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.
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.
Student choose up to three electives, depending on which capstone option they choose to complete.
Students will select two courses from the program electives list. In select cases, students can petition for approval to include a course complementray to the degree program as a program elective. See website for further details of available electives: https://www.rit.edu/programs/human-computer-interaction-ms
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 following application domain areas. A special topics option is also available, with faculty approval, for individuals with interest in other HCI-related areas. See website for further details of available domain courses: https://www.rit.edu/programs/human-computer-interaction-ms
Students may complete a thesis or capstone project. (Student who choose the capstone will complete one additional elective.) 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.
Course sequence differs according to selected thesis/project option, see website for further details of a particular option's modules and electives: https://www.rit.edu/programs/human-computer-interaction-ms
Other admission requirements
-Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0* (B average).
-Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
-Have prior study or professional experience in computing; however, study in other disciplines will be given consideration.
-Complete a graduate application.
-International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required.
-Applicants with undergraduate degrees from foreign universities are required to submit GRE scores.
*Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered, but are required to submit standard Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
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.
The program can be completed on campus or online.
Hold a baccalaureate (or equivalent) degree from a regionally accredited institution. See course description for further admission details.