University of Maryland

Academics – Studying HCI at UMD

There are many ways to work with HCIL Faculty at UMD – from taking occasional courses to getting a degree.

First students need to apply to an academic program on campus, then once they are accepted they can choose to work with HCIL faculty on various research projects.


While there is no specific undergraduate degree in HCI at UMD, it is possible to study some aspects of HCI by majoring in Information Science through the College of Information Studies. Students may also explore the potential to customize a degree through the UMD Individual Studies Program (IVSP). The IVSP allows a student to create their own major and program of study through a faculty advisor. Learn more about the IVSP program.


he College of Information Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, offers a Master of Science degree in Human-Computer Interaction. The HCI Master’s degree integrates information studies, computer science, education, psychology and design to prepare students for careers in industry or research. Through coursework and research experiences, students in this program will develop skills in the fundamentals of human-computer interaction, advanced research methods, user experience design, usability analysis and testing, social computing strategies and technologies, and technology design. Electives and projects allow students to focus on areas of interest within HCI. To learn more about the HCI master’s degree, visit the informal HCIM program website or the iSchool’s HCI Master’s website.


The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) is an interdisciplinary research community, but prospective students must be admitted and pursue a degree in a particular department, usually computer science, library and information science, information management, psychology, or education. Once admitted, we consider students for Graduate Research Assistantships and for participation in projects.  Often projects involve students from several units and we collaborate regularly.

Computer Science

Students first apply to the PhD program in Computer Science, then choose to work with CS faculty who focus on HCI (see the HCIL faculty list)

Information Studies

Students first apply to the PhD program in Information Studies, then choose to work with iSchool faculty who focus in HCI (see the HCIL faculty list).

Other Departments

There are also other departments with faculty who are members of HCIL and have a focus on HCI (see the HCIL faculty list).