Human Centered Design & Engineering

College of Engineering

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.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Data Science

Topic: Arts, Computing, Engineering

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admission to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: April 5 for Autumn
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.
This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission. Transfer students must submit two separate applications: one to the Office of Admissions and one to Human Centered Design & Engineering.

Major Profile: In the admission decision for this and every major, a wide range of factors are taken into consideration. The profile should not be used to overstate the importance of grades in the admission decision for academic majors but it may offer some guidance as you plan for transfer.

To be eligible to apply, you must have a 2.0 (“C” grade) minimum GPA in each prerequisite course and a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all the prerequisites. These are minimums; the actual GPA of those admitted is much higher.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • 5 credits English Composition

10 credits from:

  • MATH 120 NSc RSN – Precalculus
  • MATH 124 NSc RSN – Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
  • MATH 125 NSc – Calculus with Analytic Geometry II
  • MATH 126 NSc – Calculus with Analytic Geometry III

One course from:

  • STAT 220 NSc RSN – Statistical Reasoning
  • STAT 221 NSc RSN – Statistical Concepts and Methods for the Social Sciences
  • STAT 290 NSc Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics
  • STAT 311 NSc RSN – Elements of Statistical Methods
  • IND E 315 NSc – Probability and Statistics for Engineers

Three courses from:

  • BIOL 118 NSc – Survey of Physiology
  • BIOL 180 NSc – Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 200 NSc – Introductory Biology
  • CHEM 142 NSc RSN – General Chemistry
  • CHEM 152 NSc RSN – General Chemistry
  • CHEM 162 NW QSR – General Chemistry
  • PHYS 114 NSc – General Physics
  • PHYS 115 NSc – Heat, Fluids and Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHYS 121 NSc RSN – Mechanics
  • PHYS 122 NSc – Electromagnetism
  • PSYCH 202 NSc – Biopsychology

One course from:

  • CSE 121 NSc RSN – Introduction to Computer Programming I
  • CSE 122 NSc RSN – Introduction to Computer Programming II
  • CSE 123 NSc RSN – Introduction to Computer Programming III
  • CSE 142 NSc RSN – Computer Programming I
  • CSE 160 NSc RSN – Data Programming


  • All courses must be completed prior to the April 5 application deadline.

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 216
Total from Washington community colleges: 15

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 7
3.50 – 3.74: 4
3.25 – 3.49: 1
3.00 – 3.24: 2
2.75 – 2.99: 1
2.50 – 2.74: 0
2.49 and below: 0

Career outcomes