Major in CIS - Computer Information Science Degree Program


There has never been a better time to earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science. Careers in computer and information technology are growing faster than average, and with advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, and web development, opportunities are expected to rise.*

GMercyU’s CIS Program is built on a core curriculum of networking and hands-on problem-solving. As a CIS student, you will learn current and emerging technologies in programming, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, computer forensics, web design and multimedia, networking, and database design and administration to provide you with the skills needed to compete in this high in-demand and competitive field. 

Because technology grows at a rapid pace, we’ve designed our CIS degree program with the flexibility to adapt and change. This is how we became one of the first computer programs in the region to build a dedicated hacking and countermeasures lab and to integrate mobile application development into our curriculum. GMercyU’s CIS program is also one of the first in the area to offer a concentration in artificial intelligence and machine learning

While you earn your CIS degree, you can choose from cutting-edge classes like Programming for Game Design, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, or Web Data Extraction. You can also earn certifications and learn programming languages like Python that will help boost your employment opportunities and salary.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Program Details

Program Concentrations
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

GMercyU is excited to offer this AI and ML degree, one of the first in the Philadelphia region. This in-demand concentration will prepare students for success in one of the hottest fields in computing. Through robust instruction in programming and algorithms, students will prepare to become artificial intelligence engineers, ready to develop, test, and implement AI models that will enable machines to run autonomously and mimic human behavior.

In addition to practical hands-on learning, students will be introduced to the ethical challenges these powerful technologies yield so they can become responsible innovators of future AI technologies.  

Cybersecurity / Computer Forensics

Job growth for information security analysts is projected to soar through 2028 by 28.5%, with a median annual salary of more than $96,700, Burning Glass Technologies reports. GMercyU’s Cybersecurity/Computer Forensics option will provide the training necessary for you to compete in this growing field.

Web Design & Multimedia

From UX/UI web design to interactive multimedia and mobile app development, a concentration in Web Design & Multimedia will help you develop the skills you need to land a position in this growing field. According to Burning Glass Technologies, UX/UI designers earn a median annual salary of $98,500 in the U.S.

Why Choose GMercyU

When you pursue a BS degree in Computer Information Science at GMercyU, you will enjoy small classes, lots of hands-on experience, and mentorship from dedicated faculty who bring real-world experience – and connections – to the classroom.

As a GMercyU CIS major, you can:

Take advantage of CIS Certifications Bootcamps where students can pursue certifications specific to their desired career objectives such as AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit (FTK), Linux, CISCO, and CompTIA.  

Use our Innovation Research Lab to conduct hands-on research including robotics and software development. In our Hacking & Countermeasures Lab — a safe, hands-on environment — learn the techniques hackers use and how to guard against, detect, and mitigate cyberattacks. The labs are popular spots for CIS majors to work and socialize!

Participate in hands-on team projects. For example, CIS Web Design II students created GMercyU’s “Rand the Unmanned Instagram Bot” in winter 2020. The "RandBot" scraped the most popular Instagram hashtags and posted them to the Bot’s Twitter account real time. The project successfully demonstrated a program that automates web applications, called Selenium.

Learn current programming languages to add to your future resume:

  • Python
  • R Programming
  • C++
  • C#
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • HTML and CSS

Present your own research at GMercyU’s annual University Research Conference! Topics from our Spring 2020 conference included:

  • “Tik Tok: National Security Concerns, Censorship and Privacy”
  • “Artificial Intelligence: Thinking Machines and the Future of Humanity”
  • “Elevator Vulnerabilities: Hacking from the Ground Floor Up”

The Griffin Edge will help you connect the dots between your GMercyU experiences and your future aspirations, so you can ace future job interviews and launch a successful career. Learn more about the Griffin Edge below. 

Curriculum

In addition to completing your general education courses, you will need to complete the following curriculum for CIS majors.

Major Requirements – 48 Credits

CIS 104 Programming I
CIS 110 Information Systems
CIS 114 Web Design I
CIS 203 Systems Analysis & Design
CIS 204 Programming II
CIS 215 Intro to Relational Databases
CIS 230 Intro to Networking
CIS 240 Cybercrime (required only for cyber/comp forensics)
CIS 301 Algorithms and Data Structures
CIS 304 Event-Driven Programming
CIS 318 Introduction to Unix and Linus  (web design only)
CIS 321 Computer Organization
CIS 330 Network Admin & Security
CIS 340 Computer Forensics (required only for cyber comp forensics)
CIS 410 Operating Systems
CIS Elective
CIS 420 Mobile App Development (required for web only)
CIS 4000 Capstone

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 126 credits is required to complete your Bachelor’s Degree in CIS.

See the undergraduate catalog for more information and course descriptions.

Computer Science Concentrations

Cybersecurity/Computer Forensics Concentration – 15 Credits

CIS 241 Cybersecurity
CIS 341 IT Security
ENG 215 Technical Writing
CRJ Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJ 355 Terrorism and Hate Groups

Web Design & Multimedia Concentration - 15 Credits

CIS 350 Multimedia I
CIS 423 Web Design II
CIS 450 Multimedia II
ENG 215 Technical Writing
COMD 200 Digital Analytics and Visualization

AI and Machine Learning Concentration curriculum will be posted soon!

Undergraduate Minors

Increase the value of your computer science degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Featured Courses

Wondering what your classes will look like as a computer information science major? Here are just a few GMercyU CIS Program courses:

CIS 104 Programming
Designed as a first programming course for CIS majors or anyone interested in programming, it will provide a good foundation for more advanced topics in programming. Taught in C++ or Java, the course covers the structured and procedural programming aspects of the language, including top-down design, loops, conditional structures, use of variables, scope, arithmetic operations, processing records, Boolean algebra, and reinforcement of basic algorithmic design.

CIS 240 Cybercrime
This course provides the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, track and prosecute the cybercriminal. Exposes the student to the process of detecting attacks and collecting evidence in a forensically sound manner with the intent to report crime and prevent future attacks. Students are introduced to advanced techniques in computer investigation and analysis with interest in generating potential legal evidence, provided preparation to identify evidence in computer related crime and abuse cases, as well as track the intrusive hacker’s path through a client’s system or network. Students are introduced to tools used in investigations, investigating network traffic, web attacks, Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks and corporate espionage. Topics covered include cyberbullying, organized cybercrime, cyberwarfare, cyberterrorism, and hacktivism.

CIS 420 Mobile Application Development
An advanced course in software development for mobile devices, you’ll learn the latest technologies for mobile phone development. Explore how to determine what operating systems are available for smart phones and what tools, hardware, and software are needed to develop applications for different types of phones. This course will stay current with the industry at the time the course is offered and will continue to adapt to the smart phone market. Emphasis will be placed on the full-life-cycle of software development from requirements specifications through final deliverable application.

For all CIS course descriptions, please refer to the undergraduate catalog.

Meet the Faculty

Cindy Casey

Position: Program Coordinator and Instructor, Computer Information Science

Did You Know? Ms. Casey is currently completing her Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence.

Learn More

David Peltzman

Position: Instructor, Computer Information Science

Did You Know? Professor Peltzman created his own company called Autonomous Sports Systems.

Learn More

Real-World Opportunities

The Griffin Edge

The Griffin Edge is comprised of five touchpoints -- Excellence, Engagement, Experience, Empathy, and Encouragement -- that become the cornerstones of your Distinctive Mercy Experience as a full-time undergraduate student.

The Griffin Edge includes an e-portfolio for documenting your GMercyU educational and extra-curricular experiences (no matter your major), reflecting on those experiences, and receiving feedback from faculty. It's designed to help you take ownership of your educational journey and chart the right career path for you. It will also help you learn how to talk about your college experiences in meaningful ways — and that can make all the difference in a job interview. 

For example, a student might say in a job interview: "I conducted research at the undergraduate level." 

A Griffin Edge student might say: "The opportunity to conduct my own research alongside expert faculty taught me the importance of being exact in my data collection and analysis. I was even able to present my findings at our annual research conference! I know this is the career for me."

Learn more about the Griffin Edge here.

Internship Opportunities

Internship and employment opportunities for GMercyU's computer science college students are plentiful. Places students have interned or worked in the past include:

  • Blue Cross Insurance
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical
  • GMercyU’s Office of IT
  • Gwynedd Mercy Academy
  • Hewlett Packard Computers
  • IBM
  • L’Oréal Cosmetics
  • Lockheed-Martin Aerospace
  • McNeil Laboratories Pharmaceutical
  • Merck & Company Pharmaceuticals
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Noetic Software Corporation
  • Pennsylvania Sibling Support Network
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Rohm & Hass Chemical
  • Siemens
  • Social Security Administration
  • UNISYS
  • U.S. Navy
  • Vanguard
Girls Who Code Mentorships

CIS majors can also serve as volunteer mentors for the high school students who are members of GMercyU’s Girls Who Code after-school program. The mission of Girls Who Code is to close the gender gap in technology where females are underrepresented.

The club meets on campus once a week. 

Career Opportunities

Technology skills – combined with GMercyU’s emphasis on “soft skills” employers want (communication, critical thinking, problem-solving) – can help you thrive an industry of well-paid, in-demand jobs.

Top Jobs for CIS Majors

Information Security Analyst

Description: Spend your days fighting cybercrime. Protect an organization’s databases by designing and implementing secure systems and responding to threats.
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree.
Average Salary: The median annual salary is $96,700 per year.*

Machine Learning Engineer

Description: Launch your career in artificial intelligence by creating self-running software that is built to improve itself as it “learns” from its own results. 
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree; more senior roles may require an advanced degree.
Average Salary: The average salary is $146,085, according to a recent survey by popular job site Indeed, which also ranked Machine Learning Engineers as its #1 best job of 2019.

Mobile Application Developer

Description: Create new game-changing apps for smart phones and tablets! With a projected 30% increase in job growth through 2028, these jobs have phenomenal potential.*
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree.
Average Salary: The average median pay is $103,400. *

Multimedia Designer / Animator

Description: Pour your creative spirit into video, sound, and graphics for websites, video games, TV, and more.
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree.
Average Salary: The average median salary is 65,500. *

*According to Burning Glass Technologies

More Possible Careers for Computer Information Science Majors

  • Analyst / Programmer
  • Applications Programmer
  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer
  • Biometrician / Biostatistician
  • Computer Aided Designer Software Engineering Specialist
  • Computer Animator
  • Computer Applications Engineer
  • Computer Consultant
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Facilities Manager
  • Installation and Test Specialist
  • Computer Marketing / Sales
  • Computer Operator
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Scientist
  • Computer Service Technician
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Data Base Analyst or Manager
  • Data Communications Analyst
  • Data Control Administrator
  • Data Processing Manager
  • Database Manager/Administrator
  • Distribution Manager
  • Educator / Trainer
  • End-User Computing Manager
  • End-User Technician
  • Hardware Salesperson
  • Hardware Service Person
  • Information Systems Application
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Internet Developer
  • Internet Marketing Analyst
  • LAN Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Media Center Manager
  • Network Administrator / Manager
  • Online Services Manager
  • Operating Systems Programmer
  • PC Support Specialist
  • Software Development Specialist
  • Software Package Marketer
  • Software Support Specialist
  • Software Support Technician
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst Consultant
  • Systems Programmer
  • Systems Technical Manager
  • Technical Sales Representative
  • Technical Support Representative
  • Technology Consultant
  • User Support Analyst
  • Web Master

* This is only a partial list and not meant to limit you. Some of these careers may require additional education.

Learn more about what you can do with a CIS degree here.  

Griffin Success Stories

Meet two former GMercyU CIS majors, now Distinctive Mercy Graduates.

Jenny Kyoung ’19

Current Position: Global Scrum Master/ Program Manager at Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc.

For Jenny’s CIS capstone project, she created a dating app using Xamarin and C# programming languages. At GMercyU, she was a member of the Student Government Association, Campus Ministry, Student Activities Committee, and two honor societies. She also served as a Griffin Ambassador and was in the Griffin Student Leadership Institute.

“The CIS program offers opportunities for internships, obtaining certifications, and fun, hands-on projects. You’ll also learn a lot of different programming languages and software. When it’s time to go out in the real world, you’ll have an astounding resume to submit.” Learn more about Jenny's experience.


Neil McGarry ’17

Current Position: Systems Engineer Associate at Lockheed Martin

A former Griffin soccer player and commuter student, Neil’s CIS capstone project led to a job at his professor’s company, Noetic Software, where Neil worked on navigation systems for the military – that job gave him the experience he needed to qualify for a job at Lockheed Martin.

“I liked that the professors at GMercyU had a lot of industry experience prior to teaching, or had current knowledge of the industry." Learn more about Neil's experience.


Read more Griffin Success Stories.

Next Steps

CIS Viewbook

Learn more about what it's like to be a Computer Information Science major by exploring our viewbook!

Transfer Student Opportunities

In addition to accepting transfer credits from other accredited institutions and computer science colleges, Gwynedd Mercy University has articulation agreements with Montgomery County and Bucks County Community Colleges, making it easier for you to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science from GMercyU.

Bucks County Community College

AA in CIS to BS in Computer Information Science

AA in CIS to BS in CIS-forensics

Admission Requirements

Have questions about GMercyU's admissions requirements? Contact us! Our Admissions staff is ready to walk you through the process of applying to GMercyU’s Computer Information Science Program.

Email: admissions@gmercyu.edu
Phone: 215-641-5510

Financial Aid, Tuition & Fees

At GMercyU, we strive to make a quality education accessible to all through financial aid, scholarships, and grants. As a military-friendly university, we welcome service members and participate in all VA educational benefits programs. 

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Get the education you need for a career in the technology. Earn your Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Science at GMercyU!