Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction (MHCIHF) is the scientific study of people in the design of products, services, and systems. The Master of Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction trains students to understand, design, and assess complex technological systems, with an emphasis on how human perceptual, cognitive, and physical abilities inform those designs. As advancing technology becomes more ubiquitous, it will change the way we work and interact. Failure to consider the human side of technology will have ever-increasing costs. Thus, MHCIHF professionals will be integral in helping to design technologies of the future in areas such as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, advanced medical systems, mobile computing, and other information/communication technologies.
Houston offers key advantages to our students. Houston is a vibrant, technologically sophisticated metropolis, making it an ideal place in which to study human-computer interaction and human factors. As a student, you will have unapparelled access to industries, people, and other institutions of higher learning that that will enhance your educational experience here at Rice. Among these industries is the Johnson Space Center, home of NASA’s famed Mission Control. Because 14 astronauts and many MHCIHF professionals on site are Rice graduates, we maintain a special relationship with NASA's JSC through the Rice Space Institute. In the energy sector, Houston is widely considered to be the energy capital of the world, with over 5000 energy firms locally. Houston is also home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with 21 hospitals, 9 medical/nursing schools and 8 research institutes. As the most ethnically and racially diverse city in the United States, Houston offers excellent opportunities to study a wide range of different populations, and the Texas Medical Center provides easy access to patient and medical provider populations as well.
The MHCIHF program is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds, including psychology and engineering. Students will complete 37 hours across 11 courses, including a summer internship and a Master's Project. The program is designed for a student to complete in 2 years. Upon graduation, students will have the skills to:
- Understand fundamental human perceptual, cognitive, and physical capabilities.
- Understand the interplay between technology and human behavior.
- Be able to collect human performance data and have the statistical skill to analyze and explain those data.
- Apply all of this knowledge to the design and assessment of any system.
Our program is an applied behavioral science program, not a UX Design program. We do not cover subjects like graphic design and branding.