The HCI program has two major objectives. First, it aims to produce graduates who, while remaining true to their native discipline, understand the language and the constraints that specialists in other contributing disciplines work under. This level of understanding is particularly sought after by the IT industry and by government agencies. Access to graduates who come equipped with the necessary interdisciplinary skills will offset the cost of training newcomers in a climate with ever tighter product-completion deadlines. Graduates from the proposed program will therefore have an important competitive advantage in the job market.

The second objective is to enable those HCI graduates who qualify and who wish to continue their studies to a PhD level to remain acceptable to their native discipline regardless of whether they apply to Carleton or elsewhere. The HCI program achieves this by incorporating three distinct streams, namely a MA, a MASc, and a MCS stream respectively.