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Expert network design skills and expertise

Achieving Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification confirms that you have the deep technical networking knowledge required to address the most technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments. It also confirms your ability to translate business needs, budget and operational constraints into the design of a converged solution. Ideal for expert-level network design engineers, expert-level network leads of IT infrastructure teams, and expert-level network leads of architecture teams, the CCDE curriculum prepares designers to develop design solutions at the infrastructure level for large customer networks.  CCDE-certified network engineers are recognized for their expert-level knowledge and skills in network infrastructure design.

Step One: CCDE Written Exam

The two-hour, written qualification exam covers network design in the areas of routing, tunneling, Quality of Service (QoS), management, cost, capacity and security. You must pass the written exam before you are eligible to schedule the CCDE practical exam.

Step Two: CCDE Practical Exam

The eight-hour practical exam tests your ability to perform design analysis, justify design requirements and develop a design implementation based on best practices. You must have a passing score on the CCDE written exam to register for the CCDE practical exam.


Students are expected to have an in-depth understanding of network infrastructure design.

CCDA Design

CCDP Design


DESGN - Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions v3.0

ARCH - Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures v3.0

Required Exams

CCDE Written (352-001 CCDE)

CCDE Practical


CCDE certifications are valid for two years. To recertify, you must pass one of the following before the certification expiration date:

  • Current CCIE written or lab exam.
  • Current CCDE written or practical exam.
  • Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and the CCAr board review. 

Visit Cisco's site for additional recertification information.