Department ofHuman-Centered Computing

Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) uses research and principles from design, psychology, business, engineering and computing, you’ll create technology that not only solves problems, but also is intuitive, functional and enjoyable to use.

Human-Computer Interaction provides the answers to how Apple made the iPhone so unique, or how Amazon’s Kindle changed the way we read, or why your favorite websites are so easy to use when so many others make you want to scream.

In our applied, research-based program, you’ll focus on the end user and the experience to conceive, design and develop interactive applications that deliver results, add even more functionality to the web than thought possible, and design sought-after technologies.

The Ph.D. in Informatics with a Human-Computer Interaction specialization is 90-credit-hour program that integrates computing, usability, interface design, the social sciences and other disciplines in the design and development of user-friendly technologies, software and information systems. The program includes core courses, research rotations, your choice of minor, qualifying examinations and a dissertation.

Careers in HCI

Securing an internship with SAP will provide international exposure for PhD student Romisa Gharahi.

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 HCI graduates are increasing daily.

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, including:

Get in touch with our Career Services staff to explore HCI internship opportunities and prepare your portfolio to land your dream job in HCI. See our selected HCI job banks to view the many HCI job opportunities currently available.

HCI Research

Our Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) students take part in innovative research that directly impacts how the world uses and experiences technology and information systems. And HCI research opportunities only continue to grow as technology becomes more pervasive each and every day.

Led by our world-class faculty, you will conduct HCI and usability research that spans across multiple disciplines to include such areas as computing, communication, robotics/android science, biomedical systems and devices, human and social sciences and much more.

Getting Started

Successful applicants to our Ph.D. program must have a strong background in computing and information technology. You should be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required of the undergraduate Informatics degree.

Promising applicants lacking competencies necessary for admission may be allowed to take courses that will satisfy those requirements, as determined by School of Informatics and Computing faculty. Those courses, however, would not count towards degree or certificate completion.

Prerequisites

Successful applicants will have a foundation of core knowledge and skills (from either past education or work experience) in one or more of the following proficiency areas:

Degree Requirements

Informatics Core (6 cr.)

HCI Core (18 cr.)

Methods Courses (18 cr.)

Specialization (18 cr.)

You must complete a minor within a domain appropriate to your choice of specialization and/or research area.  All courses must be graduate-level and outside the School of Informatics and Computing.

Qualifying Examinations

  1. Written Exam – You must successfully complete a written qualifying examination by the end of the program’s second year. The exam is established by faculty and covers subject matter taken in the program’s core courses. The exam may be retaken once.
  2. Oral Exam – An oral examination takes place within weeks after successful completion of the written exam. You must pass both the written and oral exam before passing on to Ph.D. candidacy. The oral exam is based on the student’s response to the written exam and core course material. The exam may be retaken once.

Guide to the HCI PhD Qualifying Exams (for students enrolled prior to fall 2014)

Students starting fall 2014 will receive an updated guide to the HCI PhD Qualifying Exams.

Dissertation (30 cr.)

A dissertation is a written elaboration of original research that makes creative contributions to your chosen area of specialization. Students will enroll multiple times in INFO I890 Thesis Readings and Research (1-12 cr.) as you work to complete your dissertation. All requirements must be completed within seven years of passing the qualifying exams. The dissertation process includes the following components:

  1. Proposal – This is an in-depth oral review undertaken by students who have made significant progress in their research. The proposal will be defended at a public colloquium. You must complete the proposal within one year of passing the qualifying exams.
  2. Defense – You must defend your dissertation in an open seminar scheduled when doctoral research is almost complete.

Please refer to the IUPUI Graduate School Bulletin for more details on the dissertation process.