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College of Engineering

Human Centered Design and Engineering

428 Sieg Hall
206-543-2567
Website
Faculty Website
hcdehelp@uw.edu

In the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), students and faculty come together to design solutions for global challenges by tailoring technology to human needs and interests. By employing engineering approaches rooted in a broad range of disciplines, we investigate the interaction of people with technology and technical development. From user-centered design to human-computer interaction, we are designing the future. Students in HCDE build a strong foundation in designing user-experiences (UX) and -interfaces (UI), creating information visualizations, conducting usability research, designing for the web, and building web technologies. Students join research groups and collaborate with faculty to address a wide range of research and design challenges. HCDE graduates find jobs as multimedia and web developers, usability engineers, interface designers, user experience researchers, and information architects at high-tech companies.

 Undergraduate Program


Human Centered Design and Engineering

428 Sieg Hall
206-543-2567
hcdehelp@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Human Centered Design and Engineering


Program Overview

Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) undergraduate students learn design and engineering processes to solve problems through a deep understanding of people and their contexts. Students in the HCDE Bachelor of Science program graduate with an engineering degree and a strong foundation in designing user experiences and interfaces, creating information visualizations, conducting user research, designing for the web, and building web technologies. Upon graduation, students find jobs as user experience (UX) researchers and designers, multimedia and web developers, usability engineers, interface designers, and information architects at technology companies.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree: Human-Computer Interaction
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree: Data Science
Admission Requirements

Engineering Undeclared Students

See section on College of Engineering Admission for additional details on Direct-to-College admission and placement process for Engineering Undeclared students. The deadline to submit a request for placement in an engineering major occurs annually on July 1.

If the number of Engineering Undeclared students requesting the major exceeds the department capacity for such students, a matching process is implemented. Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Engineering Undeclared students in good standing with respect to the continuation criteria described below may request placement into an engineering major after completion of minimum requirements as specified below:

  1. ENGR 101
  2. English composition
  3. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136)
  4. CHEM 142 (or CHEM 143 or CHEM 145)
  5. PHYS 121 (or PHYS 141)
  6. One course from the list on this website. Students are encouraged to choose a course required for graduation in the majors they are considering.
  7. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  8. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  9. Minimum 12 credits as a matriculated UW student. Some departments require more credits. See department websites for details.

Students in good standing who do not meet the placement requirements by July 1 will be placed into a major on a conditional basis pending the completion of all placement requirements. Additional advising resources will be available to these students. See section on College of Engineering Continuation Policy for Engineering Undeclared Students for additional details.

Other Current UW Students and Transfer Students

Current UW students without Engineering Undeclared status and transfer students may apply. Admission is competitive.

  1. Admission is for autumn quarter. Application deadline: April 5.

  2. Minimum course requirements for application: 10 credits from MATH 120, MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136; CSE 142 or CSE 160; one course from STAT 220, STAT 221, STAT 290, STAT 311, IND E 315; three courses from CHEM 142, CHEM 143, CHEM 145, CHEM 152, CHEM 153, CHEM 155, CHEM 162, CHEM 165, PHYS 114, PHYS 115, PHYS 116, PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123, BIOL 118, BIOL 180, BIOL 200, PSYCH 202; 5 credits English composition; all courses completed prior to application deadline.
  3. Grade requirements: minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for application

Factors evaluated include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, demonstrated ability to handle rigorous course load, record of honors, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

 Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree: Human-Computer Interaction


Credential Overview

The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) elective option in the Bachelor of Science in HCDE is a transcriptable option, focusing on 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. 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. The HCI option replaces the electives in the standard option. Please refer to the HCDE website for a list of courses that meet this requirement.

Completion Requirements

180 credits

General Education Requirements

Basic Skills (20 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication (12 credits)
    1. English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
    2. Writing: HCDE 231; 4 remaining credits met by coursework in the major
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits): met by program requirements
  3. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses may also apply to an Areas of Knowledge requirement

Areas of Knowledge (80 credits)

  1. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (30 credits)
    1. VLPA (10 credits)
    2. I&S (10 credits)
    3. Additional credits in VLPA or I&S to bring total to 30 credits
  2. Natural World (NW) (50 credits)
    1. Mathematics (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)
    2. Sciences (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)

Major Requirements

82 credits

  1. HCDE Core (41 credits): HCDE 300, HCDE 301, HCDE 308, HCDE 310, HCDE 313, HCDE 318, HCDE 321, HCDE 322, HCDE 492, HCDE 493
  2. Engineering Fundamentals (minimum 12 credits): either CSE 142 or CSE 160; see department website for approved list of additional courses
  3. Experiential Learning (4 credits): See department website for list of approved courses
  4. Additional requirements specified below
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (25 credits): HCDE 419, and one course from at least three of the four HCI course areas - user interface, software, and technology; design; usability, and user research; and social and ethical dimensions. See department website for approved area courses. Students take additional approved HCDE elective courses to reach the overall electives requirements.

 Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree


Credential Overview

The Bachelor of Science in HCDE prepares students with the tools and methods necessary to research, design, and build innovative products and interactive systems. Students tailor coursework to meet their academic and professional goals by selecting electives in the areas of information visualization, advanced usability and user research, human-computer interaction, physical computing, UX prototyping techniques, and user interface design. In addition to traditional coursework, students join research groups and collaborate with our world-class faculty to examine a wide range of design challenges and emerging ideas.

Completion Requirements

180 credits

General Education Requirements

Basic Skills (20 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication (12 credits)
    1. English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
    2. Writing: HCDE 231; 4 remaining credits met by coursework in the major
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits): met by program requirements
  3. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses may also apply to an Areas of Knowledge requirement

Areas of Knowledge (80 credits)

  1. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (30 credits)
    1. VLPA (10 credits)
    2. I&S (10 credits)
    3. Additional credits in VLPA or I&S to bring total to 30 credits
  2. Natural World (NW) (50 credits)
    1. Mathematics (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)
    2. Sciences (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)

Major Requirements

82 credits

  1. HCDE Core (41 credits): HCDE 300, HCDE 301, HCDE 308, HCDE 310, HCDE 313, HCDE 318, HCDE 321, HCDE 322, HCDE 492, HCDE 493
  2. Engineering Fundamentals (minimum 12 credits): either CSE 142 or CSE 160; see department website for approved list of additional courses
  3. Experiential Learning (4 credits): See department website for list of approved courses
  4. Additional requirements specified below
Additional Completion Requirements

HCDE Electives (25 credits): See department for list of approved HCDE electives.

 Bachelor of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering degree: Data Science


Credential Overview

The emerging field of Data Science encompasses a broad set of interdisciplinary skills including data management, programming, statistics, machine learning, visualization, and human-centered design. In today's workforce there is increasing demand for a new class of data scientists with expertise in managing, modeling, and visualizing the massive, noisy, and heterogeneous datasets that arise across many areas of science and industry. The University of Washington has become a leader in the inclusion of human-centered skills in Data Science curriculum. The Data Science degree option in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering will educate undergraduate students in all aspects of the field of Data Science, increase their marketability in the workplace, and enable them to contribute to solutions to the many critical data-intensive problems in the world today.

Completion Requirements

180 credits

General Education Requirements

Basic Skills (20 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication (12 credits)
    1. English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
    2. Writing: HCDE 231; 4 remaining credits met by coursework in the major
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits): met by program requirements
  3. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses may also apply to an Areas of Knowledge requirement

Areas of Knowledge (80 credits)

  1. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (30 credits)
    1. VLPA (10 credits)
    2. I&S (10 credits)
    3. Additional credits in VLPA or I&S to bring total to 30 credits
  2. Natural World (NW) (50 credits)
    1. Mathematics (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)
    2. Sciences (minimum 15 credits; see list of qualifying courses on HCDE website)

Major Requirements

82 credits

  1. HCDE Core (41 credits): HCDE 300, HCDE 301, HCDE 308, HCDE 310, HCDE 313, HCDE 318, HCDE 321, HCDE 322, HCDE 492, HCDE 493
  2. Engineering Fundamentals (minimum 12 credits): either CSE 142 or CSE 160; see department website for approved list of additional courses
  3. Experiential Learning (4 credits): See department website for list of approved courses
  4. Additional requirements specified below
Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (25 credits): CSE 143, HCDE 411, CSE 491, and at least one in each of the three course areas: machine learning; data management; and statistics. See department website for approved area courses. Students take additional approved HCDE elective courses to reach the overall electives requirements. CSE 143 satisfies the Engineering Fundamentals requirement and is not included in the minimum credit requirement.

Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Expected Outcomes: HCDE BS graduates contribute to society by applying design and engineering processes to solve problems through a deep understanding of people and their contexts. In particular, they are leaders in:
    • Investigating people and systems, using quantitative and qualitative methods, to identify opportunities for new systems and strengths and weaknesses of existing systems.
    • Designing, building, and evaluating systems according to a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on understanding the relationships between social and technical elements of systems.
    • Bringing ideas to actualization through expertise in design strategy and processes, effective communication and collaboration skills, and ethical perspectives.
    • Identifying and learning new skills, perspectives, and tools that help them and others accomplish their goals.

    The Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering prepares students to assume positions in industry, government, and non-profit organizations and to apply to graduate programs.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Department facilities include the HCDE Design Laboratory and Laboratory for Usability Testing and Evaluation (LUTE).
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: HCDE undergraduates are required to complete at least one 3-credit internship. The supervised internship must be approved by the faculty internship adviser. As an internship substitution, students may elect to take part in a six-month co-op, sponsored by the Engineering Co-op program. Additionally, undergraduates work in research groups with HCDE faculty and graduate students.
  • Department Scholarships: HCDE selects one recipient of a College of Engineering Scholarship annually. The criteria for this scholarship are the applicant's academic history and likelihood for success in the technical communication field.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Students in the HCDE degree program participate in student activities such as the HCDE Student Association, the Minority Science and Engineering Program (MSEP), and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

Of Special Note: The HCDE department is an inclusive, hitersiciplinary academic community. Students generally call their professors by their first name and have the opportunity to work individually on projects and research supervised by HCDE faculty. Undergraduate students are encouraged to work in research groups and to attend conferences and professional meetings.

 Graduate Programs


Human Centered Design and Engineering


 Program of Study: Doctor Of Philosophy (Human Centered Design And Engineering)


Program Overview

An engineering degree. The program provides experience for students interested in studying the conception, design, implementation, use, evaluation, and effects of technologies. HCDE's interdisciplinary faculty hold graduate degrees from fields such as computer science, industrial engineering, information studies, design, education, English, linguistics, public policy, and technology and society studies. The faculty's research and teaching focus on six areas of study: influencing awareness, thinking, and behavior; design for emergent collaborations and organizations; low resource and underserved populations; material and embodied technologies, and ubiquitous computing; data visualization and big data; and learning in professional and technical environments. Early in the program, students may explore different topics and research areas through directed research groups and other independent projects. Goals: Prepare graduates for a career as researchers, teachers, and intellectual leaders in the discipline of HCDE Enable graduates to develop theoretical frameworks, apply investigative methods, and translate theory and research findings into technical or strategic innovations in the field of HCDE Foster development and dissemination of new knowledge in HCDE Foster development of an international, multi-cultural perspective and a diverse, inclusive student body and workforce in HCDE

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Human Centered Design And Engineering)
Admission Requirements

Graduate degree program admission requirements vary. Please see this program's Graduate Admissions Page for specific requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Human Centered Design And Engineering)


Completion Requirements

90 credits

  1. Foundations (6 credits): HCDE 541, HCDE 543
  2. Theory (12 credits): HCDE 542, HCDE 546, one additional theory elective from course list maintained by the program
  3. Methods (12 credits): HCDE 544, HCDE 545, one additional methods elective from course list maintained by the program
  4. Concentration (12 credits): Identified between student and advisor
  5. Research Group (10 credits): HCDE 596
  6. Dissertation (27 credits): HCDE 800
  7. Electives (11 credits): To meet required credit total

 Program of Study: Master Of Science In Human Centered Design And Engineering


Program Overview

The department offers a Master of Science in Human Centered Design and Engineering (MS HCDE) - an engineering degree. An evening program is offered through UW Educational Outreach, serving full time and part time students. Upon completion of the HCDE MS degree, students assume leadership roles in human-centered design and engineering in academia, industry, government, and non-profits. HCDE MS graduates are able to: Evaluate and understand human needs as a basis for designing and engineering new technologies. Master conceptual frameworks that motivate interdisciplinary research and design in HCDE. Select and critically evaluate user research methods for a variety of stakeholders and product contexts. Create visual, interactive, experience, and systems designs and prototypes. Translate organizational requirements into interface and product solutions, while accounting for all stakeholder perspectives and working ethically and collaboratively. Communicate effectively in oral, written, and visual forms, while scaling communications to audience needs and sociotechnical contexts.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Master Of Science In Human Centered Design And Engineering
  • Master Of Science In Human Centered Design And Engineering (fee-based)
Admission Requirements

Graduate degree program admission requirements vary. Please see this program's Graduate Admissions Page for specific requirements.

 Master Of Science In Human Centered Design And Engineering


Completion Requirements

50 credits

  1. Core courses (24 credits): HCDE 501, HCDE 516 OR HCDE 519, HCDE 517, HCDE 518, HCDE 592, HCDE 593
  2. Strategy (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Design (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Engineering (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  5. HCDE Electives (to meet required total credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.

 Master Of Science In Human Centered Design And Engineering (fee-based)


Completion Requirements

50 credits

  1. Core courses (24 credits): HCDE 501, HCDE 516 OR HCDE 519, HCDE 517, HCDE 518, HCDE 592, HCDE 593
  2. Strategy (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Design (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Engineering (at least 4 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  5. HCDE Electives (to meet required total credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.