Discover B.S. in Human-Centered Design and Development

Designing the Future

The Human-Centered Design and Development (HCDD) bachelor's degree program will help you understand how people use technology and how to identify, design, build, and evaluate technologies to enhance people’s lives. As a student you will gain skills in three critical knowledge areas:

  • designing and building useful technologies to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving world
  • identifying opportunities to enhance experiences through technology
  • using quantitative and qualitative methods to identify how technology can better support human activity

"We're learning the programming, but we're also learning how to be able to articulate what we have done to those who do not necessarily understand code. I like to think of it as we are the translators."

Emma Dodoo, Class of 2020

Finding Your Fit

Human-Centered Design and Development might be the right program for you if:

  • you are passionate about designing and building interactive technologies
  • you want to design, build, and evaluate web, mobile, and other software applications
  • you enjoy working with people to understand how they live and how technology fits into their lives
  • you want to design, conduct, and interpret data from user studies
  • you embrace uncertainty and change, and are not afraid to fail on the path to getting things right

Developing Your Skills

In the Human-Centered Design and Development program, you will take hands-on courses to help you gain a broad expertise in the tools, methods, and concepts used to create useful software and technologies that meet users’ needs.

Sample Courses

Review the Suggested Academic Plan to see the courses you could take, including:

  • HCDD 264 - Design Practice in Human-Centered Design and Development
  • HCDD 340 - Human-Centered Design for Mobile Computing
  • HCDD 364W - Methods for Studying Users
  • IST 230 - Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics
  • IST 361 - Application Development Design Studio II
  • IST 411 - Distributed-Object Computing
  • IST 412 - The Engineering of Complex Software Systems


Application Focus Areas

Within the HCDD program, you’ll learn to apply concepts to a specific domain by choosing one of the application focus areas below or working with faculty and advisers to create your own:

  • Data Sciences
  • Digital Arts and Communication
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Healthcare
  • Informatics
  • Psychology
  • Security and Risk
  • Sociology
  • Custom Focus

Discovering Your Path

At the College of IST, every undergraduate student is required to complete at least one internship before graduating. With more than 300 organizations actively recruiting students and a dedicated Career Solutions team, you’ll have the resources and opportunities to get your career off to a strong start.

Potential Careers

Past Student Internships

Examples of the work done in past HCDD internships held by our students include:

  • researching and testing application usability for customers
  • creating mobile-friendly websites
  • modernizing an airport terminal by enhancing web and mobile developments
  • discovering ways to integrate virtual reality into a school’s curriculum
  • consulting on website and technology needs for a business incubator
  • working in an Agile team environment to research users and plan sprints, then working with developers to code and test various applications

Recent Graduates' Positions

Examples of positions our graduates have recently accepted include:

  • Application Developer
  • Information Architect
  • Instructional Designer
  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Product Designer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Usability Engineer
  • User Interface Developer
  • UX/UI Researcher
  • Web Application Developer

"Technology is more than just the code, and I learned that while studying HCDD. A user needs to enjoy their experience with a piece of technology if a company wants the user to continue to use it.”

Jessie Demmert, Class of 2019


Office of Undergraduate

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802