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Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy, New York, USA

The Master of Science in Information Technology at Rensselaer helps students approach information architecture from two sides: practical skills in IT as well as leadership and management strategies. When combined with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction, students learn skills that allow them to design the best user experience possible.




1.5 Years









About This Program

Students who receive their Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) will receive a graduate-level information architecture education that enables careers as User-Centered Designers, Human Factors and Usability Engineers, Quality Assurance Specialists, and, of course, Information Architects. Students report being well-equipped for the workforce, having received much more opportunities than before they did before the program.

A Master of Science with a concentration in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) is the perfect IA program to jumpstart your information technology education. Students will be educated in creative, interface, and information design, user experience design, interactive visualization, and more. The program provides students with a well-rounded education that will allow them to work in the IA field as well as other types of employment.

Students in this program must take specific core courses as well as a required capstone, and they should choose a concentration (which will take between 3 and 5 more courses within that area of study). Students can elect to pursue a research or professional track to complete their Master of Science in Information Technology.

If students already have taken a course that fulfills one of the core course requirements, they can complete a more advanced course in that area of study instead to deepen their knowledge. The core courses are Database Systems, Data Science, Software Design and Documentation or Software Development, Business Issues for Engineers and Scientists, and Foundations of HCI Usability. The capstone could either be a Master’s Thesis, a Master’s Project, or an Information Technology Master’s Capstone (only for the professional track).

There are a variety of different possible concentrations, but in this case, the Human-Computer Interaction concentration is the most applicable for an information architecture program. Three courses must be chosen to fulfill the concentration requirements.

Students can decide if they want to achieve their MS within two semesters or three semesters (1 year or 1 and a half years). Students doing this IA program in one year should do their core courses in the fall semester, and then the concentration and capstone courses in the spring. This would total ten courses altogether. Students who elect to complete the degree in 1.5 years would take a total of 12 courses.

Students concentrating in Human-Computer Interaction should select three of the following courses as their concentration courses: Creative Data Design, Information Design, Interface Design, Media Communications Research, Studio Design in HCI, User Experience Design, Interactive Data Visualization, Mobile AR, Interactive Visualization, or Human Performance Modeling and Support. Some are offered in the spring and some in the fall, with one is offered during the summer.

Earning a Master of Science at Rensselaer usually involves some kind of financial aid as tuition alone costs $51,000 per year. Prospective graduate students should apply by January 22nd or August 15th.

About This School

Rensselaer is located in Troy, New York, a tech valley, and perfect spot for an IA program. It has more than 145 programs in total and proudly has a focus on changing the world (for the better). In fact, the school’s motto is, “why not change the world?”

What I Will Learn

  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Usability
  • Information Architecture
  • UX Design
  • Information Design
  • Data Visualization
  • Information Technology
  • Data Science

Why We Recommend This IA School Program

Rensselaer’s Master of Science in Technology program is unique because it offers 12 concentrations, many of which can lead to successful IA careers. If HCI is not your interest, you can also concentrate on a related IA program such as data science, cognitive computing or information security. With so many options offered, it is definitely an IA degree program that we’d recommend.

Course Requirements / Prerequisites

Students should already have education in Computer Science, Data Structures, and Introduction to Algorithms. They should also take the GRE and include a resume in their application.