10 top UX graduate degree programs

| October 5, 2016
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If you’re looking to get an education in the field of UX, a graduate degree can be a great way to get started if you’re new to user experience or want to add valuable skills to your resume.

It used to be true that UX was a field you’d learn on the job, not in a classroom. However, more and more excellent Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction, UX, and Design programs are emerging that can give you the background and experience you need to excel in the field.

While an advanced degree isn’t always necessary for a career in UX, it can be an excellent way to learn applicable skills, improve your resume, and build a network. Here are 10 top programs currently offered in the U.S. that you can check out if you’re ready to take your UX education to the next level.

1. Bentley University – Master of Science in Human Factors in Information Design

Who’s it for?

Bentley’s Human Factors in Information Design (HFID) program is for individuals who want to complement their professional experience with user experience. All applicants must have a minimum of three years of professional experience before joining the program.

Online or in person?

All HFID courses are available online for students living outside of Massachusetts. Learn more about residency requirements and on-campus courses here.

How long is the program?

The program consists of ten courses. Full-time students can complete the program in one year, while part-time students can finish it in two to three years.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $42,250 for the full 10-credit program (each three-credit course is $4,225).

2. University of California Berkeley – Master of Information Management and Systems

Who’s it for?

The Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) program is a 48 unit, two-year full-time program, designed to train students in the skills needed to succeed as information professionals. Such professionals must be familiar with the theory and practice of storing, organizing, retrieving and analyzing information in a variety of settings in business, the public sector, and the academic world.

Online or in person?

The MIMS program is offered in person, at Berkeley’s campus in Berkeley, California.

How long is the program?

The program requires 48 units which can typically be completed by full-time students in two years.

How much does it cost?

Tuition ranges from $12,484 to $18,520 per semester, depending on residency.

3. Carnegie Mellon University – Master of Human-Computer Interaction

Who’s it for?

The Master of Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI) program is for any professionals seeking to expand their careers to include skills in human-computer interaction, user experience design, and user-centered research.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in-person at Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania campus.

How long is the program?

The MHCI program requires 36 units and can be completed over the course of one calendar year, in three semesters.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $23,000 per semester for full-time students.

4. Georgia Tech – Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction

Who’s it for?

The program is for students who desire the practical skills and theoretical understandings needed to excel in the fields of human-computer interfacing.

Online or in person?

This program is offered on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

How long is the program?

The degree requires 36 credit hours, which are usually taken over four semesters.

How much does it cost?

Between $644 for residents and $1,423 per credit for non-residents.

5. University of Michigan – Master of Science in Information, Human-Computer Interaction Specialization

Who’s it for?

This program is for individuals interested in specializing in human-computer interaction that design technologies for work, education, entertainment, and social interaction.

Online or in person?

This program is offered in-person on Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.

How long is the program?

The MSI is a 48-credit degree program, which takes two years to complete on a full-time basis and three to four years on a part-time basis.

How much does it cost?

Full-time tuition ranges between $10,733 for residents and $21,673 for non-residents per semester.

6. Stanford University – Master of Science of Symbolic Systems

Who’s it for?

This program is for professionals interested in the different aspects of the human-computer relationship in the areas of cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interactions.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in-person at Stanford’s Palo Alto, California campus.

How long is the program?

The program is 45 units and takes one to two years to complete.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $10,260 to $15,777 per quarter.

7. The University of Texas at Austin – Master of Science in Information Science

Who’s it for?

This program is for professionals seeking to accelerate their careers through the study of information systems.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in-person at The University of Texas at Austin’s campus in Austin, Texas.

How long is the program?

The program requires 40 semester hours of coursework, which is typically completed in three to four years.

How much does it cost?

Full-time students tuition is between $6,907 for residents and $13,078 for non-residents, per semester.

8. Purdue University – Master of Science Computer Graphics Technology

Who’s it for?

This program is for individuals that wish to apply the principles of human-centered design in their profession to help create products and services that are user-friendly.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in-person on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Indiana campus.

How long is the program?

Most students can complete the program in two years.

How much does it cost?

The program cost between $10,002 for residents and $28,808 for non-residents, per year.

9. San Jose State University – Master of Science Human Factors

Who’s it for?

This program prepares students for careers in human-computer interaction through a curriculum that emphasizes theory, practical applications, and research.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in person at San Jose State’s campus in San Jose, California.

How long is the program?

The program is 30 units.

How much does it cost?

The program costs between $1,953 and $3,369 per semester.

10. University of Washington – Master of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering

Who’s it for?

This program is for students who are interested in researching, designing, and engineering technological interactions from a human perspective.

Online or in person?

The program is offered in person at University of Washington’s Seattle campus.

How long is the program?

The program requires 48 credits.

How much does it cost?

The program costs $750 per credit.

Note: Several of these programs are members of UserTesting’s University Partnerships Program, which allows students to get hands-on experience with user research in the classroom.