Frequently Asked Questions about the HCII Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Applying to the program and notifications

When can I apply to the summer program?
The application for the HCII's Summer 2024 program will be opening soon.


I applied to the program back in November and I have not heard back. How and when will I be notified?
All applicants, regardless of whether or not they are receiving an offer, will be notified via email. Most will know by mid-March but due to the high volume of applicants it may take a little longer. Please be patient with us as we take the time to thoroughly review each application.


I see there is an option to upload a copy of my resume, transcripts and letters of recommendation. Do I have to include these?
While the supplementary materials are not required, they are strongly encouraged.


I submitted my application, but need to update it. How do I go about updating my application?
Once you submit your application, you receive a copy of your responses via email. In this email is a link to update your responses, which is available until the application deadline.


I applied last year and was accepted into the program, but had to decline. Do I need to reapply?
Yes, you must reapply to be considered.


Can I submit additional materials, such as letters of recommendation, to strengthen my application?
Yes. If you would like to submit additional materials, please email them to and provide the name on your application.


Can I still apply if I am graduating or am an international student?
Yes. The majority of our funding does come from the National Science Foundation which requires recipients to be undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, but we do have other funding available for those who do not meet NSF’s criteria. It is also important to note that this program is geared towards undergraduate juniors.


General information about the program 

Are summer researchers paid?
Yes, students will receive a stipend meant to cover the cost of lodging, meals, travel and other related expenses.


May I register for classes or work part-time during the program?
Because this is a full-time program, students are discouraged from working an additional part-time position, or taking classes. If you feel you need to get a second job or take a class, talk to your faculty advisor.


Can I change projects at any time during the onboarding or summer?
No; the funding used to cover your stipend only covers the specific project you are hired for. All work done during your time with us must be related to the project you are hired to work on.


What transportation options are available once we arrive in Pittsburgh?
In an effort to get summer researchers the maximum stipend possible, we hire you as an intern which means your Andrew ID does not include the Pittsburgh Regional Transit pass. (Hiring summer researchers as interns instead of staff members allows us to give you a larger stipend since ~25% would be allocated to administrative overhead.)

You will still have affordable transportation options for traveling around the city. You can visit any Giant Eagle Supermarket or a Pittsburgh Regional Transit location to get a pass for around $200 for the whole summer.

CMU also has a free shuttle service you are able to take advantage of by showing the shuttle driver your CMU ID upon boarding.


What housing options are available?
Accepted students receive additional documentation regarding housing with their offer letter. There are sometimes a few apartments available on campus, but they require full payment at the time of registration. On campus housing typically runs between $4,400-6,100, depending on single or double occupancy, and this payment is due when you register for housing around mid-March through mid-April.

We advise checking some of the options below, which are typically much more affordable. (We recommend looking in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Oakland as these are the closest to campus. We also advertise sublets from some of our current students, this information is usually available in March/April.)


Is there a dress code I need to follow?
We are pretty casual here at HCII. It’s not unusual to see people in jeans or shorts and t-shirts over the summer. We do recommend bringing at least one business casual outfit to wear at the end of summer poster session.


What should I bring on my first day?
Your first day will primarily consist of orientation, if you need anything in particular you will get an email ahead of time to let you know.


Have another question we haven’t addressed? 
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