About This Program
The field of information architecture is growing, so students who graduate from the Master of HCI program have outstanding career prospects. Graduates often work at user interface designers, usability engineers, and research programmers. They have been hired to work for major corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM, as well as for governments and nonprofits. The world is only becoming more dependent on data, so the outlook is bright for graduates of this IA program.
MHCI is a three-semester information architecture program. The first is focused on HCI methodologies and techniques. The second and third are focused on allowing students to develop the academic pathways that will lead them to the information architecture career that they are interested in. Carnegie Mellon has graduated more than 700 information architecture students who have gone on to have successful careers in the field.
All students in the MHCI program are required to take seven core classes. These courses are Communications in HCI, User-Centered Research and Evaluation, Interaction Design Studio I, Interaction Design Studio II, Programming Usable Interfaces, and two semesters of HCI project.
Additionally, students need to take five electives. They can create their own academic experience by choosing electives from across the university. Students often choose classes from the Robotics Institute, The College of Fine Arts, Tepper School of Business, and the School of Design. Some popular electives are Cognitive Modeling for HCI, Lean Entrepreneurship, Cognitive Psychology, Writing for Multimedia, Tangible Interaction Design Studio, and UI in Developing Worlds. Students can create a pathway that will allow them to build the skills they need for the career they want.
Students can take information architecture classes either full-time or part-time. The part time option is only available for domestic students on our Pittsburgh campus. All classes need to be taken in person – there is no online IA degree or course option. The entire coursework takes 12 months to complete, with two academic semesters of coursework and then a summer focused on the capstone project.
The capstone project begins in the spring semester and then is completed during the summer. This project gives students the opportunity to experience the design process from beginning to end, working in a team of 4-6 students alongside functioning companies. Teams do user research, design products, and create prototypes which are presented at the end of the summer. This project gives students a great tool that they can use during future job interviews to show off their information architecture skills.
Applications for the Master of Human Computer Interaction are due on January 15 for the following academic year. All applicants need to submit three letters of recommendation¬, ideally from professors or recent employers. Applicants to the information architecture program must also write a personal statement and submit their resume, transcripts, and GRE scores. There is a $100 application fee. Tuition is $24,000 per semester for the 2017-18 school year.