Undergraduate Major in HCI

In 2020, Carnegie Mellon University became one of the first universities worldwide to offer a primary major in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Students within the School of Computer Science (SCS) can now declare HCI as their primary major.

About the B.S. in HCI

Our new Bachelor of Science in Human-Computer Interaction will produce HCI specialists who are technically skilled and adept at designing and prototyping interactive solutions with the latest digital technologies. Students graduating from the HCI primary major will have a unique perspective on how digital products and services impact humans, and also how they can be designed to have a positive impact.

Students in this major will have a strong Computer Science core of programming, algorithms, systems and mathematical foundations, just like the other undergraduate majors in SCS. They will specialize by making core elements of human-computer interaction the primary focus of their upper-level classes, and can explore a large range of HCI topics in greater depth through their choices in electives. In the final capstone project course, they will work as part of an interdisciplinary student team to produce innovative digital solutions for a problem presented by a client.

Responding to the Demand for HCI in Tech

Our corporate partners spoke of the need for competitive entry-level professionals who can enter the workforce with a solid understanding of HCI. This technical program will prepare graduates to understand and create innovative services, systems and applications that serve all people. Students will have the opportunity to design for a range of digital technologies, including web, mobile, IoT, VR, AR, sensors, fabrication, gadgets and more.

There is also a need for HCI practitioners with a "T-shaped person" knowledgebase. That is, professionals who exhibit broad knowledge and diverse technical skills, as well as a valuable focus in a specialization area. HCI majors will build a broad foundational knowledge in computing, mathematics and statistics; development skills for digital and interactive technologies; and experience with methods of rapid prototyping, all of which will help them to collaborate with their peers in related fields.

Opportunities for B.S. in HCI Grads

Graduates with this rigorous background as an undergraduate will serve a key role in the tech industry. B.S. in HCI graduates will be poised to take on strategic roles at early stages of their careers, including Front End Engineer, Interaction Designer, Technical Product Manager and UX Engineer positions. For HCI students aiming for research careers or graduate school, they can select a senior thesis option and conduct independent research work under the mentorship of HCI faculty.