Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering
Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) students learn design and engineering processes to solve problems though a deep understanding of people and their contexts. Students in the HCDE Bachelor of Science program graduate with an engineering degree and a strong foundation in designing user experiences and interfaces, creating information visualizations, conducting user research, designing for the web, and building web technologies.
HCDE is an inclusive, interdisciplinary academic community. Students have the opportunity to work on projects and research supervised by HCDE's award-winning and interdisciplinary faculty. Undergraduate students are encouraged to work in research groups and to attend conferences and professional meetings.
See a list of current HCDE undergraduate courses.
Click on the thumbnails below to see examples of undergraduate student projects.
The Bachelor of Science in HCDE admits undergraduate students who have completed significant coursework. High school students also have the option to apply for Direct Freshman Admission on their college application. Learn more about admissions.
Once admitted to the program, HCDE undergraduate students complete 46 credits of required core courses, 12 credits of engineering fundamentals, and 25–29 credits of elective courses. The elective coursework allows students the flexibility to create a specialization targeted to their professional and academic goals. Learn more about the undergraduate degree requirements.
HCDE students may apply for several scholarships, including the Sakson Diversity Undergraduate Scholarship and the College of Engineering annual scholarship. Learn more about scholarships & financial aid.
Students in the HCDE degree program participate in student activities such as the HCDE Student Association, the Minority Science and Engineering Program (MSEP), and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).
Graduates of the BS in HCDE typically find jobs in the tech industry as multimedia and web developers, interface designers, user experience (UX) researchers and designers, usability engineers, interaction designers, and information architects. HCDE students may take advantage of HCDE's Corporate Affiliate Program, working with area companies on research and course projects. HCDE's full-time advising staff, located in Sieg Hall, work closely with companies and students to provide a multitude of career services.
Located at the University of Washington in Seattle, students have access to Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Expedia, Boeing, Intel, IBM, and other prominent corporations that have offices in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, Seattle has a strong startup and entrepreneurial community, making Seattle the perfect location from which to launch an exciting career.
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I Chose Human Centered Design & Engineering
"When I began my studies at the University of Washington, I felt like the ultimate misfit engineer. I had the technical understanding needed for engineering work, but I also had the inherent passion for designing technology that was ultimately user focused and meant for humans. It was in HCDE that I finally found my calling! This program offers something that no other engineering program at UW can: the chance to design technology that is 100% user centered design. Every day the students in this department are making breakthroughs in user centered technology and learning lessons that will last them a lifetime. The lessons students learn in the HCDE department truly help them to realize their full potential in the real world."
—Caryn Carlson Rothe, BS 2012
Let us know why you chose HCDE.