Graduate Division

Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design

Section 1


The Master of Human-Interaction and Design (MHCID) program at UC Irvine is a professional degree that prepares students to be the leaders of the future in human computer interaction, user experience design and research, product management, and more. This terminal degree should be undertaken by early and mid-career professionals and executives looking to take the next step in their careers.

This one-year program is unique in its innovative hybrid learning approach. Students spend time on campus in intensive in-person courses as well as online using the best in distance-based learning approaches and tools.

MHCID students also solve real-world problems in diverse teams that work closely with our award-winning interdisciplinary faculty. After mastering a range of key UX skills and subjects, graduates will gain important academic and practical experience through our capstone project course. Students will collaborate with an industry sponsor to innovate, improve, or modify a new or existing human-to-machine technology.

We graduate leading professionals who are designing the future and defining how people and technology engage. These professionals include directors of user experience, UX researchers, product managers, visual designers, and even CTOs.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Excellence. You will be part of a world-class group of faculty and students who have an outstanding track record of delivering innovative, relevant education.
  • Placement. We prepare our students for rich, fulfilling and diverse careers; whether you want to be a product designer, user-experience researcher or project manager, you can find a path through our program that prepares you to reach your career goals.
  • Support. You join a team that strongly believes that working together is essential to learning. Whether in the classroom, in design or fieldwork, in your M.S. research, or simply as part of a hallway conversation, we encourage you to speak up, join the discussion and contribute.
  • Connections. Our alumni have gone on to study in some of the most prestigious Ph.D. programs, work for well-known, innovative corporations, and found successful startups. We stay in touch with them, and can help connect you for internships that complement your studies.
  • Diversity. UCI was founded with a focus on diversity of thought, experiences, and ideas. Our department faculty represent a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and have in-depth collaborations across campus. Additionally, students are encouraged to take coursework outside of the school that pertains to their interests.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Professional Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

1 year

Capstone Type

Capstone Project

Mode of Delivery

This is a mixed format, low-residency program with online courses and intensive, accelerated in-person courses on campus.

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their prior academic record and letters of reference from people either in the student's academic history or work settings. Students applying to the program may have degrees in any field, though preference is generally given to those with a technical, social science, or design background and those with work experience. All applicants are evaluated on the materials submitted: letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, and personal statement. Applicants are strongly encouraged to additionally submit either official GRE test scores or a relevant work portfolio. For more information, contact the ICS graduate counselor at 949-824-5156 or

Admissions are now closed for the 2018/2019  school year.

Please contact the MHCID graduate office at or the program director at for further information.

Admission Requirements

Required Application Materials

  • Online application (
  • Statement of Purpose — Tell us a bit about why you want to join this program, where you see this program fitting in your broader career trajectory, and so on.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • For domestic students, put this in the place where it says personal history on the application
  • For international students, please email this to and our student affairs staff will add it to your application
  • Three letters of recommendation (ignore the request that is standard UCI application language that these be “instructors” in this area of study. These can–and often should–be managers, peers, or clients at work or instructors from another area of study).
  • Transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Choose one to send:
    1. Portfolio demonstrating applicable work experience, which should be linked from either your statement of purpose or your resume
    2. GRE scores
For International Applicants:

  • Please note that we welcome international applicants. However, there are some important things to know about visas.
    • If you are here already on some kind of non-education related visa (marriage and family, work, etc.), you should be eligible to enroll in our program without trouble. However, we encourage you to check with our international center as well as an immigration attorney.
    • You do not need a student visa to join our program, and therefore we do not support you in getting one through the program. Because it is low-residency, meaning we do not require you to be on campus for more than a week at at time, we do not at this time have the ability to offer I-20s. Again, for additional questions, please consult with our international center and an immigration attorney.
  • TOEFL scores may be required for admissions (please check here for more information

UCI graduate application fee ( Contact student affairs for more specific questions at

Financial Support

Please note that the MHCID is a self-supporting degree program; thus, certain fee waivers traditionally accepted by the University of California may not be accepted. For example, we do not accept Calvet Waivers nor is there a discount for “in-state” students. However, all students will be eligible for financial aid.

Additionally, we will offer a variety of merit-based scholarships, including our “20 for 20” program, which will offer a scholarship in the amount of 20% of total program fees for the top 20% of each admitted cohort. All students who apply for the program will also be considered for scholarships. No supplemental materials are required.

Please contact for further information.

Tuition & Fees

MHCID 2019-20 Fees
Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Summer 2020 Annual
Program Fee * 12,375.00 12,375.00 12,375.00 12,375.00 49,500.00
Student Services Fee 25.00 25.00 25.00 0.00 75.00
Total Fees Paid $ 12,400.00 $ 12,400.00 $ 12,400.00 $ 12.375.00 $ 49,500.00


Posted 12 June 2019:

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* MHCID students pay a program fee; students enrolled in on-line programs do not pay campus-based fees and do not have access to the facilities and services supported by the campus-based fees. Program fee does not include Student Services Access Fee.

Core Faculty

Gillian Hayes
Faculty Director
Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor in Informatics
Contact her at or @gillianrhayes for further information.

Judy Olson
Founding Faculty Member
Donald Bren Professor in Informatics and Business

Don Patterson
Founding Faculty Member
Associate Professor, Informatics and Computer Science

Blake DiCosola
Strategy Director, Razorfish London

Rebecca Black
Pedagogical Advisor
Associate Professor, Education and Informatics

Academic Data

academic data

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