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Industry & Alumni

Internship information for employers

What every employer should know about the Human Centered Design & Engineering Internship Program at the University of Washington.


Each undergraduate student in the UW's department of Human Centered Design & Engineering must spend at least 90 hours practicing his or her craft in a professional setting, working under professional supervision, in order to graduate. For most of our students that experience comes in the form of an internship. The internship, typically lasting one quarter (10 weeks), is actually a senior-level class (HCDE 495) or a graduate-level class (HCDE 601, Professional Practice) for which students must register, pay tuition, and write a course paper in addition to meeting their responsibilities to their employers.

Academic credit for internships is variable: Students may take as few as three or as many as ten credits per quarter. For each credit, the student agrees to spend 30 hours working for his or her internship employer during a 10-week quarter. That means, then, that a student who, for example, is taking a 5-credit internship would be expected to work an average of 15 hours per week during a 10-week quarter. Please note that these are minimum requirements for earning academic credit. Employers and students are welcome to negotiate other (greater) commitments as long as they satisfy the minimums established for earning academic credit.

Scheduling an internship

We understand that the rest of the world does not work on an academic calendar. Consequently, students can begin an internship whenever it becomes available, and take the official credit in a following quarter, as long as the work requirement is complete before the credit is taken. (Students must work a minimum of 30 hours for each credit taken.)

When should you post a position announcement? To ensure that you have an opportunity to evaluate the largest number of student intern applicants, it is best to post an announcement at least a month before the beginning of the quarter for which you anticipate having a student intern working for you. The University's quarters are (approximately) as follows: autumn quarter runs from the end of September to the middle of December; winter quarter runs from the beginning of January to the middle March; spring quarter runs from the end of March to the middle of June; summer quarter runs from third week in June through the third week in August.

Recruiting and hiring policy

If you would like to recruit HCDE students for your job and internships, please post your opportunity to our jobs database.

All employment professionals recruiting HCDE students through HCDE and other on-campus recruiting channels, such as the UW Career Center and other established college or university programs, are requested to work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing, and selection practices as stipulated in the NACE Principles for Professional Conduct.

Recruiting Policy for Employers