HCI-Related Master’s Degrees at UW

Compare related degree programs at the University of Washington side by side

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Career Impact

Degree Earned
Career Possibilities
Capstone or Thesis Project
Master of Human-Computer Interaction + Design Master of Science in Computer Science & Engineering Master of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering Master of Science in Information Management Master of Design in Interaction Design (terminal design degree)
    • User Experience Designer
    • User Experience Researcher
    • Interaction Designer
    • Usability Researcher
    • Product Designer
    • Developer
    • Prototyper
    • Project or program Manager
    • User Experience Manager
    • Software Developer
    • Software Engineer
    • Computer Engineer
    • User Experience Designer
    • User Researcher
    • Information Architect
    • Interaction Designer
    • Product Designer
    • Product Manager
    • User Interface Developer
    • Web Developer
    • Business Analyst
    • Information Architect
    • User Experience Designer
    • Data Visualization Specialist
    • Systems Analyst
    • Data Scientist
    • Software Design Engineer
    • Risk Consultant
    • Web Computing Specialist
    • Network Administrator
    • Database Developer
    • Cybersecurity Professional
    • Project Manager
    • Senior Interaction Designer
    • Design Researcher
    • Design Strategist
    • Creative Director
    • Professor of Design
    • Usability and user research
    • Design of interactive computing technologies
    • Prototyping interactive digital systems
    • Development of critical skills for career path enhancement for experienced software developers
    • User-centered research and design
    • Use of communication, design, and visualization methods
    • Design and prototyping of interactive products, services, platforms, and systems
    • Applies to all domains, including technology and engineering
  • Information and information technologies management
    • Design of interactive products and services
    • Design research and strategy
    • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside advisors & sponsors
    • Projects from the spine of studio work
    • Culminates in a full time studio during final summer quarter
    • Neither
  • Team-based capstone project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors
  • Student-driven format and topic
    • Full-Time 2-year: • Capstone project • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors • Student-directed • Research or design oriented
    • Full-Time 1-year and Mid-Career: • Practicum experiential learning • Either Capstone project, internship, faculty-sponsored research project, or other approved experiential learning project
    • One-year long thesis that culminates in a design project comprised of a design project and written document
    • Thesis project identified by student as result of exploration of graduate-level themes, methods, and techniques surveyed in required graduate seminar and studio sequence in year one
    • Thesis committee selected by student and comprised of Design faculty and subject matter experts from other UW research units and industry
    • Thesis development guided by thesis committee chair who acts as the main adviser and works closely with M.Des student
  • NA
  • NA
  • Elective
    • Fulltime: Recommended
    • Mid-career: Recommended
  • Elective


Instructional Style
# of Required Credits by Course Type
Course Scheduling
    • Prescribed sequence of core courses
    • Electives from sponsoring departments and UW
    • Culminates in a capstone project
    • Choice of 8 core CSE courses
    • Choice of 8 CSE colloquia courses
    • Individualized program
    • Select core courses and electives in three specialized content areas (Strategy, Design, and Engineering)
    • Option to take electives from outside HCDE (max 2)
    • Culminates in a capstone project
    • Core courses plus specializations in
        • Business Intelligence
        • Data Science
        • User Experience
        • Information Consulting
        • Information Architecture
        • Information Security
      Culminates in Capstone project or Experiential Learning (dependent on choice of MSIM program track)
    • Prescribed sequence of graduate seminars and studios plus elective courses in year one
    • Student-directed thesis completed in year two in close collaboration with chosen thesis committee chair and advisory committee
    • Supplement design coursework with UW electives in year one and two
    • Design studio, lectures, individual and group projects
    • Tightly integrated, project-based curriculum
    • Sequenced schedule
    • Lectures focusing on latest research and theory
    • Assignments, projects and examinations conform to time availability of full-time employed students
    • Project-based, lecture, and studio courses
    • Core courses in sequenced format
    • Flexible elective schedule
    • Lectures and project-based courses
    • IxD M.Des students take cross-disciplinary seminars and studios with M.Des students in Industrial Design and Visual Communication Design. M.Des students also take studios, electives and independent studies with Design faculty
    • Special research projects are available, often with corporate sponsorship in the form of research associateships, in alignment with design faculty research, student qualifications and interest area
    • Core: 30
    • Capstone Project: 9
    • Electives: 7
    • Core: 32
    • Colloquia: 8
    • Core: 24
    • Specialized Content Areas: 12
    • Electives: 14
    • Core: • Full-Time (2 yr): 15 • Full-Time (1 yr): 15 • Mid-Career (1 yr): 12
    • Electives: • Full-Time (2 yr): 45 • Full-Time (1 yr): 19 • Mid-Career (1 yr): 24, or more if desired
    • Experiential Learning/ Captsone: • Full-Time (2 yr): 5 • Full-Time (1 yr): 6 • Mid-Career (1yr): optional
    • Core: 30
    • Electives: 35
    • Thesis: 25
    • Primarily daytime
    • Weekday evenings
    • Each course meets one night/week
    • Colloquia can be attended or viewed online
    • Primarily evening
    • Each course meets one night/week
    • Full-time or part-time students studying in the evening
    • Full-Time
      • Core: daytime;
      • Electives: day, evening, Sat morning
    • Mid-Career
      • Core: Evenings
      • Electives: evenings, Saturday morning
    • Primarily daytime

UW Affiliation

College/School Department/ Division
    • Graduate School Interdisciplinary Programs
    • Jointly sponsored by the Information School, Computer Science & Engineering and HCDE (College of Engineering), and Art, Art History + Design (College of Arts & Sciences)
    • The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE)
    • College of Engineering
    • Department of Human-Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE)
    • Students earn Engineering degree
  • Information School (iSchool)
    • College of Arts & Sciences
    • School of Art (SOA)
    • Division of Design
Interdisciplinary faculty from CSE, HCDE, ISchool, Division of Design plus external industry lecturers Dedicated CSE faculty plus some notable industry research lecturers Interdisciplinary tenure track HCDE faculty plus industry lecturers Dedicated iSchool faculty plus external industry lecturers Dedicated Design faculty, plus industry lecturers and UW faculty outside of Design
    • Dedicated design studio for the cohort
    • UW Campus classrooms
    • Use of CSE student computer labs
    • Design Lab with shared access for all HCDE students
    • UW campus classrooms
    • iSchool classrooms
    • Shared computing labs
    • Group work space
    • School of Art building
    • Access to design studios, fabrication shops, and specialized equipment
    • Ana Pinto Da Silva, Director
    • Scott Ichikawa, Associate Director
    • Matt Bartels, Assistant Director, Student Services
    • Dave Rispoli, PMP Advisor
    • Alex Llapitan, Academic Counselor - Senior
    • Sean McGann, MSIM Program Chair
    • Shasta Jennings, MSIM Academic Adviser
    • Kari Brothers, MSIM Admissions Counselor
    • Audrey Desjardins, M.Des Program Chair
    • Ann Langford-Fuchs, Academic Advisor

Time and Money

Option for full-time work while in school
Application Deadline
Number of Students Accepted Annually
Required # of Credits
Approximate Total Tuition subject to change and total credits taken
Financial Aid
    • 1 year (4 quarters), full-time, immersive experience
    • Students are members of a cohort of peers.
    • Average 2.5 years part-time
    • Average one 4-credit PMP course and one 1-credit colloquium course per quarter
    • Liberal leave policy for full-time working professionals
    • Self-paced, flexible schedule (most full-time students graduate in 6 quarters and part-time students in 9 quarters)
    • Full-time and part-time students; many are working professionals
    • Full-Time program: 2 years or 1 year
    • Mid-Career program: 1-2 years (Fri./Sat. courses)
  • 2 years, full-time immersive experience
  • Small cohort: 6-12 M.Des students per year total (ID, IxD, an VCD M.Des concentrations combined)
No Yes Yes Full-Time: No Mid-Career: Yes No
  • Jan. 15
  • All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.
    • Autumn Quarter: Jul. 1
    • Winter Quarter: Nov. 1
    • Spring Quarter: Feb. 1
  • Jan. 15 (varying slightly only to avoid overlap with holidays/weekends)
  • All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.
    • Jan. 15 (Full-time MSIM deadline)
    • Mid-career MSIM: Incremental deadlines. All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.
Jan. 15
30-40 85 100 Full-time 2 year: 70-75 Full-time 1 year: 35 Mid-career: 35 2-4 IxD M.Des 6-12 M.Des in ID, IxD, and VCD combined
46 40 50 Full-time 2-year: 65 Full-time 1-year: 40 Mid-career: 36 90
    • $53,038
    • $1,153/credit x 46 credits
    • $39,000
    • $975/credit x 40 credits
    • $45,000
    • $900/credit x 50 credits
    • Full-time 2-year: $52,585
    • Full-time 1-year: $32,360
    • Mid-career: $29,124
    • $809/credit in both
  • $32,544
Occasionally tuition may be reduced through Fellowships and Teaching/Research Assistantships, which are offered by individual departments and based on merit. None (No TA or RA positions offered) With the exception of a small number of departmental fellowships, the HCDE Master's program does not have the resources to offer direct tuition support/scholarships to students. All applicants are eligible to receive a limited number of iSchool merit-based scholarships. Occasionally tuition may be reduced through Fellowships and Teaching/Research Assistantships, which are offered by individual departments and based on merit. Occasionally tuition may be reduced through Fellowships and Teaching/Research Assistantships, which are offered by individual departments and based on merit.