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 30 students in each graduating class. Applications to the major are processed once a year. Information about the application process is available at the bottom of this page. The application for 2017 will open on March 14, 2017. 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. Information sessions for the program are usually held in February. The handout from the 2016 information session is available here. The information session for 2017 is on Monday February 20, 2017 at 4:30pm in NSH 3305.

Students in any graduating class can apply to the major. Juniors can be admitted if they can complete all remaining requirements for the major in the semesters they have before graduation.

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. In 2012 we admitted ony 5 of the 25 freshman who applied. (20%); their average GPA was 3.6. If you apply as a freshman, but do not get in, please reapply as a sophomore.


Most admissions come from students who apply in their sophomore year. As an example, in 2012, 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%).


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 will open on March 14, 2017 and the applications button below will open to accept applications. The application deadline for 2017 will be April 2, 2017 at midnight. 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] and you will receive email confirmation of your submission.

Application Materials

  1. Full name, email address, and Andrew ID
  2. Home college, year you intend to graduate, and list of all declared Majors and Minors (1. and 2. can be combined into a cover page)
  3. Statement of Purpose (Maximum 1 page, single spaced)
  4. Proposed Schedule of Required Courses
  5. Unofficial Transcript (including cumulative GPA and mid-term grades from SIO of semester applying)
  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 05-650 and Elective 4
Senior 05-410 and 05-430/431 05-571 



Decisions on admittance to the major will be made in time for fall registration week. 

2017 Admissions

Applications for 2017 will open on March 14, 2017 and will close on April 2, 2017 at midnight

Submit application here for 2017

Undergraduate Program Information

Bob Kraut
Interim Director of the Undergraduate Program
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Newell Simon Hall 3515 

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

  • hciibachelors [at]