FAQ

HCI : Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. How do I apply to the MS or PhD programs?

    How to Apply

  2. Is the GRE required?

    Answer: The GRE is required of students who have earned their undergraduate degree from an international institution only. It is not required of students who have earned their undergraduate degree from a US institution.

  3. Must I have an MS degree before I apply to the PhD program?

    Answer: It is not required that students have an MS degree before they apply to the PhD program.

  4. Can I transfer credits into your program from another institution?

    Answer: At the discretion of the POS committee, and with the approval of the program and the Graduate College, graduate credits earned as a graduate student at another institution or through a distance education program offered by another institution may be transferred if the grade was B or better.

  5. How much time does it take to complete the programs?

    Answer: It typically takes a traditional student 2 years to complete the MS program and an additional 3 years to complete the PhD. Because students in the Online MS program are working professionals taking courses on a part-time basis, it can vary greatly on the length of time to complete the Online MS program. The Graduate College gives students up to seven years to complete the program, but most are finished in approximately 3 years. The HCI Graduate Certificate can be completed in two, three or four semesters, depending on the number of courses taken each semester.

  6. What are the institutional or departmental codes to use if I want my GRE or TOEFL scores sent to your program?

    Answer: If you would like to have your GRE or TOEFL scores sent directly to Iowa State University, please use 6306. Our program will receive the scores sent to ISU.

  7. What is a graduate assistantship?

    Answer: One requirement for admission to the PhD and MS programs on campus is securing a graduate assistantship. A half-time graduate assistantship will require that you work for your major professor for 20 hours per week in exchange for a stipend. In addition, students with a graduate assistantship are also eligible for a tuition scholarship and health insurance benefits. MS students on a graduate assistantship receive a 50% tuition scholarship. PhD students on a graduate assistantship receive a 100% tuition scholarship.Links:· http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/finance/assistantships.php

  8. Are there other resources that can help answer some of my questions?

    Answer: Please refer to the HCI Handbook for specific program information. The Graduate College Handbook will give you general information about graduate programs.Links:· Graduate College Handbook
    · HCI Handbook

  9. What are the application deadlines for the HCI Online MS and HCI Graduate Certificate Programs?

    Answer: Applications should be submitted by October 1, for spring admissions and January 15, for fall admissions.

  10. Can I still apply to the program if I do not have programming skills?

    Answer: Students may still apply to the program if they do not have programming skills. These skills can be developed after the student has been admitted to the program and will be demonstrated by successfully completing one of the implementation courses listed below.
    · HCI 575 Computational Perception: This course requires that a student have a background in C++ programming language
    · HCI 574 Computational Implementation and Prototyping: This course will teach Python programming and does not require a background in programming.
    · HCI 573 User Interface Implementation for Web Application: This course will teach PHP programming and does not require a background in programming.
    · CprE/ME 557 Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling. this course requires that a student have a background in C++ programming language.
    If you do not have a background in a programming language, we recommend that you review some online tutorials on Python or PHP before you take one of these courses. ISU students have access to tutorials on Lynda.com. Information about these tutorials can be found at:· http://www.it.iastate.edu/services/training

  11. What do HCI students typically do after graduation?

    Answer: Our graduates have taken positions across the country as a usability engineer, software engineer, GIS Modeler, IT operations manager, game programmer, web developer, product engineer, program manager, faculty, and other positions. Some of the companies that have hired our graduates include Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Rockwell Collins, John Deere, Garmin, Saint Jude Medical Center, Raytheon, Hazen & Sawyer, Electronic Arts, and Oklahoma State University.

  12. What type of programming is required for admission to the program?

    Answer: It is not necessary to have programming skills when you are admitted to the program. These skills can be developed after the student has been admitted to the program and will be demonstrated by successfully completing one of the implementation courses.
    · HCI 575 Computational Perception: This course requires that a student have a background in C++ programming language
    · HCI 574 Computational Implementation and Prototyping: This course will teach Python programming and does not require a background in programming.
    · HCI 573 User Interface Implementation for Web Application: This course will teach PHP programming and does not require a background in programming.
    · CprE/ME 557 Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling. this course requires that a student have a background in C++ programming language.
    If you do not have a background in a programming language, we recommend that you review some online tutorials on Python or PHP before you take one of these courses. ISU students have access to tutorials on Lynda.com. Information about these tutorials can be found at:· http://www.it.iastate.edu/services/training

  13. What are the admission requirements for the MS and PhD programs?

    Answer: Admission into the HCI MS or PhD program depends on a combination of your academic qualifications, area of interest, research specialties, and the current research needs of the faculty. Evidence of creative talent, the ability to speak and write English clearly, and promise for a successful career are also important considerations for entry into the HCI Graduate program. Specific admissions requirements include:· 3.0 GPA or better.
    · The demonstrated ability to write software competently. This requirement can be met during your course of study in the program.
    · A minimum TOEFL score of 95(iBT) for non-native English Speakers.
    · Transcripts, test scores, and other indicators that the student applicant can be successful at the graduate level.
    Links:· Admission Requirements

  14. What are the admission requirements for the Online MS and Graduate Certificate Programs?

    Answer: The HCI Online MS program and HCI Graduate Certificate programs are 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 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 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. Admission into the certificate program does not guarantee admission into the masters or doctoral programs. If a student who receives a certificate wishes to obtain admission into the masters or doctoral programs, the student will need to apply for admission and gain acceptance into the programs by meeting the admission requirements of these programs. Credits earned towards the certificate may be counted towards the masters and doctoral degree requirements if approved by the student’s program of study committee.

  15. Is there an online MS program?

    Answer: Yes, students in this program take 27 course credits plus a three-credit capstone course. An oral presentation is required for the capstone course. These credits may be earned online. The diploma and transcripts for students earning the Online MS degree state that the student earned their Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction. It does not state “online” on your diploma or transcript.

  16. When will I be notified of my application status?

    Answer: Students will be notified by email when their completed application package has been sent to the faculty members listed in their application. If you feel that you can add value to this process by contacting the faculty member directly with additional information about yourself, please feel free to do so. Applications are made available to all HCI faculty for review. If a faculty member is found that will support the student both financially with a graduate assistantship and programatically by serving as the student’s major professor, the student will then receive an email from the program that we are recommending you to the Graduate College for admission.

  17. Are my references required to use the recommendation letter template?

    Answer: The suggested template is not required for letters of reference. The template gives persons writing reference letters some idea of the type of information that we find helpful about a potential student. They may write a letter without using the template, if that is easier for them. Letters of recommendation may be sent to us via email. The template for letters of recommendation can be found at· https://www.admissions.iastate.edu/apply/pdf/gr_ltr_rec.pdf.

  18. What is the cost of one online course?

    Answer: Off-campus students enrolled in the HCI Online MS program and taking online courses are assessed in-state engineering tuition, plus a delivery fee and a computer fee.  More information about tuition and fees for online courses can be found at:· http://www.distance.iastate.edu/programs/tuition-and-fees/.  Tuition and fees are subject to change.