Information Systems B.S. Degree

Information Systems

Stevens’ Information Systems undergraduate program is specifically designed to train you to be a highly skilled IS professional who can take advantage of these trends and gain entry into challenging and rewarding career paths in software development and systems analysis. The most important skills in software development and systems analysis combine a strong background in information technology, particularly creativity and problem-solving, with interpersonal and business skills such as customer-client interaction, business case considerations, and project management. An information Systems education at Stevens emphasizes both a strong foundation in IS, and the development of the business abilities required of today’s IS professional. Stevens’ Information Systems program is one of only several in the country to require a two-semester senior design project course emphasizing these skills.

In the “spine” of the Information Systems program you will take a sequence of courses developing basic software engineering skills, including algorithmic problem-solving, design, coding, and testing. This is supplemented by a mathematical sequence providing you with both rigor and the mathematical maturity that the modern IS professional draws upon. Subsequent courses build on this core to provide a background in advanced Information Systems concepts.

A senior year, two-semester capstone project course teaches you the principles and theory of programming-in-the-large, including teamwork, problem solving, and “agile” software development methods. The course is modeled on business software development practices, so you’ll experience a transition from academia to business. You will produce useful, well-engineered software products, applying software engineering techniques, ethical principles, and generally accepted software practices. Many projects are sponsored by companies or government agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Siemens, and Citicorp. Information Systems students in the course choose a project with a specific IS emphasis.

Both the “spine” and the senior year capstone project course are shared between Information Systems and Computer Science majors. This ensures that IS majors obtain the rigorous grounding in computer science skills needed for success. While the Computer Science program is designed to allow majors to drill down to specific technical areas, the Information systems program allows you to focus on business and management functions, including accounting, marketing, and organizational behavior.

The IS program also provides a specific focus on systems analysis and information management: how an organization (be it business, government, or any other kind of organization) can structure its IS function, and how the IS manager relates to the rest of the managerial structure.

In recognition of the modern IS environment, the IS program has an additional emphasis on networked information. Courses in systems programming, web programming, and databases demonstrate the opportunities offered by IS in managing information. Courses in cybersecurity and privacy address the technical, managerial, and legal hazards that must be addressed in the modern networked world. While much of the IS core is shared with the Stevens’ Cybersecurity and Computer Science majors, IS mainly focuses on organizational aspects of information management.

A typical career path you might pursue as an IS major is an entry-level software developer/systems analyst position, rising eventually to Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in an organization. The IS major’s emphasis on an appropriate balance of technical, information management, and project management are essential preparation for these demanding career paths.

This program is a team effort between Stevens Computer Science department and the Howe School of Technology Management culminating in a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems. This degree program will challenge and inspire you, preparing you with computer science and business skills to become a leader in the field.

Suggested Semester Course Plan

For the BS/IS major, we present a semester plan:

  1. Students with some background in computer science from high school (at least a year of programming in an imperative language such as Java or C) may take CS 115 in their first term.
  2. Students with little or no background in computer science should take CS 105 in their first term.
  3. Students in the Honors Sequence take CS 181 and CS 182 instead of the CS 115 / CS 284 / CS 385 sequence.
Study Plan Details

All majors share a common first year, giving students a chance to decide which of the majors they ultimately wish to choose. The only difference for majors in the computer science department in the freshman year is the science sequence that they choose:

PhysicsPEP 111 MechanicsPEP 112 E&MPEP 221
ChemistryCH 115 Gen Chem ICH 116 Gen Chem IICH 117
Chem & BioCH 115 Gen Chem ICH 281 Bio & BiotechCH 117
Chem & BioCH 115 Gen Chem ICH 281 Bio & BiotechCH 282
Physics & BioPEP 111 MechanicsCH 281 Bio & BiotechCH 282