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Human Computer Interaction Master’s of Science Degree Program Online

The HCI Graduate program promotes a flexible curriculum that encourages students to develop a program of study specific to their interests.  With only three core courses and a capstone course for the MS, the program leaves room for students to take electives from a multitude of disciplines to enhance their education.  The Graduate Program is also closely related to ongoing research as you will be learning from faculty associated with the Virtual Reality Applications Center and from other departments across campus.

Students in this program will take a total of 30 course credits, with nine of the credits coming from three core courses and three of these credits from a capstone course. Students will be required to come to campus to present the results of their capstone course.

Online MS Required Courses

Students in this program will take a total of 30 course credits, with nine of the credits coming from three core courses and three of these credits from a capstone course.  Listed below are the core (required) courses for the HCI Graduate Program.  Additional courses may be added at the direction of the Program of Study Committee.  Recommended electives, as well as, sample curricula for the Masters program can be found at https://hci.iastate.edu/Academics/msonline.php.
  • HCI 575 – Computational Perception
    or CprE/ME 557- Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling
    or HCI 574 – Computational Implementation and Prototyping
    or HCI 573X – User Interface Implementation for Web Application
  • HCI 589X – Design and Ethics
    or JLMC / TSC 574 Communication Technology and Social Change
  • HCI 521 – The Cognitive Psychology of Human Computer Interaction
  • HCI 598 – HCI Design, Implementation & Implications
    This is the capstone course
 Note: A grade of ‘B’ (3.0 GPA) or better is required for each of the core HCI courses.

Course Delivery

Courses are available online through Engineering Online Learning using streaming media over the web. The courses consist of recorded lectures delivered using streaming media technology as well as teacher-student interaction via chat-room, email, and phone conversations. More information about the streaming media technology used to deliver the courses is available on the Engineering-LAS Online Learning Support page.

Tuition and Fees for Online Courses

Students taking online courses are assessed in-state tuition plus an online education fee and a computer fee. Additional information about tuition and fees can be found on the Engineering Online Learning tuition and fees page.

Admission to the Online HCI MS Program

The online HCI MS program is most appropriate for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a scientific, engineering, business, or artistic discipline, who are pursuing a professional career, and who already have a strong base of information technology skills.

The program requires that admitted students have undergraduate degrees from an accredited university and have graduated with a GPA that places them in the upper half of their graduating class. Demonstrable programming skills will be required. A minimum TOFEL score of 240(CBT), 95(iBT), or 587(PBT) will be required of all non-native English speaking students. Candidates may be considered for admission by the HCI supervisory committee if they do not meet all these requirements but otherwise show outstanding potential. However, all students must meet the university’s minimum requirements for admission.

Other admission requirements for the online HCI MS program include the following:

  • Transcripts, test scores and other indicators that the student applicant can be successful at the graduate level.
  • 3.0 GPA.
  • GRE for all international students.
  • TOEFL 95 iBT (IELTS 7.0) for non-native English speakers.
  • Demonstrated ability to write software competently.
    For those who do not have the required computing background, we provide an introductory survey course, with appropriate follow-up material.

The Online HCI MS Graduate Program Application Process

Fill out the Application for Graduate Admission to ISU form. Please mention somewhere on the form that you are interested in the HCI online MS degree program.
Send the application, application fee, official transcripts, and official examination results, if required, to:

  • The Office of Graduate Admissions
    Iowa State University
    100 Alumni Hall
    Ames, IA  50011

Submit a current résumé/CV, statement of professional goals and a statement of software development proficiency by uploading it as supplemental material to the online application.  If you do not have the ability to upload your application please submit a PDF (preferred) or Word (.doc) copy electronically to Amy Carver. We prefer that you use the online letter of recommendation process.  By including your recommenders’ names and e-mail addresses on the application form, they will be sent instructions on how to submit their letters electronically. If a recommender(s) prefers to submit a hard copy, they should download and complete the Letter of Recommendation form available on the ISU admissions website and submit it directly to Human Computer Interaction (NOT the Office of Admissions). In that case, you will need to provide the recommender with the gradapp@hci.iastate.edu email address.  Please note, the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Graduate Programs Office does not accept paper/hard copies of application or supplemental materials.

Contact Amy Carver, 515-294-2089, with questions about your admission status or visit www.hci.iastate.edu