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Q: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: sgordo-ga
List Price: $80.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2004 17:54 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2004 17:54 PDT
Question ID: 400802
I plan on applying this year for PhD programs in Human Computer
Interaction (HCI) to begin fall 2005. This is an emerging area of
academic study, so I could use some help targeting the programs I
would like to apply to. Specifically, I would like to know what the
top six (approx.) PhD programs are in the U.S. (I'll consider one or
two international programs, though they must be taught in English.)  I
would like to know each program's specialties-- for example, what are
their labs, what areas do they focus on, what are they most well-known
for, etc. If the program is divided into focus areas, I would like to
know that, too. I would like links to the program's webpages. Also, I
would like to know (if it is publicly available) the funding/stipends
available to PhD students.

Basically, I need to decide to which programs to apply to, and this
decision is based on the ranking of the school, as well as the
specific areas of research. Most schools require that I declare an
affiliation with a particular lab early on, so I need to know what the
labs are working on and who to contact at the lab.

To help you with the research, you should know that HCI falls under
different departments at different universities: Communication at
Stanford, Computer Science at a few places, Infomatics at University
of Edinburgh. I know "best six programs" is subjective, so use your
judgement and keep in mind that I am particularly interested in areas
of human-robot collaboration, psychological aspects of interface
design, and speech and natural language understanding. Other criteria
for "best" would include ranking (if it exists) as well as reputation,
demand for graduates, importance of research coming out of the
institution, etc.

If this works out well, I may like to ask a follow-up question
regarding the future of HCI, to help me in my decision regarding which
field to focus on.

I'm happy to provide any necessary clarifications. Thanks!

Clarification of Question by sgordo-ga on 16 Sep 2004 09:21 PDT
I've raised the price on this because i'd really like to get an
answer. If you feel that you can answer most of my questions, or
require additional clarification, please let me know.

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 16 Sep 2004 10:25 PDT
Hello sgordo-ga,

Your question shows that you?ve done some preliminary research on your
own. Are there any schools/programs that you rate highly according to
the criteria you?ve given here? Are there any that clearly don?t meet
your requirements? Who are the thought leaders in the field that you
admire? What is your academic background, degrees, schools, honors,
etc.? The more you can tell me about what you already know, the more
likely I will be able to get you the additional information you need.
I look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~
Subject: Re: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction
Answered By: czh-ga on 16 Sep 2004 17:59 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello again sgordo-ga,

Congratulations on your doctoral ambitions. What an interesting field
of study! This was a tough research project because of the complexity
of what you?re looking for and the lack of consistency on what the
degree programs are called and the school/department that might offer
it. The wealth of resources available further complicates reaching a
conclusion about what are the best choices for you.

I think the information I?ve found will be sufficient to help you make
your decision about which universities and Ph.D. programs you should
investigate further. The best ranking information I found for you is
the 2002 US News & World Report Top 40 Computer Science Ph.D.
Programs. I?ve also found some ranking reports that show the Top CS
Research Expenditures by University. You can correlate the two reports
to see which universities rank high on both lists.

The US News & World Report ranks computer science programs. I
completed further research to see if the top universities listed offer
a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction. I also searched for additional
lists or directories of schools that would provide such a list. You
can take these lists and explore further whether the schools listed
offer program areas that match your interests. You can then apply your
criteria and make your own rankings.

I?ve located the relevant departments and programs at the top six
universities from the US News & World Report listing so that you can
get a quick overview of these prestigious institutions. Even a cursory
review shows that there is enormous variety in the programs and
approaches to getting a Ph.D. in HCI. You can get contact information,
application procedures, faculty and research project details and other
relevant information about specific programs from each university?s
Web site.

I?ve completed the level of research that?s appropriate for the
pricing of your question and you should be able to continue with your
explorations to follow your special interests. I?ll be happy to
clarify anything that?s not clear. Please ask for clarification before
rating my answer.

Best wishes for your academic career.

~ czh ~


Human-robot collaboration
Psychological aspects of interface design
Speech and natural language understanding

Demand for graduates
Importance of research
Focus areas

Sources of funding
Stipends for candidates
Contact information
Website address

Computer Science Ranked in 2002* 

Rank/School  --- Average assessment score (5 = highest)
1. Carnegie Mellon University (PA)    4.9	
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology      4.9	
1. Stanford University (CA)      4.9	

There are many more schools on this list! ? in the Premium Online Edition

Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science

Current 2002 Rankings of CS Ph.D. programs in the U.S.
I?m including the 2002 Rankings from the U.S. News & World Report for
the top 40 CS PhD programs: (Ranking score is out of 5) (***** See
pages 18-19)

1. Carnegie Mellon University (PA) 4.9
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4.9
1. Stanford University (CA) 4.9
1. University of California-Berkeley 4.9
5. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign 4.6
6. Cornell University (NY) 4.5
7. University of Texas-Austin 4.4
7. University of Washington 4.4
9. Princeton University (NJ) 4.3
10. California Institute of Technology 4.1
10. University of Wisconsin-Madison 4.1
12. Georgia Institute of Technology 4.0
12. University of Maryland-College Park 4.0
14. Brown University (RI) 3.9
14. University of California-Los Angeles 3.9
14. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 3.9
17. Rice University (TX) 3.8
17. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 3.8
17. University of Pennsylvania 3.8
20. Columbia University (NY) 3.7
20. Duke University (NC) 3.7
20. Harvard University (MA) 3.7
20. Purdue University-West Lafayette (IN) 3.7
20. University of California-San Diego 3.7
25. University of Massachusetts-Amherst 3.6
25. Yale University (CT) 3.6
27. University of Southern California 3.5
27. University of Virginia 3.5
29. Johns Hopkins University (MD) 3.3
29. New York University 3.3
29. Rutgers State University-New Brunswick (NJ) 3.3
29. SUNY-Stony Brook 3.3
29. University of California-Irvine 3.3
29. University of Utah 3.3
35. Ohio State University 3.2
35. Penn State University-University Park 3.2
35. University of Arizona 3.2
35. University of Chicago 3.2
35. University of Colorado-Boulder 3.2
35. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 3.2
35. Washington University in St. Louis 3.2

Take this ranking with a grain of salt. Ranking is based on people?s
opinions. Even very low ranked schools have some truly great
professors and some very famous professors. Also remember that a
famous professor does not imply a great advisor.

Top CS Research Expenditures by University

Total and federally financed R&D expenditures in the computer sciences
at universities and colleges, ranked by fiscal year 2002 total R&D
expenditures in the computer sciences: fiscal years 1999?2002: 15 KB
PDF file or 85 KB Excel file

Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources
Statistics, Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal
Year 2002, NSF 04-330, Project Officer, M. Marge Machen (Arlington, VA

Internet Links for Institutions Offering Degree Programs

Human Factors Programs

 George Mason University The Department of Psychology has an M.S. and
Ph.D. program in Human Factors and Applied Cognition.

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology The Human-Machine Systems
Laboratory at MIT offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 New Mexico State University The Psychology Department offers M.S.
and Ph.D. degrees in Human Engineering.

 North Carolina State University offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
Human Engineering.

 Northeastern University offers a M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. 

 Ohio State University offers a M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Factors / Ergonomics. 

 Old Dominion University Psychology Department offers M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees in Human Factors.

 Purdue University Industrial Engineering Department offers M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 Penn State The Industrial Engineering Department offers M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.
 State University of New York at Buffalo The Industrial Engineering
Department offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Interdisciplinary Program
in Human Factors and specialties in aviation offering M.S. and Ph.D.

 University of Iowa The Industrial Engineering Department offers
B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 University of Massachusetts The Human Performance Laboratory at
UMass offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 University of South Dakota The Psychology Department offers B.S.,
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 University of Toronto The Industrial Engineering Department offers
B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Ergonomics & Experimental Psychology.

 Virginia Tech offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors. 

 Texas Tech The Psychology Department offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees in Human Factors.

 Wright State University offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors. 

User Interface Design / Human-Computer Interaction Programs

 Carnegie Mellon University The Human Computer Interaction Institute
offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. programs.

 Carleton University Human Oriented Technology Lab offers M.S and
Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction.

 Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Institute
offers M.S and Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction.

 Catholic University of America Psychology Department offers M.S and
Ph.D. in Ph.D. in Applied-Experimental Psychology.

 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Cognitive Science
offers M.S and Ph.D. in Computer Machine Reasoning.

 Rice University Interdisciplinary Graduate Program offers M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors.

 University College London Interaction Centre offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. 

 University of Washington the Human Interface Technology Lab is
affiliated with the school of Engineering that has B.S., M.S., and
Ph.D. programs.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) > Institutes

School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
April 5, 2002 
Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science Ties for First Place In
the Latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings of Best Ph.D. Programs

Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science has a broader scope than
most of its peers, focusing on robotics, human-computer interaction,
software engineering, language technologies, entertainment
technologies and data mining as well as the traditional computer
science offerings.
Course of Study for the Robotics Doctoral Program


Graduate Subjects 
The EECS Department offers a variety of graduate subjects in computer
science and related disciplines.? The graduate subjects in computer
science offered by the EECS Department are organized into three
(overlapping) concentration areas:
Systems, Theory, Artificial Intelligence
EECS Research Area Preference Information
Artificial Intelligence
EECS Faculty Research Supervisors

Stanford University Program in Human-Computer Interface

Stanford University has HCI-related activities and degree programs in
a number of departments, as well as research projects around campus
with substantial HCI components. Our core faculty is supplemented by
HCI professionals from Silicon Valley industry, who teach courses,
advise students, and serve as project mentors.
HCI-Related Degrees at Stanford

Ph.D. in Computer Science
The computer science department offers a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
Students are required to pass a series of comprehensive exams (or take
equivalent courses) to show breadth in computer science, pass a
qualifying exam in one of five areas (AI, Numerical Analysis,
Robotics, Systems, Theory), and complete a dissertation.  A number of
students in both the Systems and AI areas have done dissertations
related to Human-Computer Interaction. There is an HCI specialization
area of the Systems Qualifying Exam Students in HCI will normally take
this as well as two other systems sub-areas. It is also possible to
take HCI as a depth area in the qualifying exam in Artificial
Intelligence, in consultation with the AI faculty.

Masters and PhD programs in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Departments offering degrees in which students are able to pursue
research topics in Human-Computer Interaction include Communications,
Linguistics, and Psychology.

MS and PhD in Medical Information Sciences (School of Medicine)
The requirements for degrees in BioMedical Informatics are tailored to
fit the background and interests of the student. All students spend a
minimum of 2 years at Stanford and are expected to undertake
significant research projects. BioMedical Informatics interests
include both clinical informatics and bioinformatics. Clinical
informatics is the design and implementation of advanced information
and computational technologies to address problems in the delivery of
health care. Bioinformatics is the design and implementation of
advanced information and computational technologies to address
problems in biology, particularly in molecular biology. In both of
these areas, research topics include human-computer interaction, and a
number of BioMedical Informatics students have done HCI theses and

CS Research Area: Human-Computer Interaction

 -- Assistive Technology 
 -- Informal User Interfaces 
 -- Multimedia Content Authoring 
 -- Multimodal User Interfaces 
 -- Scientific Visualization 
 -- Telecollaboration 
 -- Ubiquitous Computing 
 -- Video and Image Analysis 
 -- Virtual Environments 

 -- BID: Berkeley Institute of Design 
 -- GUIR: Group for User Interface Research 
 -- Human-Centered Computing (HCC): An interdisciplinary consortium at UC Berkeley 

Interdisciplinary Program in Human Factors

Description of the Program
Engineering Psychology and Human Factors are studied at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the context of the
Interdisciplinary Progran in Human Factors (IPHF). This effort,
originally called the Engineering Psychology Joint Program, was
established in the early 1980's as a cooperative arrangement between
the following three campus units:
 -- Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering  
 -- Department of Psychology  
 -- Institute of Aviation.  

Information Science brings together faculty, students and researchers
who share an interest in combining computer science with the social
sciences of how people and society interact with information.
Ph.D. Program Approved by the New York State Education Department - June 3, 2004!

The focus of the Information Science Ph.D. program is on systems and
their use, rather than on the computing and communication technologies
that underlie and sustain them.

The program has four concentrations: 

Information Systems examines the computer science problems of
representing, organization, storing, manipulating, and using digital

Human Computer Interaction uses an interactive, user-centered design
approach to study the interplay between technology and what people do
with technology.

Cognition focuses on the human mind, which is the ultimate producer
and user of information.

Social Systems studies the cultural, economic, historical, legal,
political, and social contexts in which digital information is a major
The HCI Group at Cornell University is an interdisciplinary research
team investigating social, psychological, and design issues
surrounding the use of computers at school, work and home.

Using an iterative, user-centered design approach, HCI Group members
and research partners are building and evaluating networked,
multimedia environments that support involvement, experimentation,
exploration, and collaboration.

Current projects focus on affective computing, use of wireless
technologies, information seeking, and social navigation.


ranking phd programs human computer interaction
Rankings of Best Ph.D. Programs computer science
"human computer interaction"  Ph.D.

Request for Answer Clarification by sgordo-ga on 18 Sep 2004 12:39 PDT
Hi- Thanks for putting a lot of effort into this question.
Unfortunately, the ranking strategy is not too helpful, as HCI is
laregely inter-disciplenary, and ranking programs based on the
schools' CS departments is mis-leading. As I said, it is only
sometimes in the department of Computer Science. I am not an engineer
and do not have a CS background,  and though human factors is a
related field, it is not relevant to my interests in  HCI. The
information you did provide on the five schools in the field is
helpful. Could you provide similar info on any other schools, or can
you provide more in depth information on these schools, such as their
labs, contacts at the labs, or ranking within the six?

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 18 Sep 2004 13:44 PDT
Hello again sgordo-ga,

Thank you for the clarification. It is difficult to develop a ranking
system unique to your situation, especially because I?m still not
quite clear on which criteria are most important to you in evaluating
the HCI programs available. That?s why I listed what I knew about your
qualifiers as the first item in my answer.

It would help me to complete this research if you would give me your
criteria/ranking methodology. You?ve given me the following as items
to consider: ranking, reputation, focus areas, research projects,
labs. It would be helpful if you could expand on how you want to
evaluate the programs available. Since the program you?re talking
about is very specialized, no outside organization is likely to have
done any ratings. The best you might hope for will be programs
claiming to be the ?best? in some field.

Your stated interests are: human-robot collaboration, psychological
aspects of interface design, speech and natural language
understanding. Your clarification seems to say you would like to find
interdisciplinary programs. It would help me if you could identify one
or two programs that meet your criteria. It would also help if you
would tell me more about your background and whatever conclusions you
have drawn from the research you?ve completed on your own.

Because of the difficulty of the research and the pricing of your
question, I?m not going to spend time on identifying specific
information on labs and contact names because you will be able to
easily do this for yourself from the Web pages of whatever
programs/universities you include for serious consideration.

This is an interesting but tough search project. The more information
you can share, the more likely I?ll be able to find what you need. I
look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~

Request for Answer Clarification by sgordo-ga on 21 Sep 2004 14:43 PDT
Hi czh-

Thanks for your continuing efforts on this project. I have an MA in
Communication and am seeking a PhD program that does not require an
MS. I have studied the psychology of interface design, the design of
voice interfaces, and the etichs of simulating intelligence. I am
applying to Stanford and this is my top choice, as they do lots of
work in these and similar areas. I am looking for other programs like
this to apply to. I am not a "techie" and do not want engineering or
CS-heavy programs. To clarify, I am not interested in designing
robots, etc., but am interested in studying the psychological/social
factos involved in designing interfaces, artifical intelligence, etc.
Any clarification you can provide regarding programs that would be
good for me and my goals would be appreciated.

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 22 Sep 2004 02:05 PDT
Hello again sgordo-ga,

I?ve done some additional research to try to narrow the list of
schools for your consideration. It?s tough because this is a fairly
new area and as you said, you never know what department will host the
HCI degree. I found a good prospect list from the Online Computer
Library Center?s bibliography for HCI.
PROGRAMS HCI educational programs (e.g., BS, MS, PhD) on HCI.

***** This is a comprehensive list that will give you the full range
of HCI programs in the US. I?ve reviewed the list and I?ve eliminated
all the schools that don?t offer Ph.D. degrees. In addition, I only
kept the ones that seem to meet your criteria for what you?re looking
for in the HCI program.

It?s difficult to rank these schools and programs without spending
several more hours to evaluate their offerings. Carnegie Mellon,
George Mason University, and University of Maryland seem to be the
best prospects for you. I would also recommend that you take a close
look at MIT. They have so many labs and programs that one of them
might meet your needs.

I suggest that you review all of the information I provided in my
original answer along with this addendum. I think you will find a good
prospect list for schools that might be worth your consideration.

Wishing you well for your academic career.

~ czh ~

Carnegie Mellon University (
United States, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Human-Computer Interaction
(PhD) Scott E. Hudson
A research-oriented interdisciplinary degree program in Human-Computer
Interaction, leading to a PhD in HCI.
Since HCI encompasses aspects of people and technology, the Institute
takes a strongly interdisciplinary approach. The Institute brings
scientific and engineering knowledge from computing together with that
of the behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology and the social sciences).
Further, in order to produce efficient, effective and pleasing
technology, this scientific basis is also combined with the
integrative methods of the discipline of design which are directed
towards the conception of ?total products.? Mirroring this diversity,
we encourage applicants from a range of disciplines.


George Mason University (
United States, Virginia, Fairfax Human Factors and Applied Cognition
Deborah Boehm-Davis

What is Human Factors and Applied Cognition?
In the Arch Lab, we attempt to build bridges between two disciplines
-- cognitive psychology and human factors engineering. Below are
descriptions of each of those components, which are brought together
in our lab through research applying cognitive principles to
application domains.


The doctoral program in Cognitive Psychology encourages students to
focus on current research areas of cognitive psychology, including
information processing models of attention and memory, metacognitive
processes, computer simulation of cognitive/meta-cognitive processes,
models of problem solving and decision making, the perception of
speech and language, human factors and human-computer interaction.

Maryland at College Park, University of (
United States, Maryland, College Park Human-Computer Interaction
(HCIL) Ben Shneiderman


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
United States, New York, Troy/Albany Cognitive Engineering Wayne D.

Doctoral program (Fall 2003) emphasizing integrated cognitive systems,
computational cognitive modeling, and cognitive engineering. Support
Cognitive Science Ph.D.


University of California, San Diego (
United States, California, La Jolla Department of Cognitive Science
Jim Hollan
Cognitive Science Ph.D. Program
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program 


Iowa State University (
United States, Iowa, Ames Human Computer Interaction Interdisciplinary
Graduate Program James Oliver
ISU is making a strategic investment to accelerate research, attract
students and faculty members and establish a graduate program in this
vital area of study.


UMBC: Information Systems Department (
United States, Maryland, Baltimore UMBC Information Systems Andrew
Human-Computer Interaction

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Research Activities


Oregon, University of, Computer & Information Science Dept.
United States, Oregon, Eugene Human-Computer Interaction (MS,PhD)
Sarah Douglas
Computer science graduate program.


University of Virginia  (
United States, Virginia, Charlottesville Human-Computer Interaction
Stephanie Guerlain

Undergraduate and Graduate program in human-computer interaction
and/or cognitive engineering. Research in decision support in medical
and military applications. Cognitive engineering research in medical,
military, transportation and process control. Eye-gaze technology for
usability testing and the disabled.
sgordo-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Thanks for the follow-up.

Subject: Re: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction
From: stardent-ga on 14 Sep 2004 11:51 PDT
There is a human interface technology lab at the university of
washington (
Subject: Re: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction
From: czh-ga on 22 Sep 2004 18:45 PDT
Hello sgordo-ga,

Thanks for the tip. Best wishes for your Ph.D. program.

~ czh ~
Subject: Re: PhD programs in Human Compuer Interaction
From: poe_me-ga on 28 Sep 2004 20:29 PDT
I know you said that "human factors" doesnt apply to you, but many HCI
programs are lumped under human factors.  I think you will find a
plethora of information on many, many programs at the HFES (Human
Factors & Ergonomics Society) website.  They have an online
publication that lists many HF and HCI grad programs, entrance
criteria, research specializations, etc. at: 

Good luck in your future degree.

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