About the new Undergrad Degree in Informatics at UT Austin

By Rajkamal Rao  

Image Source: School of Information, UT Austin

The University of Texas has launched a brand new undergrad program in Informatics in its School of Information.  I reached out to Natasha V. SaldaƱa, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, with several questions and here are her polite responses. You may contact her here.  

  1. How is the School of Information different from the MIS major at McCombs or BHP?

    Informatics is multi-disciplinary and has six different concentration areas for students to pursue.  All of them have an aspect of how technology intersects with humans. For students who are interested in CS, ECE, and MSIS, the Bachelor of Science in Informatics (BSI) is considered a STEM major.

    If you are specifically interested in Data Science we offer the Human-Centered Data Science major concentration.

    Concentration in Human-Centered Data Science

    Data is one of the most valuable commodities in the information society, and workers who can use data to gain new insights are in great demand. Diverse skills are required to collect, manage, and analyze data, as well as consideration of the great ethical responsibility that comes with collecting, managing, and analyzing data, and the importance of critical thinking skills. The Human-Centered Data Science Concentration of the B.S./B.A. in Informatics will prepare you for a career involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, information retrieval, data curation, and data analysis. The Human-Centered Data-Science Concentration includes taking Introduction to Human-Centered Data Science followed by advanced topics courses such as Data Wrangling, Crowdsourcing, Machine Learning, and Search Informatics. Choosing the Concentration in Human-Centered Data Science will prepare you for a career in which you leverage data, information, and technology to benefit society.

  2. In which college does the School of Information lie (Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts, etc.)?

    The School of Information.

  3. Do you have an Honors program associated with the Informatics degree (like the Polymath or Deans Science Honors)?

    At this time, no; Fall 2021 is the launch of the new program and we will begin to build these programs. 

  4. Can students pursue a double major?

    Yes, students can dual-degree seek. In the School of Information, there is only one major​.  Students can choose to pursue a BA or BSI. 

  5. Approximately how many students are in the Freshman class?

    For the first class, we anticipate 50-60 freshman students.  The additional 40 are internal transfer and external transfer students. 

  6. What scholarship programs do you have outside of the usual UT offerings considering that you're a relatively new degree?

    As you mentioned, we are a new degree and because of this, we do not have any established scholarships.  We are working to build these as we grow.

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