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Future Students

Application Materials

The following application materials for the Master of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering must be submitted to the University of Washington's Graduate School online application by the deadline of 11:59 p.m. (PST) on January 17. All applicants will receive acceptance or denial emails by the following March 15.

Master's application materials

Personal Statement

Students in Human Centered Design & Engineering learn to collaborate with diverse teams to identify, describe, and solve problems for an inclusive and global society. We are looking for applicants who demonstrate resilience, intellectual curiosity, creativity, and a growing interest in the social impact of technology. In addition, we are looking for applicants who can demonstrate some level of past community engagement and/or leadership.

Note that we look at the entire application (statements, resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation) for detailed evidence of the above. Please address each of the prompts below separately. Due to the number of applications, we will not be able to look at portfolios.

How have your prior activities and experiences (e.g., things you have done at school, in the workplace, in your community, and/or extracurricular activities) prepared you for this program and this field? Please provide specific examples. [600 words maximum]

Please describe your particular interest in Human Centered Design & Engineering, and explain what specific elements of the program make it a good fit for you. How will this program assist you in your longer-term goals? Please provide specific examples. [600 words maximum]

Letters of Recommendation

You must provide three (3) letters of recommendation with your application. These letters should be from people who can judge your ability to undertake graduate studies, potentially including present or former professors, work supervisors, or clients (in the case of consulting assignments).

Submitting fewer than 3 recommendations will adversely impact your application. It is your responsibility to work with your recommenders to ensure submission by the January 16 deadline. Late recommendations are not guaranteed to be reviewed. The committee will only review three recommendations.

It is required that all applicants have their recommenders submit their letters via the online Graduate School Application system. Once you have created a profile and started your application, you can submit contact information for your recommenders. Recommenders will automatically receive an email with a personalized link to fill out the recommendation form.

Once you have submitted your application, you can check the status of your recommendation letters by logging in to your application status page.

Current Resume/CV

You must upload a current resume or CV to your online application. Although you do not need to have a professional background to apply, the Admissions Committee considers relevant professional experience when making its decisions.


For the initial application review stage you should only upload unofficial copies (pdf) of all college-level transcripts through the Graduate School Application. Please do not mail official transcripts directly to the HCDE department or to the Graduate School. If offered admission, you will then have your degree granting institutions send official sets of transcripts directly to the Graduate School.

Optional Diversity Statement

Not required. Only for applicants who want to be considered for the GSEE Supplemental Tuition Award and/or GEM Fellows. Please visit the HCDE Financial Resources page for more details. F-1 and J-1 students are not eligible. 

Application Fee

Submit the above materials with an application fee of $90 to the University of Washington's Graduate School Application.

Notes on Standardized Exams and Portfolios

HCDE does not accept GRE scores or Portfolios as part of our MS admission process. Our faculty use a holistic review process that takes into consideration multiple factors ranging from academic background and performance to professional experience and recommendations. A standardized exam is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and were educated in a foreign language. More on application materials for International Students »

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