Online User Experience and Human-Computer Interaction Degree
MSI in Human-Computer Interaction & User Experience
American adults spend almost four hours a day on average using their electronic devices. With our screen time on the rise, how we interact with technology is becoming increasingly important for businesses to understand. This concept is at the core of Drexel University’s online MSI in Human Computer Interaction master’s program, which focuses on the tightly coupled relationships between people and computing systems. The program takes a holistic approach to how we use technology every day, and the courses are designed to teach you to create technologies that support human needs in all aspects of life, from work to home to wellness to entertainment.
All courses are offered entirely online, and are designed for anyone looking to make the jump into the world of User Experience (UX) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). A robust technical background isn’t required for this degree. Whether you’ve got the design skills and are looking for a degree to help you with the technical aspects, have a technical background but need to build up your design skills, or are completely new to the industry and are looking to make a career change, Drexel’s online master’s degree will prepare you to excel in the industry.
What is a degree in UX and human-computer Interaction?
At Drexel, the online Master of Science in Information - Human Computer Interaction and User Experience is meant to prepare you to excel in jobs throughout the field, from a UX designer or analyst to a content strategist. To do that, the curriculum combines foundational HCI knowledge with industry-relevant UX design techniques, culminating in a design- or research-based capstone project. You’ll learn to problem solve by developing artifacts, processes, and systems, while building user interface prototypes and practicing recognizing and communicating key pieces of data and information.
The program is highly interdisciplinary, which means you’ll have the ability to take courses in areas like media arts and design, psychology, and sociology. Core UX and HCI courses include "Designing with Data" and "Social and Collaborative Computing."
What is UX/Human-Computer Interaction?
Both UX and HCI look at how humans interact with technology, and how that interaction can be enhanced to the make the experience better. HCI is largely a research field, while UX tends to focus on design elements. Combined, though, they can be used to improve technology design to better serve users. This makes an HCI and UX professional a real asset for businesses: they can figure out how people are using (or want to use) a product, and design that product to best meet the needs of the user.
How do I Become a UX Designer?
There is no “traditional” background for a UX designer. The field is relatively new, and many current UX designers first trained and worked in other disciplines. That’s good news for would-be UX designers; it means it’s never too late to pursue a UX career. Typically, if you’re interested in working in UX design, you would begin by researching the field, learning to use the tools and programs most widely used by designers, and building a portfolio of sample UX projects. Some common skills UX designers will be expected to know and use on the job are:
- Product Design
- Content Development
Of course, earning your degree in UX can go a long way in helping you stand out in the field, especially if you don’t have any previous experience. Drexel’s master’s degree gives you not only the opportunity to learn these skills, gain inside knowledge of the field and build your portfolio, but also to network with faculty who have worked in UX and have ties to the industry.
Graduates with a Master’s in UX and Human-Computer Interaction Salary Expectations
UX and human-computer interaction is a lucrative field with high earning potential. Drexel’s degree program will make you stand out in the job market and help you command a competitive salary.
User Interface Designer
Front End Developer
User Interface Developer
*Data from WANTED Analytics
What Can You Do with a UX & Human-Computer Interactions Degree?
Drexel’s MSI in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience prepares you for roles throughout the industry. A few common titles are user researcher, UX designer, and user interface (UI) designer. So, what’s the difference between them?
User Researcher — A user researcher uses quantitative and qualitative research to learn more about your business’s target audience. This feedback can help determine the design process and ensure your product meets your users’ needs.
UX Designer — The goal of a UX designer is to improve the interaction between a customer and a product. This includes doing market research and content development, wireframing and testing a product, and working with other designers and developers toward execution. It’s a hands-on role that weaves throughout the lifecycle of a product.
UI Designer — While UI and UX share some common traits, UI design tends to be more visually-oriented. A UI designer will work to translate a brand into a product, and focuses on a user’s visual experience – for example, how a user interacts with an app or website, with an eye for aspects like color and patterns.
MSI in HCI & UX Online Program Feaures
- Learn from faculty with decades of experience in both academic research and the latest applied-techniques
- Curriculum focuses on how to analyze, evaluate, and collaboratively create computing systems from a human-centered perspective
- Interdisciplinary courses draw on disciplines like psychology, sociology, software engineering, and computer science
This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.
In this program, you will learn not only the tools and techniques of the HCI/UX design trade, but also how to analyze and understand the social implications of design interventions for individuals, groups, and society at large. You will also learn qualitative and quantitative user research methods, user-experience design techniques and tools, and standards for design documentation, evaluation, and reporting.
In addition to the five required courses, this 45-credit program features:
- Three foundation courses
- Five elective courses, which can include an optional second major in Library and Information Science (LIS) or Digital Content Management (DCM)
- One capstone course consisting of either a research or production-oriented project
INFO 691 — Prototyping the User Experience
Introduces prototyping techniques and tools for a range of user experience and design contexts. You will learn about and practice a series of methods such as sketching, wire-framing, physical prototyping, functional prototyping, and wizard-of-oz approaches. You will also learn about how different prototyping techniques serve different purposes in the design process and how to select or adapt appropriate methods to meet their needs.
INFO 615 — Designing with Data
Although user experience design has always involved collecting data about users’ needs and preferences, new forms and quantities of user data have created a need for new data analysis skills and professional ethics training among designers. This UX course introduces A/B testing and statistical methods to prepare you to design and run large scale user experiments that can inform design decisions. You will practice using tools and methods as well as composing experiment reports and design recommendations.
INFO 616 — Collaborative and Social Computing
This computer design course examines selected human, social, and technical issues and concepts of computer-supported cooperative work, computer-supported collaborative learning, and social networking. Topics include: The way groups work in the networked organization; analysis and design of groupware; social networking and community-learning technologies; and future directions of these technologies. Includes theoretical and research literature on the design of social and collaborative systems.
- A four-year bachelor's degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution
- GPA of 3.0 or higher preferred, in a completed degree program, bachelor’s degree or above
With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.
- A completed application
- Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
- One letter of recommendation, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
- Essay/Statement of Purpose
- In approximately 500 words, describe what professional goals you hope to achieve, how an advanced degree facilitates that success, and anything else you want the Admissions Review Board to know about you.
- Additional requirements for International Students
The tuition rate for the academic year 2019-2020 is $1303 per credit.
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Special tuition rates available for Drexel University Alumni, Military members, and members of our Partner Organizations
- These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
- Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
- All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
- Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
- When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
2019-2020 Academic Year
September 23, 2019
December 7, 2019
December 9, 2019
December 14, 2019
January 6, 2020
March 16, 2020
March 17, 2020
March 21, 2020
March 30, 2020
June 8, 2020
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August 30, 2020
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September 5, 2020