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HCI Degree Option

Professor Julie Kientz works with a student in her lab at the Human Centered Design and Engineering department.The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) degree option is part of the Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering (BSHCDE) degree program. All students interested in pursuing the HCI degree option within the BSHCDE should contact their academic adviser.

What is Human-Computer Interaction?

HCI is a new and developing field. According to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Human-Computer Interaction is a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. HCI is necessarily a multidisciplinary field, incorporating facets of information science, computer science, design, and technical communication among other fields. The University of Washington is becoming a global leader in this exciting new area.

The UW has exceptional faculty collaborating on world-class research in HCI and that collaboration extends directly to students in the classroom. Students who complete coursework in this area will obtain first-class academic preparation in a variety of different forms and get official recognition for this work.

Students interested in HCI can complete the official HCI option with coursework from four participating departments: Human Centered Design & Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, the Division of Design within the School of Art, and The Information School. Students choose from these departments based on the following requirements.

Requirements for the HCI Degree Option

Minimum of four courses from the list below (19–23 credits):

  1. Take at least one course in HCI Foundations.
  2. Take three courses from at least two of the four HCI Course Areas, listed below. At least one of these three courses must be from a participating department besides HCDE. Note: If you entered the program before 2015 you are only required to take two courses from two HCI Course Areas.
    1. User Interface, Software, and Technology
    2. Design
    3. Usability and User Research
    4. Social and Ethical Dimensions

HCI Foundations

  • DESIGN 383 Foundations of Interaction Design (5)
  • CSE 440 Introduction to HCI: User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation (5)
  • HCDE 419 Concepts in Human-Computer Interaction (5)

HCI Course Areas

User Interface, Software, and Technology

  • CSE 441 Advanced HCI: Advanced User Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation (5)
  • INFO 343 Web Technologies (5) or CSE 154: Web Programming (5)
  • INFO 344 Web Tools and Development (5)
  • HCDE 438 Web Technologies (5)
  • INFO 463 Input and Interaction (5)


  • HCDE 411 Information Visualization (5)
  • INFO 424 Information Visualization and Aesthetics (5)
  • HCDE 455 User Interface Design (4)
  • INFO 461 Cooperative Aspects of User Centered Design (5)
  • ART 483 Fundamentals in Interface Design (5)
  • ART 484 Advanced Projects in Interaction Design (5)

Usability and User Research

  • INFO 310 Individual Perspectives on Information Systems (5)
  • HCDE 407 Software User Assistance (5)

Social and Ethical Dimensions

  • INFO 444 Value Sensitive Design (5)
  • INFO 447 Computer Supported Cooperative Work (5)

The following courses may be approved within any of the course areas on an individual and per-course basis, depending on the topic matter and its suitability to a course area within the HCI option.

  • INFO 498 Special Topics in Informatics
  • HCDE 496 Directed Research in Human Centered Design & Engineering


Contact HCDE Undergraduate Advising

Contact an advisor
Alex Llapitan
Academic Counselor
(206) 221-6230

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Spring Deadline:
Feb. 1, 2015
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