Built on a solid foundation of a business and information technology (IT) curriculum, the major in information systems delivers a unique blend of business acumen, industry standards, and practical computing instruction. Students enjoy successful placement and satisfying careers because they possess both the in-depth knowledge of business processes and the ability to readily translate business requirements into value-added IT solutions. The curriculum is designed to prepare effective leaders in the design, development, and management of information systems—the lifeblood of a successful business model. Students learn how to use computer technologies to analyze business problems and processes in order to design and implement computer-based information systems which support business operations, decision-making, and planning. Career opportunities exist in management consulting and in industry in the areas of systems development, database administration, network management and as corporate information systems managers.

The major in information systems is administered by the Department of Operations and Information Management.

Related Student Organizations

Association of Information System Professionals
National Organization for Business and Engineering

Explore Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an excellent way to gain international experience that enhances your business education. Many students also consider a summer program or a short program embedded in a course. Students are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad section to learn more about study abroad opportunities and to meet with their academic advisor to discuss course planning. Please note that courses for the information systems major are not typically offered abroad. Common study abroad course options include core and breadth courses. Because the information systems major is highly sequential, it is strongly encouraged that students begin planning early for study abroad. If planning to study abroad during spring of their junior year, students should complete Information Systems 371 during their sophomore year. Otherwise, study abroad in sophomore year or fall of junior year is recommended.

Q: How do I declare a major in information systems?

A: Students must be admitted to the Wisconsin School of Business in order to declare a major in information systems. Please visit our Admissions page for more information. Students indicate their intended major when they apply to the business school. If they are admitted, the major(s) indicated will be declared for them. Students may change their major by completing a Business Major Declaration Form. Turn completed forms in to the front desk in 3150 Grainger Hall.

Q: How do I cancel the information systems major?

A: Admitted business students may cancel their declared information systems major by completing a Business Major Declaration Form. Turn completed forms in to the front desk in 3150 Grainger Hall.

Q: What are common parallel plans related to information systems?

A: Students interested in information systems commonly pursue Computer Science (College of Letters and Science) as a parallel plan. Students are encouraged to contact the Cross College Advising Service (http://www.ccas.wisc.edu/) or the appropriate school/college for advising related to this or other majors.

Q: How do I run a DARS report for the information systems major?

A: Please see the Academic Advising page for information on how to run a DARS report.

The following requirements must be met in order to complete a major in Information Systems. For detailed course descriptions, please consult the Course Guide.

Please be aware of stated prerequisites for major courses (including business core courses) that need to be completed before taking the course. Specific prerequisites can be found using the Course Guide.

Students must be admitted to the Wisconsin School of Business to complete a major in Information Systems.

  • Comp Sci 301 Introduction to Data Programming*, 3 cr
  • Info Sys 365 Contemporary Topics, 3 cr
  • Info Sys 371 Technology of Computer-Based Business Systems, 3 cr (prerequisite: Comp Sci 301)
  • Info Sys 422 Computer-Based Data Management, 3 cr (prerequisite: IS 371; offered fall only)
  • Info Sys 424 Analysis and Design of Computer-Based Systems, 3 cr (prerequisite: IS 422; offered spring only)

*Students who have taken Comp Sci 302 in summer 2017 or before will have fulfilled this requirement. Beginning Fall 2017, Comp Sci 302 will no longer be offered.

Suggested Electives Related to Information Systems

COMP SCI 300 Programming II, 3 cr
COMP SCI 400 Programming III, 3 cr
INFO SYS 365 Contemporary Topics (other than the topic course chosen above), 3 cr
I SY E 349 Introduction to Human Factors, 3 cr
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering, 3 cr
I SY E 601 Intro Internet of Things & App, 1-3 cr
MARKETNG 310 Marketing Research, 3 cr
MARKETNG/OTM 421 Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, 3 cr
MARKETNG 427 Enterprise Systems and Supply Chain Management, 3 cr 
M H R 412 Management Consultng, 3 cr
M H R 422 Entrepreneurial Management, 3 cr
M H R 423 Strategic Management, 3 cr
OTM 351 Principles and Techniques of Quality Management, 3 cr 
OTM 365 Operations Analytics, 3 cr
OTM 365 Project Management, 3 cr
OTM 451 Service Operations Management, 3 cr
OTM 654 Production Planning and Control, 3 cr

Robert Batt
Assistant Professor
BA, MBA, Ph.D.

Hessam Bavafa
Assistant Professor
BS, MS, Ph.D.

Steve Boeder
Faculty Associate
Director of the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management

Gregory DeCroix
Academic Director
BS, BA, Ph.D.

Mark Finster
Emeritus - Teaching
BS, Ph.D.

Donald Harmatuck
Emeritus - Teaching
BS, MBA, Ph.D.

Donald Hausch
Associate Dean for Full-Time, Executive, and Evening MBA Programs, Academic Director, Bolz Center for Arts Administration
BS, MS, Ph.D.

Rafael Lazimy
Associate Professor

Xiaoyang Long
Assistant Professor
BA, Ph.D.

Timothy McClurg
Senior Lecturer
BS, MBA, Ph.D.

James Morris
Emeritus - Teaching
Department Chair for Operations and Information Management

Enno Siemsen
Associate Dean of the MBA and Masters Programs, Executive Director of the Erdman Center for Operations & Technology Management

Jordan Tong
Associate Professor
BA, Ph.D.

Dharmaraj Veeramani
Affiliate Member in Operations and Information Management

Information systems professionals help clients address some of their most complex business problems through the effective use of technology.  They see pathways to solutions of highly complex technical issues and are key leaders in conceptualizing and sourcing the best solutions.   Information systems professionals collect, store and analyze information and data to assist organizations and departments in executing business initiatives and making informed decisions.   Additionally, they use hardware, software, technology infrastructure combined with input from internal or external clients to develop tools to solve and track business objectives.

Business Analyst Overview

Business Analysts examine business processes, requirements, problems and opportunities in order to help determine how new IT solutions can yield improved products and services.  They review system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations to determine if requested information services are possible within an existing system.  They may examine how users interact with a system or how the user experience can be improved. Often they will need to assess potential IT systems to calculate a return on investment for implementation of a new system.

Possible Job Responsibilities

  • Serve as liaison between business users and technical team
  • Work with users to understand business processes and reporting needs and translate them into technical specs and solutions
  • Facilitate system design, validation, and training sessions
  • Assess impact of new software releases, system upgrades, and patches
  • Provide cost vs. return on IT projects

Essential Skills

  • Teamwork
  • Communication & interpersonal
  • Problem-solving
  • Technical knowledge
  • Holistic view of business

Systems Analysis & Design Overview

System Analysts use a combination of business acumen and computer programming skills to plan, develop, test and document computer programs.  They evaluate new or modified programs to determine feasibility, costs, time requirements, and compatibility with current system capabilities within an organization.

Possible Job Responsibilities

  • Create and modify reports in MS SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • Develop and support enhancements for MS Sharepoint
  • Translate system requirements into programming code
  • Identify, test, debug and resolve software performance issues
  • Work closely with the design team to validate the design

Essential Skills

  • Technical knowledge
  • Communication & interpersonal
  • Analytical
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity

Project Lead/Manager Overview

Project managers coordinate a business project from inception to rollout often serving as a liaison between the client and software developers.  The project manager sets goals, prioritizes tasks and measures progress.

Possible Job Responsibilities

  • Responsible for client engagements from the planning phase through implementation and delivery
  • Determine the scope of client engagements, allocate resources to implementation teams, and determine work schedules
  • Meet client deadlines
  • Interact extensively with clients, developers, and outside departments
  • Design performance and expense comparisons
  • Ensure accuracy and quality of client deliverables

Essential Skills

  • Leadership
  • Holistic understanding of business
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Technical knowledge
  • Time and goal management

Consulting Overview

Technology consultants are hired by businesses to help organizations utilize technology to manage information, data and operations efficiently.  They may also be responsible for user training and incorporating user feedback to improve software or technological systems.

Possible Job Responsibilities

  • Assist companies with implementing and launching new technology packages such as SAP and PeopleSoft, Retek, or custom-built systems into their business practices
  • Assisting in development and testing of new business processes, capabilities, and, as appropriate, their supporting technologies
  • Perform application design activities (e.g., writing functional designs)
  • Perform portions of technology architecture and infrastructure design activities
  • Perform portions of technology build, test and deployment activities

Essential Skills

  • Communication & interpersonal
  • Analytical
  • Adaptability
  • Willingness to travel (possible)

Meet the academic and career advisors for Information Systems.

Jackie Murray
Academic Advisor
Anthony Wright
Career Advisor

Please visit the Contact Advisors and Staff page for information on advising and appointments.