Berkeley's MIMS vs Carnegie Mellon's MDes in IxD

20 Mar 2009 - 11:47am
6 years ago
4 replies
1439 reads
George T Hayes

I'm considering two different options in grad schools right now. I'm currently a User Experience Designer working mostly in research (discoveries and analytics), usability testing, information
architecture and wireframing for websites and web based applications. I'm interested in developing mobile interfaces, both virtual and tangible.

I want the perspective of others in the field as well as alumni and current students about how Berkeley's MIMS program focusing in HCI may compare to Carnegie Mellon's MDes in IxD . Let me know what you think, especially the differences in how these programs would prepare one for a career in HCI/ IxD. Thanks.


20 Mar 2009 - 9:45pm
Jaanus Kase

I had to make a choice between Berkeley iSchool and Carnegie Mellon
HCI. (Not IxD, is a bit more more engineering-oriented since it is in
Computer Science school, but shares a lot of the philosophy with IxD
and design school, and you can take many of the same classes.) I
chose Carnegie Mellon because their program somehow just seemed more
focused and felt more of a fit for me personally. Both myself and my
classmates had many interesting options to choose from jobs-wise.

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21 Mar 2009 - 2:29pm
George T Hayes

Januus, I was actually looking at the HCII program as well. It looks great, but the time period of one year for the degree seemed pretty intense, especially after not being in school for a couple of years. What did you think of this, and how did you feel the IxD program interacted with HCII. I was hoping to be able to take those classes while pursuing the MDes.

21 Mar 2009 - 4:20pm
Jaanus Kase

George %u2014 yes, the HCII program is intense, running for 12 months in a row. I had also been out of school for many years, but the HCII is very project-based, and having a professional background helps. This is a professional, not an academic program, so you don't need to walk in with a lot of fresh academic/research background.

The intensity of the program may be off-putting to some, but I liked it. Plus 12 months instead of 2 years was an advantage, not a downside, for me.

I did not take many design classes outside of the core mandatory ones, but many of my classmates did. From what I hear, they worked together with the design students including IxD in groups and it worked out great for them.

21 Mar 2009 - 1:02am
Evan Meagher

How does SVA's interaction design program compare to Berkeley's or Carnegie Mellon's? I've heard more about it than either of these two, to be honest.

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