Bachelor of Arts in Informatics

Computer-based information systems facilitate, enable and often define the relationships between corporations and consumers, buyers and suppliers, businesses of all sizes, social networks, and citizens and their governments. Understanding these relationships and effectively addressing the collection, flow and distribution of information is vital to the effectiveness of any modern organization, enterprise or government agency.

The BA in Informatics is granted under the jurisdiction of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students complete 128 units, including at least 70 units of courses in the USC Dornsife College and at least 40 units of courses in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Units completed in the USC Dornsife College include the general education and writing requirements, the USC Dornsife College foreign language requirement and an adviser-approved disciplinary specialization of at least 24 units.

This specialization can consist of courses constituting another departmental or interdepartmental major for the BA degree, permitting students to satisfy most or all of the requirements for a double major. See Undergraduate Degree Programs for rules governing the overlap of course allowed for a double major.

The program teaches students to understand, design and implement effective solutions to meet organizational, societal and management needs for information and decision support.

All students undertaking this degree program must have knowledge of the following areas (the core):

  • Information systems and technology fundamentals
  • Web technologies
  • Programming basics
  • Data analytics/Statistical reasoning

In addition to the core courses, students complete courses in one of three concentration areas:

Enterprise Information Systems – Understanding information modeling together with existing and emerging needs in economics and finance, as well as algorithms and systems to address those needs by taking courses in business, artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling.

Web Information Systems – Examining the computer science problems of representing, organizing, storing, manipulating, and accessing digital information and presentation across the World Wide Web.

Data Science – Comprehending the ever-growing importance of “big data” in scientific and policy endeavors. Extracting knowledge from data requires skill in multiple areas including mathematics, statistics and information technology.

In addition to the core courses and concentration area, students complete at least 24 units of courses in an adviser-approved area of disciplinary specialization relying on course work in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The disciplinary specialization must form a coherent focus on a discipline that provides students with insight into a domain in which informatics can be usefully applied. No more than 8 units may consist of lower-division course work.

Admissions are made by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students normally apply to the program in the spring of the freshman year.