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 2019, the prospective student information session will be scheduled after winter break. 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.

Admittance

Most admissions come from students who apply in their sophomore year. Admissions statistics depend on the applicant pool of that year. As an example, in 2017, 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%).

Availability

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 for Spring 2019 will open during spring break and close before fall registration (specific dates to be announced after winter break). Between this time period you may submit your application via the application button below. 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.

Application Materials

  1. Cover page with: full name (can include preferred name), Andrew ID, home college, graduate year, and list of all declared majors and minors 
  2. Statement of Purpose (Maximum 1 page, single spaced)
  3. Proposed Schedule of Required Courses
  4. Unofficial Transcript including current cumulative GPA 
  5. Mid-term grades from SIO of current Spring semester 
  6. 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.eduIn 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:

  Fall Spring
Freshman 36-201 15-110
Sophomore 85-211 and Elective 1 Elective 2
Junior 05-651 and Elective 3 Elective 4
Senior 05-410 and 05-430 05-571 and 05-650

 

Decisions

Decisions on admittance to the major will be made in time for fall registration week. A Fall course registration information session will be scheduled after spring break for returning and newly admitted HCI students.

Admissions

Applications for the HCI Major will open spring 2019

Applications for 2018 are now closed
 

Undergraduate Program Information

Vincent Aleven
Director of the Undergraduate Program
Associate Professor
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Newell Simon Hall 3531

Indra Danti
Undergraduate Programs Manager
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Newell Simon Hall 3607 

  • hciibachelors [at] cs.cmu.edu