Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Informatics FAQs

How does the Informatics program compare to the existing BS and BA degree programs in Computer Science?

The BA and BS programs in Computer Science involve considerably more ambitious technical content (and in the case of the BS, considerably more mathematics content). While the BA, the BS, and the Informatics program all begin with the same programming sequence, the Informatics program requires less computer science coursework after these first two classes. While the BA and the BS programs train students to be software developers (though many become involved in other computational activities); the Informatics program, in contrast, trains students to be effective at learning and applying computational principles (and tools) to other disciplines.

How does the Informatics program compare to the campus's IT-minor program?

The UMass CICS IT-minor is just that: a minor; it consists of just 5 or 6 classes. By contrast, the Informatics program is a major program, involving 18 required classes.

What other classes besides those listed are required of Informatics students?

As with all students at the University, Informatics students will be required to take the full suite of general education classes. Informatics students will also be required to meet all other requirements for a UMass B.S. Degree. However, Informatics students will have no foreign language requirement.

What kinds of jobs are appropriate for students who graduate with an Informatics degree?

There are several kinds of jobs that Informatics graduates should be qualified to fill. Graduates would have the expertise to manage multimedia databases consisting of quantities of text, datasets, and still images such as those comprising modern healthcare records, personnel files, or product design histories. Graduates would have the skills to prepare reports based on the integration of diverse datasets, charts, and maps that could then be used in studies such as those that link housing patterns to employment and educational opportunities, or those that link outbreaks of disease to underlying causes and transmission modes. Our graduates would be well-prepared to work as analysts for a variety of different industries.

If I major in Informatics, will I be eligible for co-ops through the University co-op office?

A co-op -- generally, a paid position at a company for 3 - 9 months -- is a great way to become acquainted with the job market in a particular field. Many of the co-ops currently offered to computer science students are also completely appropriate for Informatics students. In fact, we have already had students pursue these opportunities.