Informatics brings the computational sciences together with the arts, the humanities, and the biological, health, information, natural, and social sciences in an interdisciplinary effort to solve problems. It uses algorithmic techniques and the power of computing to acquire and manipulate data, extract new knowledge, and ultimately examine existing and new problems from broad perspectives.
For example, applying informatics to the biological sciences may lead to a career in laboratory research or data management. Applying informatics to the study of geography or health care could lead to a career in business, government, or public health.
The major also provides good preparation for graduate study in a variety of disciplines.
Why Study at Iowa
The Iowa informatics degree develops a student's competence in programming, problem-solving, databases, and data manipulation with an emphasis on problems in a particular cognate discipline.
In addition, Iowa's Computer Science Department offers faculty who are internationally renowned for their research, extensive and specialized resources for students, and an excellent record of graduates finding jobs and being accepted to graduate school.
Informatics students also can pursue individual research projects and work one-on-one with a professor in a specialized field.
The department also offers a degree in Computer Science, which has a stronger focus on computational foundations than the informatics program.
Iowa offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in informatics. The curriculum for both programs combines fundamental and practical computing knowledge with a cognate area in the liberal arts and sciences. The intent is to provide the necessary background and skills to work at the interface of computing and another discipline.
All informatics students complete the informatics core course work, an informatics elective, and an approved set of six or more courses in the cognate area. The core informatics course work includes:
- Introduction to Computer Science
- Programming for Informatics
- Human Computer Interaction
- Databases for Informatics
- Networking and Security for Informatics
- Informatics Project
Cognate areas for students in the BA program include art, economics, geoinformatics, health informatics, human-computer interaction, linguistics, music, social informatics, or an individualized cognate drawn from one department or an appropriate mix of departments.
Cognate areas for students in the BS program include bioinformatics or an individualized cognate drawn from one department or an appropriate mix of departments.
See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about course work and graduating with honors in informatics.
Minor in Informatics
See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about earning a minor in informatics.
Students interested in informatics need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Computing-related student groups on campus include Women in Informatics and Computer Science and the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Faculty, Facilities, and Resources
Computer science and informatics faculty members conduct internationally recognized research in areas such as algorithms; automated reasoning and verification; computer graphics, virtual environments, and human-computer interaction; informatics, including machine learning, text mining, and interdisciplinary health-related research; and distributed systems, networks, and security.
The department has extensive computing facilities involving hundreds of workstations, servers, and specialized computing systems. Its two educational computing laboratories house approximately 50 workstations and are open to all computer science majors.
Specialized research facilities include high-performance computing clusters; distributed sensor network systems; and large, immersive, multiscreen, multicomputer virtual reality systems.
Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
Internships are strongly encouraged for career preparation and often lead to full-time employment after graduation. Many are available with high-profile companies such as John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Cerner Corporation, State Farm Insurance, Pearson, IBM, and Microsoft, which have strong, long-standing relationships with the department.
Computer science and informatics graduates work primarily in two market sectors. One includes the software and computer industries, from small start-ups to giants such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Intel. These offer job opportunities in software development and design, systems analysis, user-interface development and design, web development, and many other areas.
Another sector is made up of organizations whose primary business is not computing, such as banks, insurance, and other financial groups; health care organizations; consulting, media, and legal firms; entertainment companies; and the military.
About one-third of our graduates go into research or pursue graduate studies in computer science, business, or other areas for which computer science provides a strong foundation.
The computer science department has several corporate scholarships available each year to computer science and informatics majors in their second year and beyond. Recent and current scholarship sponsors include John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Cerner Corporation, the Principal Financial Group, and the Gerard P. Weeg Scholarship Foundation. Other awards include the Goldwater Scholarship and the George S. Schaeffer Scholarships.
Application Process Tabs
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.