About This Program
Most students who have completed a Master's in the HCI (Human Computer Interaction) Graduate Program are employed within their field -- 81% of responding alumni, in fact. These jobs include UX design, systems analysis, UX engineering, user research, web design, web development, and business analysis. Graduates have a high rate of employment, with only 1% of respondents currently seeking a job. The program also prepares students for further study in a PhD program, if they so desire.
The HCI Graduate Degree at Iowa State is an interdisciplinary IA program that combines facets from a variety of fields into one study: the interaction between humans and computers. Students will dive into the design, implementation, phenomena, and evaluation within this information architecture degree. The program combines education, training, and research in order to give the best comprehensive IA education possible.
Iowa State requires 30 graduate credits before anyone can earn their Master of Science. In theory, 8 of these credits could come from another university, as Iowa State requires a minimum of 22 done on campus or on their website.
Within the HCI Master program, students must choose four core courses. The core subjects are Design, Implementation, Phenomena, and Evaluation, each with 3-4 courses to choose from. HCI students must also take a 1-credit seminar as well as do a minimum of 3 credits' worth of research. Typical courses are worth 3 credits each.
The remaining credits needed to graduate (14 minimum) can be chosen from a variety of elective subjects. These subjects may focus on design, game-based learning, visualization, practices and theories within the field of Human Computer Interaction, engineering, and so on.
This Master's program can be completed in person or online, with the curriculum looking much the same either way. The main difference is that the online program includes a requirement of two additional courses needing to be from the list of core courses. The MS degree typically takes 2-3 years to complete on a full-time schedule. Part-time students taking courses online may more typically take longer.
Students enrolled in an MS program at Iowa State must also have a graduate assistantship. This would mean that, for 20 hours of work as an assistant per week, enrolled students would receive a stipend as well as a 50% tuition scholarship and potentially health insurance benefits. Students who don't have a background in programming should take programming courses.
Students who have their undergraduate degree from a US-located university don't need to take the GRE, but international students do. Students must apply by January 15th for enrollment in the following fall semester. Non-native English speakers must prove their English proficiency with a specified test. Current rates of tuition are about $11,300 per semester (much less for Iowa residents) before any scholarships. This does not include other fees.