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The University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) prioritizes equity and empathy in the construction of the future. We connect complex methodologies, systems, and technologies to critical needs in everyday life.

HCDE resides in Seattle on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations. We respectfully acknowledge their stewardship of this land throughout the generations.

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.

View our student demographics


Composition   Achievements  


Tenured and tenure-track and research faculty
61% women


NSF Early Career Award recipients


Faculty career teaching professors
63% 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

View our faculty

Research Labs & Centers


View HCDE's research areas

More About HCDE

Cover of Designing Up publication - Sieg Building with tree in foreground
2022 Designing Up

The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering annually publishes Designing Up, a magazine which features news from our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

2022 issue

Text says Build Possibility
HCDE Strategic Plan

The HCDE five-year Strategic Plan, launched in 2019, is designed to align the department around a bold path for the next five years.

About the plan

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Celebrating 30 years

On the 30th anniversary of the department, we review the growth of our programs since Mike White and Jim Souther began teaching technical communication courses in 1974.

Our history