Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
The integration of computer systems, the Internet, and the World Wide Web into the working world and home life have highlighted the need for professionals who can design human-computer interactions that allow people to work intuitively and with less dependence on long, detailed instructions. The M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) combines coursework in human-computer interaction with theory in allied areas such as technical communication, human factors, information design, cognitive science, and computer science to provide the education designers of such systems will need in the future. Our students gain a complement of theory in these areas and applied work in design and software implementation.
Rensselaer’s approach to human-computer interaction differs from other HCI programs by being centered in communication rather than computer science. Compared to graduates of programs in Information Technology and Computer Science, these graduates will have greater strengths in the application of human communication theory and usability research to man-machine interactions. While the program will provide HCI implementation skills, the focus is on the study of basic problems in human-technology communication. Our degree emphasizes fundamental principles and evaluation of human-computer interfaces, performance support systems, and system usability rather than focusing on the hardware of software tools used to implement products.
The M.S. in HCI requires 30 credit hours for completion. Twenty-one of the 30 required credits must come from courses offered by LL&C. Many students attending full-time on campus are able to complete the course requirements in a single academic year. The courses in this area are regularly offered by distance education delivery, making it an attractive program for employees in corporations. Students who will be completing courses by distance education delivery should consult Rensselaer’s Education for Working Professionals website. Since distance students will be taking courses part-time, they will need more than one academic year to complete the degree. More information can be found at http://www.llc.rpi.edu/programs/graduate_hci.shtml.
Master of Science in Technical Communication
The Technical Communication master’s degree integrates work in research, design, and implementation. Graduates gain design skills that resist obsolescence and the capacity to generate content for several electronically based communication media. In addition to core technical communication courses, students are strongly urged to complete either the certificate in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) or the certificate in Graphics. Whether producing Web pages, multimedia tutorials, electronic wizards, or online help systems, graduates of the M.S. in Technical Communication are prepared for sustained careers in industry.
The M.S. in Technical Communication requires satisfactory completion of thirty credits of course work. Twenty-one of the required credits must come from courses offered by LL&C. Students must also demonstrate competence with information technologies and gain practical experience as communication professionals. Many students are able to complete the course requirements in a single academic year; others spend three or more semesters. The Office of Graduate Education allows up to two and a half years to complete this degree. More information can be found at http://www.llc.rpi.edu/programs/graduate_techcomm.shtml.
Master of Science in Communication and Rhetoric
The M.S. in Communication and Rhetoric emphasizes a research approach to communication problems and prepares students for applied research in industry or government, or for further study in a doctoral program. Both humanistic and social scientific perspectives are represented. This program accepts students from discourse-related fields such as English, communication arts, or journalism and students with research experience in the social sciences, physical sciences, or engineering.
The M.S. in Communication and Rhetoric requires satisfactory completion of 30 credits of course work. Twenty-one of the required credits must come from courses offered by LL&C. More information can be found at http://www.llc.rpi.edu/programs/graduate_mscmrt.shtml.