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CIS and Business Analytics

The major is a part of the Department of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics, an academic unit within the College of Business.

The Computer Information Systems (CIS) degree at JMU prepares students for professional careers that require both the business knowledge and the technical skills to help clients design, build and deliver competitive computer-based solutions. Computer and information systems managers play a
vital role in the technological direction of their organizations and must stay abreast of the latest technology to ensure the organization does not lag behind its competitors.

JMU's CIS program was recognized as one of the top ten undergraduate information technology programs in the United States (TechRepublic, 2008) and is part of the nationally recognized JMU College of Business. Professors in the program use a variety of teaching methods including projects, cases and business simulations to prepare graduates with strong technical, analytical, and problem-solving skills; effective communication and presentation skills; hands-on experience; and the ability to work effectively in individual and team-oriented environments.

Several features of JMU's CIS program are distinctive:

  • Outstanding placement of graduates: the JMU CIS program is viewed as a prime recruiting school by many leading employers throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Course work in a variety of specialties.
  • Business intelligence
  • Business process management
  • Computer forensics
  • Computer security management
  • Information technology consulting
  • Information technology project management
  • Excellent opportunities for internships and job-related work experience through JMU's Handshake program and an active JMU CIS alumni network of over 3,100 graduates.
  • Active student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP): Students regularly compete in the National Collegiate Conference, network with industry professionals, engage in service-learning projects, and expand their leadership skills by serving as chapter leaders.

Degrees Offered



Cooperative Education


Computer Information Systems

Business Analytics

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the Computer Information Systems major when they register for orientation. Any student admitted to JMU can declare any major offered by the College of Business. However students are not formally admitted into the College of Business until certain requirements are met as listed in the section below "Admission to the College of Business."

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 

All students must have at least one major with a degree (i.e. Biology - B.S.).  To add a 2nd major, select the major listed with no degree (i.e. Biology).

  1. Log into MyMadison, select Student Center.
  2. Select Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic..." dropdown menu.
    1. To add a program of study select Add Major/Minor

      To narrow your search, select the plan type, change the criteria of plan description to "contains," and enter the beginning letters of the plan.
    2. To drop a program of study, select Drop Major/Minor.
    3. To update a concentration for an existing program of study, select Add/Change Concentration.
  3. After all requests are entered, select Submit Request.

Please note that any student admitted to JMU can declare one of the eight majors offered in the College of Business. However, any student enrolled in one of the B.B.A. programs must meet certain progression standards in order to continue as a business major beyond the first year of study.


Admission to the Major

Full Admission to the College of Business
Declaring a business major does not guarantee full admission to the College of Business. Students must formally apply for full admission to the College of Business by submitting an application for admission during the semester in which students are completing the lower-level B.B.A. core courses.Students are formally admitted into the College of Business as a B.B.A. degree seeking major and permitted to register for COB 300, Integrated Functional Systems, when the following requirements are met:

  1. A completed application for admission into the College of Business is submitted to the Department of Computer Information Systems according to the following schedule:
    • November 1 for upcoming spring semester
    • April 1 for the upcoming summer session and fall semesters
  2. All 8 lower-level Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) core courses are successfully completed as follows:
    • First Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of the freshman year):
      • COB 191. Business Analytics or Math 220. Elementary Statistics
      • COB 204. Computer Information Systems
      • ECON 200. General Education Macroeconomics
      • ECON 201. Microeconomics
      • MATH 205. Introductory Calculus or MATH 235. Calculus I
    • Second Year (It is recommended that students complete the following five B.B.A. core courses by the end of their sophomore year):
      • COB 202. Interpersonal Skills
      • COB 241. Financial Accounting
      • COB 242. Managerial Accounting1
      • COB 291. Business Analytics II
1 COB 241 must be taken before COB 242COB 242 is a prerequisite or corequisite for COB 300 and is not used in calculating the B.B.A. core GPA. COB 242 is a prerequisite for COB 300 for students taking COB 300 in Antwerp.
  1. No core course my be attempted more than two times, and students may repeat a maximum of three courses in which a final grade was earned.  Attempted courses include courses in which a final letter grade, "W," "WP" or "WF" is recorded on the student’s official JMU transcript.
  2. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses (excluding MATH 205 or MATH 235). The B.B.A. core GPA is calculated using grades earned in the B.B.A. lower-level core courses excluding calculus (MATH 205 or MATH 235). Only grades earned at JMU will be used. The university policy for calculating repeat-credit and repeat-forgiveness will be followed.Students with a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA are assured admission into the College of Business and COB 300. Students who meet all of the requirements above but fail to achieve a 2.7 B.B.A. core GPA will be admitted to the College of Business and COB 300 based on B.B.A. core GPA ranking, and pending resources and space availability.
  3. Admission is granted within one calendar year of the applicant's first application. Two applications, in consecutive semesters of enrollment, are permitted.


Progressing in the Major

Students must maintain good academic standing with at least a GPA of 2.0.

Admission to the CIS Minor

CIS is about computing in a business context and emphasizes applications of information technology toward creating solutions for business-related problems. CIS is a technical field that requires mathematical and logical problem-solving ability, as well as the capacity to communicate effectively and a sufficiently rigorous understanding of the business world.

With this in mind, the minor in computer information systems is primarily structured to provide students in various disciplines on campus with the opportunity to study business-oriented information systems.

Admission to the CIS minor is based on performance in prerequisite courses for a limited number of spaces. To be considered for admission to the computer information systems minor, students must complete the following courses in the following six areas:

  • COB 204 (or equivalent as determined by the department head) with a "B-" grade or higher
  • One introductory computer programming course (CIS 221, ISAT 252, CS 139, or equivalent as determined by the department head) with a "B-" grade or higher
  • One calculus course (e.g. MATH 205, MATH 231, MATH 235, ISAT 151, or equivalent as determined by the department head)
  • One critical thinking course (student's Cluster One critical thinking course)
  • Writing (WRTC 103 or equivalent as determined by the department head)
  • One quantitatively-oriented economics/business course (e.g. ECON 200, ECON 201, COB 241, COB 242, COB 291 or equivalent as determined by the department head).

Admission decisions will be based upon students' grades in courses from each of the six areas listed above and upon available space.

Students seeking to add the CIS minor can submit an application at any time. Applications are available from the CIS department. To apply, students should submit an application, a declaration of minor form, and an unofficial copy of their transcript and submit all documents to the CIS department.

Applications will be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine who will be admitted for the next semester.

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