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Undergraduate Program

Information Systems

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Undergraduate Program Description

The Information Systems Department offers an undergraduate concentration for students in the Carroll School of Management.

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Concentration in Information Systems

Information Systems (IS) are the lifeblood of the modern enterprise, making up the single largest portion of capital spending among U.S. corporations. Information Systems have the power to create and restructure industries, empower individuals and firms, and dramatically reduce costs. Many of the world's most successful corporations arrived at their position in large part due to their effective use of such systems. However, when poorly designed and implemented IS can become a major source of risk, squander shareholder wealth, waste taxpayer money, and destroy firms and careers. As a result, organizations desperately need well-trained information systems specialists and technology-savvy managers. Today's manager simply cannot effectively perform without a solid understanding of the role of information systems in organizations, competition, and society.

The Information Systems concentration focuses on both technology and its effective use in organizations. In this program, students will learn how to plan, develop, and deploy technology-based business solutions, as well as to understand the strategic role of IS in organizations and the influential role of technology in society. The Information Systems concentration is designed for students with an aptitude for logical, analytical thinking and prepares them for positions in a variety of fast-growing professions. The Information Systems concentration is a strong choice as a primary concentration for CSOM students. Given the increasing influence of IS in all functional areas, it also serves as an excellent second concentration for students whose primary concentration is in another field such as accounting, finance, marketing, or operations.

The Information Systems concentration emphasizes both team and individual work, allowing students to gain the skills and experience to strategize, design, program, and implement computerized information systems. The curriculum emphasizes software development technologies, data management, data communications, electronic commerce, knowledge management as well as the fundamentals of computer hardware and software systems, high-level software design and programming, project management, emerging technology studies, and the strategic, operational, and responsible use of information systems.

Concentrators will develop the ability to work with others to understand business requirements and to determine the need for and feasibility of information systems change. They will use analytical thinking to simplify complex business tasks and to design efficient and user-friendly computer systems. They will develop communication skills to understand and explain systems requirements, make the case for IS investment, prepare clear documentation, and deliver effective presentations. Concentrators will also develop a strategic perspective on information systems, enabling them to participate in and support the increasingly visible role of information technology in corporate decision making.

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Objectives of the Undergraduate Concentration in Information Systems

The objectives of the undergraduate concentration are to develop managers who:

  • understand how to analyze the linkages between information technology (IT), innovation, business strategy, and competitive advantage,
  • possess the technical skills (related to programming and databases) and managerial concepts needed to effectively plan, develop, and implement IT.
  • understand how to promote more effective use of IT in organizations, taking into consideration how IT aligns with an organization's strategic focus, culture, business processes, etc.
  • appreciate the broader ethical and societal implications of the burgeoning application of information technologies.

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Careers in Information Systems

Careers available to IS concentrators dominate the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of fastest growing occupations. IS professionals encompass a broad array of careers, from the highly technical to those which bridge the gap between the people who program information systems and the people who use them. Information Systems concentrators may pursue a variety of careers in business, consulting, and government. Technology careers often give professionals a broad and deep exposure to the firm and its customers, providing exceptional training for future executive leadership. The greatest demand in the IS field will be for professionals who have technical knowledge supported by a solid understanding of the role of information systems in business and organizations.

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Courses Required for the Information Systems Concentration
  • ISYS2157 Introduction to Programming for Management (or CSCI1157)
  • ISYS3257 Database Systems and Applications
  • ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design
  • One additional ISYS course of level 1000 or above.

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Concentration in Information Systems and Accounting

Accountants increasingly spend considerable time working with technology. Modern accounting is enabled by information systems, and complex audits in forensic accounting can often involve tracking and interpreting information flows across various systems and technologies. As such, a program of study integrating information systems and accounting helps students develop a high-demand skill set.

Students fulfilling this concentration will satisfy all of the requirements for the IS concentration and also obtain a background in accounting. The curriculum entails six (6) courses (five [5] required and one [1] Accounting elective) and is designed for students interested in careers either with the consulting divisions of professional services firms (e.g., major accounting firms), IS departments of companies, or as IS auditors. Students are advised to see a faculty advisor in selecting an appropriate Accounting elective.

This concentration is administered jointly by the Accounting Department and the Information Systems Department.

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Courses Required for the Information Systems and Accounting Concentration
  • ACCT3301 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory I
  • ISYS2157 Introduction to Programming for Management (or CSCI1157)
  • ISYS3257 Database Systems and Applications
  • ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design
  • ACCT3320/ ISYS3320 Accounting Information Systems

Elective—Choose one of the following:

  • ACCT3302 Financial Accounting Standards and Theory II
  • ACCT3307 Managerial Cost & Strategic Analysis
  • ACCT3309 Audit and Other Assurance Services
  • ACCT3351 Financial Statement Analysis

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Information for Study Abroad

Information Systems students are encouraged to study abroad. Although there are no particular prerequisites needed in order to qualify for study abroad, the usual course prerequisites still apply. Courses taken abroad can be allowed for concentration or elective credit if the courses are judged equivalent and if the proposed courses constitute a reasonable selection.

All students wishing to study abroad must first meet with Richard Keeley, Associate Dean. Students should then meet with Robert Fichman, Department Chairperson, for course approvals. All course approvals should be sought in person, with all supporting documentation (course description, detailed syllabus, etc.) in hand. All approvals should be obtained prior to going abroad.

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