Human-computer interaction master's program now available entirely online


June 16, 2021

SUNY Oswego’s pioneering master of arts in human-computer interaction (HCI) has found another way to meet high workplace demand by offering a 100 percent online option starting in fall 2021. 

The program seeks students from all undergraduate majors to join this interdisciplinary field of study. Admission to this new cohort will be limited to approximately 10 students for fall 2021. SUNY Oswego ranks among the U.S. News top 10 Best Value Schools in the North because of its quality academic programs, affordability and service to students.

The GRE exam is not required and applications received on or before July 9 will receive an admissions decision by July 16. The Division of Graduate Studies will waive application fees for this and all completed graduate program applications received in the month of July 2021.

Students of the traditional and new online-only human-computer interaction program learn to design, evaluate and implement user experiences across a range of modern technology, including social media, robots, games, apps and virtual reality. More importantly, they learn about the fundamental impact of technology and how it can be used to improve people’s lives.

Award-winning faculty member, prodigious researcher and director of the human-computer interaction program at Oswego, Damian Schofield encourages applicants from all undergraduate disciplines to consider this in-demand field of study. The program is designed for all educational backgrounds, from current technical and design professionals to career changers. 

Established at Oswego as the first of its kind in New York state, HCI’s interdisciplinary nature allows this degree to complement careers across diverse industries with strong starting salaries — and the job market for HCI graduates is booming.

Students report that the cross-disciplinary graduate program along with faculty mentorship and co-publications in professional journals as well as active post-degree follow-up — has changed the course of their lives and led them to jobs.

While some might work for large technology companies, many graduates work in places such as banks, museums, clothing companies, food distributors, design companies, music companies, startups, universities and online retailers.

Collaborative and innovative study

Collaborative and innovative research is a hallmark of Oswego’s HCI program that frequently involves students at home and abroad. Leandro Garrido traveled to Oswego from Brazil for the college’s highly regarded in-person master’s in human-computer interaction. He graduated with a robust education and an experience design job with Electronic Arts’ EA Sports franchise. 

Theo Johnson brought Fort Ontario history to life with augmented reality — and, later with fellow student Ian Cummins, earned top-awards and a startup offer via a Global Game Jam competition in NYC. Johnson currently works as a lead user experience researcher for Sony Music Entertainment.

When a research group at Duy Tan University needed help designing new interfaces for medical virtual reality software, students Annie Reynolds and Tara O’Grady were among those who answered the call. They spent two months in Vietnam working on mobile and desktop software interfaces geared toward students of anatomy and physiology. Previously, Reynolds and O’Grady founded the SUNY Oswego chapter of Girls Who Code, a national initiative with a goal to close the gender gap in technology; when they traveled to Vietnam, they decided to run workshops so that a Girls Who Code group could form there, too. Reynolds and O’Grady currently hold positions with Guardian Life and Workiva, respectively.

The 100 percent online modality will broaden student access to this sought-after program, and Dean of Graduate Studies Kristen Eichhorn can’t wait to see what the newest batch of students will accomplish.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to broaden the opportunity for graduate students to access faculty in this highly mentored program, including two new professors  that provide expertise in game design and instructional technology,” Eichhorn said. 

“We will need students from all backgrounds to improve how we engage with technology and solve tomorrow’s most challenging concerns,” Eichhorn added. “Offering this program online will provide a wider range of students to benefit from our amazing faculty and responsive curriculum.”

This addition marks the sixth fully-accredited, fully-online master’s program for SUNY OswegoFor more information on this and other online programs, visit the HCI program page or browse all graduate online offerings.