Graduate Division

Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design

Section 1


UC Irvine’s Department of Informatics offers the only mixed format, low-residency one-year master of human-computer interaction and design (MHCID) in the world, providing students the benefits of in-person, high-touch learning in accelerated on-campus visits with the flexibility of online distance education. The MHCID program prepares its graduates to be leaders in user experience research and design, interaction design, information architecture, product design, and human-computer interaction. The MHCID program is also fully accredited by WSCUC and overseen by the Academic Senate of the University of California.

Program Highlights

  • An interdisciplinary orientation
  • Flexibility to complete your Master’s while continuing in your profession
  • Nine courses to be completed in one year
  • Diverse faculty with backgrounds in art and design, business, computer science, media arts, information science, and psychology
  • A substantial project component for an external client, with a team orientation

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Preparing for the Future. MHCID offers an inclusive, interdisciplinary academic community geared toward highly successful professionals in user experience. Graduates of MHCID will be prepared for a variety of careers, including user experience (UX) research and design, systems analysis, design research, product design, project management, usability evaluation, web development, and more. Students will attend intensive, accelerated in-person classes on the beautiful UCI campus in Orange County, Calif., as well as courses online.
  • Real-World Experience. MHCID students 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. Working in teams of four to six, students will collaborate with an industry sponsor to innovate, improve, or modify a new or existing human-to-machine technology.
  • Flexibility and Support. MHCID maintains low student-faculty ratios across the program, with every class taught by a faculty member and receiving support from multiple Teaching Assistants. The flexibility of distance learning allows students to complete their coursework on a schedule that meets their professional needs without moving and leaving successful career paths. MHCID students will have access to a broad range of networking activities through our extensive alumni network, as well as our industry and academic advisory boards.

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 cohort entering Fall 2018 - Full Time
  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Summer 2019 Annual
Program Fee * 12,375.00 12,375.00 12,375.00 12,375.00 49,500.00
eTech Fee † 60.00 60.00 60.00 0.00 180.00

MHCID cohort entering Fall 2017 - Part Time
  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Summer 2019 Annual
Program Fee * 6,187.50 6,187.50 6,187.50 6,187.50 24,750.00
eTech Fee † 60.00 60.00 60.00 0.00 180.00

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.

† The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible 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

Please click here for data accessible to a screen reader.

Students & Alumni

Student profiles coming soon.