The term “informatics” broadly describes the study and practice of creating, storing, finding, manipulating and sharing information. When the iSchool chose "informatics" as the name of its bachelor of science degree in 1999, the term was not widely used in the U.S. The name was chosen because it spoke to the opportunities that are available to students with the strong technical background needed to develop solutions to the world’s information challenges.
The Informatics major was designed to be conceptual and practical, academic and professional, and focused on the human and humanistic dimensions of the design and use of information systems.
The vision remains intact: the Informatics major at UW speaks directly to the need for trained and skilled professionals in every sector of society who can turn information into actionable knowledge.
The Classification of Instructural Programs (CIP) describes Informatics as:
"A program that focuses on computer systems from a user-centered perspective and studies the structure, behavior and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process and communicate information. Includes instruction in information sciences, human computer interaction, information system analysis and design, telecommunications structure and information architecture and management."