MHCI Admissions

Ready to apply? We are excited that you are interested in the MHCI program. You will find everything you need to know about applying to our program and what is required in your application.

Do you have questions? We have assembled the questions we get the most into a useful Frequently Asked Questions guide.

Statement of Assurance

Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information.  Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state, or local laws or executive orders. For more information about our Statement of Assurance, visit the Division of Student Affairs.

Preparing Your Application

Prerequisites to Apply

Prospective students applying to the MHCI program are expected to have a bachelor's degree or equivalent by matriculation for fall term. We do not require specific degrees or backgrounds. We value an interdisciplinary cohort and have students joining us with backgrounds in design, social sciences, business, computer science and more. Students also enter with varying levels of industry experience.

Application Materials

For consideration of admission to the MHCI program, please submit the following application materials online by the application deadline.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendations are to be submitted online prior to the end of the application deadline. Recommenders should know you well and be able to evaluate the quality of your work. At least two of your letters should be from faculty or recent employers.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure recommenders have uploaded letters through the online application by the due date. Letters received by post will not be considered with a student's application. After you have created a profile through the graduate student online application, you will be able to send instructions to your recommenders as well as track the status of your letters online. Your recommenders can upload a letter after you have submitted your application up until the 11:59 PM EST deadline.

Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

Applicants are required to complete a one-to-two page essay as part of their application to the MHCI program. Please include your name and application user ID on the essay and submit in PDF format.

This is an important component of the application, so please be concise and clearly address the following prompts:

  • Your objective in pursuing a Master of Human-Computer Interaction, including your career goals and your reasons for applying to Carnegie Mellon's MHCI program.
  • Your background in human-computer interaction or other fields relevant to your objective. Describe how your academic, industry or commercial experience prepares you for admission to the MHCI program.

Current Resume/CV

Applicants will include a copy of their current resume in PDF format and should outline their education, work experience, research experience, publications, scholarships and honors received as well as other relevant information.


Upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts in English in PDF format. You should include transcripts for all schools you have attended. A hard copy of your transcripts will not be required until students have been accepted into the program. Upon acceptance to the program, students will receive more information.

GRE Scores

Applicants are required to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test within the last five years and have their scores sent directly to Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (Institutional code 2074, Departmental code 0402.) No advanced subject test is required. Applications submitted without a GRE score will not be considered. GRE scores are only valid and accepted for the past five years.

We do not require students to meet a minimum GRE score. While your GRE score will be reviewed as an important part of your application, we take a holistic approach in reviewing applications and consider all material for each applicant.

Your scores will be marked as received within 10 business days once you have upload them to your application, submitted your application and paid the required fee.

TOEFL Scores (as required)

Applicants whose native language is not English must take this examination even if they have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. educational institution. TOEFL scores are only valid and accepted for the past two years. Institution code, 4256; Department code, 78.

For the Internet Based scores (preferred) applicants must score a minimum of 25 on each subsections. For the Paper Based Test, a minimum total score of 600 is required.

Note: we will also accept the IELTS scores in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum band score is 8.5 overall with no sub scores less than 8.0.

Carnegie Mellon University does not require hard copies of test scores during applications. Your scores will be marked as received within 10 business days once you have upload them to your application, submitted your application and paid the required fee.

Portfolio (Optional)

If applicable for your background, applicants may include a link to their portfolios. This is not a requirement and is optional for all applying.

Video Essay (Required)

Prepare a 1 - 2 minute video that lets the admission committee know who you are. Talk about what you like, what you do outside of work and school, how you spend your free time, your professional and personal goals, or anything else not already shared in your Statement of Purpose. This will help the committee know you better and help us to evaluate your communication and presentation skills. The video (and audio) must be of the applicant (not a proxy). There should be only one person in the video. 

Application Fee

A $100.00 USD non-refundable application fee is required. You may pay the fee by credit card. The credit card payment system is part of the online application, and instructions are given when you submit your application. If you are unable to pay by credit card with the online application, you may pay by a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank, made payable to Carnegie Mellon University. Please contact Nicole Willis, nicolewi [at], for mailing instructions. 

MHCI Application is Closed

We are no longer accepting applications for the fall 2020 cohort of the MHCI program.

The application for the fall 2021 cohort will be live in the fall.


You can review our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if we have already answered it.

Final Checklist

Remember that the application deadline is late January. Have you prepared these items?

  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose
  • Portfolio (optional)
  • Resume
  • Video Essay
  • Transcripts - from all schools attended
  • Graduate Record Examination Scores— general tests
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Scores — if required
  • Application Fee $100.00 USD

MHCI Director of Student Affairs

Nicole Willis
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
300 S. Craig Street, Suite 209
Pittsburgh, PA 15213