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.
*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
New: How to Solve a Murder Summer Program
Dates/Time: June 26-30, 2023, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
You’ve seen the documentaries – now put your criminal investigation skills to the test! Spend a week with us this summer learning hands-on techniques such as digital forensics investigation, ballistics analysis, crime scene photography, and more. See details
Technology grows at a rapid pace, which is why 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.
NEW: GMercyU CIS majors have the opportunity to earn a master's degree in less time, with 9 credits already completed.
Watch for a quick overview:
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. Learn more about AI here.
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.
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.
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.
In our new Artificial Intelligence Lab, students can work with faculty to learn about automation and build machines that think. The lab features the latest technologies, including Alienware computers. Use the Innovation Research Lab to perform hands-on research in human computer interaction, digital forensic analysis, or software development. In the Hacking & Countermeasures Lab — a safe, hands-on environment — students learn the techniques hackers use and how to detect, mitigate, and secure against cyberattacks.
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:
- R Programming
- HTML and CSS
Present your own research at GMercyU’s annual University Research Conference!
Planning to earn a master's degree after you graduate? GMercyU CIS majors have the unique opportunity to earn one of these two master's degrees in less time, with 9 credits already completed.
In addition to completing your general education courses, you will need to complete the following curriculum for CIS majors.
Major Requirements – 45 Credits
|CIS 104||Programming I|
|CIS 110||Information Systems|
|CIS 114||Web Design I|
|CIS 116||Intro to Python|
|CIS 203||Systems Analysis & Design|
|CIS 204||Programming II|
|CIS 215||Intro to Relational Databases|
|CIS 230||Intro to Networking|
|CIS 301||Algorithms and Data Structures|
|CIS 304||Event-Driven Programming|
|CIS 318||Unix & Linux|
|CIS 321||Computer Organization|
|CIS 330||Network Admin & Security|
|CIS 410||Operating Systems|
A minimum of 120 credits is required to complete your Bachelor’s Degree in CIS. See the undergraduate catalog for more information and course descriptions.
Computer Science Concentrations
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Concentration – 18 Credits
|CIS 115||Intro Artificial Intelligence|
|CIS 205||Machine Learning|
|CIS 311||Application and Embedded ML|
|CIS 312||Data Analytics|
|CIS 420||Mobile App Developement|
|CIS 401||Deep Learning|
Cybersecurity/Computer Forensics Concentration – 15 Credits
|CIS 340||Comp Forensics|
|CIS 341||IT Security|
|CRJ 102||Introduction to Criminal Justice|
Web Design & Multimedia Concentration - 15 Credits
|CIS 350||Multimedia I|
|CIS 424||Web Design II|
|CIS 420||Mobile App Development|
|CIS 450||Multimedia II|
Increase the value of your degree as a digital communication major by adding an undergraduate minor that best suits your personal and professional goals.
Wondering what your classes will look like as a computer information science major? Here are just a few GMercyU CIS Program courses:
CIS 115 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
This course introduces students to the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining. By examining how datasets from mined information are harnessed for machine learning, students will gain a deeper understanding of how artificial intelligence can be utilized. AI is presently being used in everyday applications such as Gmail, Siri, and Netflix. From self-powered automobiles and military drones, to marketing research and fraud monitoring, this course will examine the history, present day use, and future of artificial intelligence. Topics discussed include autonomous machines, privacy, ethics, data analytics, neural networks, singularity, and quantum computing.
CIS 437 (Special Topics) Programming for Game Design
This course provides students with an opportunity to apply the programming skills they learned in the classroom to game design and development. Students will learn game design concepts such as mechanics, constructs, the rules behind different types of games, multi-dimensional design forms, and what makes a compelling game. This course will examine the end-user experience and how artificial intelligence cane be used to generate responsive, adaptive, or intelligent behaviors. Students will collaborate in small groups to develop a game concept, bring their concept and design to life, and market the completed project. Also discussed are the importance of effective game designs and proposal documents. Prerequisite: 200-Level of above programming class or permission of the instructor.
CIS 437 (Special Topics) CIS Advanced Bootcamp
A certification is a credential that you earn to show that you have specific skills or knowledge. A certificate recognizes achievement and certifies a skill or qualification. In this CIS Special Topics course students will work on earning certificates and certifications relevant to their specific career goals. Certifications and certificates are becoming the norm in many job descriptions today as organizations seek quantifiable ways of measuring prospective employees’ expertise. By the end of this class, each student should have approximately seven certificates or certifications to add to their resume. Prerequisite: CIS Major, Any CIS course
CIS 299 (Special Topics) Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, and Pandemic Planning
Developing and executing plans to deal with incidents in the organization is a critical function in information security. In this course, students will learn the planning processes for all three areas of contingency planning, incident response (IR), disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC), and the execution of response to human and non-human incidents in compliance with these policies. Pandemic planning, preserving evidence, developing a baseline, and incident response team (IRT) best practices will be discussed. No technical background required. Open to all majors.
For all CIS course descriptions, please refer to the undergraduate catalog.
Catch up on recent program news below!
CIS Adjunct Professor Howard Knorr Honored with School of Arts and Sciences for Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
The winner of this award is chosen by students from the School of Arts and Sciences
Cindy Casey, PhD
Position: Program Coordinator and Professor of Practice, Computer Information Science
Did You Know? Casey recently earned her Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence. She has received multiple accolades for her research in digital forensics and cybersecurity, and she has consulted for law enforcement as well as the private sector.
Dina Abudaih, MS
Position: Adjunct Professor, Computer Information Science
Did You Know? Abudaih's teaching approach accommodates diverse learners and encourages group collaboration, creativity, and a contemporary learning environment.
Three GMercyU Computer Information Science students were awarded the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship for the 2022-2023 school year.
The scholarship is the single largest source of funding for women in the fields of science and engineering, intended to close the gender gap within the STEM disciplines and throughout leadership roles within higher education.
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
- 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
- Social Security Administration
- U.S. Navy
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.
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
In 2022, U.S. News ranked this job as the #1 in 100 Best Jobs, #1 in Best STEM Jobs, and #1 in Best Technology Jobs.
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: According to BLS, in 2021, the median annual salary was $102,600 per year.
Machine Learning Engineer
The job site Indeed ranked Machine Learning Engineers as its #1 best job of 2019.
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: In 2022, the average salary is $113,013.
Mobile Application Developer
Description: Create new game-changing apps for smart phones and tablets! With a projected 22% increase in job growth through 2030 (almost three times the national average) these jobs have phenomenal potential.*
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree.
Average Salary: In 2021, the average median pay was $110,140.
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.
See where cybersecurity talent gaps exist in your area and around the country. The following resource is sponsored by NIST and the U.S Department of Commerce.
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 extracurricular 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.
Jennifer Novak '22
Current Position: Cybersecurity Analyst, Ernst & Young
During her time at GMercyU, Jennifer conducted undergraduate research on malware and taught a digital forensics summer camp for kids with a lesson that she conceived and pitched to Black Rocket.
"Professor Cindy Casey was my advisor and the first time we met, I knew I made the right decision. During my job search, she was helpful with connections and interview tips — offering the right steps to help me get where I wanted to be." Learn more about Jennnifer's GMercyU experience.
Ethan MacBain-Adornetto '22
Current Position: Co-Manager, IconINK LLC and Web Developer
Ethan feels his major and concentration in Web Design & Multimedia are a perfect match for him. “Multimedia, photo editing, video editing – I have a passion for all of that,” he said. “In CIS, you learn a whole host of skills, from programming to hardware assembly, and you earn valuable certifications.”
In his free time, Ethan builds on Rec Room, a free virtual reality app, and documents his VR work on his YouTube channel. One of his tutorials has garnered more than 20,000 views. Learn more about Ethan's GMercyU experience.
Valentin Semenyuk '21
Current Position: Penetration Tester, Interactive Security Holdings, Inc.
Valentin works at a cybersecurity firm, where he identifies web vulnerabilities to improve security. He is also pursuing his master’s degree in cybersecurity. Valentin landed the job months before graduation and he feels his CIS major and Cybersecurity concentration gave him the skills and connections he needed to land his internship, which then helped him launch his career.
"Whether for cybersecurity, graphic design, or software engineering, GMercyU has the best professional staff. They will work with you to ensure your success, as well as push you to make sure you are doing your absolute best." Learn more about Valentin's GMercyU experience.
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 Grifin 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 GMercyU 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 GMercyU experience.
Read more Griffin Success Stories.
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
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.