Frequently Asked Questions
Why study CIS?
Information technology continues to change at a rapid pace, and the impact of both the technology and the rate of change on the business world is significant. Businesses and organizations require educated personnel not only to use, but also to design, implement, maintain, support, and manage their systems and people. Please see our Why Information Technology page.
What will I learn by studying CIS?
Our programs are designed to provide a mixture of theory and hands-on applied knowledge in our modern well-equipped labs. The CIS programs offered at UFV provide depth in both software development, systems, and networking areas.
Graduates from certificate programs are knowledgeable and experienced with smaller single-user systems, and graduates from diploma programs are capable of working with both single and networked systems. Diploma graduates are also capable of supporting and maintaining systems through the regular and changing requirements placed by ongoing business demands.
The degree program builds on this base to provide graduates with additional technical knowledge and skills as well as more educational breadth and a better business background. This will also prepare graduates to move into managerial positions in information technology.
Students in the third- and fourth-years of the BCIS degree program may choose to take an optional defined concentration in software development, security, or systems and networking. A concentration includes the five core upper-level CIS/COMP courses, a set of five additional courses in the subject area, and three upper-level CIS/COMP elective courses chosen by the student, one of which may be numbered 200 or higher.
Effective information systems must be supportive of the strategy, goals, and objectives of the organization they serve, and therefore it is critical that IT professionals not only have the technical skills to handle these systems, but that they also have the organizational and managerial backgrounds necessary to understand the business functions and role of their systems. In addition to a sound computing background and ability to speak the language of business, graduates need to possess good communications, personal management, and teamwork skills.
What is the difference between studying "computer information systems" and "computer science"?
Computing Science programs tend to have more theoretical curriculum, and quite a bit more mathematical background. Computer Information Systems programs tend to focus on a mix of underlying theory and the hands-on application of current computing technology to business needs, along with the associated "soft skills" - writing, communication, teamwork, business knowledge, etc.
What can I do with it?
Rapid change and the increased use of outsourcing have made the IT workplace a very volatile one over the last few years. The CIS department meets twice a year with an external advisory committee to track and predict change, and to keep our programs relevant to current and future organizational needs. Our diverse committee is peopled by members of industry and the public sector whose knowledge and experience is pertinent, timely and crucial to our decision-making processes.
Careers for information technology professionals fall into several categories, including but not limited to:
- Software development
- Systems analysis and design
- User interface design and human factors
- Web and database design and programming
- Project Management
- Computer security
- Network design and administration
- System and database administration
- End user support
- Management of technology
Our programs and courses provide the choices for students to design their degree for entry into any of these areas. UFV CIS grads have gone on to a wide variety of jobs. Just check out our Success Stories.
What are the current employment opportunities for graduates in the certificate, diploma and degree programs?
Check out www.dice.com or www.monster.ca to see current Canadian job offerings.
Experience is very important, so the UFV CIS co-operative education program is highly recommended. This combines study with paid professional work terms.
Our students are currently employed in a number of sectors, including software development companies, government organizations, credit unions and banks, and small and large businesses. Generally speaking, the more years of education, the greater are the opportunities and rewards. Thus, diploma and degree holders have the advantage.
What kind of CIS credential can I get at UFV?
- CIS Degree: A collection of 38 courses totalling approximately 122 credits
- CIS Diploma: A collection of 18 courses totalling approximately 61 credits
- CIS Certificate: A collection of 9-10 courses totalling 30 credits
- CIS Web Design Certificate: A collection of 10 courses totalling 31 credits
- CIS extended minor: A collection of 14 courses totalling 48 credits
- CIS minor: A collection of 11 courses totalling 35 credits
- The laddering option: Students may "ladder" from the certificate program to the diploma, and then to the degree. Students intending to proceed to the diploma and degree should take the first year of the diploma program to begin with. Students may apply for and receive all three credentials on their way through to completion of the CIS degree program. Note: Students leaving one program and entering another must apply for entry to the next program.
What can I expect to experience in a typical CIS class?
A typical CIS class at UFV has no more than 36 students in it. Classes range from hands-on instruction in modern computer labs to theory-based courses to round out your learning experience. Most CIS courses are taught in labs. Some classes, such as networking, have dedicated lab times assigned to complete coursework, others have in-class exercises.
What prerequisites do I need to get in?
- To qualify for application to the CIS degree program, have a look at our entrance requirements.
- If you do not meet all of our predefined entrance requirements you may still be admitted conditionally into the program. Please see the CIS program path page for further information.
- UFV also has general entrance requirements. Please see the current calendar for more information.
How long will I be studying (if I went full-time)?
- To earn your Bachelor CIS, you could study your 38 courses over 4 years.
- To earn your Diploma in CIS, you could study your 18 courses over 2 years.
- To earn a CIS minor, you could study your 7-12 courses over the course of your major.
- To earn a CIS extended minor, you could study your 10-14 courses over the course of your major.
UFV offers many flexible options so you can earn your credential on your own time including online and evening classes to meet all schedules. Ask the Program Assistant about different ways you can structure your studies.
What is the work load like?
University programs are a full-time job. If you have family or work commitments in addition to taking courses, be sure to talk to an advisor as to how much course work you should take on. It is better to take fewer courses and do well than to take on too much and fail. Be aware that workload increases considerably as the semester progresses.
How difficult are computing courses?
Prerequisites give some idea of the skills necessary for success. Most courses are not too difficult if you attend classes, do the work, and ask questions when you are stuck. Studying together can be very helpful. However, make sure you do your own work on assignments, quizzes and exams. There are serious penalties for plagiarism and cheating.
Why should I study CIS at UFV?
- An applied program that combines theory with modern practice and soft skills.
- Small class sizes (normally a maximum of 36).
- Hands-on instruction in modern computer labs. Most CIS courses are taught in labs.
- Faculty who like to teach. Our primary focus is on teaching, rather than research.
- Excellent student support services.
- A lower cost of living than Vancouver.
- A good social environment - friendly and accepting, with a mix of young and mature students, both Canadian and International.
- A strong co-operative education program, combining study and paid work.
Who studies CIS at UFV?
Many of our students have gone on to do a number of different careers. View our Testimonials or Success Stories pages for more information.
Can I transfer credits from my current school?
Requests for transfer of computer-intensive courses will be checked for currency relative to the current CIS program. At least 25% of the course work must be completed at UFV, including at least 30 upper-level credits.
For High School transfer credits please see High School Transfer Credits.
For Post Secondary transfer credits please see Transferring from other Institutions.
What about professional certifications like CISCO CCNA, Oracle OCP, Microsoft MCSE, A+, Network+, etc.?
These are all good certifications to have, and are useful in the job market. However, many organizations also expect to see a computing-related diploma or degree in a job applicant's resume. Some course work in CIS includes curriculum from CISCO, Oracle, Microsoft, A+, etc., but usually also includes more general theory, analysis and comparative studies. A good combination is a CIS diploma or degree, and some certification in your area of interest. The danger with certifications is that they can change rapidly to new versions, and the market can become flooded. They are useful as a tool to develop, measure and certify your current expertise in a particular product or area.
Students possessing industrial certifications when they enter the CIS program should enquire about course challenge or transfer credit.
Who is going to teach me?
We have a wide range of instructors with different areas of expertise. Please see our Faculty and Staff section.
What kind of assistance is there to help me adjust?
Advising Centre - advisors are available to meet with you to assist you with any questions about your program or concerns you have.
Student Services - offers a number of resources and workshops to help you adjust.
Student Life - links to what to do at UFV.
Student Computing Centre - office on campus near the computer labs with current CIS students are there to help you with any problems that might occur.
How much will it cost? Can I afford it?
Please see Fees and Costs.
There are hundreds of scholarships and bursaries available to UFV students and prospective students. Check out what’s available through Financial Aid - it’s worth it to apply. You should also check out our information on securing a student loan or accessing funds from other sources.
What are the technology requirements?
Students entering any Computer Information Systems program are strongly advised to ensure that they have home access to a personal computer and an internet connection, both with adequate resources for their level of study. Students may consult the CIS department or the Computer Information Systems Student Association for hardware and software recommendations.
Please see our Technology Requirements page for further details and computer specs.
When can I start?
Students accepted into any of the CIS programs may begin their studies in either the Fall, Summer, or Winter semesters.
Is there a work-study or co-op education program for CIS?
The CIS department offers a number of options to our students including paid work-study and lab assistant positions to our students. Furthermore, in coordination with the career centre we offer a co-op education program. Please see our Cooperative education options page.
Sounds good. What should I do now?
Apply now. This link will walk you through the process. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar directly.
Plan to go on to do Graduate Studies?
Students completing the BCIS degree program who wish to pursue graduate studies would normally choose a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems or an MBA program. Students wishing to enter an MBA program should consider taking the BCIS with a minor in Business Administration.
Students wishing to enter a graduate studies program in Computing Science should consider taking the BCIS with a minor in Mathematics.
A number of Universities accept our degree for entrance to their Graduate Studies programs.
University of Liverpool – Accepts our grads into many of their programs
University of Athabasca – Accepts our students into Master of Science in Information Systems
Simon Fraser University – Must have math minor to do Science or Computing Science
Simon Fraser University – Accepts our grads for Management of Technology MBA
Please visit the links located on the right side of this page under Prospective Students.