Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
2024-2025 University Catalog

Data Visualization, BS

Location(s): West Lafayette

About the Program

The ability to understand and communicate data is an essential skill in this big data era. Data visualization specialists present complex information in an easy-to-understand format. Their efforts can help identify trends, provide important insights, illustrate impact, and enable data driven decision making. They can help highlight tumors in MRI images to track disease progression or visualize air flow over a car to assist designers in making more fuel efficient vehicles. The data visualization major at Purdue University focuses on the computer and graphics tools necessary to create accurate and meaningful visualizations for researchers, leaders, decision-makers and the general public.

To help you understand how to use data, you will learn about visualization techniques and work on design, programming, and user research skills. You will also experience firsthand the design and development process of a complex data visualization system. Data management and basic analysis skills are also important in this field. When you graduate from the program, you will be able to design effective visual representations of data based on the data’s characteristics, business needs, and the requirements of prospective users.

The coursework for this major will lead you through the spectrum of visualization topics. From learning about the basic types of data and their popular visualization forms to applying design techniques to scientific data, you will gain experience and problem solving skills that will be the foundation for your data visualization career. You will be able to combine all of your new skills in the Visualization Studio course and create a comprehensive, interactive visualization system for data analysis.

Special Features

  • Prepare for a career in a field with an ongoing need for professionals who know how to present raw data in a way that does not overwhelm.
  • Work with professors who are leading researchers in the area of data and scientific visualization
  • Learn in small, close-knit classes that feature individualized attention
  • Work with industry-standard software to gain the best hands-on experience
  • Experience projects that highlight the visualization of data-rich information (InfoVis), scientific data (SciVis), biological data (BioVis), and more.
  • Utilize the Polytechnic learning environment to become a career-ready graduate

The Data Visualization major is part of the Computer Graphics Technology program.  The Computer Graphics Technology program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

DTVS Website

Data Visualization Major Change (CODO) Requirements   

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Departmental/Program Major Courses (43 credits)

Major Selectives* -Choose two courses (6 credits)

  • CGT Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • CGT Selective 30000 - 40000 level - Credit Hours: 3.00

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (61 credits)

Electives (16 credits)

Any course, any subject.  Credit Hours:  16.00

Cornerstone Certificate

Cornerstone Certificate  required for this major.

Supplemental List

Click here for Data Visualization Supplemental Information  .

Grade Requirements

  • Students must earn C- or better in CGT Courses.
  • Purdue policy states that a student may attempt a course no more than three (3) times.  An attempt is defined as all courses displayed on a student’s transcript including, but not limited to A,B,C,D,E,F,W,WF,I AND IF.

GPA Requirements

  • 2.00 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree.

Course Requirements and Notes

A course can only satisfy one degree requirement in the plan of study.

Non-course / Non-credit Requirements

  • Intercultural Requirement - Credit Hours: 0.00
  • Humanities Requirement - Credit Hours: 0.00
  • Professional Requirement - Credit Hours: 0.00

See Supplemental Information for details.

Pass/No Pass Policy

  • Pass/No Pass may be allowed for Electives or Technical Electives only.

Transfer Credit Policy

CGT adheres to the admissions office Transfer Credit Course Equivalency Guide.

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC) 

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry. For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

To obtain the Civics Literacy Proficiency, students will complete an educational activity as part of their chosen Civics Literacy Pathway and pass the Purdue Civics knowledge test.  The knowledge test can be completed at any time while the pathway is being perused.  There are three different pathways:

  • Civics Event pathway - Attend six approved civics-related events and pass the required exam; or
  • Civics Literacy Podcast pathway - Complete 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship & Engagement that use C-SPAN material and pass the required exam; or
  • Approved course pathway - Complete  one of the following approved courses and pass the required exam.

More details about each pathway and how to complete the requirement can be found on the Civics Literacy Student Dashboard in myPurdue.

Upper Level Requirement

  • Resident study at Purdue University for at least two semesters and the enrollment in and completion of at least 32 semester hours of coursework required and approved for the completion of the degree. These courses are expected to be at least junior-level (30000+) courses.
  • Students should be able to fulfill most, if not all, of these credits within their major requirements; there should be a clear pathway for students to complete any credits not completed within their major.

Additional Information

Sample 4-Year Plan

15 Credits

15 Credits

Fall 2nd Year

14 Credits

Spring 2nd Year

16 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

15 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

  • Credits: 3.00
  • CGT Selective: 30000 or 40000 Level - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • CGT Globalization Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Management Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

15 Credits

Fall 4th Year

15 Credits

Spring 4th Year

15 Credits

Pre-Requisite Information

For pre-requisite information, log in to mypurdue.purdue.edu and click here.

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major. Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful. These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program.”


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements. Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student. The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

Comparative information about Purdue University and other U.S. educational institutions is also available through the College Navigator tool, provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, and through the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard.