Apr 19, 2024  
2017-2018 University Catalog 
2017-2018 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Data Visualization, BS

About the Program

Data visualization specialists present complex information in an easy-to-understand format. Their efforts can help identify trends, provide important insights and illustrate impact. 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 as 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
  • DTVS Website: https://polytechnic.purdue.edu/degrees/data-visualization

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Departmental/Program Major Courses (41 credits)

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (64 credits)

Electives (15 credits)

Intercultural Requirement

  • Complete Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Pre and Post Tests
  • Complete Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI) Pre and Post Tests
  • Complete Intercultural Knowledge and Effectiveness (IKE)
  • Complete CGT Global Course, Faculty Lead Study Abroad, International Internship, or International Capstone/Collaborative Project

Humanities Requirement

Complete 1 of the following:

  • Participation in Computational Arts Circle
  • Complete courses within major that have Humanities Integrated into their assignments
  • Complete course within major that have partnered with Humanities Professor
  • Complete 2 additional Humanities Courses which would complete the Cornerstone Requirement

Professional Requirement

Complete 1 of the following

  • Complete Internship
  • Complete Co-op
  • Employment during the academic year related to Major Field of Study
  • Complete an in-class internship-like experience created by Major Field of Study
  • Student Proposed Alternative:  must be commensurate with the expectations of Professional Requirement related to Major Field of Study

University Core Requirements

  • Human Cultures Humanities
  • Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Science #1
  • Science #2
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • For a complete listing of course selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.

Additional Degree Requirements

For additional course lists click here .

Program Requirements

14 Credits

15 Credits

Fall 2nd Year

16 Credits

16 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

15 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

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

15 Credits

14 Credits

Spring 4th Year

15 Credits


* Satisfies University Core

Students must earn C- or better in CGT Courses

2.00 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree

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

32 hours of 30000 or 40000 level Purdue courses for graduation

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical. A Critical Course is one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.