Admission Requirements

Academic Admissions Requirements

Each applicant’s application is evaluated individually, and their entire package is considered in the admission decision. Most accepted students meet the following minimum criteria.

  1. Applicants must include a Goal Statement summarizing their interests and experience in the field of Human-Centered Computing (1-2 pages recommended).
  2. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. We recommend these are from individuals who know the applicant either professionally or academically and can speak about their past professional accomplishments and potential as a graduate student.
  3. The majority of successful applicants have an undergraduate GPA well above 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale).
  4. All applicants are expected to read, speak, write, and understand the English language fluently. Those whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or DuoLingo unless they have earned a post-secondary degree from an accredited university in the United States.
    • Admitted applicants must have a combined TOEFL score of 550 (written), 213 (computer based) or 80 (iBT-Internet based), a score above 6.5 with the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or a score of 115 and above through DuoLingo.
    • The code for UMBC is 5835
  5. While not required for consideration to the MS program, we encourage interested applicants to include a resume (or CV), any samples of high-quality past work, and/or a UX portfolio or link to one. If online UX courses have been taken (e.g. through CourseEra), we encourage applicants to upload certificates of completion.
  6. GRE scores are not required for the MS degree program.
  7. When entering in contact details for referees, use institutional or corporate email addresses. References provided to us should be completed on headed notepaper and signed by the referee.

When evaluating a graduate student’s application, we consider the whole package and don’t make decisions exclusively based on GPA requirements. We have many students who join our program after many years of industry experience and fully recognize that GPA isn’t the only marker for success.


New Student Orientation

The Department of Information Systems hosts a new student orientation before every Fall and Spring semester for students in all graduate programs. All newly admitted students will receive an invitation and details about this event from Department. During this event, there will be a breakout session for newly admitted students to meet with the HCC Graduate Program Director and faculty who teach in the HCC graduate program.