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Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction

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The M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction is a two-year, 36-credit-hour program that integrates interactive computing, user experience (UX), usability, interaction and interface design, and the social sciences in the research, design, and development of user-centered and socially acceptable interactive technologies, applications, and information systems.

Reecha Bharali (HCI MS graduate), now at Google, talks about how collaborative projects make an impact at Informatics and Computing.

As a graduate, you’ll be well prepared for a career in private industry or academia, or for admission to the Ph.D. in Informatics program with a human-computer interaction specialization. Upon or before graduation, our HCI students found full-time jobs and internships as user experience researchers and designers at top companies in Indiana and worldwide, including Yahoo!, Microsoft Research, Google, Salesforce, Walmart Labs, Dell, Intel, Demandware, SAP, Roche Diagnostics, Parkview, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Ammunition, VMWare, Fossil, Samsung, Cummins, Raytheon, and many others.

The program may be completed in two years by a full-time student. Part-time study options are available for domestic students. However, international students and any students funded directly by the School of Informatics and Computing (in the form of an assistantship or fellowship) must complete the program in two years.

Student Careers in HCI


Average Starting Salary at Graduation

Logos of companies that have hired HCI graduates

Since the beginning of the HCI program our graduates have received offers for internships and full time jobs in a variety of HCI, UX, and informatics roles at a broad range of companies.

Employers from around the country are seeking highly qualified junior and senior candidates with advanced degrees in HCI. The field is at an all-time high, and opportunities for our MS in HCI graduates are increasing daily.

Get in touch with our Career Services staff to explore HCI internship and full-time opportunities and prepare your portfolio to land your dream job in HCI. See our selected HCI job banks to browse just a glimpse of the the many HCI job opportunities currently available in the industry.  Examples of recent job position titles our students secured include:

  • User Experience (UX) Researcher
  • UX Research Specialist
  • UX Designer
  • Search Quality Analyst
  • User Interface (UI) Designer and Developer
  • UX Engineer
  • Product Manager
  • UI/UX Architect
  • Interaction Designer.

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Plan of Study

36 credit hours.

Printable Plan of Study

Fall Admission

Fall Semester 1

Choose one:

Spring Semester 1

Summer Session

Elective or internship.

Fall Semester 2

Spring Semester 2

Spring Admission

Spring Semester 1

Summer Session

Elective or internship.

Fall Semester 1

Spring Semester 2

Summer Session

Elective or internship.

Fall Semester 2

Final Project or Thesis

Final Project Option

All HCI students must complete a final project by registering for two courses: H680 HCI Professional Practice 1 and H681 HCI Professional Practice 2. Each course includes a formally scheduled in-class time that students must attend. Students will work on one final project that extends throughout the two courses, i.e., in both fall and spring semesters. Students will receive an official grade at the conclusion of each course/semester. Students are encouraged to propose a project that can be realistically completed by the conclusion of H681, the Spring semester. Incompletes are NOT permitted.

Thesis Option

The Thesis option is reserved for students who possess a demonstrated ability to carry out publishable empirical research. Qualified students must find a research-active faculty member willing to advise them on a thesis by the end of the second semester.

Students taking the Thesis option must take and successfully pass I575 Informatics Research Design or an equivalent research methods course decided in concert with the thesis advisor by the completion of their first year. As with the final project, an incomplete will NOT be permitted. It is the student’s responsibility to propose a thesis that can be completed within a two-semester timeline. To do this, students MUST provide their primary thesis advisor with a full thesis proposal and outline that includes a timeline for the writing of the thesis.

Potential Electives

Students must check for prerequisites and course availability from the respective schools and departments.


HCI for the Internet of Things (IoT)

Business and Entrepreneurship


Game Design and Development

3-D Graphics and Animation

Web Design and Development

Digital Media and Healthcare

Video Production

  • 500-level sections of video production courses

Computer Science

  • CSCI 507 Object-Oriented Design and Programming
  • CSCI 537 Introduction to Distributed Computing
  • CSCI 541 Database Systems
  • CSCI 550 Computer Graphics
  • CSCI 552 Advanced Graphics and Visualization
  • CSCI 565 Programming Language

Herron School of Art

  • HER V501 Intro to Design Thinking (1.5 cr.)
  • HER V502 Intro to Human Factors in Design (1.5 cr.)
  • HER R511 Studio: Designing Integrated Experiences 1 (3 cr.)

BioHealth Informatics


  • PSY 570 Industrial Psychology
  • PSY 572 Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 615 Physiological Psychology
  • PSY 640 Social Psychology I
  • PSY 655 Cognitive Development


  • COMM C500 Advanced Communication Theory
  • COMM C531 Media Theory and Criticism
  • COMM C592 Advanced Health Communication
  • COMM C620 Computer-Mediated Communication


  • SOC R556 Advanced Sociological Theory I
  • SOC R557 Advanced Sociological Theory II
  • SOC R559 Intermediate Sociological Statistics
  • SOC R593 Applied Fieldwork for Sociologists
  • SOC S530 Introduction to Social Psychology


  • GEOG G536 Advanced Remote Sensing
  • GEOG G537 Computer Cartography and Graphics
  • GEOG G538 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG G539 Advanced Geographic Information Systems


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.S. in HCI program, students will:

  1. Evaluate and create interfaces by applying HCI theories, terms, principles, and methods including user experience, user-centered, and interaction design theories and practices; interactive product design and development processes and lifecycle; user profiling to interaction design (needs and requirements); system requirements and product assessments; prototype design theory and practice; and product usability evaluations and testing methods.
  2. Apply psychological and cognitive principles and theories to human factors and user experience design.
  3. Research and develop interactive collaborative systems by applying social computing theories and frameworks.
  4. Design novel ubiquitous computing systems by researching and applying relevant HCI and informatics theories and frameworks.
  5. Design effective, usable, and human-centered interactive systems using prototypes and proof of concepts.
  6. Critique interaction designs on their usability, human-centeredness, and satisfaction of requirements; evaluate the fitness of requirements, goals, and research methods; make recommendations; and create and defend alternative designs.
  7. Effectively communicate in digital, oral, and written form the processes, ideas, outcomes, and implications of HCI projects.
  8. Articulate decisions and reasoning behind decisions made related to interaction design choices, design and research methods.
  9. Exhibit sound judgment, ethical behavior, and professionalism in applying HCI concepts and value-sensitive design to serve stakeholders and society, especially in ethically challenging situations.
  10. Collaborate in teams fairly, effectively, and creatively, applying group decision-making and negotiation skills.