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Informatics degree requirements

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in Informatics will be an interdisciplinary degree that combines mastery of general techniques for processing information with specialization in an application area and its information processing problems. The design of the degree responds to the rapidly growing need for skilled workers who can take a problem-driven, system-level, user-oriented perspective toward information and computing, who can apply current informatics methods to address society’s needs, and who can contribute to the next generation of such systems.

The program begins with the fundamentals of Informatics in a general setting and in the context of disciplinary applications. The student will select a focal area such as data analytics, geo-informatics, digital cultures, enterprise informatics, or game informatics. They will take prescribed courses and complete a two-course capstone project in the focal area. Thus, Informatics graduates will remain highly interdisciplinary, yet have a specialization that gives them a head start on one possible career in Informatics.

Critical requirements

Arizona State University has adopted an 8 semester tracking model, which monitors completion of “critical” lower division and “necessary” upper division courses specific to each degree. This set of courses was designed to serve as predictors of academic success in the degree program. The lower division “critical” courses are shaded grey on the flowcharts and indicated on the major map. Upper division “necessary” courses are indicated with stars on the major maps. All courses listed on both the major map and the flowchart are required.

University policy allows students to retake a course one time. Students who are not successful in passing a course after a second attempt will be asked to identify a new major. Please see your academic advisor if you have questions related to 8 semester tracking.

**Students are subject to any individual course prerequisite changes despite their catalog year.


Core courses

Total required core course credit hours for 2015 and later catalog years. Core courses include:

  1. CPI 101 Introduction to Informatics (3)
  2. CSE 110 Principles of Programming with Java (3)
  3. MAT 210 Brief Introduction to Calculus (3)
    or MAT 265 Calculus for Engineers I (3)
  4. CSE 205 Object-oriented Programming and Data Structures (3)
  5. MAT 242 Linear Algebra (2) or MAT 342 or MAT 343
  6. MAT 243 Discrete Math (3)
  7. CPI 200 Mathematical Foundations of Informatics (3) Spring Only Offering
  8. CPI 220 Applied Data Structures and Algorithms (3) Fall Only Offering OR CSE 310 Data Structures and Algorithms Fall/Spring/Summer
  9. CPI 221 Advanced Object-Oriented Principles Using Java (3) Spring Only Offering
  10. CPI 310 Information and Data Management (3) Fall Only Offering
  11. IEE 305 Information Systems Engineering (3)
  12. STP 420 Introductory Applied Statistics (3) or STP 231 Statistics for the Life Sciences (3) or STP 226 Elements of Statistics or GCU 495 Quantitative Methods in Geography (3) or IEE 380 Probability and Statistics for Engineering Problem Solving (3)
  13. CPI 350 Evaluation of Informatics Systems (3) Spring Only Offering
  14. CPI 360 Decision Making and Problem Solving (3) Fall Only Offering
  15. CSE 463 Human-Computer Interaction (3) Spring Only Offering
  16. CSE 485 Informatics Capstone I (3)
  17. CSE 486 Informatics Capstone II (3)

Humanities and social behavioral university general studies requirements

HU/SB Guidelines (15 semester hours or five 3-semester hour classes)

One Class Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours ~MUST BE TAKEN AT A 4-YEAR INSTITUTION

  • Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimu

Within these five classes, select courses that include three awareness areas: cultural, global, and historical. No one class contains more than two awareness areas and this requirement must be met with two classes minimum. Contact your advisor if you have questions.


At least one Upper Division (HU or SB) – 3 semester hours

  •  REL 321 (Religion in America) – Humanities (HU) plus cultural diversity and historical awareness
  •  Two Classes HU (Humanities) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. CON 101 (Construction and Culture: A Built Environment) – Humanities (HU) plus global and historical
  2. PHI 101 (Introduction to Philosophy) – Humanities (HU)
  • Two Classes SB (Social Behavioral) – 6 semester hours minimum
  1. ECN 211 – Macroeconomics – Social Behavioral (SB)
  2. PSY 101 (Introduction to Psychology) – Social Behavioral (SB)

Informatics electives / focus area requirement

Students on the 2015 and later catalog years will select 36 hours of course work in this block which includes selecting and completing a 15 hour focus area as specified. Once you have selected a 15 hour focus area select any of the remaining courses to complete the remaining 21 hours to complete the 36 hour requirement of this block. This area requires careful planning. It is recommended that you work with your academic advisor as you make course selections in this area.

Please note: Students will need to take 21 of the 36 total hours as upper division 300/400 level courses.  These 21 hours can be shared between the Informatics Electives and the Focus Area.

Students must complete their 15 hours of focus area courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0 for 2015 and later catalog years. Focus area options for the first 15 hours are:

Data science
Modern science and technology use sophisticated mathematical and computational tools to extract patterns from large, complex and often unordered data sets. Machine learning and data mining are invaluable technologies with applications as diverse as detecting fraudulent online credit-card transactions, understanding the dynamics of social movements, and personalizing medical treatments based on a tumor’s unique genetic profile.

*Available for Fall 2021 and later catalog years.

Objective of the Focus Area

Graduates of the focus area will be competitive in software development companies and high-end users. They will also be leading candidates in graduate degree programs emphasizing research and development in data science, analytics and engineering. Furthermore, graduates will be able to demonstrate skills in computer science, data science, data mining, data visualization, collaboration and teamwork, and work well in an interdisciplinary context.

Students pursuing this focus should plan to take CSE 310 in place of CPI 220.

Select 5 courses from the list below:

  • CSE 450: Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • CSE 467: Data and Information Security
  • CSE 471: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • CSE 475: Foundations of Machine Learning
  • CSE 476: Introduction to Natural Language Processing
  • DAT 250: Data Science and Society
  • DAT 300: Mathematical Tools for Data Science
  • DAT 301: Exploring Data in R and Python
  • DAT 401: Statistical Modeling and Inference for Data Science
  • DAT 402: Statistical Learning
Digital cultures

The ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has established the Media Arts and Sciences initiative (formerly Digital Culture) to directly address questions that engage the role of computational processes in contemporary culture. This is in recognition of the increasing role of digital-based tools and environments in our day-to-day lives. We coexist in a world that is now based on digital assistance, from the computers we use, to our phones and entertainment devices, to even our cars and household appliances. Users drive the development of the next-generation applications and tools as much as developers. Aesthetic, emotional and intellectual engagement – all elements of a design and the arts experience – are as integral to the continual evolution of our digital world as the actual functionality of the product. Visit the Online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Culture page for more details on the digital culture initiative.

Objective of the Focus Area

The goal of the media arts and sciences focus area is to introduce Informatics undergraduates at ASU, the broad digital culture major offerings at ASU. By taking classes that are offered as part of the broad digital culture initiative, they shall be able to engage in creative practice, and reflect on contemporary culture. Through this process, they can develop a nuanced understanding of the role of information technologies in shaping cultural outcomes. Students select only ONE focus area and must complete all courses as specified with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. This area is 15 credit hours (5 courses).

Recommended first course that should be taken in the area is AME 111: Introduction to Digital Culture.

Select your focus area courses in consultation with a media arts and sciences advisors for this portion of your Informatics degree.  Advisors can be reached by email at: [email protected] or [email protected] or at (480) 965-4495. Please review prior to meeting with their advisors. The focus area courses include:

Media Arts and Sciences Course Options

AME 111: Introduction to Digital Cultures ART 424: Stop Motion Animation
AME 112: Computational Thinking for Digital Culture ART 440: Experimental Video Art
AME 130: Prototyping Dreams ART 494: Visual Prototyping
AME 210: Media Editing  CIS 300 Web Design and Development 
AME 220: Programming for the Web  CPI 111: Game Development I
AME 240: Intro to Physical Computing  DCE 294: Hybrid Action/Physical Intelligence in DC
AME 3xx Electives EDT 440 Creating and Marketing Mobile Apps
AME 4xx Electives FMP 225: Introduction to Visual Effects
ART 116: Digital Art & Culture FMP 255: Media Authorship
ART 206: Digital Photography I FMP 240: Introduction to Animation 
ART 217: Introduction to Computer Animation GIT 215: Introduction to Web Authoring 
ART 218: 3D Tools GIT 230: Digital Illustration in Publishing 
ART 308: 2D Digital Animation  GRA 294: InDesign 
ART 345: Visual Prototyping IAP 103: Found I: Interdisciplinary Digital Media (West)
ART 346: 3D Computer Imaging and Animation  IAP 104: Found I: Fundamentals of Sound Art (West)
ART 348: Animation Motion Studies MDC 211: Intro to Digital Sound 
ART 394: Digital Photography for Non-Majors MDC 311: Composing & Performing for Hybrid Ensembles



Enterprise informatics

This focus area will build upon the general techniques for processing information taught in the core of the Informatics degree and provide the specific knowledge, skills, and computational tools needed to help manage the retrieval, storage, and processing of data and information for modern companies.

Objective of the Focus Area

An Informatics graduate that chooses the Enterprise Informatics focus area will be prepared to design, develop, and apply computational tools and techniques for a variety of companies that produce goods and/or services.

Recommended first course that should be taken in the area is MAT 266: Calculus for Engineers IIStudents pursuing this area will also need to take IEE 380 Probability and Stats for Engineers as their stats elective. Students will also need to plan to complete IEE 385 Engineering Statistics – Probability as one of their Informatics electives in order to be prepared for the IEE 470 requirement.


  • MAT 266: Calculus for Engineers II (First Course)
  • IEE 376: Operations Research Deterministic Techniques/Applications
  • IEE 385: Engineering Statistics
  • IEE 470: Stochastic Operations Research – Fall Only Offering

Choose two from the following four courses:

  1. IEE 461: Production Control
  2. IEE 421 or 426: Urban Operations Research or Operations Research in Health Care
  3. IEE 474: Quality Control – Fall Only Offering
  4. IEE 475: Simulating Stochastic Systems – Fall Only Offering
  5. IEE 477: Systems Dynamics and Thinking – Spring Only Offering
  6. SCM 300: Global Supply Operations
Game informatics

The gaming focus area is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the game development skill set. The objective is not to teach the student to create recreational video games, but to apply gaming technology to domain-specific problems.

Objective of the Focus Area

Programming courses focus on how game engines work and writing software to work within the game engine. Courses in programming have direct industry applicability in a number of areas. For example, a student might create a game architecture to help patients with physical therapy or design a game platform that incorporates geographic information systems. Art courses allow students to focus on the visual aspects of game design, including 2D/3D modeling, animation and texturing. Real world applications might include creating an interactive virtual world for corporate training, inventing a surgical simulation to educate medical students or creating content for the film industry. Education courses allow students to discover how to apply game design skills to achieve educational goals, learning to build virtual worlds that complement an educational setting. For example, a student might build a game that teaches linear algebra by incorporating trigonometric rules into the game design, or a game that teaches correct sentence construction to early English learners.

Recommended first course that should be taken in the area is CPI 111: Game Development I.


  • CPI 111: Game Development I
  • CPI 211: Game Development II
  • CPI 311: Game Engine Development – Fall Only Offering
  • CPI 321: Fundamentals of Game Art – Spring Only Offering

Choose one from the following courses:

  1. CPI 394: Game Design Fundamentals (special topic offerings vary)
  2. CPI 411: Graphics for Games – Spring Only Offering
  3. SER 432: Game Engine Arch – Fall Only Offering
  4. CPI 421: 3-D Modeling and Texturing – Fall Only Offering
  5. CPI 462: Design for Learning in Virtual Worlds
  6. SER 431: Advanced Graphics – Fall Only Offering
  7. FMS 365: Videogames and Narrative

Geographic informatics is based on the science and technology dealing with information that is geographically referenced. This includes data capture, classification, storage, manipulation, processing, display, and dissemination. Fields including geography, geology, landscape ecology, business, tourism and health sciences rely on geographically referenced data and tools to model spatial processes. The theories and application of cartography, surveying, geographic information systems, spatial analysis, and remote sensing combine to support geographic informatics.

Objective of the Focus Area

Graduates of the focus area will be competitive in software development companies and high-end users. They will also be leading candidates in graduate degree programs emphasizing research and development in geographic informatics. Furthermore, graduates will be able to demonstrate skills in computer science, geography, verbal and written communication, collaboration and teamwork, and work well in an interdisciplinary context.

Recommended first course that should be taken in the area is GPH 370: Geographic Information Technologies.


  • GIS 205: Geographic Information Technologies (formerly GPH 370)
  • GIS 211: Geographic Information Science I (formerly GPH 373)
  • GIS 311: Geographic Information Science II

Choose two from the following courses:

  1. ASB 485: GIS in Natural Resources
  2. GCU 441: Economic Geography
  3. GCU 442: Geographical Analysis of Transportation
  4. GIS 202: Drones to Satellites
  5. GIS 222: Principles of Programming for GIS Science
  6. GIS 3XX: Any 300-Level GIS Courses
  7. GIS 322: Programming Principles in GIS II
  8. GIS 341: Introduction to Cartography and Georepresentation (formally GPH371) (fall & spring)
  9. GIS 4XX: ANY 400-Level GIS Courses  (i.e. GIS 471 and GIS 494, excluding 484, 492, 493, 499)
  10. GIS 461: Optimization Fundamentals (fall)
  11. GIS 462: Location Analysis and Modeling
  12. GIS 470: Multivariate Statistical Analysis for Geography and Planning
  13. GIS 471: Geographic Information Analysis (formally GPH 483)  (spring)
  14. GIS 494: Data Mining and Data-Driven Geography
  15. GIS 494: See Advisor if you have additional electives that you would like considered.
  16. PLB 434: Landscape Ecological Analysis and Modeling


Additional informatics electives

Students can select courses from any of the focus areas above to fill in for their Informatics Electives. Students looking for additional options may also select from the list below for Informatics Electives. Some courses may require additional approvals students should work with advisors to obtain approvals and to have additional courses reviewed for this area.

AME 294: Philosophies of Technology
BIO 355: Introduction to Computational Molecular Biology
BIO 411: Quantitative Methods in Conservation and Ecology
BIO 424/SOS 424: Dynamic Modeling in Social and Ecological Systems
BIO 456: Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution
BIO 469: Computational Neuroscience
BMI 102: Introduction to Public Health Informatics
BMI 201: Intro to Clinical Informatics
CIS 308: Advanced Excel in Business
CIS 310: Business Data Visualization
CIS 365: Business Database Systems
CIS 405: Business Intelligence
CPI 460: Intelligent Interactive Instructional Systems
CPI 441: Gaming Capstone
CPI 484: Informatics Internship (per faculty and advisor approval
CPI 394: Special Topics – See Advisor for a list of approved courses
CSE 220: Programming for Computer Engineers
CSE 240: Introduction to Programming Languages
CSE 294: Algorithmic Problem Solving
CSE 259: Logic for Computer Science
CSE 310: Data Structures and Algorithms
CSE 340: Principles of Programming Languages
CSE 355: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science
CSE 360: Introduction to Software Engineering
CSE 365: Information Assurance
CSE 394: Special Topics– See Advisor for a list of approved courses
CSE 335: Principles of Mobile Application
CSE 408: Multimedia Information Systems
CSE 412: Database Management
CSE 434: Computer Networks
CSE 445: Distributed Software Development
CSE 446: Software Integration and Engineering
CSE 460: Software Analysis and Design
CSE 464: Software Quality Assurance and Testing
CSE 470: Computer Graphics
CSE 471: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
CSE 476: Introduction to Natural Language Processing
CSE 477: Introduction to Computer-Aided Geometric Design
CSE 494: Special Topics
EDT classes with 3XX or 4XX numbers with Advisor Approval
EDT 494/440: Creating and Marketing Mobile Apps
EDT 494: Intro to Computer Science for Teachers
FSE 301: Entrepreneurship and Value Creation
FSE 394: Topic – Visualization and Simulation
FSE 404: EPICS (need three credits)
GIT 135: Graphic Communications
GIT  335: Computer Systems Technology
GIT 340: InfoDesign/Usuability
GRA 294: Adobe Photoshop
HSE 101: Human Systems Engineering
IEE 210: Intro to Industrial Engineering
IEE 380: Probability and Statistics for Engineering Problem Solving

IFT 101: Information Technology Programming Logic

IEE 385: Engineering Statistics: Probability
MAE 318: System Dynamics and Control I
MAE 417: System Dynamics and Control II
MAT 267: Calculus For Engineers III
MAT 275: Differential Equations
MAT 300: Mathematical Structures
MAT 342 OR 343: Applied Linear Algebra
MAT 421: Applied Computational Methods
SER 216: Software Enterprise, Testing, and Quality
SER 316: Software Enterprise: Construction and Transition
SER 334: Operating Systems and Networks
SOC 334:  Technology and Society
STS 304: Science, Technology, and Society
TEL 313: Educational Technology in K-12 Curriculum
TEL 494: Introduction to Computer Science Educators
TWC 414: Visualzing Data and Information
TWC 444: User Experience


Capstone courses

  • CSE 485
  • CSE 486