Online Masters

Online Master of HCI

The Human Computer Interaction Graduate Program’s Online HCI master’s degree program, MHC or MHCI, was created from the growing demand from business and industry for a graduate degree program that provides education in the field of Human Computer Interaction.

Elizabeth Holloway
Online HCI Graduate
User Experience Designer
Las Vegas, Nevada

Degree Requirements and Student Resources

  1. Students in this program will be required to take four courses (12 credits), one from each of the Design, Implementation, Phenomena, and Evaluation categories.
  2. MHC/MHCI students must take two additional courses of their choice from the list of core courses or the list of recommended electives (6 credits).
  3. The remaining four courses (12 credits) would be general electives of your choosing from the Iowa State University course catalog.
  4. Total: 10 courses (30 credits)
  5. Student Resources

Core Courses


  • HCI/PSYCH 521 — Cognitive Psychology of HCI
  • HCI 595 – Visual Design for HCI
  • IE 572 – Design and Evaluation of Human Computer Interaction




Note: A grade of ‘B’ (3.0 GPA) or better is required for each of the core HCI courses.

Recommended Electives

  • HCI/ME 525 – Optimization Methods for Complex Designs
  • HCI/ArtGr 550X – User Experience Methodologies
  • HCI 574 — Computational Implementation and Prototyping
  • HCI 587 – Models and Theories in Human Computer Interaction
  • HCI 596 – Emerging Practices in Human Computer Interaction
  • HCI/ IE 681 – Cognitive Engineering
  • IE 577 – Human Factors
  • HCI 510 – Foundations of Game-based Learning
  • HCI 560X – Learn to Speak AI
  • EDUC 503 – Designing Elective Learning Environments

Online Learning

Students interact with faculty through a web portal with 24/7 access to lectures, assignments, online discussions, and email. Lectures are viewed online or downloaded for viewing at another time.

Tuition and Fees for Online Courses

The Master of HCI degree is a distance program. Some advantages of this:

  • Students can stay employed and do not need to relocate.
  • Distance students are assessed resident tuition regardless of their location (2022-2023 academic year).

Tuition and Fees

  1. Online Master of HCI student tuition: $752/credit for the 2022-2023 academic year
  2. ISU Technology Fees depend on the number of credits enrolled per term
    1. $144.00 for 3 credits (one course)
    2. $216.00 for 6 credits (two courses)
    3. $288.00 for 9 or more credits (3 or more courses)

Tuition and fees are approved by the Iowa Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. Please see The Office of Registrar Tuition and Fee website.

For any additional questions about tuition and fees for the online Master of HCI program, please contact the HCI Program Coordinator by e-mail at or phone at 515-294-2089.

Admission Requirements

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

  1. The program requires that admitted students have undergraduate degrees from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent.
  2. Demonstrated ability to write software competently. This requirement can be met during your course of study in the program.
  3. International applicants must submit one of the following English proficiency exam scores and must meet or exceed. The English exam minimums can be found at this link.
    • The English exam requirement may be waived if a degree is earned from a country where English is the only official language. See Examination Requirements at this link.
  4. Candidates may be considered for admission by the HCI Admissions 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.

The HCI Graduate Program Application Process

  1. Choose the Online Application for graduate applicants that is right for you — US or International — at this link. Follow the instructions provided by the Office of Admissions.
  2. Letters of Recommendation: Please select three people with whom you have worked, either professionally or educationally, to complete letters of recommendation. By including your references’ names and email addresses on the application form, they will be sent instructions on how to submit their letters electronically. This will also allow you the ability to track if the letter was submitted.
  3. Submit a current resume/CV by uploading it as supplemental material to the online application.
  4. We prefer that you use the online application to submit a one-page statement of purpose that highlights your motivation, experience, and career goals.
  5. Academic Records/Transcripts:
    • Domestic Students: We allow students to upload electronic official copies of academic records for the purposes of application review. Only if you are offered admission to Iowa State will you be required to submit (mail) official academic records. Records bearing the original stamp or seal of the school official responsible for issuing such records (the registrar, principal, controller of exams, etc.) are considered “official.” Records certified by lecturers, professors, or any other school officials who do not hold primary responsibility for maintaining the academic records of the institution are not official. Academic records printed from a school’s website are also not accepted.
    • International Students: please the application instructions under “Academic Records.”
  6. GRE scores are optional and not required.
  7. Nonnative English speakers: Submit official English proficiency results from one of the following exams (see them here, right column). The minimum requirements of both the Graduate College and the graduate program to which you are applying must be met.


Applications are due by July 15 for Fall admission, December 15 for Spring admission, and April 15 for Summer admission.

Contact Information

For questions about the HCI Graduate Program, please contact the HCI Program Coordinator by e-mail at, or phone at 515-294-2089.

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