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Athabasca University

Bachelor of Science Major in Computing and Information Systems
(4 years—120 credits)

Regulations effective September 1, 2016.

Offered by Athabasca University’s School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS), the Bachelor of Science Major in Computing and Information Systems program (BScCIS) is designed for students who wish to be competent in developing and utilizing computer-based systems in business, education, and other fields requiring the processing, utilization, and management of information.

Graduates of the BScCIS program will possess the requisite knowledge and skills in the analysis, design and implementation of computer-based information systems for various organizations. Students may specialize in a particular area of Computing and Information Systems by taking recommended elective courses, which can be found at the SCIS homepage. Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduation.

The core introductory courses for new students to the program are COMP 268 and COMP 272, which are both taught in Java. However, those students who come to the program with demonstrable knowledge and skills in other programming languages may be allowed to graduate with other combinations of courses offered by the School of Computing and Information Systems. If you have not yet completed an acceptable combination, you should consult with the Program Director to determine which course(s) to take to satisfy the requirements.

Students are strongly encouraged to register in ENGL 255 and ADMN 233 early in their program. For further information, refer to English Writing Skills Requirement.

Second Undergraduate Degree

Students who hold a recognized first degree and who wish to obtain an AU undergraduate degree in Computing and Information Systems must apply under the second undergraduate degree regulations. These students may transfer up to 50 per cent (60 credits) into the four-year degree program, based on applicable course work from the first degree.

Students are not permitted to obtain a second undergraduate degree in the same field or related field as their first undergraduate degree. Those students who hold an international undergraduate degree who wish to obtain a Canadian credential, or those students who wish to obtain another Bachelor’s degree in a major different than their first, will be permitted (in consultation with the Program Director and reviewed by the Office of the Registrar).

Delivery Modes

All courses in the program are delivered through online and distance learning in an individualized study mode, in order for students to be able to complete the courses and degree while employed full time. However, you may still have the option to take courses for BScCIS in a classroom setting at an institution near you. Please contact the School of Computing and Information Systems for availability.

Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University." Athabasca University has also developed program learning outcomes that describe the career options that may be available to you upon graduating.

Degree Requirements
Total credits in the program 120
Minimum Credits Required
Senior (300 or 400 level) credits 75
Science 75
  • In senior (300 or 400 level) science credits
Humanities, Social Science, or Applied Studies *
* Students may fulfill the minimum Humanities, Social Science, or Applied Studies requirements by using ADMN 233, ENGL 255, PHIL 252, PHIL 333/PHIL 371, ORGB 364, MGSC 405 and one option courses at any level.
Residency requirement. A minimum of 30 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University. 30
Graduation with Distinction or Great Distinction. At least 24 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University in order to be considered. 24
Maximum Credits Allowed
Humanities, Social Science, or Applied Studies 45
200-level credits
(120 total - 75 in senior = 45)
200-level option credits
(45 - 30 in the core = 15)
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits 30
Core Course Requirements (60 credits)
ENGL 255 Introductory Composition (3)
ADMN 233 Writing in Organizations (3)
COMP 200 Introduction to Computing and Information
COMP 268 Introduction to Computer Programming (Java) (3)
COMP 272 Data Structures and Algorithms (3)
COMP 314 Operating Systems (3)
COMP 347 Computer Networks (3)
COMP 361 System Analysis and Design (3)
COMP 378 Introduction to Database Management (3)
COMP 495 Computer and Information Systems Project I (3)
MATH 209 Finite Mathematics
(Note: MATH 209 may be replaced with a 200-level 3-credit course in Science upon the approval of the program director.)
MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics

MATH 216 Computer-oriented Approach to Statistics
MATH 265 Introduction to Calculus I (3)
MATH 270 Linear Algebra I (3)
MATH 309 Discrete Mathematics (3)
MGSC 405 Quantitative Approaches to Decision Making (3)
ORGB 364 Organizational Behaviour (3)
PHIL 252 Critical Thinking (3)
PHIL 333 Professional Ethics

PHIL 371 Ethics, Science, Technology, and the Environment
SCIE 326 Scientific Reasoning (3)
Electives (33 credits)**
Computer Science (COMP) credits at the 300 level (15)
Computer Science (COMP) credits at the 400 level
** Visit the SCIS website for an updated list of elective courses at the time of study, and contact your program advisor for more information.
Options (27 credits)
Credits in any discipline (24)
Credits in Humanities, Social Science or Applied Studies (3)
Maximum 15 credits allowed at the junior (200) level


Specific Regulations

  1. Athabasca University may grant transfer credit for individual computer science courses that were completed more than five years ago if proof of currency in the field is provided in the form of a current resumé and letter(s) of employment. The letter(s) of employment need to show evidence of activity in this field over the five-year period prior to the request of the transfer credit. Other evidence may be accepted if the letter and the resumé cannot be supplied. Science courses that are over 10 years old will be accepted for transfer credit if evidence of employment in a Science or Engineering field is supplied. Visit the Transfer Credit Services website for more information regarding transfer credit time limits in relation to SCIS programs.
  2. Preparatory (100-level) courses cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of this degree.
  3. Precluded Courses: Students cannot receive credit for COMP 203 or COMP 220 in this program.


English Writing Skills Requirement

Students will be exempted* from the English Writing Skills Requirement (ENGL 255) if they have met one of the following criteria:

  • have a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better in an Athabasca University English course above the preparatory (100) level, or
  • receive transfer credit for an English course in which a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better was achieved.

* Note: The exemption must be replaced with a 3-credit course in any discipline at the junior/senior (200 to 400) level.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated June 28 2016 by laurab

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