The University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is at the forefront of ensuring tomorrow's technologies and systems are designed to meet the needs and interests of every individual, community, and society at large.

Explore our history


We build possibility. We advance systems and technologies for people and communities to create accessible, sustainable, and prosperous futures.

We create intersections. We thrive at the critical junction of research, education, and community to cultivate equity, access, and opportunity.


We believe a just future is possible. We will be the leading academic program integrating empathy and collaboration to design and engineer equitable practices, tools, and technologies across the globe.


View our five-year strategic plan »

Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Science provides students with user research and design skills, coupled with a solid foundation in math and science.

The Master of Science fosters and advances students' knowledge and skills in the design and evaluation of information products, technologies, and user interfaces.

The Doctor of Philosophy provides unparalleled depth and experience for students interested in studying the conception, design, implementation, usability, and evaluation of technologies for specific audiences or user groups.

The User-Centered Design certificate program provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues in usability and user-centered design.

Student Enrollment

2019–2020 academic year

Master's enrollment 280
Undergraduate enrollment 162
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) enrollment  57
User-Centered Design certificate enrollment 29

Student Demographics

Diversity of Degree Recipients BS MS PhD UCD
Women 66% 70% 63% 76%
Men 34% 30% 37% 24%
Underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities* 11% 11% 12% 17%
Asian Americans 36% 18% 5% 27%
International 17% 29% 28% 10%
* African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander  

Data reported Autumn 2019.

View more about our diversity initiatives »


Composition   Achievements  


Tenured and tenure-track and research faculty
59% women


NSF Early Career Award recipients


Faculty career lecturers
57% women


Jay R. Gould Awards for Excellence in Teaching from the Society for Technical Communication


Joint or adjunct faculty from other UW departments


Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)


Affiliate faculty from industry and external research and educational institutions


MIT Technology Innovator Under 35 Honor

Research Laboratories & Centers

Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR)
Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT)
Communicative Practices in Virtual Workspaces Laboratory
Computer Supported Collaboration Laboratory (CSC Lab)
Computing for Healthy Living and Learning Laboratory (CHiLL Lab)
Data Ecologies Lab (deLAB)
Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation Laboratory (emCOMP)
Human-Centered Data Science Laboratory (HDS Lab)
Inclusive Design Lab
Laboratory for Human-Centered Engineering Education
Laboratory for Influence in SocioTechnical Systems (LISTS)
Machine Agency
Prosocial Computing Laboratory
Tactile and Tactical Design Laboratory (TAT Lab)

View our department's research areas »