save you years of time, but at $360 a credit, that saves you lots on tuition.)
Then, you'll want to determine the number of classes you'll be able to take at a time. SNHU's undergraduate terms are just 8 weeks long, with 6 terms per year. As a full-time student, you can take 2 classes each term, which would allow you to complete 12 courses a year.
However, many of our students also work full time, and attending SNHU as a part-time student can help make you more successful in your program. This means you'd only take 1 class each term, but it may also lengthen your journey to your degree.
Your degree is possible, and you can make it happen on your schedule.
What's the difference between CIS and Computer Science or IT?
While there may be crossover between CIS, computer science and IT, there are differences between these 3 disciplines.
Generally speaking, CIS is computer science through a business lens. While there is some overlap – such as scripting, systems design and data structures – a computer science degree puts a greater emphasis on computer algorithms and code. As a result, computer science is more math-intensive.
Many of the courses in our bachelor's in CIS program actually have more in common with an IT degree. Courses in areas like application development, object analysis and design, structured database environments and introduction to scripting are just as relevant to an IT and CIS professional alike.
Both CIS and IT professionals also act as intermediaries in their organizations. CIS professionals are liaisons for a company's top decision-makers. IT professionals, on the other hand, work across the organization to assist with tech-related issues.
Is CIS a hard degree?
That depends on your skill set and your interests. If computers and technology come naturally to you, then you probably have what it takes to earn your CIS degree.
Students entering the program will be required to take some math courses, such as Introduction to Qualitative Analysis and Applied Statistics for STEM. The program also requires a business core, which includes courses in accounting.
That said, we also offer Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment, saving you time and money.
It's important to note, too, that while the content of the coursework may be challenging, our community of advisors, instructors and peers are here to give you the support you need to complete your program.
What can I do with a CIS degree?
As a CIS professional, you'll stand at the critical intersection of technology and business. Your expertise can help drive better, higher-impact strategic decisions. You could even play the part of trusted right-hand person for executive leadership – or better yet, become a high-level leader yourself.
CIS is crucial to the success of businesses across industries. In banking and finance, for example, account management systems host massive databases of sensitive client information. In manufacturing, information systems can improve supply chains by connecting manufacturers with their customers, suppliers, service providers and more.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest employers of computer and information systems managers were:1
- Computer systems design and related services
- Finance and insurance
- Management of companies and enterprises
All of this is to say that a CIS degree can take you just about anywhere you want to go in terms of industry.
How much money can you make with a CIS degree?
The amount you can make upon earning your CIS degree depends on many factors – including your job title, previous experience, industry and geographic location.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $151,150 in 2020, with the lowest 10% earning less than about $90,000.1 By comparison, the median annual wage for all workers in that same time period was $41,950.1
Is CIS a good degree?
That's for you to decide. The right computer information systems degree could position you for success in your field. In addition to well-above-average salary projections, the BLS also predicts that 46,800 new jobs will be added for computer and information systems managers through 2028.1
But there are other factors to consider, too – like cost, reputability, curriculum and more. Here are just a few things that make the CIS degree at SNHU stand out:
- Affordable program. We offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. For active duty military and their spouses, we offer an additional 30% off our already affordable rates. Along with the help of a dedicated military benefits team, veterans can maximize their VA benefits.
- Flexible courses. Our flexible online courses mean you can access coursework anytime from the comfort of your own home. That said, if you're looking for an online program that offers hands-on experiences, this is the place for you. Between experiential learning and access to in-person networking events and cyber competitions, you'll have plenty of opportunities to help get your foot in the door.
- Expert faculty. Our CIS curriculum is designed and taught by professionals with years of industry expertise. This gives you an opportunity to gain insider knowledge that can help you succeed in your industry.
- Respected university. As a private, nonprofit institution, the success of our students is and has always been our bottom line. Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), assuring the quality you deserve for your degree.
- Transfer-friendly. Last but not least, we accept up to 90 transfer credits for our online bachelor's in CIS program. Plus, you'll get 15 free electives. That all adds up to finishing your program faster – saving you time and money along the way.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm (viewed June 22, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm (viewed June 22, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm (viewed June 22, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm (viewed June 22, 2021)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.