Differences Between CS and CIS

Our total enrollment is about 300 students where approximately 65% are CS majors and 35% are CIS majors. All courses for both majors use the "CS" prefix and many of the required courses are the same as shown in the table below. The CIS degree has more electives and when those are factored in there is even more similarity in the required CS courses.

CS Courses

Course CS CIS
CS 1301 Y Y
CS 1302 Y Y
CS 2620 Y Y
CS 3101 Y Y
CS 3200 Y
CS 3335 Y
CS 3410 Y Y
CS 3520 Y
CS 4121 Y Y
CS 4321 Y Y
CS 4345 Y Y
CS 4500 Y
CS 4721 Y Y
CS 4900 Y
CS 3xxx 1 req'd 4 req'd
CS 4xxx 1 req'd 2 req'd
Total 16 Courses 14 Courses

Math Courses

CS - 6 required courses: pre-calculus, calculus 1, calculus 2, linear algebra, probability and statistics, and operations research or numerical analysis

CIS - 3 required courses: algebra, practical calculus, and statistics

Business Courses

CS - none

CIS - 6 required courses: microeconomic, accounting 1, accounting 2, management and organization behavior, production and operations management, courses, and marketing or finance

Science Courses

CS - 3 total: a sequence of 2 science courses for science majors (Area D.2.a) and 1 general science (Area D.1.a)

CIS - 2 total: both general science courses (Area D.1), sequence not required

Foreign Language Courses

Neither degree requires foreign language courses


Either degree prepares a student to be a software developer in most types of jobs. A CS graduate would have an edge over CIS for jobs in advanced engineering or scientific fields.

Graduate School

CS - Adequately prepares for graduate work in CS, SE, IS, IT

CIS - Adequately prepares for graduate work in SE, IS, IT