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HCII Seeks Capstone Sponsors for Spring 2024


A collage of 3 images shows the iteration and progression of ideas from a recent undergraduate project. The 3 images shown in this square image -- a digital board with notes, to black and white sketches, to the final colored design of a mobile screen mockup – are separated by thin, grey diagonal lines.

Apply our future HCI leaders to your organization's challenges next year

The Human-Computer Interaction Institute invites companies, startups and nonprofits alike to sponsor a Capstone project for HCI students. We are currently seeking client commitments for the 2024 Capstone projects that will begin in the spring.

Capstone partnerships give students the invaluable experience of working on a real-world project while project sponsors receive hundreds of hours of skilled research and development.

Project duration and details vary by program. If you are interested in working with us, please review the project details and contact the corresponding program(s) below.

Undergraduate HCI Capstone Projects (spring)

We are looking for clients who wish to collaborate with a team of strong, interdisciplinary undergraduate students on an open-ended problem for which a novel, innovative digital product or service might be a solution.

Our talented undergraduate HCI students have improved the features of the popular reservation app, Resy, built the controls for a kid-oriented robot, designed an interactive exhibit for the Carnegie Museum and built an application to help players on the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team learn their playbook. Other prototypes designed and built by our student teams include a video game to help orthopedic surgery patients with their rehab exercises and novel controls for a robotic arm for quadriplegics.

  • Requirements - Clients must be participating on behalf of an organization, group, or registered entity. Projects can be based on an existing product, but do not have to be. Because the course has rigorous deadlines and deliverables, projects cannot be tied to the client organization's production schedule or to the client’s preferred processes. All clients will be asked to sign an intellectual property agreement.
  • Fee - There is no cost to participate with an undergraduate Capstone, although we do expect the client to be available regularly throughout the duration of the project. Clients are required to commit at least one person to the role of Client Liaison. They will be responsible for providing weekly contact with their student team, as well as giving access to materials, software, and feedback, as well as access to users (for testing) and other stakeholders (as needed) over the course of the project.
  • Next steps - If you have a project that could benefit from the expertise of our students, please fill out this form to submit your project idea by October 28, 2023. Contact Amelia Baisley, academic program coordinator, with any questions.

MHCI Capstone Projects (spring & summer)

The MHCI Capstone Project provides fundamental integration between a student team, faculty mentors, and a corporate sponsor, focused on an area of exploration and design development driven by the industry partner. Capstone projects have been used to explore products, services, and emerging technologies that may not fit into their existing roadmaps, invigorate existing teams or to supplement corporate partners without an internal experience team. Students have worked with clients ranging from early stage startups and non-profits to global tech giants, and have created a variety of solutions in past MHCI Capstone projects.

  • Overview - The MHCI Capstone project runs from January to August. Capstone teams are formed with 4 to 6 master’s students and 2 faculty advisors assigned to each project.
  • Requirements - The project sponsor is expected to serve as a domain expert and provide regular critique and collaboration with the team.
  • Fee - A gift to the university as defined with the CMU team.
  • Next steps - For more information about sponsoring an MHCI Capstone project, please contact Jessica Vogt, HCII engagement manager. She is available to talk about Capstone opportunities year round, but this year’s agreements must be signed by December 15, 2023.

Other opportunities

The duration of a Capstone project is a 1 to 2 semester engagement. For shorter duration projects, sponsors can also consider Independent Studies and Externships, which range from 1 to 3 months. See our Doing Research with Us page for more information.