Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

by TBS Staff

Updated October 6, 2022

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Computer information systems majors use computer technology to solve organizational problems, support business operations, and bolster managerial decision-making.

Positioned at the intersection of business and technology, a bachelor of science in computer information systems (CIS) trains undergraduates in network design, data analysis, and information systems. Undergrads can pursue concentrations in data validation and decision-making to harness data sets and help organizations improve efficiency and make business decisions.

With a CIS degree, graduates can pursue high-paying, in-demand careers in database management, information security analysis, business analysis, and data analytics. This degree also leads to opportunities in growing fields like machine learning, data virtualization, and artificial intelligence.

This page ranks the top online bachelor's programs in computer information systems to help prospective majors find the best fit for their needs and career goals. This guide also compares computer science and information systems, introduces common CIS courses and concentrations, and provides salary data for CIS careers.

Featured CIS Schools

The Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester, facilitates online learning throughout 84 online degree programs. Of these programs, 35 are available to undergraduate students. Students seeking advanced online study in computer information systems can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in computer information systems. The program provides flexibility through customizable study options and classes.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the computer information systems field. Enrollees also attend general education classes to gain a well-rounded education. Learners can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The college boasts a median salary of $43,300 for graduates six years after completing their studies. Before applying, prospective students should connect with the computer information systems department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 106,762

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 35

Admission Rate: 88%

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fort Hays State University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 40 online degree programs. Of these online offerings, 24 programs provide an undergraduate-level education. Learners seeking advanced online study in computer information systems can enroll in computer information systems the school's online bachelor's in information systems program. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout the information systems program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing field-specific coursework. The curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree greatly increases one's earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $36,800. Undergraduate students can expect to pay $12,108 in tuition and fees per year. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective students should contact the information systems department.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,759

Total Online Programs: 40

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 91%

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Oregon State University is a public, four-year college offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degree programs. The college boasts 22 fully online bachelor's programs. Distance learners interested in the computer information systems field can enroll in the school's bachelor's in business information systems program.

The business information systems program enables flexible study. Learners work with their academic advisor to ensure their studies suit their academic and professional goals. Students can also choose elective classes, or pursue a minor, to further their learning.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $29,445. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their studies. The average financial aid award per student at this college is $7,288.

Oregon State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 14,977

Total Online Programs: 50

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Admission Rate: 82%

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
31,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Davenport University

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Davenport University, a private, nonprofit, four-year college, offers premier educational opportunities across 31 bachelor's degree programs. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the college supports distance learning across 24 remote bachelor's programs. The bachelor of science in computer information systems provides a premier education in the field.

The program prepares students for the demands of the computer information systems field. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify their course load to suit their needs. Enrollees can also modify coursework, choose electives, and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

At present, undergraduates pay $18,408 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid.

Davenport University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,707

Total Online Programs: 71

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 82%

Average Tuition
In-state
$18,408
Out-of-state
$18,408
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
6,429
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Regis University

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Regis University, located in Denver, Colorado, provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degree programs. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's 26 fully online bachelor's degree programs to be attractive options for study. The online bachelor of science in computer information systems program is a strong option for learners seeking to secure a career in computer information systems.

The program prepares students for the demands of the computer information systems field. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify their coursework to meet their academic and career goals. Students also have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $37,830. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Regis University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,116

Total Online Programs: 110

Online Bachelor's Programs: 26

Admission Rate: 71%

Average Tuition
In-state
$37,830
Out-of-state
$37,830
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
6,908
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Upper Iowa University

  • Fayette, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Upper Iowa University, located in Fayette, provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degree programs. The institution supports 21 remote online bachelor's programs. The bachelor's in information systems is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the computer information systems field.

The information systems program enables flexible study. Learners seeking to modify their studies can work with their academic advisor. Students can also choose electives and pursue interdisciplinary coursework to fit their career goals.

Undergraduate students typically pay $30,810 in tuition. Distance learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid.

Upper Iowa University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,916

Total Online Programs: 57

Online Bachelor's Programs: 21

Admission Rate: 51%

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,810
Out-of-state
$30,810
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
4,279
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit, four-year college offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degree programs. The college boasts 54 fully online bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners can enroll in the bachelor's in computer information systems program to complete a college degree online.

The computer information systems program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Majors work with academic advisors to select classes that match their interests and fit their schedule.

Enrollees can expect to pay $7,176 in tuition. The institution's accreditation status enables students to benefit from financial aid during their studies.

Bellevue University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 11,008

Total Online Programs: 79

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$7,176
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,637
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Champlain College

  • Burlington, VT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Champlain College, a private, nonprofit, four-year college, offers premier educational opportunities across 39 bachelor's degree programs. The private school supports distance learners through 12 online bachelor's programs. Distance learners hoping to advance in the computer information systems field will benefit from the college's bachelor's in computer and information systems.

Students in the computer information systems program complete coursework pertinent to the field. The program prioritizes flexibility in student learning. Learners can customize the program through electives, minors, and other modifications.

Typically, undergraduate students pay $41,728 tuition. Learners can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities while at the school.

Champlain College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,301

Total Online Programs: 60

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 85%

Average Tuition
In-state
$41,728
Out-of-state
$41,728
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
4,385
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Saint Leo University supports 7,873 distance learners across 72 fully online programs. Of these online programs, 22 offer an undergraduate-level education. Students looking for a computer information systems-adjacent career can pursue study through the bachelor's in computer information systems program at their own pace. The flexible program helps remote learners complete a college degree.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Degree-seekers gain knowledge and skills applicable to the computer information systems field. Enrollees have the option to modify their studies, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The college boasts a median salary of $39,200 for graduates six years after completing their studies. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective students should contact the department.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,873

Total Online Programs: 72

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Admission Rate: 72%

Average Tuition
In-state
$23,100
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
10,912
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Charleston Southern University

  • Charleston, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

As a leader in online education, Charleston Southern University supports 1,491 distance learners across 12 remote degree programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from five online bachelor's programs. Individuals seeking advanced online study in computer information systems can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in applied computing program. The program prioritizes flexibility through full- and part-time study options.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing computer information systems-specific classes. Students complete general education and advanced coursework, gaining broad and specific skills. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $32,400, according to the college. Students can meet with leaders in the computing department to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

Charleston Southern University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,491

Total Online Programs: 12

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 50%

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,000
Out-of-state
$26,000
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
3,477
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems Degree?

A bachelor of science (BS) in computer information systems prepares graduates for entry-level roles in the computing and technology sectors. Most colleges offer BS in computer information systems degrees. Unlike a bachelor of arts (BA), which requires more humanities and foreign language courses, a BS emphasizes analytical coursework. CIS majors complete general education courses in the social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences.

After earning CIS degrees, graduates can pursue careers in information systems management, database management, and data analytics.

CIS programs combine technology and business. The coursework builds technical proficiency in database management, network architecture, and information security systems while also training undergrads in data analysis and decision-making. Specialized courses in data visualization, massive data management, and machine learning prepare majors for focused career paths.

In addition to building advanced data analysis and management skills, computer information systems majors strengthen their critical thinking and analytical, organizational, and communication skills through projects and assignments. Many programs incorporate an internship to gain hands-on experience and build a professional network.

Earning a bachelor of science in computer information systems typically takes full-time students four years. CIS majors often choose a specialization while earning their degree.

Computer Science vs. Computer Information Systems

A computer science degree strengthens theoretical and practical tech skills, with a focus on programming languages, software development, and software engineering. In a computer information systems major, undergraduates blend technical training with a business focus to help organizations manage their information needs.

CIS majors often take some computer science courses, including database management, network architecture, and cybersecurity. However, the major focuses more on applied computing and networking. While graduates with bachelor's in computer science degrees can pursue careers as software developers, network architects, and software engineers, CIS majors typically work in data analytics, systems analysis, and information security.

Choosing an Online CIS Program

With a growing number of online bachelor of science in computer information systems programs, how can prospective students narrow down their choices? Consider factors such as cost, program length, concentration options, and course format when researching online programs. The links below offer more information on choosing the right online degree.

What to Expect From a Computer Information Systems Major

A computer information systems major trains students in data analysis, system design, and security. Undergraduates often take information technology and computer science courses to build the technical and business skills necessary for careers in CIS. This section introduces common CIS concentrations and courses.

Computer Information Systems Concentrations

Artificial Intelligence

CIS majors with artificial intelligence concentrations study machine learning, intelligent software development, and data mining to prepare them for a career in this growing field.

Cybersecurity

This concentration combines business and technology with a focus on information security. Coursework emphasizes network security design, cybersecurity best practices, and data recovery after breaches. Enrollees also learn to design secure networks, implement data security procedures, and create information security policies.

Data Analytics

In a data analytics concentration, learners study data processing, data presentation, and the relationship between data and management decision-making. The concentration prepares graduates for data analysis and data science jobs.

Data Validation and Decision-Making

With a data validation and decision-making concentration, majors learn to use data in business environments effectively. This concentration emphasizes data analysis, privacy, and validation.

Information Technology

This concentration emphasizes information and technology decision-making in business settings. Enrollees earning a concentration in information technology strengthen their IT skills and add technology-focused business training to the broad knowledge of database management and network architecture of their degrees.

Project Management

Every organization relies on information systems, and project managers draw on their CIS skills to manage technology and information projects. Students in this concentration learn to manage information operations, resolve business technology problems, and recommend upgrades. The specialization prepares graduates for careers in CIS project management.

Computer Information Systems Curriculum

  • Computer Network Architect: This course builds management and information security skills, as well as training in hardware and software for network design. Learners examine data communication networks and the architecture connecting different systems.
  • Information Security Analysis: This course approaches information security from a systems management perspective by covering systems design, information systems security, and risk management.
  • Information Visualization and Virtualization: CIS professionals often analyze or present data visually. This course trains majors in effective visualization techniques and visually encoding information for easier interpretation.
  • Massive Data Management: Enrollees learn to manage large data sets, process big data, and create programming frameworks for data use.
  • Networking and Database Systems: This course introduces students to network design, database management, and systems operation. Enrollees examine the structures and constraints of networks and databases and learn to implement information systems through databases.
  • Programming Languages: CIS majors study different programming languages, including Java and Python. Most tech professionals know several programming languages and continue their education after earning their degrees.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems?

With this versatile degree, CIS majors can work as computer network architects, computer engineers, database administrators, software developers, and web developers. These career paths offer above-average salaries with the potential to increase earnings after completing graduate degrees or accruing work experience. For example, a master's or Ph.D. in computer science opens doors to supervisory, research, and academic careers.

The following information presents common careers for students with computer information systems degrees, including median annual wages for 2020.

Career Median Annual Salary (2020)
Computer and Information Systems Managers $151,150
Computer and Information Research Scientists $126,830
Computer Network Architects $116,780
Information Security Analysts $103,590
Database Administrators $98,860
Computer Systems Analysts $93,730
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $84,810
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Questions About the Computer Information Systems Major

Is CIS a Good Degree?

Yes. A bachelor of science in computer information systems prepares graduates for in-demand, high-paying careers. This major trains learners in computer systems management, information technology, and computer science.

How Much Does a CIS Major Make?

Graduates with a bachelor of science in computer information systems can work in careers that pay median salaries of over $100,000 per year, such as computer systems analysts, network architects, and database administrators.

What Kind of Jobs Can I Get With a Computer Information Systems Degree?

Computer information systems graduates can work as computer systems analysts, database managers, and tech consultants. They can also pursue careers as software engineers and web designers.

Should I Major in CS or CIS?

Computer science, computer engineering, and computer information systems degrees prepare graduates for overlapping careers in tech. Students should consider their interests and career goals to find the best fit for their needs.

Computer Information Systems Organizations

Computer information systems majors can join professional organizations to network with early career and experienced CIS professionals and access mentorship opportunities and job boards. Many organizations offer professional development support, educational resources, and career advancement tools.

Undergraduates and graduates can research organizations like the Association for Information Science and Technology and the Association for Information Systems. Other professional associations include the International Association for Computer Information Systems and (ISC)².

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