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Human-Centered Computing bachelor of science degree

Stephen Zilora, Chair

Program overview

Fundamental to human-centered computing is a focus on humans as individuals and in social contexts, and their behavior with technology. With roots in multiple areas of computing, arts, and social sciences, HCC blends strength from these varied disciplines to understand the way in which people use technology. Students in this major are at the intersection of computer advancements and understanding human behavior with technology. Topics of consideration include the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems and understanding the ways in which such systems can transform our lives. With a combination of content from computing, psychology, and design, HCC blends core theoretical and applied human technology concepts in a contemporary interdisciplinary curricular model. Given the growing reliance on computing in our daily lives, technology no longer is the exclusive realm of tech-savvy users; industry has recognized the need to make software and devices that are usable and desirable. This major prepares students for careers in industry or graduate study, offering options to specialize in different areas of HCC depending on individual student interests in computing, design, or psychology.

Plan of study

The human-centered computing major is unique in its foundation of psychology, design, and technology. The curriculum combines courses from three different RIT colleges to ensure students develop a firm understanding of these diverse subjects. Core courses include several foundational classes in technology, cognitive science and psychology, Gestalt, color theory, and creative thinking. This is an interdisciplinary degree with concentrations available in accessibility, design, front-end development, instructional technology, natural language processing, and psychology.

Cooperative education

The major requires students to complete two blocks of cooperative education. Students may begin their co-op requirement after completing their second year of study.


Human-centered computing, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ACSC-010 Year One 0
ISTE-120 Computer Program Solving: Information Domain I 4
ISTE-121 Computer Program Solving: Information Domain II 4
ISTE-140 Web and Mobile I 3
ISTE-240 Web and Mobile II 3
ISTE-110 Ethics in Computing (WI) 3
PSYC-101 LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): Introduction to Psychology 3
PSYC-223 Cognitive Psychology 3
STAT-145 LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Introduction to Statistics I 3
NMDE-111 New Media Design Digital Survey I 3
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PSYC-250 Research Methods I (WI) 3
PSYC-251 Research Methods II 3
ISTE-262   Foundations of HCC   3
NMDE-112 New Media Design Digital Survey II 3
STAT-146 LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Introduction to Statistics II 4
ISTE-264 Prototyping and Usability Testing 3
ISTE-252 Foundations of Mobile 3
ISTE-099 IST Second Year Seminar 0
  LAS Perspective 4 (social) 3
  LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry) 3
  Free Elective 3
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
ISTE-266 Design for Accessibility 3
  HCC Concentration Courses 12
  LAS Perspective 2 (artistic) 3
  LAS Perspective 3 (global) 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
  Free Electives 6
  Cooperative Education (spring) Co-op
Fourth Year
ISTE-500 Senior Development Project I 3
ISTE-501 Senior Development Project II (WI) 3
  HCC Concentration Courses 6
  LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) 3
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Elective 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 120

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.


ISTE-362 Access and Assistive Technology
ISTE-462 Research in Accessibility
ISTE-464 Accessibility through the Lifespan
NMDE-201 New Media Design: Design Elements II
NMDE-203 New Media Design: Interactive II
NMDE-302 New Media Design: Graphical User Interface
Front end development
ISTE-340 Client Programming
ISTE-454 Mobile Application Development I
ISTE-456 Mobile Application Development II
Instructional technology
ISTE-560 Fundamentals of Instructional Technology
ISTE-561 Interactive Courseware
PSYC-235 Learning and Behavior
Natural language processing
ENGL-351 Language Technology (required)
ENGL-481 Introduction to Natural Language Processing (required)
Plus one of the following:
   ENGL-582   Seminar in Computational Linguistics
   ENGL-584    Spoken Language Processing
PSYC-330 Memory and Attention
PSYC-331 Language and Thought
PSYC-332 Decision Making, Judgment and Problem Solving

Admission requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math are required and pre-calculus is recommended
  • Requires chemistry or physics and strongly recommends both.
  • Computing electives are recommended

1280 -1450

ACT Composite

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in computer science, calculus, liberal arts; calculus-based physics, chemistry, or biology

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in computer science, engineering science, or liberal arts



Additional information

Global opportunities

Students in the human-centered computing major can participate in a study abroad experience at RIT Croatia's campuses in Dubrovnik or Zagreb, where many of the program's courses are offered regularly. The major participates in Senior Development Project I, II (ISTE-500, 501), a global course in which teams of students from RIT's main campus and both RIT Croatia campuses work together on an industry-inspired project.