Master of Science Human-Computer Interaction

The Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) prepares students to ideate, design, implement, and evaluate computer-based technologies so they are useful and usable for end users. This interdisciplinary degree integrates concepts and methods from computer science, graphic design and the social sciences. Drawing upon these concepts and methods, students learn user-centered and participatory design approaches as they create information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as dynamic web sites, mobile apps and desktop applications. Particular emphasis is given to ICT evaluation, exploratory user research, information architecture, interaction design, and prototype development.

For international students: this is a STEM-designated program, which can qualify you to extend your post-graduation stay in the United States.

Degree Requirements

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Plan and conduct ethical user research with human participants using appropriate data collection methods, and analyze the data using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Create, justify, and critique interface designs using appropriate theoretical and methodological HCI frameworks.
  • Create prototypes that simulate the interactivity of user interfaces and have enough functionality for usability testing with human participants.
  • Design and conduct usability tests for an existing or prototyped product or service.

Career Outcomes

A graduate degree in HCI prepares students for many different kinds of careers in user experience (UX). Graduates have job titles including interaction designer, information architect, user experience designer, usability specialist, and user researcher.

Our graduates work at top companies, such as Allstate, GfK, Grainger, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, and Motorola.

$80,000 median salary reported by program graduates six months after degree completion


Many of our faculty also are practitioners—professionals dedicated to developing HCI talent in the Chicago area. For example, our adjunct instructors come from user-experience design firms, user research firms, and diverse industries including finance, health care, education, transportation, retail and telecommunications.

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Diverse Courses

The HCI program includes a foundational core of HCI courses supplemented by a diverse offering of electives. Students may choose from a range of topics including mobile computing, social media, accessibility, and information visualization. In addition, students may take courses from other CDM majors including information systems, software engineering and computer science.

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Student Research Opportunities

CDM’s faculty are active in multiple areas of HCI-related research. Students interested in faculty research projects are free to contact the faculty directly. Several students have not only been involved in research projects for independent study credit, but also have publications in peer reviewed venues that demonstrate their work. These projects allow for another way to add real-world projects to the student’s portfolio.

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Student & Professional Organizations

Many HCI students contribute to student and professional organizations that provide opportunities to network with those in the HCI industry. XD Roundtable, a student group at DePaul, promotes lifelong independent learning though frequent peer-to-peer workshops and challenges right on campus.


Ovetta Sampson (MS '18)

Principal Design Director, Microsoft’s Enterprise Commercial Chief Technology Office
"One of things I liked about the HCI program was that I could immediately apply everything I was learning to my job. It was an immediate acceleration of my skill set and impact on design, to go to DePaul."


Usability Lab

A player-user research space available for reservation by faculty and students with two rooms (an observation room and a player-participant room) separated by a one-way mirror. It is capable of supporting multiple types of studies that include (but are not limited to): usability using Morae, eyetracking (Tobii), games user research (usability and playtesting), and focus groups or interviews.

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Stay Connected

Graduates have access to CDM’s extensive alumni network that includes human-computer interaction professionals at Fortune 500 companies in Chicago. Make connections at networking events and study in a city teeming with industry opportunities.

The HCI faculty maintain an informational email list for current students and alumni of the program. The list announces job openings, internship opportunities, research projects and new developments in the HCI curriculum.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
FallAugust 1June 15
WinterDecember 1October 15
SpringMarch 1January 15
SummerMay 1April 15

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page.

Admission Requirements

Contact Graduate Admission

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