Applying to the Undergraduate Major
Because space is limited in the major’s required courses, enrollment in the HCII undergraduate major is currently limited to approximately 35 students in each graduating class. Applications to the major are processed once a year. Students in any graduating class can apply to the major. Juniors can be admitted if they are able to complete all remaining requirements for the major in the semesters they have before graduation. Information about the application process is available at the bottom of this page. Decisions will be made by a committee in time for fall registration. Decisions are based on QPA, mid-semester QPA, the number of slots available, the statement of purpose, the feasibility of completing the major, the proposed schedule, and the discretion of the committee. A prospective student information sessions for the program are usually held in February. For Spring 2018, the prospective student information session is scheduled for Monday February 5 , 2018 at 4:30pm in NSH 3305. Any undergraduate student who is interested in applying to either of the undergraduate HCI programs may attend. The handout from the 2018 information session is available here.
Note to Freshmen
We admit a small number of freshman each year, provided they have strong grades and a good statement of purpose. We limit freshman admittance because we only have one semester of data about them and they can easily fulfill the major if they are admitted in their sophomore year. This way we retain slots for students who have not decided to apply for the major in HCI until their sophomore year. If you apply as a freshman, but do not get in, please reapply as a sophomore.
Most admissions come from students who apply in their sophomore year. As an example, in 2012, we admitted 20 students of 45 sophomores and juniors who applied (44%). Their average GPA was 3.5. We will also admit juniors, provided they can fit the required courses into their schedule. There were 3 of 14 juniors admitted (21%).
Since HCI work involves multi-disciplinary teams that include designers, implementers, evaluators, and those with content expertise, each graduating year will be balanced in background and expertise.
Application Process and Deadline
Admissions will open in the Spring semester and the applications button below will open to accept applications. For those interested in applying, please submit the following materials by email, in a single PDF document via the button below. It will send to the HCII Academic Programs Manager (hciibachelors [at] cs.cmu.edu) and you will receive email confirmation of your submission.
- Full name, email address, and Andrew ID
- Home college, year you intend to graduate, and list of all declared Majors and Minors (1. and 2. can be combined into a cover page)
- Statement of Purpose (Maximum 1 page, single spaced)
- Proposed Schedule of Required Courses
- Unofficial Transcript (including cumulative GPA and mid-term grades from SIO of semester applying)
- Optional (not mandatory): your portfolio and/or letter(s) of recommendation
In the Statement of Purpose, articulate why you want to pursue the HCI major. What is it about the major that attracts you and why? Communicate your vision for how the HCI major fits into your longer range educational and career goals. Do not exceed a single page. While not mandatory, you may include a link to your online portfolio and/or any letters of recommendation. A letter of reference is not required and a generic letter from someone who does not know you well will not be helpful to your case. However, we will accept a letter of reference from a faculty member or supervisor who knows you well. If you submit a letter of reference, have your reference writer send it in PDF format directly to hciibachelors [at] cs.cmu.edu. In the Proposed Schedule of Required Courses, which is NOT a contract, you should specify a plan for when you can fit the courses required for the major into your schedule. Make a table that looks something like the Sample Plan of Study given in a previous section. Include your primary major obligations as well, whenever they might conflict with HCI courses. The idea is to show that you have thought through, in some detail, whether you can actually do this major. For example:
|Sophomore||85-211 and Elective 1||Elective 2|
|Junior||05-651 and Elective 3||Elective 4|
|Senior||05-410 and 05-430/431||05-571 and 05-650|
Decisions on admittance to the major will be made in time for fall registration week. A Fall course registration information session is scheduled for April 17, 2018 at 4:30pm in NSH 3305 for returning and newly admitted HCI students.
Applications for the HCI Major will open March 13, 2018
Undergraduate Program Information
Director of the Undergraduate Program
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Newell Simon Hall 3531
Undergraduate Programs Manager
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Newell Simon Hall 3607
- hciibachelors [at] cs.cmu.edu