Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

The Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification is one of the highest technical networking certifications offered by Cisco. Put your knowledge and experience to the test. Achieve your Cisco CCDE certification and accelerate your career.

The CCDE certification is quickly becoming accepted worldwide as one of the most prestigious networking certifications in the industry. Network engineers holding an active CCDE certification are recognized for their expert-level knowledge and skills in network infrastructure design. The deep technical networking knowledge that a CCDE brings ensures that they are well qualified to address the most technically challenging network infrastructure design assignments.

The program continually updates and revises its testing tools and methodologies to ensure unparalleled program quality, relevance, and value. Through rigorous written and practical exams, the CCDE certification program sets the standard for network design expertise.

Cisco introduced the CCDE certification in 2008 to recognize senior-level network designers and to assist the industry in distinguishing the top echelon of networking design experts worldwide.


CCDE certification is intended for professionals who have day-to-day responsibility for designing complex, converged IP networks. Candidates are strongly encouraged to have at least seven years of networking experience and a thorough understanding of network infrastructure principles and design topics.

There are no formal prerequisites for CCDE certification. Cisco CCDA and CCDP certifications focus on developing solid network design skills and are recommended as a path to CCDE, but they are not mandatory prerequisites. No specific training or other professional certifications are required.

Step One: CCDE Written Exam
The 2-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.
Written Exam Information
Schedule and Pay for Written Exam

Step Two: CCDE Practical Exam
The 8-hour practical exam tests your ability to perform design analysis, justify design requirements, and develop a design implementation based on best practices. Only candidates that have a passing score on the CCDE Written Exam may register for the CCDE Practical Exam.
Practical Exam Information
Schedule and Pay for Practical Exam

Recommended training for this certification

Please visit for Exam Blueprints, Book Lists or Tips.


352-001 CCDE Written Exam
CCDE Lab Exam


Active CCIE status shows your commitment to maintaining expert-level knowledge in an industry critical to the success of virtually every organization. CCIEs are encouraged to continually expand their technical knowledge and are required to pass a recertification exam every two years. If you do not complete your recertification before the deadlines, your CCIE certification will be suspended and you and your employer will lose the benefits associated with your expert status. You have one year to reinstate your CCIE status before you become inactive and must begin the certification process all over again.

Recertification Deadline
Your recertification deadline can be viewed online anytime (with login) at Certification Status. Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.

Recertification Details
To maintain active status, every 24-months CCIEs are required to pass one of the following before the certification expiration date:

  • Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab Exam or
  • Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
  • Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications.
  • CCIE certification automatically extends other Cisco Certifications, such as CCNP or CCNA.
  • Candidates can only apply one passed written exam towards recertification for every 24 month recertification period.
  • Candidates must wait five calendar days between attempts at the written exam.
  • Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Please plan your recertification accordingly. If your CCIE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification's expiration date, your CCIE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year deadline and your employer will be notified. Suspended candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam or practical lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab or CCDE written or practical exams again.
  • Achieving or recertifying CCIE automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.
  • Be sure to use the same ID number you were assigned for your original qualification exam to ensure your profile is updated accurately. If you have any questions about which ID number to use, contact CCIE support.

Recertification Exams Available
Written exams are two-hour, multiple-choice exams available at any worldwide Pearson VUE testing center. Schedule and pay for exams online with the testing vendor.

Recertification Exams:
CCDE Design Written Exam: #352-001
CCIE Data Center Written Exam: #350-080
CCIE Routing & Switching Written Exam: #350-001
CCIE Security Written Exam: #350-018
CCIE Service Provider Written Exam: #350-029
CCIE Service Provider Operations Written Exam: #350-060
CCIE Storage Networking Written Exam: #350-040
CCIE Voice Written Exam: #350-030
CCIE Wireless Written Exam: #350-050