Online Prospective Students FAQs

What is the difference between the online Master of HCI and the on-campus MS in HCI?

The online Master of Human Computer Interaction (MHC/MHCI) – is a coursework-only masters degree intended primarily for online students looking for a terminal professional degree to advance their careers. It requires completion of 10 three-credit courses, some of which will satisfy the core requirements of our program.

Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction (MS in HCI) – is a research focused degree intended primarily for on-campus residential students interested in a research-oriented career or continued study toward the Ph.D. degree. It generally requires 7 three-credit courses, some of which will satisfy the core requirements of our program, as well as written master’s thesis and a formal oral defense (typically equivalent to nine credits). An HCI faculty member is required to serve as your major professor to oversee your research.

Is the GRE required?

No, the GRE is not required.

What are the application requirements?

The Graduate Certificate of HCI application requirements can be found here (scroll down).

The Master of Human Computer Interaction application requirement can be found here (scroll down).

How many hours per week should I expect to dedicate to a course?

If you are working full time, you should plan to take 1 or 2 courses, but no more than 2. You can spend 8-12 hours/week/class.

Some courses won’t require as much of your time, and others may require more.

If I work full-time, will I still be able to complete the program? And how long does it take to complete the program?

Yes. Our programs are designed to be working-student friendly and most of our students are working professionals.

Most students enroll in only one or two courses per semester while working full time.

Iowa State University Graduate College policy has a 7-year maximum limit to complete a master’s degree.

Graduate Certificate in HCI (4 courses or 12 credit hours): The certificate can be earned in one year if two courses per semester are taken, or in two years if a student chooses to take one course each semester.

Master of HCI (10 courses or 30 credit hours): If a student takes one course per term, they will typically complete the program in three years plus one semester. Most students do take two classes in a term and complete the program in two-three years.

Can the Graduate Certificate in HCI or the Master of HCI be completed entirely online?

Yes! Both of these programs can be completed entirely online. All assignments, discussion posts, and tests (depends on the instructor; a proctor may be required) can be completed online and submitted through Canvas, our online learning platform. Most courses consist of recorded lectures delivered using streaming media technology.

All of your course activities, assignments, and exams must be completed by their respective due dates. The typical length of spring and fall semester courses is 16-weeks. Summer term courses are shorter and move faster, and are either 8-weeks (Session 1 or Session II) or 12-weeks (full session courses).

When are online courses offered?

The HCI core courses and recommended electives are offered in the fall and spring semesters and the summer term.

Can I transfer any credits into the Master of HCI degree?

Yes, up to 6 graduate-level credits are eligible for transfer if:

The transcript should show that the courses were taken as a graduate student.

Received a B or better.

Such courses must have been acceptable toward an advanced degree at that institution and must have been taught by individuals having graduate faculty status at that institution.

Do you provide job or internship placement?

The HCI Graduate Program does not currently offer job placement assistance, internships, or career services assistance.

Students are encouraged to reach out to the Career Services Office at the Graduate College for assistance.

If I don’t have a GPA of 3.0 in my undergraduate degree, should I still apply?

Yes, please reach out and let us know so we can determine the best course of action.