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  • Online Certificate in Human Computer Interaction & UX

    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction & User Experience

    American adults are spending more time on their electronic devices than ever. With that increase in screen time comes a greater need for businesses to understand exactly how we interact with our technology. Drexel University’s online Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Experience (UX) is an introductory look at the world of UX and HCI. Designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in an adjacent field (such as computer science, engineering, or the humanities), this online user experience certificate prepares you with foundational industry knowledge that you can put to use immediately. Train for a position in UX and HCI while still working full time, and learn from and network with faculty who have worked in the field and maintain their connections with local industry.

    Classes are entirely online, and the certificate credits may be applied to Drexel’s online MSI in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience.

    What is the Difference Between Interaction Design and User Experience Design?

    Interaction design can be understood as a subsection of UX design. The two share a very similar goal: understanding how a person interacts with a product. Interaction designers are responsible for designing that interaction and making it as useful and pleasant as possible. To accomplish that, they perform duties like creating wireframes and building interactive prototypes.

    UX designers are also interested in interaction design, but their focus is much broader. They conduct user and market research, develop content, create wireframes, and test products, while working with other designers and developers every step of the way.

    The courses you’ll take in Drexel’s online certificate program will prepare you for a career in either UX or interaction design. Classes cover foundational knowledge that will be applicable to professionals in either role.

    The History of Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

    If UX is focused on the design of human-technology interaction, HCI is the academic discipline upon which the field is based. Once personal computers found their way into the mainstream, HCI became increasingly important to understanding how technology should be designed to best serve users. Over time, this became more than just how we interact with computers – it started to encompass how we interact with each other through digital devices. To answer these questions, HCI draws on interdisciplinary research from fields like psychology and sociology, along with more traditional technology.

    What is the Best Way to Learn UX?

    UX is a relatively new field, and there’s no “traditional” background for UX professionals. Many UX designers have been trained in different disciplines before entering the field. That means that, regardless of your background, it’s never too late to enter the world of UX.

    Drexel’s online Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience is designed to introduce you to the field and give you the foundational knowledge and skills you need to compete in the job market. The 12-credit program includes the following courses:

    • INFO 508 - Information Innovation through Design Thinking
    • INFO 690 - Understanding Users: User Experience Research Methods
    • INFO 691 - Prototyping the User Experience
    • One of the following:
      • INFO 608 - Human-Computer Interaction
      • INFO 615 - Designing with Data
      • INFO 616 - Social and Collaborative Computing

    For those looking for more in-depth knowledge, Drexel also offers an online MSI in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience.

    What is the Difference Between UI and UX?

    User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are two fields with a lot of overlap, and designers from both disciplines work together to create a finished product. However, there are some key differences that set them apart.

    UX designers are responsible for improving the interaction between a customer and a product. UX tends to be more technical and analytical, and designers’ tasks typically include market research, content development, wireframing, and testing.

    UI, on the other hand, is a more visually-oriented field. Like UX designers, UI designers are also interested in how people interact with a product. However, they’re focusing with an eye for things like how color and patterns influence interaction. They are also responsible for translating a brand into a product.

    Despite their differences, many of the skills you would need to become a UX designer are similar to skills you would need to work in UI. Drexel’s online Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience gives you a solid foundation upon which you can build a career in either UX or UI.

    What are the Goals of Human Computer Interaction?

    HCI is largely concerned with the concept of usability. The goal of the field is to understand the relationship between humans and computers, with an emphasis on the ways people use technology. With this in mind, HCI professionals strive to improve our interactions with digital technology, developing and implementing new interfaces and then evaluating them for their effectiveness.

    What is the Importance of Human Computer Interaction?

    While it can be difficult to imagine life without it, personal computing systems are a relatively new concept. IBM released its first personal computer in 1981, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that they became a staple in a majority of American households. This increase in new users presented a challenge. No longer were computers being used only by professionals; they now needed to be designed for everyone. HCI was an answer to this issue. By examining the way humans interacted with technology and striving to make that interaction better, HCI helped new, more personalized technology better serve the general public through better design and interface.

    Types of Human Computer Interface

    There are multiple forms of human computer interface, and these change as our technology evolves. Some current common forms are:

    • Graphical User Interface
      GUI uses images to facilitate interface. A common form of this is icons.
    • Menu Driven Interface
      This type of interface allows navigation through a series of screens by working through options on a list.
    • Voice Driven Interaction
      This allows users to issue verbal commands to a computing system. It’s also referred to as voice recognition.
    • Command Line Interface
      CLI allows users to interact with a computing system by typing in a textual command. However, computers will only respond to specific, predetermined textual commands.
    • Touch Sensitive Interface
      Seen most often in mobile devices (think touchscreens), this allows users to use their fingers or a stylus to issue commands.

    Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in HCI & UX Online Program Features

    Related Programs

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Required Courses  
    INFO 508 Information Innovation through Design Thinking 3.0
    INFO 690 Understanding Users: User Experience Research Methods 3.0
    INFO 691 Prototyping the User Experience 3.0
    Select one of the following:
    INFO 608
    Human-Computer Interaction  
    INFO 615 Designing with Data  
    INFO 616 Social and Collaborative Computing  
    Total Credits   12.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A four-year bachelor's degree in any major from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution
    • GPA of 3.0 or higher preferred, in a completed degree program, bachelor’s degree or above

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
    • One letter of recommendation, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
    • Essay/Statement of Purpose
      • In approximately 500 words, describe what professional goals you hope to achieve, how an advanced degree facilitates that success, and anything else you want the Admissions Review Board to know about you.
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2022-2023 is $1396 per credit.

    • This program is not eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2022-2023 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2022

    September 19, 2022

    December 3, 2022

    December 5, 2022

    December 10, 2022

    Winter 2023

    January 9, 2023

    March 18, 2023

    March 20, 2023

    March 25, 2023

    Spring 2023

    April 3, 2023

    June 10, 2023

    June 12, 2023

    June 17, 2023

    Summer 2023

    June 26, 2023

    September 2, 2023

    September 4, 2023

    September 9, 2023


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