BIS Guide

BIS Guide


Use this guide to plan your progress through the BIS program.


1.         Find out if the program is appropriate for you:


·         Check out the web site:

·         Contact the BIS Office at (801) 626-7713 or  to get information about the BIS Program.  We also have an online session, which provides the same information about program.

·         If, after reading through all of the materials on the BIS homepage and viewing this information session, you decide that the BIS program is right for you, the next step will be to complete the BIS Degree Application Form.


2.         Complete the BIS Degree Application Form:


·         This step will require you to decide what three areas you would like to study, contact the adviser for each of those three areas, and collaborate to create a list of courses that will provide a solid foundation of learning.

·         There are a several important rules that must be observed when completing the BIS Degree Application Form in order for it to be accepted for admission, so be sure to pay close attention to the items listed on the front page of the contract.

·         Visit with the department chairs and/or advisers for your three areas of emphasis to work out a course of study.

·         Make sure you have 120 total semester hours, 40 credits of which are upper division hours, by the time you finish your contract and capstone.

·         Build research oriented classes into your contract in preparation for the capstone.

·        Write the statement of purpose explaining why you want to complete a BIS degree.

3.         Make an appointment with Dr. Cena to work through the completed/signed contract


·         After you have completed the BIS Degree Application Form and obtained signatures form all three department advisers, contact the BIS office to arrange an admission appointment with the BIS director.

·         In addition to the completed contract, please bring a “BIS Statement of Purpose” with you to the appointment. This should be a one-page double-spaced narrative that explains what you plan to accomplish with your BIS degree. This will be placed in your student file upon admission to the program.

·         After the director has signed the contract, you will receive a formal letter of acceptance into the program, along with a new graduation evaluation and a copy of your contract.

4.         Do the course work on your contract:

·        The next step is to complete the coursework that you’ve planned. Remember that in addition to your BIS coursework, you must also complete the University general education and minimum credit requirements in order to graduate with a BIS degree. During your admission appointment, we will go over your coursework and a current degree evaluation to make sure that what you have planned to take will lead to graduation.

·         If you want to make any changes to your contract, you must complete a Substitution Form, available at the BIS office, or this website, which the department chair for that area of emphasis signs.  Return the signed form to the BIS office.

·         It’s a good idea to visit with the director at least once a year to talk about your progress.  Just make an appointment by calling 801-626-7713 or by email at

5.         Register for BIS 3800:


·        The next step is to register for BIS 3800 2-3 semesters before you plan to graduate. You will be completing a minimum of two BIS courses as you progress through the BIS program. BIS 3800 Capstone Preparation is the first of these two courses. The purpose of this course is to prepare you to complete an interdisciplinary capstone project effectively, and to provide the opportunity to write a professional resume or begin the process of applying to graduate school.

·        The other required BIS course is BIS 4800 — BIS 3800 is a prerequisite for BIS 4800. This course is 3 credits of time where you will complete your capstone project and earn your final grade. There is no formal class for you to attend in BIS 4800; however, you must use the time to fully complete your capstone project. You register for BIS 4800 once, even if you take two or more semesters to complete your capstone project.  You will earn three upper division credits for your capstone when you finish.  You will receive a “T” grade at the end of the semester, which will be changed to a grade when you complete your project. BIS 4800 should be completed in the semester that you graduate.

·         BIS 3800 is a required prerequisite for BIS 4800 and is offered in online in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.


            While you’re in BIS 3800, you will:

·         Set up your Capstone Committee:  Invite one faculty member from each of your three areas of emphasis to sit on your committee and mentor you through the completion of your project.

·         Write a prospectus, explaining the “what”, “why”, and “how” of your project.

·         Write a professional resume or begin a graduate school application.



6.         Call your Prospectus meeting:


·         After you have completed BIS 3800 and identified your committee members, you have a prospectus meeting with yourself and your three committee members. As a group, you will agree on the details of how your capstone project will be completed. Be sure to allow at least 2-3 weeks for planning this meeting because faculty schedules are very full and it will be challenging to find a time when everyone can meet.

·         Project a time and date at least one to two weeks ahead, and be prepared to negotiate times and dates to accommodate all three faculty members.  All three members of your committee must be present at the meeting, either in person or by conference call (the BIS. department can provide that capability if you need it) and it is your responsibility to ensure a time and date they can attend.

·         Contact 626-7713 if you’d like the BIS office to schedule a room.

·         Send your committee a paper copy of your prospectus BEFORE the meeting so they have time to read it.

·         Make your prospectus meeting useful: ask questions and seek guidance.

·         At the meeting, ask your committee to sign the Prospectus Meeting form to show they attended.  Return the signed form to the BIS office.

·         If your project involves  research on human subjects, you will need to complete the IRB form available at

·         After the meeting, e-mail your committee with a summary of the discussion so that you all have a written agreement on the expectations of the project.


7.         Work on your capstone thesis:


·         After you and your committee agree on your capstone project plan, then it will be your responsibility to act on the plan and complete the project in a reasonable amount of time. You will need to submit drafts of your project to your committee members regularly (at least three rounds) for feedback related to suggested improvements along the way. After all three committee members have clearly indicated that the project is complete and requires no further revisions, then it is time to hold your oral defense meeting.

·         Make sure each member of your committee has at least two weeks to read the final draft of your thesis before holding the oral defense.  Don’t expect your committee to give you a grade at the Oral Defense meeting if they haven’t had an opportunity to read and respond to your work ahead of time.

·         The oral defense is NOT the time for corrections to be discussed—this must be done before the meeting when your committee provides feedback on the FINAL draft. Any corrections suggested at that time must be incorporated before the final defense so that your project is totally complete when the meeting occurs.


8.         Call an Oral Defense meeting:


·         Since the BIS director must be present at your defense, the first person you should contact when arranging your oral defense is the BIS office. They will give you the days and times that the director is available that you can then suggest to your three committee members. Try to start arranging the defense meeting day and time at least one to two weeks ahead, a month in advance is better, and be prepared to negotiate times and dates to accommodate all three faculty members.

·         EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR COMMITTEE MUST BE PRESENT AT YOUR ORAL DEFENSE, either in person or by conference call, and it is your responsibility to ensure a time and date that they can attend.

·         After the defense, submit the signed Oral Defense Form and a clean, bound copy of your completed capstone thesis to the BIS office.

·         Write a thank you note to each member of the committee; they’ve given you their time and expertise. 


9.         Apply for graduation:


·        In the first 6-8 weeks of your last semester, when you’ve registered for your final classes fill out the graduation form and pay the fees to student services. You are responsible to assure you will complete all requirements to graduate by paying close attention to your Cattracks.

·        After all of the steps listed above are complete, then it is time to graduate.


(Revised:July 18, 2013)


Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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