Thesis Defense: Martina Rau
28 May, 2013 1:00pm
Undergraduate Major Program
This page describes new requirements for the HCI major starting with students admitted in 2013.
The major now consists of 12 required and prerequisite course, up from 11. Students no longer need to take an evaluation course. They must take four electives, two from a restricted list of courses describing applications of HCI and two free electives that require permission of the HCI undergraduate adviser. Students can only double count two courses with their primary majors.
Graphically, the required curriculum for the HCI undergraduate major is shown in a chart. The arrows in the chart represent prerequisites. So, for example, the Intro Programming and Statistics requirements are prerequisites for the Intro to HCI course. The major involves courses in Human Behavior, Design, Computer Science, Statistics and a Project course.
You must maintain a 3.0 average in the HCI core (non-prerequistie) courses to graduate with the HCI major. Students admitted to the major in spring 2011 or afterwards must pass required courses in the major with at least a B grade. You can check your progress in the major and request approval for electives using the EASy system. If the information about your progress in EASy is inaccurate, please send email to hciibachelors [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu.
aStarting in the summer of 2010, the HCII will be offering an introductory programming course through CMU’s Open Learning Initiative titled “Media Programming.” If CMU’s graded version of the course is taken, it can fulfill the computer science prerequisite for HCI courses. The new course is offered as a convenience for students who have difficult fitting a programming course into their schedule during the academic year; the other programming courses listed (e.g.,15-105, 15-110, 15-121 or 15-123, 51-257) can still be used as your computer science prerequisite. The new course is designed to teach students practical programming skills and to introduce media concepts that will allow students to literally see the impact of their programming efforts. The course is 6 weeks long, and will require approximately 20 hours a week of effort. There will be homework and quizzes due at least once a week. Please contact the indras [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu (HCII undergraduate coordinator to find out more about this course and to arrange to take the graded version.
bSome years, CMU’s online summer statistics course can be used to fulfilled the statistics prerequisite. The course will be available at http://oli.cmu.edu/. If the course is not being offered for credit, please check with indras [at] cs [dot] cmu [dot] edu (HCII undergraduate coordinator to see if other arrangements are available for taking this course. Students looking for a summer option have taken and gotten credit for the introductory statistics, distance education course offered by the University of Utah.
cStarting in Fall, 2010, the required HCI programming courses 05-430 (Programming Usable Interfaces) and 05-431 (Software Structures for User Interfaces) are only offered in the Fall. When you register for these courses, you must also sign up for 05-433 (User Interface Lab). The courses and labs differ on their computer science prerequisites. 05-431 and 05-433 labs at level 3 can only be taken by students majoring in computer science or with permission of the instructors. 05-430 and level 1 and 2 labs require only an introductory course in computer science as a prerequisite, and can be taken either by computer science majors or non-computer science majors.
dThe statistics course is required so that majors will be able to understand and conduct empirical research in HCI. Therefore a mathematically-oriented probability course, such as 36-217 (Probability Theory and Random Processes) does not fulfill either requirement. However, the sequence of 36-317 or 36-225 and 36-226 (i.e., a mathematical statistics course followed by a statistical inference course) fulfills the statistics prerequisite requirement.
eDesign majors do not need to take Communication Design Fundamentals as a prerequisite since they learn similar material in other courses for their major. HCI undergraduates taking Communication Design Fundamentals must use the online form that will be emailed to you before fall registration.
fHCI double majors are guaranteed a place in 51-422 Basic Interaction offered every spring by the School of Design for HCI double majors. Students intending to take 51-422 must use the online form that will be emailed to you before fall registration. The content of 51-422 is comparable to 51-421 (Fall). It is also the same as 05-650 Basic Interaction Design, which is offered by the HCI Institute in the spring. This spring version of the course (05-650), however, is only offered to Masters of HCI students.
gA list of popular electives is available here.
Cognitive Psychology, Communication Design Fundamentals, Statistics, and Introduction to Programming are considered prerequisites, and all other requirements for the major non-prerequisites. All prerequisites can be double counted with any requirements in your primary major. At most two non-prerequisite courses can be double counted with the primary major.
Electives are intended to provide HCI double majors advanced concepts and skills relevant to HCI or breadth of experience not available from their primary major. Given these goals, most electives will be 300-level courses or higher. Courses at the 100-level and 200-level in ones primary major will not count as electives, although the same course taken by a non-major may. For example, a communication design student cannot take 51-247 Color and Communication as an elective, although a computer science major can.
Students can take electives in the HCI Institute or courses relevant to HCI from many other departments on campus. All electives are approved on a case-by-case basis. Undergraduate majors requisition approval of an elective using The HCI Institute’s EASy requirements management system. The director of the undergraduate program will approve the request, ask for more information or reject it. The EASy system then keeps a record of the electives approved for a particular student. A list of popular HCI electives is available at here.
Below are two sample curricula that satisfy the HCI undergraduate major. The first reflects an emphasis in Human Behavior, and the second an emphasis in Design. Courses in black are required courses, and gray courses are electives.
Sample Curriculum with emphasis in Human Behavior
Sample Curriculum with emphasis in Design
Sample Curriculum with emphasis in Computer Science
Statistics The Statistics prerequisite requirement can be satisfied by taking any of the following one or two semester courses, or by receiving credit for courses taken elsewhere (which must be approved by the Undergraduate Advisor prior to signing up for the course). Prerequisites for the Evaluation courses vary, and are not satisfied in all cases by the same courses that satisfy the requirement for the major. As noted above, the evaluation and statistics courses are required so that majors will be able to understand and conduct empirical research in HCI. Therefore a mathematically-oriented probability course, such as 36-217 (Probability Theory and Random Processes) does not fulfill either requirement.
The Evaluation requirement can be satisfied by taking any of the following courses or by receiving credit for courses taken elsewhere.
The chart below lists typical schedules for HCI courses. These change, however, and are NOT guaranteed to be correct. Up to date schedules can be obtained online at https://enr-apps.as.cmu.edu/open/SOC/SOCServlet
Instructions for applying to the major can be found here.