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Create new applications of technology to enhance the way we work, play and live.

This 48-credit Doctor of Science program encourages innovation and discovery in the study of applied information and interaction. Through interdisciplinary courses in topics like cognitive psychology, library science, computer science, user research, and interaction design, students become leaders, innovators, and researchers in the fields of user experience design, interaction design, and user research. This program is one of very few doctoral degree programs in the country that allows you to approach user experience design from both humanist and human-computer interaction perspectives, and with a balance between theory and practice.

When you graduate from this program, you will be able to:

  • conduct well-designed quantitative and qualitative user research
  • communicate research findings to academic and industry audiences
  • evaluate the user research methods in studies performed by others
  • develop information systems that meet the needs of a global and diverse audience and that can accommodate change and growth
  • develop new conceptual models and hypotheses of interaction design based on both existing interaction design knowledge and user-centered iterative design
  • evaluate the social and cultural effects of information systems and their implementations.

Your studies culminate in a dissertation project with a significant impact on the field; you will submit your dissertation project for evaluation by a committee of faculty and experts.You'll have the opportunity to work on high-impact digital technology projects through cutting-edge research with such tools as a Tobii T60 eye tracker in the UB User Research Lab and the immersive visualization technologies in the UB Gamelab. Our facilities support usability research, visual design, digital audio/video and interactive development.

  • Our students: are primarily prospective educators and consultants—with a background in either the humanities or information technologies—who enter the program with a clear objective of how they want to apply their studies. They possess refined research and writing skills and a demonstrated interest in and user-centered design and user research.

  • Our faculty: Once you’re here, you'll study with nationally prominent faculty members who are recognized scholars in educational innovation and interdisciplinary research. Their accomplishments range from designing online information and services for “at-risk” audiences, to co-designing with children, to studying online communities, and developing new game genres.

  • Our graduates: have moved into faculty appointments at top universities and leadership positions in business and technology. Many of them combine disciplines in innovative positions—researching virtual communities, for example, and developing visualization for Web searches. In this program, you'll have the opportunity to test new approaches to communication, adding theoretical sophistication to productive practice.

Classes are offered evenings and weekends, and some courses are offered in the summer for continuing students. Additionally, some courses are offered online.