I could not find any difference... or at least no good source that definitely distinguishes both.

I tried:

  • Wikipedia (Informatics has a redirect to Computer Science), so I guess the only difference is the context in which both are used
  • Google:
    • University of California:
      • Computer Science: internal features, structure and behavior of computer systems
      • Informatics: relationship between what is inside the computer and what is outside (What does this mean? I study ... well, I thought it would be called "Computer Science", but I'm not sure now. )
    • forum.wordreference.com:
      • Computer Science: software engineering, algorithms
      • Informatics: installing new software, upgrades,networks LAN WANS, firewalls
  • dict.leo.org: Both are translated with "Informatik" in German.
  • English.StackExchange.com: No result
  • The same question was asked on ELL where it got what I think is a very good answer.
    – None
    Jul 8, 2014 at 9:42

3 Answers 3


In the link to Wikipedia that you provide, the very first sublisting gives a definition of informatics

a broad academic field encompassing computer science, human-computer interaction, information science, information technology, algorithms, areas of mathematics (especially mathematical logic and category theory), and social sciences that are involved

This definition clearly includes computer science as a subset of informatics, but goes on to list other topics that are beyond the scope of pure computer science, such as social sciences that are involved.

While a full degree program in computer science might require a student to take industrial psychology (or something similar), the psychology course itself would not be considered computer science. If it focused on the human handling and interpretation of data, it might be considered informatics.


It depends on where you are; according to an article in the magazine Communications of the ACM titled "Why an Informatics Degree?":

The term "informatics" has different definitions depending on where it is used. In Europe, for instance, computer science is referred to as informatics. In the U.S., however, informatics is linked with applied computing, or computing in the context of another domain.

  • 1
    "In Europe ... computer science is referred to as informatics." This would have been my answer. Using the term informatics in the US is still fairly rare.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 4, 2013 at 15:46

Informatics is a broad academic field consisting of computer science,information science and information technology together with a cognate, that is a secondary field of study in which informatics is applied such as biology,chemistry and physics.

  • Do you have any references to back this up? Sep 16, 2017 at 20:50

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