Areas of Study


What is Informatics?

Informatics is technology applied to specific fields. Informatics serves as the bridge between computing and information technology and specific application domains, ranging, for example, from the government and public policy to economics to health care. As computing and information technologies become increasingly embedded in the day-to-day operations of commerce, we will need more individuals who understand a diverse set of technologies and how to apply them across fields. To illustrate this point we can look to the case of “big data” today. Organizations are producing immense amounts of data and emerging technologies are now making it possible to collect that data and use it to answer questions. This has created the need for individuals who understand how to use those technologies and how to get information out of large data sets. Besides applying technology to a specific field, informatics often includes a focus on social and behavioral aspects of information and technology.

What does a career in Informatics look like?

Graduates can look forward to excellent job opportunities, whether directly in the field of computing and information science, or by applying this expertise to positions within business, government, education or nonprofit sectors. Students with a B.A. or B.S. who majored in any subject acquire extra professional clout with an Informatics minor. Informatics teaches students how to think about their fields from a computing and information perspective and prepares them to meet these challenges in their careers.

Is Informatics the right field for me?

To be successful in the information age, students need a greater technology capability than just using MS Word and Google. Professional jobs depend on acquiring and applying accurate information on a timely basis. Informatics is valuable to anyone interested in applying technology to their field.

Emergency Preparedness

What is emergency preparedness?

From natural disasters to man-made threats, from industrial accidents to supply chain interruptions, the field of emergency preparedness encompasses all the activities that enable a community or organization to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate the impact of a wide variety of hazards and crises.

What does a career in emergency preparedness look like?

Careers in emergency preparedness involve professionals who work on behalf of their fellow citizens on county, city or state levels, as well as those who work on behalf of small businesses, charities, government agencies and large corporations.

Is emergency preparedness the right field for me?

The field of emergency preparedness will most likely appeal to people who can think and act quickly in crisis situations, who want to make their communities and organizations more resilient in the face of many hazards, and who recognize that successful crisis management after an incident occurs relies heavily on decisions made before the incident occurs.

Homeland Security

What is homeland security?

Following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the United States government created the Department of Homeland Security, which combined numerous agencies with missions related to protecting the nation and preventing terrorist attacks. The recognition that terrorism – and, later, natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy – posed a serious threat to the lives and livelihoods of U.S. citizens led to the emergence of the new field of homeland security.  

What does a career in homeland security look like?

Careers in homeland security encompass elements of national security, intelligence, law enforcement, emergency response and crisis management. Homeland security professionals work not just at the federal level, but also at the levels of states, territories and tribal nations, and municipalities ranging from large cities to small towns.

Is homeland security the right field for me?

The field of homeland security will most field will likely attract people who have a strong desire to serve and protect their fellow citizens from the many threats that exist in the modern world, people who are interested in understanding and assessing threats, and people who are interested in responding to and minimizing those threats.


What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a rapidly expanding field. It encompasses traditional information security and information assurance, as well as physical security, organizational resilience, and what is sometimes referred to as “GRC” – governance, risk management and compliance.

What does a career in cybersecurity look like?

Cybersecurity professionals help companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations protect their sensitive and proprietary information from all manner of things or people that could steal, damage or corrupt it – data breaches, hackers, insider threats, or natural disasters like fires and floods.

Is cybersecurity the right field for me?

The field of cybersecurity will most likely appeal to people who are interested in technology and computers, people who are detail-oriented and interested in how complex systems work, people who are interested in how information influences organizations, and people who are interested in how organizations ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information assets.