Graduate Programs

Degree Programs

Master of Science
Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is the branch of informatics that studies and supports the design, development, and implementation of humanly usable and socially acceptable information technologies. The goal of the field is to shape new media and tools that will support human use, augment human learning, enhance communication, and lead to more acceptable technological developments at the individual and social levels.

Research in HCI draws extensively on mainstream informatics concerns with cognition, communication, representation, and computation. HCI professionals seek to identify the nature and parameters of human information processing at the interface, design forms of representation that support human interpretation and use of information; reliably and validly test new technologies for usability and acceptability, and determine how information technologies change working practices and social activities.

Regular job postings for HCI personnel express a desire for professionals with suitable training in design and evaluation, and increasingly, applied social scientists with technological skills are finding employment in industry as HCI professionals.


Students may be asked to complete prerequisite course work by a graduate advisor to ensure progress through the program.

Degree Requirements

To receive the master of science degree, the applicant must be admitted as a graduate student and complete 36 credits of graduate study in HCI according to the following schedule:

Core Courses (21 cr.)

  • INFO I501:Introduction to Informatics
  • INFO I541: Human Computer Interaction Design I
  • INFO I561: Human Computer Interaction Design II
  • INFO I543: Usability and Evaluative Methods
  • INFO I563: Psychology of HCI
  • INFO I564: Prototyping for Interactive Systems
  • INFO I575: Informatics Research Design

Recommended Electives (9 cr.)

Electives are to be chosen, with prior approval of a graduate advisor, from a list of departments specific to each degree program. The following courses have been approved. Additional courses may be added to the student's program with advisor's consent.

  • INFO I503: Social Impact of Information Technologies
  • INFO I505: Informatics Project Management
  • INFO I534: Seminar in Human-Computer Interaction
  • INFO I550: Legal and Business Issues in Informatics
  • INFO I554: Independent Study in Human-Computer Interaction
  • INFO I590: Topics in Informatics
  • NEWM N500: Principles of Digital Arts Production
  • NEWM N503: Digital Media Application Design Processes
  • NEWM N510: Web Database Concepts

OR, from the Herron School of Art and Design, School of Library and Information Science, or from the Department of Computer Science. Visit the informatics website for specific suggestions.

Project/Thesis (6 cr.)

Students will perform an independent research project, and produce a report or thesis, a designed artifact, or other appropriate deliverable format for public defense.