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California State University, Long Beach Policy Statement


January 3, 2019




MA in Human Experience Design Interactions (MA_HXDI)






This new state-supported program was recommended by the Academic Senate on May 3, 2018 and concurred by the President on May 8, 2018.


Program Description

The Master of Arts in Human Experience Design Interactions (MA_HXDI) program will teach the theoretical basis and practical skills in preparation for advanced Human-Centered Design careers. It will serve qualified students and returning professionals of varying backgrounds through interdisciplinary, collaborative work.


Admission to Graduate Study

In addition to applying to the University Office of Admissions and Records (UOAR), an applicant for graduate study in the MA_HXDI must also apply to and be admitted by the Department of Design. It is the responsibility of the student to follow the current CSULB Catalog, which sets forth the policies of the University, the College of the Arts, and Department of Design graduate programs.


Admission Process

  • Students interested in applying to the MA_HXDI program at CSULB should submit the

University application. The applicant must complete and submit the application in order to be considered for admission into MA_HXDI graduate program. The applicant should also submit a MA_HXDI application with a statement of purpose, a resume, a digital portfolio of work that represents their educational and/or career skills, experiences, interests and achievements (such as but not limited to publications, projects and/or research), and two letters of recommendation to the Department of Design.


  • One complete set of official transcripts of all college work attempted are required and must be sent to:

California State University, Long Beach Office of Admissions and Records

1250 Bellflower Boulevard Long Beach, CA 90840, USA


  • International students should first contact the Center for International Education to confirm admission criteria for international graduate students and for information on special deadlines.


  • International students are required to take the TOEFL test and achieve a minimum score of 550 for the paper-based test or 80 for the internet-based test, for admission consideration.


  • In order to be considered for admission, all prospective students must submit the following materials to the University:

    • Transcripts
    • TOEFL scores (if applicable)


Additionally, the following materials must be submitted to the Department of Design:

    • The MA_HXDI application
    • Statement of Interest
    • Resume
    • Digital Portfolio and
    • Two letters of recommendation submitted through the College of the Arts/Design Department Slideroom page: (https://csulb.slideroom.com/#/Login) must be filed by the application deadline.


All applications must follow University policy must and meet the general university admission requirements for graduate studies as well as other standards as prescribed by the program. It is advised that students submit their application materials early. No action can be taken on applications until all required documents are received.



Admission will be granted to students who show high promise of success in post-baccalaureate Design study. Each applicant’s potential for the MA_HXDI program will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Completion of a four-year college course of study including coursework that prepares

students for graduate study in design and hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited or internationally recognized institution.

  • Good academic standing at the last college attended.
  • Past academic record (as reflected in the undergraduate GPA).
  • Resume and Portfolio (10-25 digital images showing original work as evidence of experiences, skills, interests and process developing work), evaluated by the graduate admissions review committee.
  • Completion of MA_HXDI application.
  • Statement of purpose (that represents skill in writing, leadership and collaboration potential, educational goals and academic strengths).
  • Two letters of recommendation.



Application to the University as a graduate student does not constitute admission to graduate study in the Department of Design. The MA_HXDI program requires additional admissions criteria such as demonstration of range of experiences, skill in writing, leadership and collaboration potential, educational goals and academic strengths, skills in the process and making of designed work, or other projects and research.


Admissions to Graduate Courses

Students admitted to the MA_HXDI program or approved by the HXDI Graduate Advisor may take graduate courses in Design.

Continuous Enrollment

Once a student is accepted and enrolled in the MA_HXDI program, she/he is expected to attend classes in both semesters of each academic year and maintain progress to degree with her/his cohort. (Spring and Fall semesters are considered the regular semesters of an academic year, while summer attendance is optional). Registration and completion of all courses (and any co- required courses) is necessary to move forward each semester and satisfies the continuous enrollment requirement.


If a student is unable to satisfy the continuous enrollment requirement, she/he must complete the Educational Leave of Absence procedures as described in the current University catalog. The continuous enrollment status will only be preserved if the student’s absence from a regular semester has been processed and approved through the Educational Leave of Absence procedures. Students failing to maintain the continuous enrollment status will be administratively removed from the MA_HXDI program. Registration privileges will be revoked. Students planning to continue in the MA_HXDI program who have been administratively removed due to the violation of the continuous enrollment condition will be required to re-apply to the MA_HXDI program and to the University.


Leave of Absence

Any MA_HXDI student in good academic standing may request an educational leave. Students requesting an educational leave must complete an Educational Leave form, in advance, including an explanation of their reasons for seeking the leave and a statement of when they intend to resume their academic work. The completed form is to be submitted for approval to the Design Graduate Advisor and University Admission and Records Office in accordance with University Policy.


Graduate students who plan to enroll for credits at another institution of higher education during the leave period must obtain prior approvals for the transfer of course credits to the student’s program from the department chair in question and the graduate advisor.


The period of an educational leave is counted in the calculation of elapsed time under the regulations governing the seven-year maximum period for completion of the MA_HXDI degree requirements.


In the period of an educational leave, the student’s rights under the “Election of Regulation” rule are preserved, maintaining the right for the student to elect regulations as if he or she had maintained continuous attendance. See the CSULB catalog, General Rules and Procedures section, for a complete explanation of the Election of Regulation – “Catalog Rights.”

An educational leave presupposes no expenditure of University resources and faculty/staff time on behalf of the student during the period of the leave. In addition, no computer facilities, library privileges, and student services are available to a student on the educational leave.



In order to successfully remain in the MA_HXDI program, students must maintain a minimum

    • GPA and progress to degree.

Scholastic Standards/Probation/Disqualification

A student who fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work completed as a graduate student at this University or in all transferred work applied to the program will be placed on academic probation. Academic probation takes effect the semester following the one in which the student’s GPA falls below 3.0.


A student on probation, who at the end of the second probationary semester (or summer, if classes are taken) fails to obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on all units attempted in the post-baccalaureate work at CSULB, will be disqualified and removed from the graduate program. The student should note that the cumulative GPA is calculated by the University Admissions and Records and includes all upper division and graduate courses taken while enrolled in the graduate program.


Students must make progress towards timely completion of the degree as determined by any milestones that the academic unit granting the degree may have established in writing and communicated to its students. Students failing to make satisfactory progress may be placed on administrative academic probation. Department Chairs or Associate Deans must notify students in writing or via e-mail that they have been placed on administrative academic probation.


There are 33 total units required to complete the MA_HXDI program. Required Courses for the program consists of six required courses (21 Units including a 6-unit Master’s project) and four electives (12 units). Over 50% of courses offered are primarily designed for graduate students.




Take all of the following courses:


DESN 570 Applied Design in Contemporary Society (3)

Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program; or consent of instructor.


DESN 581 Designing for User Experiences (3)

Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program; or consent of instructor.


DESN 583 Data and Technologies of Human Interaction Design (3) Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program; or consent of instructor.


DESN 585 Human Experience and Social Design Seminar (3)

Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program or consent of instructor. Prerequisite(s)/ Corequisite(s): DESN 555 or equivalent; DESN570; DESN581.


DESN 686 Immersive Design Research Lab (2-6)

19-01Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program; DESN 555 or equivalent; DESN 570; DESN 581; DESN 582 or equivalent; DESN 583; DESN 585; or consent of instructor.


Take 6 units of DESN 698 and must be completed with a ‘B’ or better.

Prerequisites: Graduate student in the HXDI program; DESN 555 or equivalent; DESN 570; DESN 581; DESN 582 or equivalent; DESN 583; DESN 585; or consent of instructor; Advancement to Candidacy; min of 24 Units and consent of program coordinator.



Eligible Electives may include:

DESN 554, DESN 555, DESN 582, DESN 586 and approved substitutions by the graduate advisor.


A maximum of 6 units of graduate coursework taken outside of the Design Department may be applied toward the requirements for the MA_HXDI degree under the following conditions:

      • The coursework closely complements the student’s degree objectives
      • The credits under consideration must be graduate credits
      • The course work must be taken at an accredited institution
      • Prior approval must be obtained from the HXDI graduate advisor and department chair.


Advancement to Candidacy

Students must fulfill university requirements for advancement to candidacy, MA_HXDI students must also complete all unfinished degree program prerequisites, submit a master’s project proposal for approval and successfully complete a juried presentation of work following DESN 585 or DESN 586. Advancement to candidacy signifies approval of a plan of study for completion of coursework and the initiation of the production and supervision of the student’s project as approved by MA_HXDI faculty. Students in the MA_HXDI program are expected to complete all requirements for advancement by the end of the second semester of study in the program.


Culminating Experience

The culminating experience for the granting of a graduate degree is the successful completion of a project. The MA_HXDI degree prepares students for advanced design careers requiring both research and practice. Students must demonstrate knowledge and skills in research methodology, the ability to conceptualize problems generically, and the ability to connect research to problem solving in the creation of design. The project must demonstrate proficiency in knowledge, skills, and professional capacity in both the written research foundation of the project as well as the execution of applied design research, as a tangible exhibition of the project. The quality of the work accomplished, including the quality of the writing, is the major consideration in judging the acceptability of the project. The student must successfully complete the culminating experience required by the specific program to be granted a graduate degree.


The MA_HXDI culminating experience demonstrates advanced methods and the practical application of human experience and interaction design in project form. Emphasis is on individual research, original content, and communicating and demonstrating that work. A successful MA_HXDI project may develop combinations and syntheses of knowledge and practice, yielding new discoveries that:

  • do traditional things in new ways;
  • use traditional things in different ways;
  • use design processes to create innovative things and strategically solve problems.


MA_HXDI students will propose a project committee including a faculty Chair and two professional mentors. The Graduate Advisor must approve this committee. Students will then prepare a proposal of potential projects that demonstrate a design research-based project that evidences originality and independent thinking. The project committee will review the design project proposal. Said committee will approve projects that demonstrate a viable and significant contribution to the professional field of Human-Centered Design. The master’s project will include both a built (or prototyped) and a written portion. The interactive, visual and oral presentation of the work will be assessed by a jury of faculty and professionals. Students must present the completed project in the MA_HXDI Master’s exhibition. The written portion of the master’s project is a report that includes the project’s theoretical basis, research methodology, findings, significance, practical applications, objectives and a conclusion. Student learning is evaluated through mentor, faculty and committee assessment.


EFFECTIVE: Fall 2019


Campus Code: DESNMA01PB College: 55

Career: GD

CIP Code:50.0499 CSU Code: 10023

Department: Department of Design

Degree Program Delivery Type: Face to Face Major Pathway: (STEM or non-STEM): Non-Stem


PS 19-01