Computer Information Systems Major

A rigorous program of study that includes exceptional internship and experiential learning opportunities and an optional 5-year BS/MBA program. 

Computer Information Systems

School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Computing

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Computer Science Department

Jodi L. Tims
Chair, Computer Science Department (on sabbatical)
(440) 826-2052,

Kenneth Atchinson
Chair, Computer Science Department
(440) 826-3457,



Creating innovative strategies to address the data, software and systems needs of today's mobile and wired technology is at the core of BW's major in computer information systems.

It is a rigorous program of theoretical study and practical application that corresponds to systems analysis and design, project management and database applications. It includes analyzing existing systems and designing new solutions to improve the productivity of today's businesses and industries.

You'll learn to apply creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills to write computer programs, develop requirements for software solutions and design and administer databases and networks. Recent updates to the program provide in-depth concentration on technical writing skills and international communication skills. 

A required internship provides real-world experience into this rewarding career field. BW's proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to technology firms, corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, a two-semester capstone project course integrates learning from throughout the program and application of skills to an industry-led, real-world project.

Computer information systems offers a comprehensive foundation for addressing current technologies and adapting to new ones as they emerge.

CIS class  CIS class


  • Database administrator
  • Project manager
  • Systems analyst
  • Quality assurance analyst
Jobs projected to increase by 11-21 percent

Careers on the Rise

Job outlook for database administrators and network and systems analysts is projected to increase by 11-21 percent from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Combined BS/MBA

An optional five-year BS/MBA program combines a computer science major with a minor in business administration and an MBA degree. This program prepares graduates for positions in computer and information systems management that require a strong technical background, good communication skills and in-depth understanding of the business world.

Expand Your Studies

Students interested in the computer information systems major may also be interested in computer network security, computer science, software engineering and interactive design.


Offered as a major and a minor, computer information systems prepares you for immediate employment and graduate programs.

A related major to this program is computer & network security, which focuses on designing, implementing, troubleshooting, securing and administering computer networks.

The common core of all the programs in BW's computer science department includes programming and problem solving, as well as exposure to the mathematics, computer architecture, paradigms and the theory that underlie the computing discipline.

A required two-semester capstone experience provides an opportunity to work on an integrative, real-world project in the junior and senior years. In addition, an internship experience is required and is typically done after the junior year. 

The computer information systems major prepares students to:

  • Establish a core of foundational knowledge of the computing discipline and will have demonstrated an understanding of that knowledge by applying it to the design, implementation, and evaluation of software and/or hardware systems
  • Acquire a historical and current perspective in the concepts of computer information systems and business analysis
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the basic theory and mathematics that underlie computing, including discrete mathematics and models of computation
  • Demonstrate proficiency in fundamental skills such as programming, problem solving, and algorithm development
  • Successfully apply fundamental skills to a variety of practical problems
  • Acquire technical skills necessary to develop, implement, and maintain systems in business, government, and other areas
  • Demonstrate proficiency in programming using one or more languages commonly used in business systems
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of database technology to gather, organize, and access information
  • Acquire knowledge of the history, development, and current state of telecommunication systems and their use in information technology
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and design a moderately complex computer system, and acquire knowledge of implementation techniques and several forms of system analysis and design
  • Develop effective organizational and communication skills required of computing professionals and apply those skills in a variety of situations
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication skills that support management of large scale projects
  • Develop the ability to work in teams to plan, organize, and implement projects
  • Acquire management skills required to oversee projects from inception to completion including requirements analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance
  • Successfully apply organizational and communication skills in an internship setting
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's computer science program.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:


BW's proximity to Cleveland puts you within a 20-minute drive to outstanding opportunities. A high demand for computer science skills often enables students to secure internships early in their academic careers, sometimes as soon as the summer following freshman year. Most students have multiple internships prior to graduation.


Independent study offers students enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom for individualized and advanced study. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member.


In addition to curriculum-based research opportunities, students can get involved with ongoing research through the Faculty Student Collaboration program. 


Rigorous course studies combined with outstanding hands-on learning opportunities, mentoring and peer support make BW STEM Scholars exceptional and transformative for students. Entry into this program is by application only.


Personally and professionally rewarding, student organizations and activities foster skills in leadership and teamwork. Opportunities include:

ACM Student Chapter

This computer club sponsors the annual Baldwin Wallace University High School Programming Competition each April, hosts speakers and organizes several social events, including LAN parties and more.

Programming Team

Student teams compete in several intercollegiate programming contests each year.

Cyber Defense Team

This organization is comprised of students interested in network issues. They meet regularly with a faculty member to discuss topics of interest and work on special projects related to computer networks. Members of this group compete in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Student Achievements

Computer information systems students are regularly recognized for their achievements. The UPE National Computer Science Honorary is a national organization for juniors and seniors who have excelled in their computer studies.

At the annual Honors Ceremony in the spring, recognitions include:

  • The Anthony and Patricia Lauria Scholarship in Computer Science and Information Systems (in honor of Dr. Anthony Lauria, a professor of mathematics and computer science 1984-2002, and Patricia Kirby Lauria '91).
  • The Charles and Elsie Little Scholarship (honoring the parents of Dr. Richard Little, professor of mathematics 1975-2013).
  • The Lubrizol Computing Award (funded by the Lubrizol Foundation).
  • Outstanding Computing Student Award (in honor of Kenneth Weiss, Jr. who taught at BW 1972-2010).
  • Outstanding Senior Awards, which recognize a student in each of the computing majors.
  • The Sullivan/Schmidt Prize for Computing (in honor of Chris Sullivan, who was an administrator/adjunct faculty member, and his grandparents).


The opportunity to experience another culture and gain an international perspective is invaluable to your professional development and will add to your career options. Benefits include:
  • Understanding computing issues from an international perspective
  • Expanding cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Preparing for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Broadening academic horizons
  • Improving language skills (although most classes are taught in English)
  • Experiencing a different culture
  • Building an international network of contacts


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world. Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation.

Recent BW computer information systems graduates are finding success in a variety of careers. 

Cameron JonesCameron Jones ’05 is software engineer at Laughlin Constable in Chicago. Personalized guidance from exceptional BW faculty enabled the Berea, Ohio, native to identify his passion, achieve his goal of graduating in four years and launch a successful career.

Janelle CooperJanelle Cooper ’03 is senior IT developer at Progressive Insurance in Tampa, Fla. Janelle completed her degree while working and raising her daughter. Exceptional faculty and high educational standards enabled the Cleveland native to achieve her goal of being hired by Progressive’s IT department after graduation.

David EverestDavid Everest ’03 is operational risk manager at Treliant Risk Advisors in the District of Columbia. As a non-traditional student, the Cleveland native found individualized support from BW professors and staff critical to his success. An internship set up by a professor led to his employment immediately after graduation.



Full-Time Faculty

Jodi L. Tims
Chair, Computer Science Department (on sabbatical)

Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Kenneth Atchinson
Interim Chair, Computer Science Department
Associate Professor
M.S., Kent State University

Rachelle Kristof Hippler
Associate Professor
D.Ed., Bowling Green State University

Brian Krupp
Assistant Professor
D.Eng., Cleveland State University

Randy Molmen
Associate Professor
M.S., University of North Dakota

Susan D. Penko
M.A., University of Michigan

Andrew Watkins
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Kent, UK

Adjunct Faculty

Lynda Carter
MBA, Baldwin Wallace University

Nik Molley
MBA, Baldwin Wallace University

Frank E. Shoemaker
M.C.I.S., Cleveland State University

Susan M. Skowronski
M.S., University of Akron

Michele Snell
MBA, Baldwin Wallace University