Thank you for your interest in the Masters of Human-Computer Interaction program. Below you will find information on admission requirements, application instructions, tuition, financial aid and more. If you have a question that is not addressed in our “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute is pleased to announce a new interdisciplinary professional Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS). Applications are due January 31, 2014 in order to be considered for the fall 2014 class. Visit the METALS admissions page to learn more about this exciting new program and the admission process.
All applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in a related field, with a strong record of academic achievement, from an accredited educational institution and be highly recommended by three references. Applicants must submit a photocopy of the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores along with the completed application (the subject test is not required). Applicants must also request that ETS send an official score report to us at institution code 2074, department code 0402.
If your native language is not English, you must submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Your application will NOT be considered COMPLETE without the TOEFL test. You must also request that ETS send an official score report to us at institution code 4256, department code 78. The application deadline for our next academic year is January 31.
Online application is now available.
You can apply to our Master's program online. The Master of Human-Computer Interaction program must receive a submitted application and a $75 application fee no later than January 31. Admission decisions will be emailed in March. Your response is due to us by April 15. All application materials are on our online application site.
January 31 - Application Deadline
March 15 - Application decisions made
April 15 - Applicants response due
Tuition is determined by the Carnegie Mellon Board of Trustees. Please visit the Student Service Website and refer to the per semester tuition rates and fees for graduate degree students in the School of Computer Science (SCS). Full-time study is defined as taking at least 36 units or four courses per semester. Most courses are 9 or 12 units. Part-time tuition is charged at a per unit basis.
The Master of Human-Computer Interaction Program does not provide students with financial support. An excellent source for general information on financial aid can be found at FinAid. The Carnegie Mellon Financial Aid website and the Carnegie Mellon Fellowships and Scholarships Office are also available for assistance and advice on obtaining loans and/or fellowships. Many students have been able to obtain funding or financial assistance from their current employers. Employees of Carnegie Mellon University often receive tuition benefits as part of the benefit package. For current Research Assistant positions and other employment opportunities on campus, please see the Human Resources Staff Job Postings. A small number of Teaching Assistant positions occasionally becomes available for enrolled students who have a computer science background. Please note: if you are employed while enrolled in the Masters program, the length of your program will be most likely extend beyond three (3) semesters. If you plan to be employed while enrolled in the program, please be sure to complete the “Employment Information” section on your application.
Related Professional Programs
Because the HCII is a multidisciplinary institute, students can specialize in HCI and work on HCII research projects from a number of related programs on campus. Some of the related programs are listed below; to find out more about these programs, call the department or see their web pages.
Master of Software Engineering, School of Computer Science
Master of Design in Interaction Design, College of Fine Art
Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS), School of Computer Science
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to submit GRE scores? Everyone who applies MUST have taken the GRE General Test. If necessary, unofficial scores can be accepted at the time of application, but the official score record must be supplied prior to final admission.
Do I have to take the GRE Subject test? Applicants to the MHCI program are not required to take any GRE Subject tests.
How high do my GRE scores need to be? There is no minimum GRE required, as each group of students varies year to year. With ETS’s inception of the new Analytical Writing Test, the practice of simply adding the GRE scores as a means of assessment may no longer be viable.
Do I have to take the TOEFL? The TOEFL is required of all students whose native language is NOT English. It does not matter whether you have earned your undergraduate degree in the United States or in your native land. Your application will be considered without the TOEFL test. Your application will NOT be considered COMPLETE without the TOEFL test. Preference will be given to students who submit Internet Based Test scores (iBT).
What is the minimum TOEFL requirement? For the iBT, minimum score required is 100; with a minimum score of 25 on the subsections. For the Computer Based Test (CBT), a minimum score of 250 is required. For the Paper Based Test (PBT), a minimum score of 600 is required.
My undergraduate degree is from a foreign institution. However, I have received a Masters degree from an institution in the US. Do I still need to submit a TOEFL score? Yes, the TOEFL is still required. However, you may either mail or fax a copy of your previous score report, if it is less than two years old. You may also upload an unofficial copy of your score report in your online application. Your application will NOT be considered COMPLETE without the TOEFL test.
What are the GRE and TOEFL institution and department codes? GRE: Institution code, 2074; Department code, 0402. TOEFL: Institution code, 4256; Department code, 78
Should I send you a copy of my GRE and TOEFL score reports? You MUST request an official copy of test scores from ETS. However, if you did not used the correct institution and department codes, we advise you to either email, mail or fax (412 268-9433) a copy of your GRE and TOEFL score reports. You may also upload unofficial copies of your test score reports in your online application.
What if I have taken the GMAT? The MHCI does not accept the GMAT at this time.
What are my chances of getting in? Of the fall 2013 applicant pool, we admitted approximately 33% of the students; some years have been higher.
The HCII is in the School of Computer Science. However, I do not have a strong programming background. May I still apply? Yes! We encourage you to apply without having a strong programming background. We welcome students from many disciplines outside of CS (e.g., Design, Psychology, etc.) and these disciplines do not necessarily include programming courses. However, students are expected to demonstrate a proficiency in programming that is normally met through an introductory course in C, C++, Pascal or JAVA. Your programming proficiency will be evaluated during the prerequisite review process and you may be required to take an additional programming course before you can continue in the program.
Will I have to take a lot of programming courses? Once you have met the programming place-out, you will be expected to take either Programming Usable Interfaces or Software Architectures for User Interfaces as part of your degree requirements.
Should I visit before I apply (and will that help my chances of being admitted)? Visiting the department before you apply does not improve one’s chances of admission. The Institute receives numerous requests every year from prospective applicants for tours and visits of the department. While we certainly do not discourage prospective students from visiting the campus, we do not have the department resources to arrange individualized agendas and tours to accommodate such requests nor do we offer pre-admission assessments or interviews. Students who have been admitted will be invited to visit during the Spring Open House where the opportunity to meet with faculty and current students will be provided.
May I apply for admission starting in the spring instead of the fall? No, we only process admissions once a year. Applications are due January 31 for admission in the fall term of the same year.
If I am accepted, may I defer my enrollment? Yes, you may defer your enrollment for one year, but you must inform the department in writing of your request.
May I work on my Masters in HCI part-time? Yes. Many students choose to work full-time while completing their program as part-time student. However, the HCII Project II course must be taken in the summer session after HCII Project I and students must be enrolled full-time during that time.
Is financial aid available? The HCII does not provide financial aid but there are often fellowships and grants available to graduate students. It is up to the student to pursue these options on their own. Financial assistance is available in the form of tuition remission to employees of the University as a staff benefit. Students are eligible to apply for staff positions (for which they are qualified) such as Teaching Assistants (TA) or Research Assistants (RA) or any other type of staff position in the HCII or elsewhere in the university.
Where can I find information on graduate student scholarships and financial aid? An excellent source for general information on financial aid can be found at FinAid. The Carnegie Mellon Fellowships and Scholarships Office is also available for assistance. The HUB at Carnegie Mellon has more general information on graduate student financial assistance.
Many students have been able to obtain funding or financial assistance from their current employers. Employees of Carnegie Mellon University often receive tuition benefits as part of the benefit package. For current Research Assistant positions and other employment opportunities on campus, please see the Human Resources Staff Job Postings. A small number of Teaching Assistant positions occasionally becomes available for enrolled students who have a computer science background.
Please note: if you are employed while enrolled in the Masters program, the length of your program will be most likely extend beyond three (3) semesters. If you plan to be employed while enrolled in the program, please be sure to complete the "Employment Information" section on your application.
I just finished my undergraduate work. Should I apply for the Masters of HCI program first as preparation for my Ph.D. work? The MHCI program is not intended to serve as preparation for our Ph.D. program. The MHCI program is intended to teach the skills necessary for professional practice in various HCI related careers. The Ph.D. program on the other hand is designed to prepare you to be an HCI researcher. If you intend to apply to both programs, then you must submit two separate applications.
If I am not accepted for the HCII Ph.D. program will I be automatically considered for admission to the Masters of HCI program instead? No. Because of the different educational goals of each program, their admissions processes are separate and applications are not shared between the two programs. As noted in the previous question, the two programs are designed to address different goals.
May I apply to both the Masters and Ph.D program? Yes, you may apply to both programs, but students usually prefer one to the other. The programs have been designed to address different goals, as stated above.
How many students are currently in the program? Fall 2013 matriculation numbers: 57 Pittsburgh Program and 7 Portugal Program.
What kind of jobs can I get with an MHCI degree and who employs HCI graduates? Some of our graduates have successfully obtained careers as Usability Specialists, Interface Specialists, User Interface Designers, Research Programmers, Project Directors and Usability Engineers for companies such as Bloomberg, Ebay, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, Motorola, NASA, Nokia, Sandia, TiVo, and many other companies.
Does the department provide Career Counseling or job placement? We do not provide job placement. However, students are encouraged to keep their resumes and/or websites current and are provided with two opportunities to meet with prospective employers: 1) The Annual Technological Opportunity Conference, 2) The Computer-Human Interaction Conference (CHI). Additionally, the Career Center is available for counseling services and any employment announcements we receive from outside sources are posted frequently.
I don’t have all the place-out courses. May I still apply and be considered for admittance? Yes, students may be admitted to the program before satisfying one or more place-outs. Place-out courses may be completed at Carnegie Mellon after matriculation, but doing so may extend the length of the program.
I have been out of school for some time. May I submit reference letters from my employers instead of from instructors? Yes, you may send us letters from your employers.
Do my chances of getting admitted increase if I submit my application early? No, all applications are reviewed as a group once the application deadline has passed. Submitting early does not increase your chances of admittance.
Can you tell me more about Carnegie Mellon’s new interdisciplinary professional Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS)? The Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science program offers students who have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in such areas as psychology, education, computer science, information technology, business, or design the opportunity to improve their training with advanced study in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science. Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and techniques to develop and evaluate programs in learning settings that range from schools to workplaces, museums to computer-based environments—as well as other formal, informal and non-traditional educational settings. Graduates of the program will take key positions in corporations and private and public universities and schools; they will become designers, developers, and evaluators of educational technologies and learning environments as well as domain experts, learning technology policy-makers, or Chief Learning Officers. Applications are due January 31, 2014 in order to be considered for the fall 2014 class. Visit the Learning Science and Engineering admissions page to learn more about this exciting new program and the admission process.
Additional questions? Please email hciimasters [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu.