Learn to communicate technical, scientific, medical and other complex information in easy-to-understand formats, such as graphs and maps.

Data Visualization

Data Visualization Major

A major in the Computer Graphics Technology Program
in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology

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. This 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

What can I do?

Data visualization engineer
Data analyst
Digital media data scientist
Visual designer

Where can I go?

Wells Fargo

The Computer Graphics Technology program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the commission’s General Criteria with no applicable program criteria.

The Computer Graphics Technology program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the commission’s General Criteria with no applicable program criteria.

The Department of Computer Graphics Technology prepared me by conducting hands-on courses where I would receive a key portfolio piece each semester. The department is also a major advocate for students to acquire jobs and internships - and an internships is what made me better qualified for my new position.
Allie Knepp
Data Visualization
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About the school/department

The Department of Computer Graphics Technology touches all aspects of computer graphics, from animation to scientific visualization, and from user experience to game studies. Research projects on these topics push the boundaries of how the medium can be used, while the variety of degree options prepares students to be practitioners and managers in an array of computer graphics-related careers.

Additional Information

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Talk to an Advisor

Prospective students

Prospective students can reach out to CGTAdvising@purdue.edu to request an appointment to speak with a Department of Computer Graphics Technology advisor or student services professional.

Current students

Current students can schedule an appointment to meet with academic advisors in person or virtually via BoilerConnect.

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Related Degrees

Continuing Education