Introduction to the HCI Ph.D. Program

The Human Computer Interaction Institute – an interdisciplinary academic department within the School of Computer Science – is one of the worlds leading centers for research in Human Computer Interaction. Beginning with its first class in the fall of 2000, the HCI Institute will begin admission of highly qualified students to its new Ph.D. program in Human Computer Interaction.

Because computing in some form will soon touch nearly every aspect of society, we believe that making computers easy to use, and understanding how computing affects people, are critical activities. Human Computer Interaction is an emerging discipline designed to provide the intellectual basis for these endeavors, and the HCI Institute is dedicated to pursuing these challenges.

Since HCI encompasses aspects of people and technology, the Institute takes a strongly interdisciplinary approach. The Institute brings scientific and engineering knowledge from computing together with that of the human sciences (e.g., Psychology and the social sciences). Further, in order to produce efficient, effective and pleasing technology, this scientific basis is also combined with the integrative methods of the discipline of Design which are directed towards the conception of “total products”. Mirroring this diversity, we encourage applicants from a range of disciplines.

Students accepted to the Ph.D. program will participate in the wide ranging and innovative research programs of the Institute. For an overview of some of the research going on, see our research summary page. HCI Ph.D. students will have full access to the excellent computational, and laboratory facilities of the School of Computer Science and the HCI Institute, as well as facilities of the Departments of Psychology and Design. Beginning in January 2000, these will include brand new usability and other laboratory facilities, as well as new office space in the recently completed Newell Simon Hall. In addition to wide ranging research opportunities, students will have the opportunity to explore a rich set of course work and other activities designed to prepare them for a career in HCI research. Requirements for the Ph.D. course of study are designed to accommodate students with a range of backgrounds by providing several different "tracks" of study. (Full requirements are described in detail in the requirements section.) Finally, we anticipate that all students accepted to the HCI Ph.D. program will be awarded a Graduate Fellowship covering full tuition and a living allowance (see the tuition & financial aid page).

To apply for the Ph.D. program in HCI, please see the applying section.