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 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.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 Information

Major(s)
Informatics
BA
Informatics
BS
Minor(s)
Informatics
Tracks
Art
Bioinformatics
Economics
Geoinformatics
Health Informatics
Human-Computer Interaction
Individualized Cognates
Linguistics
Media
Medical Informatics
Music
Social Informatics
  Honors Courses
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. 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, Collins Aerospace, 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.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500  student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 study abroad  programs and multiple  undergraduate research opportunities

Computing-related student groups on campus include Women in Informatics and Computer Science and the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

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, Collins Aerospace, Cerner Corporation, the Principal Financial Group, and the Gerard P. Weeg Scholarship Foundation, the Goldwater Scholarship, and the George S. Schaeffer Scholarships.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Course Work

Iowa offers a BA degree and a BS degree 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.

In addition to course work for the major, students must complete the GE CLAS Core requirements. 

See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn about course work for the major or minor and graduating with honors.