What will I learn?

The Division of Design offers a Bachelor of Design (BDes) degree in the following majors: Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Visual Communication Design.

The Industrial Design program at the University of Washington, one of several undergraduate programs in the School, has evolved over the past forty years. It is a professional program aimed primarily at industrial design practice in the corporate and institutional innovation sector where new technologies lead to the development of new forms of products, processes, and service from a human-centered design perspective.

The ID course of undergraduate study is an intensive program emphasizing the development of form that is derived from patterns of use, requirements for function, constraints imposed by industrial manufacturing and aesthetics driven by social context. Key aspects in this view on design are understanding the interactions between people and technology. Students are trained to identify design challenges and to envision promising strategies for design responses, communication, documentation, and organizational skills to conduct the design process from project brief to design implementation.

Interaction Designers define the structure and behavior of interactive products and services. Interaction Designers create compelling relationships between people and the interactive systems they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances; Interaction Designers lay the groundwork for intangible experiences.

The need for interaction designers for the development of new interactive products, systems and services has increased exponentially in recent years in virtually all industries. Interactive systems are present in many areas in everyday life where people coordinate tasks and engage in activities in collaboration with others, facilitated through technology. Examples range from mobile phones to computer software, from GPS systems for cars or navigation in the open ocean, and information systems that support the work of expert practitioners in technology-driven domains such as aviation, medicine, and process control.

The Visual Communication Design program educates and trains designers for the communication needs of industry and society. Emphasis is placed on the conception, creation, planning and realization of visual solutions to complex problems in contemporary culture. Students integrate methodology, prototyping, aesthetics, human factors, technology, materials, context and audience to develop strategies and solutions that give form to print, screen and the built environment. Faculty emphasize the objectives of design rather than the process of production, and encourage innovative visual ideas that inform, interpret, instruct or persuade the intended user across the spectrum of application.

The success of the program is evidenced by the receipt of numerous national and international student design awards/scholarships as well as significant publications. Three international design journals, Novum (Germany), IDEA (Japan), and Art and Design (China) have produced major articles on design education featuring the University of Washington program of Visual Communication Design.


  • Industrial Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Visual Communication Design

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (180 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$39,114.00 per year
Start date

Expected June, September 2022


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Student must have a High School Qualification.

Due to limited testing availability from COVID-19, the UW will accept the Duolingo’s English Test for autumn 2021 applicants. A minimum score of 105 will be required for admission. The TOEFL iBT special home edition and the IELTS Indicator at home exam will also be accepted for 2021 international freshman applicants.

English proficiency

TOEFL (iBT) - Minimum score required: 76, Recommended score: 92 or higher

IELTS - Minimum score required: 6.0, Recommended score: 7.0 or higher

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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