Class FAQs

What will I learn in the HCC Core Classes?
The majority of the HCC core classes are focused on practice of concepts and not developing technical skills. We focus on teaching students theory related to user-centered design that can then be applied to any kind of technology. We do not teach how to use specific technologies, but in several of our courses you will have the opportunity to choose to platforms you are familiar with, or learn a new one.

How often do classes meet? What are the usual times? (Helps to plan and structure when talking with my prospective employer)
Most HCC graduate courses meet once a week (Monday – Thursday) from 4:30-7pm.

Can I take classes online?
This is a face-to-face program. However, students in the HCC MS program may take up to 2 courses in the online IS program as an elective (with permission from the HCC GPD).  Note: that online students have priority over face-to-face students gaining seats in online classes.

What is the difference between a full and part time student?
A full time student takes 3 classes in a semester, but we have students taking classes at a variety of rates, including as few as a one a semester.

How long will it take me to graduate?
The answer to this question is unique for each students and depends on the number of classes they elect to take each semester, and their willingness to take an independent study over the summer. The majority of our full-time students graduate in two years (taking 2-3 classes a semester).

What classes will I take? Can I follow my passion?
The program is designed so students can be flexible with their electives and spend them taking additional technical, design, or psychology classes across campus or focus on getting research experience (either through a formal MS thesis, or an independent study).

Do I need a technical background to be successful in the program?
We have a long history of students without technical backgrounds succeeding in our HCC program. If you have never taken a programming course at a university, you will required to take one before graduation (and our department offers one tailored to students in this situation). If you decide you are interested in pursuing additional technical classes, there is a wide range of development and technical classes available to you.

Why do I need to take a programming course? What counts for my degree? 
Since our graduates typically go into fields where they are involved in the design of software we feel it is necessary to provide them with the tools to collaborate on teams with developers. The intention of this requirement is to help students develop literacy (not mastery) of basic programming concepts and the ability to represent those in a target language.

If I take IS 600 to fulfill my programming requirement (if applicable), can it count as an elective? 
If you choose to take IS 600 it can count as an elective and be used to fulfill your programming requirement.

Can I take any classes over the summer?
We rarely offer elective or Core HCC courses in the summer or winter semester. However, some students have used this time to fulfill their programming requirement or do an independent study or MS thesis with a faculty member.