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Graduate Certificate in Information Systems

Program Description:

The Graduate Certificate in Information Systems (IS) is designed to prepare students for positions in the information systems field. The curriculum is focused on gaining a better understanding of the use of information systems to enhance business processes and the decision-making process associated with them. Information systems professionals design, implement, and deploy software solutions that are the driving force in every organization. This program accommodates students just beginning to explore the field and those with a thorough understanding of computerized information systems. Practical applications are emphasized throughout the program. VIU’s Graduate Certificate in IS is the study of information systems, including their design, development, deployment, and usage in various organizations. Research in this field covers a wide range of topics including design and architecture, deployment and execution, and management of information systems and the underlying technology in organizations.

Program Requirements

This certificate will be earned by completing the program course requirements of 18 credit hours, beyond the program prerequisite courses.

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core courses 4 12
Elective courses 2 6
Total 6 18

Sample Schedule

The following is a sample schedule of the possible sequencing of courses in the Graduate Certificate in IS program.

First Semester

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 552 Information Systems 3
CMP 553 Analysis, Modeling and Design 3
CMP 556 Database Systems 3
Total Credits 9

Second Semester

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 570 Enterprise Information Systems 3
CMP XXX Program Elective 3
CMP XXX Program Elective 3
Total Credits 9

Program Objectives

VIU’s Graduate Certificate in Information Systems teaches students the significance of an effective information system for any organization and the creation and execution of an information system for achieving an organization’s objectives. Students will be able to use technology as a competitive advantage and understand how technology helps to achieve the key business goals of an organization. Upon the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Enable IT process automation from problem detection through resolution;
  • Select and implement methodologies and techniques to solve business problems;
  • Support the organizational decision making process;
  • Evaluate technologies for suitability in the business context;
  • Integrate technologies, products, and services into cohesive systems.

Graduates of this program can anticipate the following types of careers:

  • System/programmer/business analyst
  • Database designer
  • Systems manager
  • Information systems director

VIU’s Graduate Certificate in IS program is generally completed within two years of full-time study. It consists of four (4) core courses (12 credit hours) and two (2) elective courses (6 credit hours).

Prerequisite Courses

All new students of the Graduate Certificate in IS program need certain basic skills in order to succeed in the program. Students who do not have the requisite background in business administration and information technology need to take some or all of the prerequisite courses before they begin studying the core courses. In some cases, the program prerequisite courses may have course prerequisites to be taken before enrolling in the program prerequisite courses.

Code Course Name Credits
Programming Concepts*
CMP 330
Prerequisite: CMP 120
This course introduces the analysis of algorithms and the effects of data structures on them. Topics include algorithms selected from areas such as sorting, searching, shortest paths, greedy algorithms, backtracking, divide and conquer, and dynamic programming. Data structures include heaps and search, splay, and spanning trees. Analysis techniques include asymptotic worst case, expected time, amortized analysis, solution of recurrence relation and reductions between problems.
CMP 340
Prerequisite: CMP 120
This course covers the fundamental concepts of programming language design and implementation. Topics include: language paradigms, syntax and semantics; names, binding, allocation, data structures, data types; scopes; control structures, data flow, concurrency; exception handling; subprograms; comparison of imperative, functional, logical, and object-oriented programming languages.
CMP 355
Prerequisite: CMP 120 Programming Logic
This course covers the fundamental concepts of C/C++ programming language. Topics include variables, expressions and interactivity, relational and logical operators, looping, functions, arrays, pointers, classes, file operations, inheritance, polymorphism and virtual functions. Student completes a term project that utilizes C/C++.
CMP 350
Prerequisite: None
This course introduces the fundamental concepts for design and development of database systems. Topics include: review of relational data model and the relational manipulation languages SQL and QBE; integrity constraints; logical database design, dependency theory and normalization; query processing and optimization; transaction processing, concurrency control, recovery, and security issues in database systems; object-oriented and object-relational databases; distributed databases; emerging database applications.

*For the Programming Concepts listing, at least one of the requirements (CMP 330 or CMP 340 or CMP 355) must be satisfied.

These program prerequisites are co-requisites and may be taken at the same time. Additionally, the Dean or Associate Dean at his/her discretion has the authority to issue permission or a waiver for these courses.

Core Courses

All students are required to take the following four core courses:

Course Code Course Name Credits
CMP 552
Prerequisite: None
This course explores the management of information systems and related information technologies (IS/IT) as a part of a broader socio-technical system and their impacts on people and processes that extend well beyond organizational boundaries. Also, subjective and debatable issues associated with IS/IT will be discussed. Accordingly, critical thinking is an important part of this course and is essential for an analysis and understanding of important issues associated with the management aspects of information systems.
CMP 553
Prerequisite: None
This course provides an overview of the systems development life cycle. It introduces tools and methods for the analysis and design of information systems and the management and organizational skills needed for their implementation. Information analysis in entity-relationship modeling and process modeling in data flow diagrams will be covered as the key skills in structured system analysis and design.
CMP 556
Prerequisite: CMP 350
This course provides an introduction to hierarchical and relational models, normalization, query facilities, transactions, indexing, security issues, relational algebra, SQL database design stages, distributed databases, data warehousing, data and database administration, and internet database environments. Students will learn various DBMS software products and multi-user database environments and how they are controlled.
CMP 570
Prerequisite:CMP 550 or CMP 556
This course provides a process-oriented view of the organization and its relationships with suppliers, customers, and competitors. The topics covered include: processes as vehicles for achieving strategic objectives and gaining a competitive advantage and transforming the organization; process analysis, design, implementation, control and monitoring; processes as a means of achieving compliance; impact of processes on work and work practices; the role and importance of management; the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems; the process continuum: from structured to unstructured processes; the role of systems in transforming organizations and markets; outsourcing, offshore management, acquisition management and global perspectives.

Elective Courses

All students must choose two of the following courses:

Course Code Course Code Credits
CMP 550
Prerequisite: None
CMP 558
Prerequisite: CMP 550 or CMP 562
This course is an introduction to the key security concepts required for the design, use, and implementation of secure voice and data communications networks, including the Internet. The security topics covered include defense models, authentication and authorization controls including biometrics, firewalls, packet filtering, virtual private networks (VPNs), security policy development, introduction to wireless network security, cloud computing security, disaster planning, backups, and risks mitigation strategies
CMP 591
Prerequisite: Completion of the Core courses or Dean's approval
This course represents an opportunity for students receive academic credit through supervised practical training and earn industry experience in an actual work environment. The internship course guides the learning contract established in the beginning of the term, on which students have to report at the end of term. Students are expected to work at least 135 hours per semester. Students are required to attend two meetings/seminars with their faculty advisor to determine learning objectives and assess how well learning objectives are being accomplished.
CMP 640
Prerequisites: CMP 556 Internship / CPT Qualified
This course is an introduction to decision support and Business Intelligence. These topics are combined with practical examples and methods from the real world. The topics covered in this course include: decision making, systems, modeling, and support, decision support systems concepts, methodologies, and technologies, modeling and analysis, business intelligence, data warehousing, data mining for business intelligence, business performance management, and text and web mining, collaboration, communication, group support systems, knowledge management, artificial intelligence and expert systems, and management support systems.
CMP 680
Prerequisite: None
This course discusses the organizational impact and the social implications, rights and duties related to the actions of computing professionals. It investigates the context in which professionals work, the laws and how they are created, human aspects of running a company, software contracts and liability, intellectual property rights, and the legislation that affects the way in which computers are used or misused. Topics include social, legal, financial, organizational and ethical issues in the context of the information technology industry; the role of professional codes of conduct and ethics; and, key legislation.