MASTER OF SCIENCE

Human-Centered Interaction Design


  Graduate Program

Master’s Degree Human-Centered Interaction Design (HCID)

“One of the biggest and fastest growing career fields in today’s technology sector.”   – Fortune Magazine

It’s a wonderful thing when one of the fastest growing tech-related career fields is accessible to you – even if you don’t hold a tech-related degree. In fact, having a liberal arts, humanities, or social and behavioral science background actually makes you a better fit for the Human-Centered Interaction Design (HCID) field than the techies!

HU’s HCID master’s degree program is about designing processes, apps, and environments to make more fulfilling and useful experiences for people. It requires creativity, empathy for people, and strong problem-solving skills.

For example, once you’ve completed your MS degree, your work could involve:

  • Designing food-ordering kiosks that are intuitive, easy to use, and people-friendly
  • Using your knowledge to redesign the experience of  a museum to allow visitors flexible and enriching interaction with exhibits.
  • Reconfiguring an MRI room in a hospital to engage children rather than intimidate them

The career possibilities are endless and industry is clamoring for those qualified to bridge the gap between environments, technologies and the public. When you graduate with your HCID master’s degree, you’ll be ready to begin a career in user research and interface design, interaction design, business analysis, or information architecture. You’ll be able to improve life for millions of people by making technology options and human interactions that provide a gateway to a fuller, more satisfying life rather than a frustrating barrier.

Your HCID program is held on HU’s Philadelphia campus with a sprinkling of online classes and hybrid classes that meet on the occasional weekend. There are two program start dates each year. Ultimately, you will gain the skills to design effective and engaging interfaces, interactions, and user experiences that leverage the best of digital technologies and bring them seamlessly into complex human environments.

According to the Harvard Business Review there is strong corporate interest in “design thinking” as a way to open businesses to new markets through innovating new human-centered products and experiences. With an HCID masters from Harrisburg University – Philadelphia, you’ll be ready to enter this exploding field. Within just a few years after graduation, you could be earning in the six figures while doing work that is stimulating and highly valued.


Master of Science in Human-Centered Interaction Design (HCID)

The 36-semester hour graduate program in Human-Centered Interaction Design intends to promote the human-centered collaborative mindsets that are required for careers in the research, specifications, and development of technologically-driven experiences. The HCID master’s program will be interdisciplinary, bringing together the application of knowledge drawn from the social and behavioral sciences, information science, software engineering and project management. The student will be taught a balance of theories, methods, skills, and processes.


The Masterclass

To scaffold the bridge between existing training and experience, and the new design focused interactive field, the HCID program will employ a unique introductory approach to intensive skill and knowledge building approach called Masterclass. The Masterclass in HCID will function as a pre-entry exposure and training certificate program. It will serve two functions:

  • Expose and introduce existing degree holds to the history, perspectives, contexts, and methods that form the foundations of Design practice; and
  • Evaluate each new cohort interest in and capacity for interdisciplinary creative thinking and digital medial production.

The student from non-interactive, non-business backgrounds will undertake the Masterclass (non-credit bearing). If the student achieves a satisfactory grade, the student will be admitted to the HCID program. If the student does not meet the standards, the student will be given a professional certificate in HCID.


Program Goals

  • Design and produce engaging interventions facilitated by digital technologies;
  • Communicate effectively across diverse populations and media;
  • Structure HCID conceptual possibilities to create solutions to human problems;
  • Reflect on role as designer and professional; and
  • Effectively research people, document problems, and determine research relevance.

Learn more about the admissions process here. International students apply here. Non-International students apply here.

International Graduate Student Admissions Requirements and Curricular Practical Training
To receive information on the requirements for graduate admissions for international students, please email your request to CPT@HarrisburgU.eduClick here for requirements for admissions and Curricular Practical Training! All of the University’s graduate programs are STEM approved and Curricular Practical Training is offered.