Students in the MHCI program complete four elective courses to graduate from the program.

Students are able to fulfill these electives from classes within the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, or they can choose to join the rich and innovative departments surrounding them on campus. Many students choose to take classes within the Robotics Institute, School of Design, Tepper School of Business, School of Computer Science, the Dietrich College of Humanities and the College of Fine Arts.

Students often use electives to broaden their experience to form a truly interdisciplinary course load, or they may decide to concentrate their electives around a particular interest or area.

Four Electives

Each elective course must be the equivalent of a full-semester (9-12 unit) course. Two mini (half-semester) courses may be counted as one elective if they add up to 9 or more units.

Elective courses must be different from any that students may have taken as part of the HCI core courses and cannot have counted toward a degree previously awarded by Carnegie Mellon.

Students will work with the MHCI Director of Student Affairs to finalize their schedule. While students are highly encouraged to pursue electives outside of the HCII, doing so will require approval from the MHCI Director of Student Affairs.

Favorite Electives from Past Years

We leave it up to the students to find the best electives for their interests. However, here are some favorite classes from past years to get you thinking about what interests you the most. Please note that some of these courses may be offered intermittently and therefore might not be offered each semester or year.

HCI Electives
Students can view a complete list of HCII courses online.

  • Human Factors
  • Social Web
  • Cognitive Modeling for HCI
  • Gadgets, Sensors & Activity Recognition in HCI
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • The Role of Technology in Learning
  • Service Design

Heinz & Tepper Schools of Business

  • Project Management
  • Lean Entrepreneurship


  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Perception
  • Applications of Cognitive Science


  • Professional & Technical Writing
  • Writing for Multimedia

Art, Design & Architecture

  • Methodology of Visualization
  • Graduate Design Studio
  • Tangible Interaction Design Studio
  • Interactive Art & Computational Design
  • Introduction to Web Design

Topics in Computer Science

  • Dramatic Structures of Interactive Games
  • UI in Developing Worlds
  • Robotics
  • Speech Recognition and Understanding