The minor in interdisciplinary human-computer interaction gives students core knowledge about techniques for building successful user interfaces; approaches for conceiving, refining, and evaluating interfaces that are useful and useable; and techniques for identifying opportunities to improve the quality of people’s lives through technology.
Students learn to effectively collaborate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of easy-to-use, desirable, and thoughtful interactive systems. They will be prepared to contribute to multidisciplinary teams that create new interactive products, services, environments, and systems.
The minor in interdisciplinary HCI is appropriate for CMU undergraduates who expect to get jobs where they design and/or implement information-technology-based systems for end users, and well as students with an interest in learning more about the design of socio-technical systems. It is appropriate for students with majors in computer science and information systems, as well as students in less software-focused majors, including design, architecture, art, business administration, psychology, statistics, decision science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, English and many others.
Applications for the Minor in Interdisciplinary HCI are processed once a year in the spring.
An information session for prospective students interested in applying to the undergraduate HCI programs is held in advance of the application window. Our Spring 2021 Undergraduate Information Session was held Monday, March 1, 2021 at 5pm EST. Here is the handout (pdf) from the Spring 2020 session.
Spring 2021 applications for the Minor in Interdisciplinary HCI were accepted between March 10 and 24, 2021.
An online application form will be available here during the application window. Required information for the application form will include: anticipated graduation year, primary major, any additional second major or minor, cumulative GPA, mid-semester grades for the current spring semester, plus a schedule of study that specifies when you might take the 7 courses for the minor.
Acceptance decisions will be announced before the fall registration week in April. Once decisions are announced, we will hold another information session to help our newly admitted students with their fall registration. The Spring 2021 Fall Registration Info Session will be announced in the coming weeks.
The number of students that can be admitted to the minor in interdisciplinary HCI is limited by enrollment caps for the two required courses. Students who are admitted to the minor will be guaranteed admission to the two required courses by their senior year. They will also receive preference for some of the electives offered by the HCII, although due to enrollment limits for courses, there are no guarantees that students will get into any elective they may want to sign up for. However, given the very large number of possible electives, once admitted, students should be able to complete the minor.
If you have any questions, please contact hciibachelors [at] cs.cmu.edu
Key Concepts, Skills and Methods
The key concepts, skills and methods that students will learn in the HCI minor include:
The only prerequisite for this minor is an introductory-level college programming course (such as 15-110, 15-112, 15-121, 15-123, 51-257, or 15-104) and to be in good standing with the university.
In addition to the programming prerequisite, the minor has required two courses—05-391 Designing Human-Centered Systems (DHCS) and 05-392 Interaction Design Overview (IDO)—and four approved electives. The student will be required to get a grade of “C” or better in each course in order for it to count as part of the minor. There is no final project or research required for the minor.
The minor in interdisciplinary HCI requires four approves electives. They can come from the pre-approved list of electives.
Students may double count up to two (2) of the required courses or electives with their primary major.
|Additional Major in Interdisciplinary HCI||Minor in Interdisciplinary HCI|
|Admission||Application and admissions required||Application and admissions required|
|Prerequisite||• Freshman-level programming (15-110 or 15-112 or 15-121 or 15-104)
• Statistics (introductory)
• Psychology (85-211 or 85-241)
• Interaction Design Studio I
|• Freshman-level programming (15-110 or 15-112 or 15-121 or 15-104)|
|Core courses||• Interaction Design Studio II (IxDS) (05-650)
• User Centered Research & Evaluation (UCRE) (05-410)
• HCI Programming (PUI) (05-430)
• BHCI Project (05-571)
|• Interaction Design Overview (IxDO) 05-392
• Designing Human Centered Software (DHCS) 05-391
|Electives||4 electives||4 electives|
|Double counting||2 courses with primary major||2 courses with primary major|
1Alternatively, a student can take both the BS/MHCI empirical methods course (05-410/05-610 User-Centered Research and Evaluation) and the BS/MHCI core programming course (either 05-430 Programming Usable Interfaces or 05-431 Software Structures for User Interfaces). If students take this course sequence, they would get credit for fulfilling this requirement plus one elective. HCI Minors who have a primary major in Design may substitute taking 05-391 Designing Human-Centered Systems with another HCI (05) course.
2Alternatively, students can fulfill the design requirement by taking 05-651 Interaction Design Studio I and 05-650 Interaction Design Studio II. If students take this course sequence, they would get credit for fulfilling this requirement plus one elective. HCI Minors who have a primary major in Design may substitute taking 05-392 Interaction Design Overview with another HCI (05) course.
These alternative ways of fulfilling the requirements for the HCI minor are designed for students who are in the HCI second major who want the “downgrade” to the minor. These students can use some of the courses completed for the HCI second major as a way of fulfilling the requirements for the minor. Students in the HCI minor from the start are strongly encouraged to follow the regular requirements outlined above and are strongly discouraged from trying these alternative ways of fulfilling the requirements. It can be extremely difficult to get into any of the alternative courses. This is true especially for 05-410 User-Centered Research and Evaluation, but for other courses as well. If a student in the minor has already taken 05-651 Interaction Design Studio I, it will not give priority for getting into 05-650 Interaction Design Studio II.
Note to students with a primary major in Design:
Due to the change in the required curriculum students with a primary major in Design may now elect to take any two HCI 9-unit or higher courses in lieu of taking both of the HCI Minor courses (05-392 Interaction Design Overview (IxDO) and 05-391 Designing Human-Centered Systems (DHCS)). This means that the substitute courses need to be offered by the HCII with an 05 as the prefix in the course number. In comparison, HCI electives can still be offered by either the HCII or another department, as long as it’s HCI related. Both substitute courses and electives still need to be 9-units or higher.
We are no longer accepting applications for spring 2021.