Human-Computer Interaction MS


Graduate Admissions Counselor

Philip Bradley
585-475-5332, pmbges@rit.edu


Department Contact

Qi Yu, Ph.D.
585-475-6929, qyuvks@rit.edu


Online Program Available

This program may be completed online. Visit RIT Online for additional information.

Please contact the admissions counselor below for additional information about applying to the online program.

Matt Stever
585-475-5529, mesges@rit.edu


Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? Yes
Application Deadline February 15th Priority Deadline, rolling thereafter
Admit Term Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam GRE required for individuals with degrees from international universities
Other
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 88
IELTS 6.5
PTE Academic 61

 

Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

Human-computer interaction (HCI) addresses the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing and computing-based systems for the benefit of human use. HCI research is driven by technological advances and the increasing pervasiveness of computing devices in our society. With an emphasis on making computing technologies more user-friendly, HCI has emerged as a dynamic, multifaceted area of study that merges theory from science, engineering, and design—as well as concepts and methodologies from psychology, anthropology, sociology, and industrial design—with the technical concerns of computing.

The master of science degree in human-computer interaction provides the knowledge and skills necessary for conceptualizing, designing, implementing, and evaluating software applications and computing technologies for the benefit of the user, whether the user is an individual, a group, an organization, or a society. Human, technological, and organizational concerns are interwoven throughout the curriculum and addressed in team- and project-based learning experiences.

Plan of study

The program is comprised of four required core courses, up to three program electives (depending upon capstone option chosen), two application domain courses, and a capstone project or thesis.

Core courses

The core courses provide knowledge and skills in the conceptual and methodological frameworks of HCI and HCI research. Emphasis is on understanding human cognition as it applies to information systems plus interaction design, interface prototyping, and usability evaluation.

Electives

Student choose up to three electives, depending on which capstone option they choose to complete.

Program electives

Students select two elective courses. In select cases, students can petition for approval to include a course complementary to the degree program as a program elective.

Application domain courses

To gain breadth in a technical area to which HCI concepts can be applied, students complete two courses in any of the application domain areas. A special topics option is also available, with faculty approval, for individuals with interest in other HCI-related areas.

Thesis/Capstone project

Students may complete a thesis or capstone project. This experience is meant to be an empirical study of a HCI problem, which can be the development of a software product through user-centered design processes. The results are either published in a peer-reviewed journal or publicly disseminated in an appropriate professional venue.

Curriculum

Human-computer interaction (capstone project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIN-600 Research Methods 3
HCIN-610 Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction 3
HCIN-620 Information and Interaction Design 3
  Application Domain Courses 6
HCIN-630 Usability Testing 3
HCIN-794 MS HCI Project Proposal 3
  Program Elective 3
Second Year
   Program Elective  3
HCIN-795 MS HCI Project  3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Human-computer interaction (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIN-600 Research Methods 3
HCIN-610 Foundations of Human-Computer Interaction 3
HCIN-620 Information and Interaction Design 3
  Application Domain Courses 6
HCIN-630 Usability Testing 3
  Program Electives 6
Second Year
HCIN-796 MS HCI Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Application domain courses

eLearning technologies
Course
HCIN-660 Fundamentals of Instructional Technology
HCIN-661 Interactive Courseware
Geographic information science and technology
Course
ISTE-740 Geographic Information Science and Technology
ISTE-744 Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization
Smart device application design and development
Course
HCIN-720 Prototyping Wearable and Internet of Things Devices
HCIN-722 Human Computer Interaction with Mobile, Wearable, and Ubiquitous Devices
Web development
Course
ISTE-645 Foundations of Web Technologies I
ISTE-646 Foundations of Web Technologies II
Program electives
Course
HCIN-660 Fundamentals of Instructional Technology
HCIN-661 Interactive Courseware
HCIN-700 Current Topics in HCI
HCIN-705 Topics in HCI for Biomedical Informatics
HCIN-715 Agent-based and Cognitive Modeling
HCIN-720 Designing User Experiences for Internet-enabled Devices
HCIN-722 Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices
HCIN-730 User-Centered Design Methods
HCIN-735 Collaboration, Technology, and the Human Experience
HCIN-794 MS HCI Capstone Proposal
ISTE-645 Foundations of Web Technologies I
ISTE-646 Foundations of Web Technologies II
ISTE-740 Geographic Information Science and Technology
ISTE-744 Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization
ISTE-772 Knowledge Discovery for Biomedical Informatics
PSYC-712 Graduate Cognition
PSYC-715 Graduate Perception

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in human-computer interaction, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application. 
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered, but are required to submit standard GRE scores.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • Have prior study or professional experience in computing; however, study in other disciplines will be given consideration.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 88 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • Applicants with undergraduate degrees from foreign universities are required to submit GRE scores.

 

Additional information

Prerequisites

The program requires strong technical and social science skills. Knowledge of quantitative statistical methodologies is important since students review research studies as well as analyze the results of their own usability evaluations. Students are also expected to have a solid background in computer programming. These competencies may be demonstrated by previous course work, technical certifications, or comparable work experience. Bridge courses are available to fulfill any gaps in an applicant's qualifications. Applicants will be made aware of any areas where additional course work may be necessary.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Online option

The program can be completed on campus or online.


Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.


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