Paths Through the MIMS Degree

Every MIMS student’s degree is unique — students have flexibility to build on the program’s required core courses with electives from the I School and other UC Berkeley departments to craft a degree that reflects their own individual interests, strengths, and career goals

“The I School is definitely the right place, and there is an abundance of resources that’ll help you develop skills in multiple areas.”
–Carlos Miguel Lasa, MIMS ’16

Below are four common MIMS focus areas — but many more specializations are possible!

Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Design

The I School’s core focus is the relationship between people and technology. Studying the way that people engage with computer technology, MIMS students conduct user research, apply qualitative research methods, design efficient, intuitive, and enjoyable user interfaces, visualize information, create functional tangible interfaces, understand interface aesthetics, and learn inclusive principles for technology design.

Read more about Soravis Prakkamakul, a MIMS ’19 alum working in human-computer interaction.

Wondering whether to pursue HCI in the MIMS program, or to apply to the master’s in design program? Contact our admissions team for guidance.

Applied Data Science and Machine Learning

As the field of data science continues to develop, MIMS students are well-positioned to be at the forefront of emerging technologies and methodologies for managing, analyzing, and presenting data. Courses in quantitative methods and research design prepare students to study applied machine learning, experiments and causal inference, natural language processing, and database management. MIMS students can also pursue the I School’s Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science.

Read more about Shannon Hamilton, a MIMS ’18 alum working in applied data science.

Wondering whether to pursue applied data science in the MIMS program, or to apply to the MIDS program? Contact our admissions team for guidance.

Information Policy and Ethical Technology

MIMS graduates not only learn about the technical aspects of information — they learn how to shape governmental, corporate, and social policy in order to improve the flow, use, and management of information. Studying the interaction between technical design and values, information law, data privacy, algorithmic fairness, cybersecurity, and accessibility, MIMS students become leaders creating inclusive, sustainable, and value-driven information policies for the private sector, the public sector, and society at large.

Read more about Emily Paul, a MIMS ’16 alum working in information policy.

Read more about Michael Lissner, a MIMS ’10 alum working in public interest technology.

Social and Technical Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Strategic technology development and innovation are key to managing the ever-increasing flow of data and information handled by today’s organizations. To harness information for business strategy and entrepreneurship, MIMS students can study managing in information-intensive companies, information economics, applied behavioral economics, social psychology, product and project management, and leadership. Courses and projects may include working with real-world case studies, clients, and partners.

Creative or Unique Research and Career Paths

MIMS students are encouraged not only to pursue existing career paths, but also to combine areas of focus in innovative and creative ways in order to fulfill their personal research interests and equip themselves for the rapidly-changing information job market. Other possible subfields include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Design
  • Information privacy
  • Information technology for development
  • Algorithmic fairness
  • Biosensing
  • ...and many more

Read more about Sindhuja Jeyabal, a MIMS ’16 alum who co-founded an educational nonprofit.

If you’re interested in learning more about these areas of the MIMS program, or discussing areas not listed here, reach out to our admissions team to learn more.

Last updated: December 1, 2021