Computer Science

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.

The informatics major combines fundamental and practical computing knowledge with a choice of cognate areas from the liberal arts and sciences, providing students with the necessary background and specialized skills to work at the interface of computing and another discipline. The major also provides good preparation for graduate study in a variety of disciplines.

To fulfill requirements for the informatics major, students combine informatics coursework that provides a strong foundation in computing with coursework in one of several cognate disciplines. This approach yields a wide variety of multidimensional programs well suited to the educational and economic needs of the 21st century. Specifically, students complete the informatics core, one informatics elective, an approved statistics course, and an approved set of six or more courses within a cognate area.

The informatics core provides more applications-oriented content than the traditional computer science curriculum, emphasizing data manipulation, databases, and networking. Yet it is designed to provide students with a sound base in underlying computer science themes.

Students may declare a major in informatics when they are admitted to the University or afterward. All students begin the major as Bachelor of Arts students but may switch to the Bachelor of Science programs at any time. Informatics students may begin the major without a chosen cognate area; they may declare a cognate at any time. Some cognates are available only with the Bachelor of Arts; others are available only with the Bachelor of Science. So a student's choice of cognate determines whether he or she will earn a BA or a BS. 

All students are advised at the Academic Advising Center until they have completed CS:2110 Programming for Informatics. Informatics students being advised at the advising center should also consult with an informatics advisor in the department.

Transfer students who have taken a course approved as equivalent to a required informatics course are exempt from that course. Transfer course grades are included in the informatics grade-point average.

All students must meet the requirements set by The University of Iowa and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This includes

In addition, all students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in:

  • all college work attempted,
  • all work undertaken at the University of Iowa,
  • all University of Iowa major work, and
  • all work attempted in the major field.

Permission for BAIS courses

Contact the Tippie College of Business Department of Business Analytics in order to seek permission to take BAIS courses.


Why an Informatics Degree? —from Communications of the ACM, February 2010.