Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction

The interdisciplinary Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) degree program is a cooperative effort of the School of Interactive Computing; the School of Literature, Media and Communication; the School of Industrial Design, and the School of Psychology. The program provides students with the practical and interdisciplinary skills and theoretical understanding they will need to become leaders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the computer interfaces of the future.

Course of Study

The HCI master's degree is a four-semester program consisting of a total of thirty-six credit hours. Each student is required to complete a set of four core courses, a set of elective courses based on their academic background and interests, a set of area specialization courses based on the academic unit in which they reside, and a Master's project. The specific courses for each student will be determined by the HCI program coordinator in consultation with the academic unit. The area specialization courses are determined by the academic unit in which the student resides. The areas of specialization are: Interactive Computing; Digital Media (DM, through the School of Literature, Media and Communication); Industrial Design; and Psychology.

Specializations Fixed Core Credit Hours Specialization Credit Hours Elective Credit Hours Project Credit Hours
Interactive Computing 9 9 12 6
Digital Media 9 9 12 6
Industrial Design 9 12 9 6
Psychology 9 10 11 6

Each student is required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average across credit hours used to fulfill degree requirements, a minimum grade of “B” in Fixed Core, Specialization, and Project credit hours, and a minimum grade of “C” in Elective credit hours.

Core Courses

Core Courses9
CS/PSYC 6755Human-Computer Interaction Foundations 1,2,33
PSYC 6023Psychological Research Methods for HCI 1,34
CS/ID/LMC/PSYC 6753Human-Computer Interaction-Professional Preparation and Practice (one credit hour Fall of first year and one credit hour Fall of second year) 12


Interactive Computing Specialization

Select 3 credit hours from the following:3
Prototyping Interactive Systems
Principles of User Interface Software
Video Game Design and Programming
Information Visualization
Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
Human-Robot Interaction
Special Topics (Mobile Apps and Services)
Design-Evaluation-and Cognitive Modeling
Select 6 credit hours from the following:6
Computing For Good
Information to Health Informatics
Introduction to Human-Centered Computing
Qualitative Methods for Design of Human Computer Interaction
Video Game Design and Programming
Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations
Design of Online Communities
Social Computing
Data Visualization: Principles and Applications
Information and Communication Technologies and Global Development
Mixed Reality Experience Design
Mixed Reality Experience Design
Design of Design Environments
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Information Visualization
Human-Centered Data Analysis
Game Artificial Intelligence
Human-Robot Interaction
Special Topics (Animal interaction)
Special Topics (Computational Creativity)
Special Topics (Personal Health Informatics)
Special Topics (Physical Prototyping in HCI)
Total Credit Hours9

A minimum grade of “B” is required in each of the Interactive Computing Specialization classes.

Digital Media (DM) Specialization

Select one of the following- preferably taken in the first year of study:3
The Computer as an "Expressive Medium"
Principles of Interaction Design
Discovery & Invention
LMC 6000- or 8000-level courses6
Total Credit Hours9

A minimum grade of “B” is required in each of the Digital Media Specialization classes.

Industrial Design Specialization

ID 6101Human Centered Design3
ID 8802Special Topics in ID (Visual Communication for Interaction)2
Select one of the following courses:4
Grad Studio Two: Health and Wellness
Grad Studio Two: Interactive Products
Select one from the following:3
Introduction to Graduate Studies in Industrial Design
Service Design, Brand and Value Creation
Design for Interaction: Working with New Technologies
Interface Prototyping: Exploring Tools & Theories
Design of Interactive Environments
Investigations of Universal Design in the Built Environment
Web Design, Usability and Accessibility
Special Topics (Technoology of Poetic Objects)
Special Topics (Consumer Electronics Design)
Special Topics (Craft Exploration Methods)
Special Topics (Wearable Technologies for Health)
Total Credit Hours12

A minimum grade of “B” is required in each of the Industrial Design Specialization classes.

Psychology Specialization

PSYC 6022Psychological Statistics for HCI (Fall or Spring)4
Select 6 credit hours from the following:6
Cognitive Psychology
Social Psychology
Sensation and Perception
Human Abilities 1
Current Topics in Cognitive Aging
Psychology of Aging
Psychological Testing 2
Engineering Psychology I: Methods
Engineering Psychology II: Displays, Controls, and Workspace
Seminar in Experimental Psychology
Total Credit Hours10

A minimum grade of “B” is required in each of the Psychology Specialization classes.

Elective Courses:

  • 12 credit hours for Interactive Computing
  • 12 credit hours for Digital Media
  • 9 credit hours for Industrial Design
  • 11 credit hours for Psychology

Any Specialization course may be taken to fulfill an Elective course requirement for any of the four degree tracks.  Other approved Electives appear in the list below.

For each area of specialization (track), a certain number of Elective credits must be taken outside of the area:  

  • Interactive Computing:  at least 9 non-CS elective credits must be taken
  • Industrial Design, Digital Media, and Psychology: at least 6 non-track elective credits must be taken

A maximum of 3 credit hours of Special Problems in HCI (CS/ID/LMC/PSYC 8903) may count toward the Elective course requirement.

A minimum grade of “C” is required in each of the Elective classes used to satisfy degree requirements.

Aerospace Engineering

AE 6551Cognitive Engineering3
AE 6721Evaluation of Human Integrated Systems3

Computer Science(NOTE: These courses are still approved electives, but they have been combined with the next section to create a single list of approved Computer Science courses).

CS 6150Computing For Good3
CS 6440Information to Health Informatics3
CS 6451Introduction to Human-Centered Computing3
CS 6452Prototyping Interactive Systems3
CS 6454Qualitative Methods for Design of Human Computer Interaction3
CS 6456Principles of User Interface Software3
CS 6457Video Game Design and Programming3
CS 6460Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations3
CS 6465Computational Journalism3
CS 6470Design of Online Communities3
CS 6474Social Computing3
CS 6730Data Visualization: Principles and Applications3
CS/INTA 6745Information and Communication Technologies and Global Development3
CS/ID 6763Design of Design Environments3
CS 6770Mixed Reality Experience Design3
or LMC 6340 Mixed Reality Experience Design
CS 6795Introduction to Cognitive Science3
CS 7450Information Visualization3
CS 7451Human-Centered Data Analysis3
CS 7470Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing3
CS 7497Virtual Environments3
CS 7632Game Artificial Intelligence3
CS 7633Human-Robot Interaction3
CS 8803Special Topics (Animal Interaction)3
CS 8803Special Topics (Computational Creativity)3
CS 8803Special Topics (Personal Health Informatics)3
CS 8803Special Topics (Mobile Apps and Services)3
CS 8803Special Topics (Physical Prototpying in HCI)3
CS 8903Special Problems1-21

International Affairs

INTA 8803Special Topics (Computers, Communications, and International Development)3
INTA/CS 6745Information and Communication Technologies and Global Development3

Industrial Design

ID 6100Introduction to Graduate Studies in Industrial Design3
ID 6101Human Centered Design3
ID 6212Grad Studio Two: Health and Wellness4
ID 6213Grad Studio Two: Interactive Products4
ID 6216Service Design, Brand and Value Creation3
ID 6510Design for Interaction: Working with New Technologies3
ID 6515Interface Prototyping: Exploring Tools & Theories3
ID 6271Healthcare Design of the Future3
ID/CS 6763Design of Interactive Environments3
ID 6800Investigations of Universal Design in the Built Environment3
ID 6820Web Design, Usability and Accessibility3
ID 8802Special Topics in ID (Visual Communication for Interaction)2
ID 8803Special Topics (Technology of Poetic Objects)3
ID 8803Special Topics (Wearable Technologies for Health)3
ID 8803Special Topics (Craft Exploration Methods)3
ID 8803Special Topics (Consumer Electronics Design)3
ID 8903Special Problems in Human-Computer Interaction1-3

Industrial and Systems Engineering

ISYE 6413Design and Analysis of Experiments3
ISYE 6414Statistical Modeling and Regression Analysis3
ISYE 6739Basic Statistical Methods3
ISYE 6772Managing Resources of the Technological Firm3
ISYE 7210Real-time Interactive Simulation3

Literature, Media, and Communication (Digital Media)

LMC 6215Issues in Media Studies3
LMC 6310The Computer as an "Expressive Medium"3
LMC 6311Visual Culture and Design3
LMC 6312Design, Technology & Representation3
LMC 6313Principles of Interaction Design3
LMC 6314Design of Networked Media3
LMC 6315Product Production3
LMC 6316Historical Approaches to Digital Media3
LMC 6317Interactive Narrative/Fiction3
LMC 6318Experimental Media3
LMC 6319Intellectural Property Policy and Law3
LMC 6325Game Design and Analysis3
LMC 6340/CS 6770Mixed Reality Experience Design3
LMC 6399Discovery & Invention3
LMC 6650Project Studio3
LMC 6748Social Justice, Critical Theory, and Philosophy of Design3
LMC 8000Proseminar in Media Theory3
LMC 8001Proseminar in Digital Media Studies3
LMC 8903Special Problems in Human-Computer Interaction3

Management of Technology (MOT)

MGT 6056Electronic Commerce-Conducting Business on the Internet3
MGT 6057Business Process Analysis and Design3
MGT 6059Emerging Technologies3
MGT 6086Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity3
MGT 6111Innovation and Entrepreneurial Behavior3
MGT 6165Venture Creation3
MGT 6326Collaborative Product Development3
MGT 6359Business Strategies For Sustainability3
MGT 6450Project Management3
MGT 6772Managing Resources of the Technological Firm3
MGT 6799Legal Issues in Technology Transfer3
MGT 6789Technology Ventures3
MGT 8803Big Data Analytics in Business3


MUSI 6001Music Perception and Cognition3
MUSI 6002Computer Supported Interactive Music3
MUSI 6003Music Technology History and Repertoire3
MUSI 6004Technology Ensemble3
MUSI 6103Music Recording and Mixing3
MUSI 6203Project Studio in Music Technology3
MUSI 7100Music Technology Research Laboratory3


PSYC 6011Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 6012Social Psychology3
PSYC 6014Sensation and Perception3
PSYC 6022Psychological Statistics for HCI4
PSYC 6041Current Topics in Cognitive Aging1
PSYC 7101Engineering Psychology I: Methods3
PSYC 7102Engineering Psychology II: Displays, Controls, and Workspace3
PSYC 7104Psychomotor and Cognitive Skill Learning and Performance3
PSYC/CS 7790Cognitive Modeling4
PSYC 8040Seminar in Engineering Psychology3
PSYC 8903Special Problems in Human-Computer Interaction3

Public Policy

PUBP 6111Internet and Public Policy3
PUBP 6401Science, Technology, and Public Policy3

Research Project (6 credit hours)

Each student completes this requirement, under the supervision of a faculty member, typically during the last two semesters of their program. Students must submit a project proposal and a final report and present their work to program coordinators and other MS - HCI students late during the semester of graduation.

Select one of the folloiwng:
HCI Master's Project 1
HCI Master's Project 1
HCI Master's Project 1
HCI Master's Project 1

A minimum grade of “B” is required in the project course.

Other expectations

All students are expected to complete a corporate internship in an HCI-relevant position between their second and third semesters.