Human-Centered Design Minor

The human-centered design (HCD) minor is focused on the process of innovation for addressing human needs, and offers a creative discipline that can be applied to a wide range of fields.

The minor consists of three sections:

  1. foundation courses in engineering problem-solving and design thinking
  2. courses in social science that inform design practice
  3. a culminating set of design electives




1 course

MATH 3: Calculus

Section 1: Design Foundation*

2 courses

ENGS 12: Design Thinking
ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering

* When feasible, it is recommended to take ENGS 12 before ENGS 21.

Required Electives


Section 2: Ethnographic Methods and Human Factors/Psychology*

2 courses

Choose 2 courses from the following, with 1 course from outside of the student’s major department:

ANTH 3: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 18: Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology
ENGS 15.07: Research Methods for Human-Centered Design
GEOG 11: Qualitative Methods and the Research Process in Geography
PSYC 22: Learning
PSYC 23: Social Psychology
PSYC 28: Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 38: Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 43: Emotion
PSYC 50.02: Decision Making
PSYC 53.10: Social and Affective Motivations in Decision-making
PSYC 53.12: The Behavior of Groups
PSYC 53.13: Social Neuroscience
SOCY 11: Research Methods

Section 3: Design Electives

2 courses

Choose 2 courses from the following:

COSC 23.01: Augmented and Virtual Reality Design
COSC 25.01: Intro to UI/UX Design I
COSC 25.02: Intro to UI/UX Design II
COSC 28: Advanced Projects in Digital Arts
COSC 29.04: Impact Design/ PSYC 15 Impact Design
ENGS 15.01: Senior Design Challenge I
ENGS 15.02: Senior Design Challenge II
ENGS 18: System Dynamics in Policy Design and Analysis
ENGS 19.01: Future of Energy Systems
: Sustainable Design
ENGS 75: Product Design
FILM 51: Game Design Studio
PBPL 43: Social Entrepreneurship/ ECON 77 Social Entrepreneurship
SART 65: Architecture I
SART 66: Architecture II
SART 68: Architecture III

* Courses in psychology require PSYC 1 or PSYC 6 as a prerequisite (check the ORC for specific course requirements).

Course Planning

Students planning to pursue the minor should complete the Human-Centered Design Minor Student Worksheet and submit it to Professor Peter Robbie. Students must also enter their HCD minor plan on Dartworks. Keep the following considerations and guidance in mind when planning out your HCD minor.

Courses counted toward one's major cannot be used to satisfy requirements of the HCD minor. Satisfactory completion of the minor requires a grade point average of 2.0 in the courses beyond the prerequisites suitable for satisfying the minor.

Except for Math 3, none of the courses listed for the minor may be taken under the non-recording option.

Section 1: Design Foundation courses may be taken concurrently with other required elective courses. However, before taking courses under Section 3: Design Electives, it is recommended that students complete both courses under Section 1: Design Foundation and at least one course under Section 2: Ethnographic Methods and Human Factors/Psychology.

Engineering sciences majors: Aside from ENGS 21, only ENGS courses numbered below 20 may be counted towards the minor. Engineering sciences majors will take ENGS 21 as one of their major requirements and it will also count as the prerequisite to the HCD minor.

For additional information about majors, courses, and degree requirements, see:

Guide to Programs & Courses


Questions? For course planning questions within the specific discipline, please contact Professor Peter Robbie (Engineering) or Professor Lorie Loeb (Computer Science).

For general requirement or advising questions, please contact