About This Program
A major in informatics allows students to turn their love of technology into a rewarding career. Graduates of the iSchool regularly move on to roles as Product Managers, Information Architects, Web Designers, and Systems Analysts. Typical starting salaries for graduates range from $50,000 to $85,000 per year.
This information architecture program has a robust computer science core. All Informatics students take a core of courses that will help them learn the basics of Informatics work. These courses are Computer Programming II, Data Structures and Algorithms, Database Management and Information Retrieval, Web Technologies, Design Thinking, Information Systems Analysis and Management, Information Ethics and Policy, Research Methods, Project Management, Capstone Project I, and Capstone Project II.
The program focuses on providing technical knowledge combined with practical skill. The classes listed above help students to develop the technical knowledge that they will need in their careers, in addition to introducing legal and ethical obstacles they may run across.
The informatics degree offers many concentrations, including information architecture. Students who choose to complete the Information Architecture Option will master further skills needed to organize complex information by building frameworks and designing databases. For this IA program, students complete an additional 16-20 courses. They may choose from eight options: Information Needs, Searching, & Presentation; User Experience and Information Architecture; Web Tools & Development; Metadata Design; Ontology Design; Content Strategy in Information Architecture; Advanced Database Design, Management, & Maintenance; and Advanced Search Engine Systems.
By the time they have completed these courses, students will be ready to work professionally as information architects.
Students enter this information architecture program after completing their freshman or sophomore year. Most students complete these academic years at the University of Washington. However, it is also possible for students to transfer to the UW after completing a portion of their IA degree at a community college or another four-year university. Most students complete their bachelor’s degree in eight semesters, although some take longer.
Each student in the IA degree program completes a Capstone project over the course of two semesters, which is unique at the undergraduate level. The Capstone is completed in teams, and students identify a problem, develop a solution, and present their findings while collaborating with outside organizations. Past projects have included systems to monitor health, a food waste prevention app, and a website to compare school options.
To apply for the Informatics major, all students need to submit a one-page application document. The document can come in any format but should address the applicants’ ambitions, their past experiences, stories of persistence and grit, stories of scholarly achievement, and experiences with diversity and adversity. Cost of attendance is $25,595 for in-state students and $51,159 for out of state students.