Human-Computer Interaction MS

A degree driven by real-time employer demand

These jobs are growing by 16%, more than twice the rate of overall labor market growth.

The human-computer interaction job market

$101k+

Average annual salary

36%

Growth in demand for user research

112%

Growth in demand for design thinking

97%

Graduate outcomes rate

Program Highlights

The master of science in human-computer interaction integrates service and design thinking into a rigorous HCI curriculum that prepares our students to design and guide the future of human and technology interactions. You will gain the knowledge and skills to conceptualize, design, implement, and evaluate software applications and computing technologies with the user in mind. Human, technological, and organizational topics are interwoven throughout the curriculum and addressed in team and project-based learning experiences. 

This professional degree will prepare you for industry and a career related to user experience, human-computer interaction and beyond. This degree program is practical and applied. To gain a working knowledge in a technical area to which HCI concepts can then 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.

Course Sequencing

Typically, the following courses are offered in an online modality during the fall semester: HCIN-620, HCIN-630, HCIN-660, MEDI-701, IGME-770, and ISTE-782, and the following courses are typically offered in an online modality during the spring semester: HCIN-600, HCIN-610, HCIN-661, HCIN-797, HCIN-700, IGME-772, ISTE-764, and ISTE-782. Please consult the Student Information System (SIS) for the most up-to-date upcoming course schedules.

Curriculum packed with high-demand skills

icon showing a bar chart.

Research

Demand for user research skills is growing 35%, and carries a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

icon showing clipboard and a gear.

UI/UX

Information architecture skills carry a salary premium in the workforce.

icon showing puzzle pieces.

Design Thinking

Demand for design thinking skills is growing 112%.

icon of a laptop with arrows.

Development

Demand for front-end development skills is growing 12% and carries a salary premium.

Curriculum

HCIN-600
Credits 3
This course provides students with an introduction to the practical application of various research methods that can be used in human computer interaction. The course provides an overview of the research process and the literature review, and provides experience with qualitative, survey, and experimental research methods. Students will study existing research and design and conduct studies. Students will need to have taken a statistics course before registering for this class.
HCIN-610
Credits 3
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a field of study concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. This course surveys the scope of issues and foundations of the HCI field: cognitive psychology, human factors, interaction styles, user analysis, task analysis, interaction design methods and techniques, and evaluation. This course will focus on the users and their tasks.
HCIN-620
Credits 3
Designing meaningful relationships among people and the products they use is both an art and a science. This course will focus on the unique design practice of: representing and organizing information in such a way as to facilitate perception and understanding (information architecture); and, specifying the appropriate mechanisms for accessing and manipulating task information (interaction design). This course will also explore the various design patterns (design solutions to particular problems) that are appropriate for the HCI professional. Students will need prior knowledge of an interface prototyping tool.
HCIN-630
Credits 3
This project-based course will focus on the formal evaluation of products. Topics include usability test goal setting, recruitment of appropriate users, design of test tasks, design of the test environment, test plan development and implementation, analysis and interpretation of the results, and documentation and presentation of results and recommendations.
HCIN-797
Credits 3
This course provides students with the skills to develop a plan and execute a project in the field of human-computer interaction. Emphasis is placed on the student applying skills and knowledge gained previously throughout their HCI master’s degree program. Students will select a topic from a set of recommendations provided by the instructor, formulate a detailed plan for the execution of this project, provide deliverables for key milestones throughout the semester, and present their work in a professionally appropriate manner, e.g. via a written report, video, or other forms that are suitable for dissemination in a professional user-experience portfolio. The goal of this course is for students to gain experience how to employ methodologies and skills from the field of human-computer interaction appropriately as part of an extended final project that serves as a culminating experience for their master’s degree program. This course is only an option for students who are registered as online students.

Application Domain Courses and Additional Electives

HCIN-660
Credits 3
Instructional Technology encompasses the basic processes for developing and delivering instruction. Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is a well-established methodology for describing knowledge and skills and developing instructional systems to effectively conveying knowledge. This course enables the student to be able to plan, organize, and systematically develop instructional materials. The course uses an ISD model to analyze, design, deliver, and evaluate instruction.
HCIN-661
Credits 3
Computer software that teaches is referred to as courseware. This course is a continuation of HCIN-660 that transitions from general instructional design into the actual application of these principles in a computer-based environment. Although the basic principles of instructional design hold true in all media environments, using these teaching and learning principles is somewhat different when developing instruction that will be delivered by computer. This course teaches procedures that have already been successful in the design and development of courseware. Successful students should have one year of object-oriented programming.
IGME-770
Credits 3
This course provides a survey of the theory, concepts, and technologies related to representation and understanding of the earth - a scientific domain known as Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS & T). Students will gain hands-on experience with technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPSs), Geographic Information Systems (GISs), remote sensing, spatial data science and analysis, and web mapping. Furthermore, students will learn relevant GIS & T theory, concepts, and research trends such as spatial reasoning, spatiotemporal data representation, and spatial analysis.
MEDI-701
Credits 3
This course provides a rigorous introduction to the principles of medical informatics. The focus of this course is on the study of the nature of medical information and its use in clinical practice and clinical quality improvement. Key topics include: the electronic medical record (EMR) and its impact on health care delivery, the Internet and mobile computing as sources of medical information, Health care information systems, the software development lifecycle, the importance of the informatics specialists in medicine and the various roles they can play, and government economic incentives and policy issues in healthcare such as privacy, confidentiality, including health care regulatory and accreditation issues and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Students will participate in online discussion of medical informatics. They will also investigate several topics of interest in the field and provide presentations.
ISTE-764
Credits 3
Information technology projects require the application of sound project management principles in order to be developed on time, on budget, and on specification. This course takes students through the nine knowledge areas of modern project management and the utilization of project management principles in both traditional and agile environments.
ISTE-782
Credits 3
This course introduces students to Visual Analytics, or the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces. Course lectures, reading assignments, and practical lab experiences will cover a mix of theoretical and technical Visual Analytics topics. Topics include analytical reasoning, human cognition and perception of visual information, visual representation and interaction technologies, data representation and transformation, production, presentation, and dissemination of analytic process results, and Visual Analytic case studies and applications. Furthermore, students will learn relevant Visual Analytics research trends such as Space, Time, and Multivariate Analytics and Extreme Scale Visual Analytics.
HCIN-700
Credits 3
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an evolving field. This course is designed to study the current themes and advanced issues of HCI. Topics will vary depending upon current research and developments in the field.
IGME-772
Credits 3
This course will provide an in-depth exposure to advanced topics in biomedical informatics and knowledge discovery. Large datasets will be used to illustrate and explore methods in the transformation of data to information and integration of information with domain knowledge. Topics will include high-throughput technologies in genomics, descriptive and inferential statistics, machine learning, visualization, human-computer interaction. Note: One year of programming in an object-oriented language is needed.

Admission Requirements

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college
  • Have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Submit a current resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation
  • Have prior study or professional experience in computing; however, study in other disciplines will be given consideration
  • A year of object-oriented programming is expected
  • Applicants from international colleges or universities outside the US are required to submit GRE scores
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Cost

The online MS in Human-Computer Interaction requires 30 credits and costs $1,237 per credit hour (Academic Year 2021 – 2022). This tuition reflects the RIT Online discount of 43% off the MS Human-Computer Interaction campus-based program cost. 

Keep in mind that there are many options available that may help you lower your costs including: 

  • Military tuition benefits
  • Support from employers 
  • Private scholarships 
  • Financing 
  • Payment plans

Certain countries are subject to comprehensive embargoes under US Export Controls, which prohibit virtually ALL exports, imports and other transactions without a license or other US Government authorization.