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Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

Participating Graduate Programs

Program Overview

The Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) offers a sub-specialization in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. The program is called the "MAGIC Applied Graphics and Usability Studies" program, or MAGUS.

MAGUS is an interdisciplinary sub-specialization for students in any UBC graduate program whose master's-level graduate work is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction. Students who meet the requirements for the Sub-specialization will have the following added to their master's degree: "Sub-specialization in Human-Computer Interaction." The Sub-specialization, along with the transcript and the endorsement of the program, will identify master's graduates as having attained special training in the interdisciplinary field of HCI.

All inquiries about whether a student may be enrolled as an HCI Sub-specialization student should be addressed to the Director of the HCI Sub-specialization program.

Admission Requirements

  • Students should submit their registration information to the Director of the HCI Sub-specialization as early as possible.
  • Applicants must be students in good standing in a master's-level degree program at UBC.
  • Students may be admitted at any point in their program, but it is recommended that they have an HCI project or thesis topic identified.
  • Acceptance is based upon a student's demonstrated commitment to the field of HCI.
  • If accepted, they will then be classified as an HCI Sub-specialization student and placed on the mailing list for announcements of HCI events (such as lectures and special courses).

A student in good standing in his/her graduate program may petition the Director of the HCI Sub-specialization for admission as an official student for the Sub-specialization in HCI.

Under special circumstances a student may be admitted to the Sub-specialization at the time they are first admitted to a graduate program at UBC. Such a student will have an exceptional record and a demonstrated commitment to the interdisciplinary study of HCI. Also under special circumstances a student may petition the HCI Committee for equivalent-credit for courses taken elsewhere or for independent research work.

Program Requirements

It is the student's responsibility to ensure his/her coursework meets the requirements for the master's degree in his/her graduate program. In order to receive the Sub-specialization, students must meet three additional criteria:

1. Successful completion of a sequence of qualifying methods courses:

  • one foundations of HCI course (CPSC 544 or equivalent)
  • one empirical methods and analysis course (PSYC 546A or equivalent)
  • one design and evaluation course (CPSC 543 or EECE 518 or CPSC 554M or equivalent)

Additions and changes to the list of qualifying methods courses will be made by the HCI Committee in consultation with the departments in which the courses are held. Graduate courses may not be offered every year. Students who need to take required courses that are not offered in the current year must contact the HCI director for suitable replacements.

2. A minimum of 3 credits from at least one additional HCI theory and applications course approved by the HCI Committee.

Qualifying courses are selected so as to provide an opportunity for cross-disciplinary studies as well as permitting students to satisfy the requirements for the Sub-specialization using courses from within their department. Additions to the list of qualifying courses can be proposed to the HCI Committee by students or members of the faculty.

3. Completion of a major research project with an HCI focus (6 credit minimum).

Depending on the requirements of the candidate's department, this project may take the form of a thesis, studio project, or major project. Project proposals must be approved by the HCI Committee. The student will then choose a MAGIC affiliate faculty as project advisor. The role of the project advisor will be to certify that the finished project meets all requirements for the Sub-specialization.

HCI Sub-specialization students who do not already have a MAGIC affiliate faculty supervisor will be directed toward a MAGIC affiliate faculty advisor who will advise them regarding research requirements for the HCI Sub-specialization. This faculty member may be a co-advisor if the student has a supervisor in his/her department.

For more information on the HCI Sub-specialization, visit the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC); or contact the Director of MAGIC, 3640 Forest Science Centre, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, 604.822.8990; or the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

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