HCI program: University of Michigan vs. University of Maryland - Thoughts on both programs?

3 Apr 2012 - 10:45am
4 years ago
1 reply
3497 reads

Hi everyone,

I have recently been accepted into two HCI programs at the iSchools at the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland.

I had intended to go to Michigan, since I had thought that Maryland's due date for acceptance was March 9. But it's actually April 6. So now I have a few short days to decide which to go to!

For background, I come from a Psych/English double major with no programming experience, and some self-learned graphic design skills.

The program at Michigan is pretty hefty price wise, but the network seems large. I had visited and really enjoyed my time there and the people/students/faculty. My only  reluctance is the fact that I am wondering if it is worth the cost to attend? Maryland is more financially sound.

If anyone has been in the programs, and would like to share their thoughts and experiences, that would be wonderful!!! I would love to hear some insight about the program, as well as the job/professional opportunities you had after completing it.

Thank you!


3 Apr 2012 - 11:03am

I'm currently finishing my first year of HCI at Michigan. I also attended UMich for undergrad and only have to pay in-state tuition, so I may be a little biased.

Is there anything in particular you want to know about? I've been really happy with my experiences here so far, although I think it's important to note that it's a more theoretically-oriented program than I had expected it to be. There are plenty of practical classes (plus the Practical Engagement Program requirements), but the school requires you to have a really strong understanding of the intellectual frameworks of both HCI and information science in general. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it's probably something you should know and factor into your decision based on what you're looking to get out of your time and money.

The UMich alumni network is large (the largest!), and SI has a very strong Career Development program. That said, finding an internship is still proving to be a bit of a task. There's a LOT of competition out there for the good positions.

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