MS - Human-Centered Design

Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 8200 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction: N Admission Status: graduate
Delivery Mode/s: classroom only Location/s: main campus
Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE

The master's program in human-centered design provides advanced education and research opportunities to qualified students with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The program prepares students to conduct independent scholarly work, teach in academia, or work in commerce or the private sector.

Admission Requirements

An applicant should have an undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical or computer sciences. Applicants with a strong interest in human and social science or the arts are particularly suited to the program. Applicants with experience in industry or academia, or in human factors and ergonomics are also urged to apply.

Master's applicants must submit all undergraduate transcripts with a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. International students must submit TOEFL scores of a minimum of 600 (100 on the internet-based test). All applicants must submit GRE results with a minimum score of 1100, three letters of recommendation and a statement of objectives.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Human-Centered Design is offered with both thesis and nonthesis options. Each option requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework. Prior to the completion of nine credit hours, the student must submit for approval a master's degree program plan to indicate the path chosen and the specific courses to be taken.

The nonthesis option requires 30 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and three credit hours of professionally oriented project work. The project enables students to demonstrate the ability to solve human-centered design problems; model, design, prototype and evaluate solutions; and express themselves both orally and in writing. On successful completion of the 33 credit hours of coursework and project, the student must pass a final program examination.

The thesis option requires 27 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and a minimum of six credit hours of thesis. The thesis may be analytical, experimental, theoretical or applied. It should provide the student the ability to explore literature; model, design, prototype and evaluate solutions; and competently express themselves. The thesis applicant must write and present a thesis proposal to a committee formed according to graduate policy, conduct the necessary research, and design and prepare a written thesis satisfying the elements agreed to by the student's committee. The student must defend the thesis before the committee. Students in this option are urged to continue to the Ph.D. program and a career in academia.

Core (Nonthesis chose seven from the following; thesis choose six)
  • HCD 5801 Function Analysis
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces function analysis. Covers task, activity and work analysis; the concept of emergence in human-centered design; levels of automation; cognitive function networks; human-machine cooperation; and dynamic function allocation.
  • HCD 5802 Usability Engineering
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces usability engineering. Covers sensorimotor models and measures, ergonomic guidelines and recommendations, human-centered learning retention, human error management, efficiency, pleasure, emotional aspects, stress, workload and acceptability.
  • HCD 5803 Creativity and Design Thinking
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces creativity and design thinking. Includes how to state and solve messy problems using out-of-the-box approaches; how to design in a team and recruit those who will be potential recipients of the product; story-telling and story boarding; cartoon generation; and parallel thinking.
  • HCD 5804 Industrial Human-Centered Design
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces industrial human-centered design of life-critical systems. Includes the history of cockpits, control rooms, new generation cockpits, electronic flight bags, V-model, user requirements, maturity certification and novelty management.
  • HCD 6810 Life-Critical Systems
    Credit Hours: 3
    Requires students to develop and evaluate a synthesis of life-critical systems (LCS) illustrated by space systems, aeronautics, nuclear energy systems and various emergency systems. Improves knowledge and skills of the differences between technology-centered and human-centered design of LCS.
  • HCD 6820 Advanced Interaction Media
    Credit Hours: 3
    Discusses advanced interaction media. Covers the history of interactive technology to the present, input techniques, ubiquitous computing, tangible interaction, design tools and methods, computer-supported cooperative work, user experience and usability engineering, information visualization and multimodal interaction.
  • HCD 6830 Cognitive Engineering and Human-Centered Design of Life-Critical Systems
    Credit Hours: 3
    Discusses cognitive engineering and human-centered design of life-critical systems. Covers human-centered automation, human reliability and safety, risk-taking and management, cognitive modeling and cognitive function analysis, situation awareness, decision-making, use cases, scenario-based design and product integration.
  • HCD 6840 Complexity Analysis for Human-Centered Design
    Credit Hours: 3
    Discusses complexity analysis from various points of view to the benefit of human-centered design. Covers how large numbers of relatively simple entities organize themselves without any central controller acting collectively to create patterns, use information, or adapt and learn.
  • HCD 6850 Organization Design and Management for Human-Centered Design
    Credit Hours: 3
    Discusses current topics and history of job and organizational design. Introduces socio-technical system design and its developments on the relationship between organization and technology. Covers organizational automation, product integration in a large organization, socio-technical leadership and change management.
  • HCD 6860 Modeling and Simulation
    Credit Hours: 3
    Discusses and practices modeling and simulation (M&S) for human-centered design. Includes familiarization to use CATIA and DELMIA, and design of a small, dynamic interactive system. Also includes life-cycle product management, discrete event simulations, mathematical models for simulation and multi-agent simulations.
Nonthesis Option
  • HCD 5895 Nonthesis Project
    Credit Hours: 3
    Enables students to solve HCD problems; model, design, prototype and evaluate solutions; as well as express themselves both orally and in writing.
    Completion of core courses
Thesis Option
  • HCD 5999 Thesis
    Credit Hours: 3
    Research and preparation of a thesis under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty.
    Thesis supervisor approval. A maximum of six credits may be applied toward the master of science degree requirements.
Electives (both options)
  • Three graduate-level courses chosen with approval of the program chair Credit Hours: 9
Total Credits Required: 33

Note: Nonthesis students must successfully complete a final program examination after completing all program requirements.