Human-Centered Design and Development, B.S. (Information Sciences and Technology)

Program Code: HCDD_BS

Program Description

The Human-Centered Design and Development major (HCDD) in the College of Information Sciences and Technology is a Bachelor of Science degree program that will educate students in the fundamental concepts and state-of-the-art skills in developing applications of technology for people, with a focus on learning outcomes needed to: a) identify opportunities to support human activity with technology; b) design and create useful and usable technology-mediated activities; and c) evaluate and iterate designed technologies in their context of use. Students graduating with a degree in HCDD will be positioned for successful careers in industry, government, and education, helping to ensure that our world of increasingly complex and pervasive technologies remains aligned with human aspirations, requirements, and limitations.

The HCDD major is interdisciplinary, combining foundational coursework in mathematics, statistics, information technology, and application development with specialized courses in social and psychological aspects of information and technology use, usability engineering, user research methods, and user interface design. The major draws on courses already taught as part of the IST BS degree, but also includes new courses that expand the user-centered analysis and design concepts and methodological rigor needed to succeed as an HCDD professional.

What is Human-Centered Design and Development?

Human-Centered Design and Development is the study of how to identify, design, build, and evaluate technologies to enhance people’s lives. The field focuses on understanding people and their use of technology, the methods and tools used for designing and building effective technology solutions, and the modern information technologies used to create effective solutions. The field involves working with potential users and customers to understand their needs and unique contexts, and then how to design, build, and evaluate impactful products and services. Human-centered design and development integrates ideas from design thinking, human-computer interaction (HCI), interaction design, and user experience design with the skills and techniques needed for software development.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are passionate about designing and building interactive technologies
  • You want to design, build, and evaluate web, mobile, and other software applications
  • You enjoy working with people to understand how they live and how technology fits into their lives
  • You want to design, conduct, and interpret data from user studies
  • You embrace uncertainty and change, and are not afraid to fail on the path to getting things right

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

Entrance to Major

This program currently has administrative enrollment controls. Administrative Enrollment Controls are initiated when limitations of space, faculty, or other resources in a major prevent accommodating all students who request them. Students must follow the administrative enrollment controls that are in effect for the semester that they enter the university.

First-Year Students Entering Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, students must satisfy the following requirements:

Students Who Entered Prior to Summer 2021

Students who entered the University from Summer 2018 through Spring 2021 should view the administrative enrollment controls in the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin archive. Students who entered the University prior to the summer 2018 semester should view the administrative enrollment controls for the semester that they entered the university on the Academic Advising Portal.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 6-12
Requirements for the Major 78-84

15 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GQ courses, 3 credits of GS courses, 6 credits of GWS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
IST 495Internship1
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HCDD 264Design Practice in Human-Centered Design and Development3
HCDD 340Human-Centered Design for Mobile Computing3
HCDD 364WMethods for Studying Users3
HCDD 440Human-Centered Design and Development Capstone Course3
IST 210Organization of Data3
IST 220Networking and Telecommunications3
IST 230Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics3
IST 256Programming for the Web3
IST 311Object-Oriented Design and Software Applications3
IST 402Emerging Issues and Technologies3
IST 411Distributed-Object Computing3
IST 412The Engineering of Complex Software Systems3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
or SOC 3 Introductory Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Select 12 credits from the Application Focus course listings. These are listings maintained by the department as support of major courses. At least one course must be at the 400 level. Students may also complete a custom Application Focus course sequence with approval from an academic advisor and an HCDD teaching faculty member. Students may want to consider choosing courses that also fulfill US and/or IL requirements.12
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HCDD 113SFoundations of Human-Centered Design and Development FYS3
or HCDD 113 Foundations of Human-Centered Design and Development
IST 261Application Development Design Studio I3
or IST 361 Application Development Design Studio II
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3-6
Introduction to Application Development
Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course
Programming and Computation I: Fundamentals
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
and Introduction to Computer Languages
Select one of the following:3-6
Intermediate & Object-Oriented Application Development
Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications
and Intermediate Programming
Programming and Computation II: Data Structures
and Object Oriented Programming with Web-Based Applications

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Undergraduate Academic Advising Center
E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8947
advising@ist.psu.edu

Harrisburg

Roderick Lee, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6441
rll142@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Human-Centered Design and Development, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
HCDD 113/113S*#3STAT 200 (GQ)*‡#4 
IST 140*#3IST 242*#3 
MATH 110 or 140 (GQ)4IST 210*#3 
PSYCH 100 or SOC 3 (GS)3ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3 
Application Focus Selection3CAS 100 (GWS)3 
 16 16 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
IST 220*#3IST 311*3 
HCDD 264*3IST 256*3 
IST 230*3Application Focus Selection3 
IST 261*3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection3Elective3 
 15 15 
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
HCDD 340*3HCDD 364W*3IST 495*11
ENGL 202C or 202D (GWS)3IST 361 (or Elective)*3 
Application Focus Selection3IST 412*3 
General Education Selection3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection3General Education Selection3 
 15 15 1
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
IST 411*3HCDD 440*3 
IST 402*3General Education Selection3 
Application Focus Selection (400-level) 3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection3Elective3 
 Elective3 
 12 15 
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Application Focus Areas

Students pick one of the application focuses areas below or create a custom four-course application focus. Students must pick three credits at the 400 level. All twelve credits must be in the same application focus area.

Psychology
PSYCH 244Introduction to the Psychology of Human Factors Engineering Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 221Introduction to Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 253Introduction to Psychology of Perception Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 256Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 301WBasic Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYCH 370Psychology of the Differently-Abled3
PSYCH 420Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYCH 421Self and Social Judgment3
PSYCH 423Social Psychology of Interpersonal/Intergroup Relationships3
PSYCH 458Visual Cognition3
  • Note that this assumes PSYCH 100 will be chosen from Additional Courses, as it is a prerequisite for many of these classes.
Sociology
SOC 207Research Methods in Sociology3
SOC 403Advanced Social Psychology3
SOC 404Social Influence and Small Groups3
SOC 405Sociological Theory3
SOC 425Social Conflict3
SOC 429Social Stratification3
SOC 435/HDFS 434Perspectives on Aging3
SOC 471Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology3
  • Note that this assumes SOC 3 will be chosen from Additional Courses, as it is a prerequisite for many of these classes.
Informatics
IST 222HCommunity Informatics Keystone/General Education Course3
IST 234NDigital Cultures Keystone/General Education Course3
IST 237Digital Entrepreneurship3
IST 301Information and Organizations3
IST 337Technologies for Digital Entrepreneurs3
IST 402Emerging Issues and Technologies3
IST 437Digital Design & Innovation3
IST 431The Information Environment3
IST 441Information Retrieval and Organization3
IST 446An Introduction to Building Computer/Video Games3
Security and Risk
CYBER 100Computer Systems Literacy3
SRA 111Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
SRA 211Threat of Terrorism and Crime3
SRA 221Overview of Information Security3
SRA 231Decision Theory and Analysis3
CYBER 262Cyber-Defense Studio3
SRA 268Visual Analytics3
SRA 311Risk Analysis in a Security Context3
CYBER 366Malware Analytics3
SRA 421The Intelligence Environment3
SRA 468Spatial Analysis of Risks3
SRA 472Integration of Privacy and Security3
Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 6NMaps and the Geospatial Revolution Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 260Geographic Information in a Changing World: Introduction to GIScience Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 361Cartography--Maps and Map Construction3
GEOG 362Image Analysis3
GEOG 363Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG 364Spatial Analysis3
CAS 101NIntroduction to Human Communication Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 461WDynamic Cartographic Representation3
GEOG 463Geospatial Information Management3
GEOG 464Advanced Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 485GIS Programming and Software Development3
Digital Arts and Communication
CAS 101NIntroduction to Human Communication Keystone/General Education Course3
GD 100Introduction to Graphic Design Keystone/General Education Course3
AA 121Design Thinking and Creativity Keystone/General Education Course3
COMM 100NThe Mass Media and Society Keystone/General Education Course3
AA 122Introduction to Graphic Storytelling3
CAS 175Persuasion and Propaganda Keystone/General Education Course3
CAS 215Argumentation Keystone/General Education Course3
CAS 271NIntercultural Communication Keystone/General Education Course3
CAS 383NCulture and Technology Keystone/General Education Course3
CAS 471Intercultural Communication Theory and Research3
COMM 190/GAME 140Gaming and Interactive Media Keystone/General Education Course3
COMM 241Graphic Design for Communications3
COMM 310Digital Media Metrics3
COMM 318
COMM 325Effects of digital games3
COMM 418Media Effects: Theory and Research3
COMM 441Advanced Graphic Design for Communications3
COMM 450ASearch Engine Marketing3
  • Note that the College of Arts and Architecture is currently developing new courses that will fit into this focus area and added to this list once the new courses are approved and available.
Data Sciences
DS 120Scripting for Data Sciences1
DS 200Introduction to Data Sciences4
DS 220Data Management for Data Sciences3
DS 310Machine Learning for Data Analytics3
STAT 184Introduction to R2
DS 300Privacy and Security for Data Sciences3
DS 330Visual Analytics for Data Sciences3
STAT 380Data Science Through Statistical Reasoning and Computation3
DS 402Emerging Trends in the Data Sciences3
DS 410Programming Models for Big Data3
MIS 301Business Analytics3
MIS 431Business Data Management3
MIS 441Business Intelligence for Decision Making3
MIS 445Business Intelligence4
Healthcare
HPA 101Introduction to Health Services Organization3
HPA 210Health Care Payment3
HPA 211Financial Decisions in Health Care Organizations3
HPA 332Health Systems Management3
HPA 470Health Care Information Management3
HDFS 210ZEthnicity, Health and Aging Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 249NAdult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course3
HDFS 445Development Throughout Adulthood3
BBH 101Introduction to Biobehavioral Health Keystone/General Education Course3
BBH 302Diversity and Health3
BBH 305Introduction to Global Health Issues3
BBH 315Gender and Biobehavioral Health3
BBH 316Foundations and Principles of Health Promotion3
BBH 402African Health & Development3
BBH 432Biobehavioral Aspects of Stress3
BBH 440Principles of Epidemiology3
  • Note that HPA 211 and HPA 332 are currently undergoing prerequisite correction processes. What is shown here is consistent with the Spring 2019 Bulletin, and the listing will be updated as soon as those corrections are made.
Custom Application Focus

There is an option for a student to create a custom 4-course application focus sequence. It must be a coherent sequence of courses that provides context for the student in terms of content relevant to the HCDD program. It must contain three credits of 400-level coursework, so it’s important to consider course prerequisites when creating your custom application focus area. It must be selected in consultation with a teaching HCDD faculty member and an academic adviser.

Human-Centered Design and Development, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
HCDD 113/113S*#3IST 220*#3 
IST 210*#3STAT 200 (GQ)*‡#†4 
MATH 110 or 140 (GQ)‡†4ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3 
General Education Selection3CAS 100 (GWS)3 
General Education Selection3General Education Selection3 
 16 16 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
IST 140*#13IST 242*#23 
PSYCH 100 or SOC 3 (GS)‡†3Application Focus Selection or General Education Selection3 
Application Focus Selection or General Education Selection3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection3General Education Selection3 
Elective3Elective3 
 15 15 
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
IST 311*3HCDD 364W*3IST 495*31
HCDD 264*3IST 361*3 
ENGL 202C or 202D (GWS)3IST 230*3 
IST 261 (or Elective)*3IST 256*3 
Application Focus Selection or General Education Selection3Application Focus Selection or General Education Selection3 
 15 15 1
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
IST 412*3HCDD 440*3 
IST 402*3IST 411*3 
HCDD 340*3Application Focus Selection3 
Application Focus Selection (400-level) 3General Education Selection3 
 Elective3 
 12 15 
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Application Focus Areas

Students pick one of the application focuses listed on the "University Park Campus" plan or create a custom four-course application focus. It must contain three credits of 400-level coursework, so it’s important to consider course prerequisites when creating your custom application focus area. All twelve credits must be in the same application focus area. Not all application focuses are available at all campuses. See your academic adviser to find out which courses and focuses are available at your campus.

Career Paths

Society increasingly recognizes the need for technologies designed to account for people’s capabilities, needs, desires, and limitations. Human-Centered Design and Development graduates have many career paths available to them depending on their strengths, interests, and focus of study.

Students with more technical interests can become web and mobile application developers, front-end developers, and user interface/user experience designers and developers. Those most interested in the human dimension of technology can become usability researchers, interaction designers, and product managers. In addition, there are many opportunities to pursue graduate study in these areas.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATES OF THE HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Contact

University Park

COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
E397 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8947

https://ist.psu.edu/about/contact

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6141
ljc43@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/business-administration/bachelor-science-human-centered-design-development