Business Computer Information Systems, Liberal Arts (AA)

Degree: Associate of Arts
Major: Liberal Arts
Emphasis: Business Computer Information Systems
Program Code: 2145

About This Major . . .

The Associate of Arts (AA) degree is designed for students who intend to continue their education and obtain a baccalaureate degree. The AA is the appropriate choice for students who will take upper division coursework in the arts, humanities, or social and behavioral sciences. The degree program includes the Colorado Statewide Essential Learning Core and meets the lower-division Essential Learning requirements at most public institutions in Colorado. 

The CIS AA degree, in addition to providing students with Essential Learning coursework is useful in giving students a working knowledge of computer hardware and software. Common productivity tools such as presentation software, spreadsheets and database management software used in businesses are presented. This skill set will give students an edge in future classes pursued. If a student graduates with the associate’s degree, the CIS AA provides skills that can be used in the workplace immediately. 

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU/CMU Tech associate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. 1. Locate, gather and organize information on an assigned computer information topic. (Specialized Knowledge)
  2. 2. Recognize mathematical concepts and methods in relation to computer information systems issues. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. 3. Communicate clearly and appropriately basic computer information systems information. (Communication Fluency)
  4. 4. Describe beginning computer information systems concepts in appropriate business contexts. (Critical Thinking)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU or CMU Tech Associate of Arts (AA) degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 60 semester hours total.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit at CMU/CMU Tech.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU/CMU Tech coursework.
  • A grade of “C” or higher must be earned in all Essential Learning courses in order to be accepted for transfer under the Colorado Core Transfer Consortium General Education curriculum or gtPathways, Colorado’s guaranteed transfer program.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 15 semester credit hours for an AA degree. A maximum of 6 of the 15 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below.  If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA1 23
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 3
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of "C" or better and must be complete by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


3 credits apply to the Essential Learning requirements and 1 credit applies to elective credit.


7 semester hours, one course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Total Semester Credit Hours2

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(21 semester hours, must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework in this area.)

Required Courses
ACCT 201Principles of Financial Accounting3
BUGB 211Business Communications3
CISB 205Advanced Business Software3
CISB 101Business Information Technology3
CISB 210Fundamentals of Information Systems3
TECI 132Introduction to IT Hardware and System Software3
Select one of the following courses:3
Introduction to Business Application Programming
CS1: Foundations of Computer Science 1
Object Oriented Programming Course approved by CIS advisor
Total Semester Credit Hours21

Course requires additional pre-requisites beyond those required for the degree.

General Electives

(6 semester hours)

MATH 113College Algebra-GTMA11
Select additional electives5
Total Semester Credit Hours6
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
CISB 101 Business Information Technology 3
MATH 113 College Algebra-GTMA1 4
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
Wellness Requirement - Activities Course 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
CISB 205 Advanced Business Software 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science without lab 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
ACCT 201 Principles of Financial Accounting 3
BUGB 211 Business Communications 3
Select one of the following courses: 3
Introduction to Business Application Programming
CS1: Foundations of Computer Science
Object Oriented Programming Course approved by CIS advisor
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
General Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
CISB 210 Fundamentals of Information Systems 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with lab 4
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
General Elective 2
TECI 132 Introduction to IT Hardware and System Software 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours60

Students that intend to continue with Colorado Mesa University should take ESSL 290 and ESSL 200 during the final semester of their Associate of Arts work.

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found on the Graduation web page.

If a student's petition for graduation is denied, it will be their responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. A student's “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.