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User Experience (UX) Design

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About the User Experience (UX) Design Program

Following the advent of mobile devices, advanced web technologies, and user-centered design, demand for qualified User Experience (UX) designers has skyrocketed. 

UX design isn't just the process of maximizing functionality or making your product look attractive, it is a science with a significant focus on research, data collection, and psychology of human-computer interaction. 

The User Experience Design certificate provides students with a practical knowledge of UX principles, software, and techniques for analysis. Upon successful completion of the program, students will have portfolio-worthy projects and can immediately apply their new skills to their current design job or future professions as Junior UX designers.

For more information about the UX Design Certificate program, enroll in our free, on demand Information Session or email unex-digital@ucsd.edu.

Students who wish to apply to this program should meet the following prerequisites:

1. Basic knowledge of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) 
Suggested option: Completion of the UC San Diego Coursera course Human-Centered Design: an Introduction. Students may audit this course and view all videos and lectures for free on Coursera.

2. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS 
Suggested option: Completion of the UC San Diego Extension course CSE-41207 Introduction to HTML and CSS.

No transcripts or other documentation proving these prerequisites have been completed is necessary when applying to the program. Once these prerequisites are met, students must then complete the UX Design Certificate application (if you don't already have a MyExtension account, you will need to make one) and pay the application fee. There will be a $95 fee upon acceptance into the program.
 

Format: In-Person, Online

In class options might be available for some courses.

Estimated Cost: $5,400

Estimate does not include textbook or material fees. Cost varies based on elective selection.

Duration: 15-21 Months

Varies by student and courses taken per quarter.

Contact
Department
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts
Phone
858-534-6731
Email
unex-digital@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
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Information Session

User Experience Design Professional Certificate - Information SessionINFO-70118

Units: 0.00

Free

Explore the Digital Arts! This free, self-paced on-demand information session is for those interested in learning more about our Professional Certificate in User Experience (UX) Design. Get a detailed...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Required Courses

All 16 units are required.

Principles of User Experience (UX)ART-40638

Units: 4.00

$795

The field of user Experience (UX) Design is ever evolving-- and with this evolution comes new design tools, techniques and strategies. As the first course of the UX Design Certificate, Principles of U...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

User Experience (UX) Design IART-40639

Units: 4.00

$795

Focus on case studies, UX prototyping tools and techniques, metaphors, organization and navigation. Build a User Experience case study - personas, task models, user journeys, content requirements, sit...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

User Experience (UX) Design IIART-40642

Units: 4.00

$795

This course covers style guides, designing for different screens (web and mobile devices), responsive design, and best practices in typography, design and navigation. Participants will design an inter...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Responsive Design and User Experience (UX)ART-40640

Units: 4.00

$795

Learn responsive web design (RWD) and user experience (UX) through this hands-on, project-based course. Learning-by-doing HTML and CSS tactics will enable you, the student, to design user experiences ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Final Required Course

All required courses and 2 elective courses must be completed before taking this course.

User Experience (UX) PortfolioART-40641

Units: 4.00

$795

A comprehensive and eye-catching portfolio, as well as the ability to speak about your work and knowledge of UX, will help you stand out among the growing field of UX professionals when competing for ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Electives

Minimum of 6 units required. Subject to change. Enrolled certificate students MUST follow matrix as listed in their MyExtension account.

User Interface DesignART-40535

Units: 3.00

$670-$695

Gain a strong understanding of user interface design so you can begin to learn how to be an interactive designer or enhance your design skills. This graphic and web design training course covers refer...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to ProgrammingCSE-40028

Units: 3.00

$695

This course introduces first-time programmers to foundation programmingtechniques and principles using the popular Python Programming language. Python s simple syntax is similar to the English languag...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Web AnalyticsCSE-41132

Units: 3.00

TBD

Web analytics collect and represent internet data from your website. It tracks on-line visitors and their activities: referral sources, keywords, time on site, conversion rate there are tons of metr...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

User Experience (UX) MetricsCSE-41260

Units: 3.00

$695

Become a data-driven rock star with this UX Metrics course The course introduces a comprehensive set of UX metrics. It takes a very practical approach with the emphasis of the analysis being directly ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and MarketingCSE-41157

Units: 3.00

$695

In our current information age, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of marketing used by companies world-wide and is one of the most successful and cost-effective ways of obtaining business t...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to HTML and CSSCSE-41207

Units: 3.00

$675

Introduction to HTML and CSSThis course introduces students to HTML5, the primary markup language for the World Wide Web and its modern style language, cascading style sheets (CSS). Students learn the...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to JavaScriptCSE-41208

Units: 3.00

$675

Introduction to JavaScriptWelcome to Introduction to JavaScript.JavaScript is the most the popular scripting language on the web. Here we will get learn how to do basic programming with JavaScript. We...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Certificate Guidelines

This program can be completed in 15-21 months (taking 1-2 courses per quarter). Tuition is $595-795 per course. All required courses are offered online, but some electives may not be available online. Please refer to the UX Design Program Course Listing Matrix for more information.

About Online Courses

  • Online courses in this certificate are led by live instructors, but students may view lectures according to their own schedules. There are no set lecture dates or times; however, students will be required to meet weekly assignment deadlines, participate in critiques, and contribute to discussion topics.
  • Online students should expect to spend four to six hours per week per course.
  • Software is not provided to online students.
  • To preview our e-learning system, visit our Canvas platform.

Required Software, Hardware, and other Program Materials

  • Mac or Windows OS laptop or desktop - Our onsite courses are offered in a Windows computer lab at our University City Center campus. Students enrolled in online courses may work on either operating system, except where specified in the course description. ​
  • Adobe Creative Cloud subscription - Students must setup their Adobe CC account once they are enrolled in the program. With proof of enrollment, students are eligible for a discounted subscription rate.
  • Prototyping software (OmniGraffle, Axure, Adobe XD)
  • HTML Editor software (BBEdit, Sublime Text)
  • Web Hosting provider subscription
  • LinkedIn Learning subscription

Please note: Materials and software requirements vary by course. Before taking an online course, refer to the course description for exact software requirements. Student discounts may apply to certain subscriptions/software. Please visit their respective website for more details.

San Diego Workforce Partnership

ISA logo

The San Diego Workforce Partnership's Income Share Agreement (ISA) is a new and innovative option to finance your education. UC San Diego Extension proudly serves as the educational partner, deepening our commitment to serving critical lifelong learning and skill development, particularly to underrepresented individuals in the tech community.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the employment outlook for User Experience (UX) Designers?

The employment outlook for UX Designers over the next decade is very good. In 2015, CNN Money named User Experience Designers among the top 15 Best Jobs in America, with median pay of $89,300 and projected job growth of 18% in the next decade.

Do you provide job or internship placement?

No, we do not currently offer job placement assistance, internships, or career services assistance.

Will I get any hands-on experience in the program?

Most courses combine theory with hands-on exercises. Our courses are taught by professionals who work in the field they teach, and will bring real-life projects and examples to your course.

Can this program be completed entirely online?

Yes! This program can be completed entirely online.  All assignments, discussion posts, and tests can be completed online and submitted through Canvas, our online learning platform. 
 

Is this program approved for Income Share Agreement (ISA) funding?

Yes. The User Experience (UX) Design program is a part of the Income Share Agreement (ISA) with San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Income Share Agreement (ISA) is an alternative way to pay for education, where there are no upfront costs. This ISA is an agreement to pay a small proportion of your income for a set period of time, after the student has landed a job with a salary level of $40,000 per year or more. The fund fronts the cost of a student’s education, which the student pays back in payments based on a percentage of income over a set period of time. UC San Diego Extension is the educational provider for the San Diego Workforce Partnership's ISA. More information is available on their website at workforce.org/ISA and at https://extension.ucsd.edu/student-resources/financial-resources/ISA.

If I work full-time, will I still be able to complete this program?

Yes. Our programs are designed to be working-student friendly and most of our students are working professionals. The courses vary between three and four units, which amount to approximately 27-30 hours of class time for a three unit course and 36-40 hours of class time for a four unit course.

How long does it take to complete this certificate?

You officially have five years to complete all requirements for the certificate, although students can usually complete the entire program in 15-21 months by taking 1-2 courses per quarter.      

How much does this program cost?

All required courses cost $795 each. The estimated cost of the entire certificate program, not including certificate fee, enrollment fees, and textbooks/materials is $5,400. 

Your mileage may vary depending on what electives you choose. How students pace their coursework may affect the program cost since many courses require software subscriptions, which are charged by month.

Students pay as they go when they register for classes, not in one lump sum.

Is the program accredited?

UC San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). UC San Diego Extension — like all other UC San Diego schools, colleges, and departments — is accredited by WASC through the University. All courses and certificate programs offered by UC San Diego Extension have been developed and are administered in accordance with Extension policy and the regulations of the Academic Senate of the University of California.

How do I get my certificate once I have completed the requirements?

When you have paid your certificate fee and successfully completed all program requirements, you will need to request an audit by Student Services. To request an audit: In your My Extension account, click on “My Courses.” On the right side of the page under “My Certificates,” click on the name of the certificate. On the right side of the page under “Tools,” click on “Request Certificate Audit.” Complete and submit the form that appears. Once you have formally submitted your audit request, your certificate will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within ten business days.

Is financial assistance available?

UC San Diego Extension facilitates private education loans through UC Approved Lenders for students officially enrolled in a certificate. Information on these programs can be found on our Financial Resources page or by contacting unex-finasst@ucsd.edu. State-Funded Training is available through EDD (Employment Development Dept.); more information can be found on their website: www.edd.ca.gov

Is this certificate open to non-California residents and international students?

Yes, the program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students.

No student visa is required, nor does this program qualify for a student visa since it is a part-time, fully online program.

In what order should I take these courses?

Students must complete the first four required courses, as well as 6 units of electives, prior to enrolling in the capstone UX Portfolio course. All required courses must be taken in sequence and not simultaneously.

The UX Portfolio course may only be taken after the student has completed all required courses and electives. Please view individual course pages on our website for specific prerequisites.

Students may enroll concurrently in more than one course, however we recommend participating in the required certificate courses in the order listed on our certificate matrix above. 

Certificate students should begin the program with Principles of User Experience (UX).

How do I apply to the certificate program?

STEP 1: If you have a My Extension student account, skip to Step 2.  If you do not have a My Extension account, go to myextension.ucsd.edu, click “Create an account” on the right side of the page, and follow the instructions to create an account. Once you have a My Extension account, continue to Step 2.

STEP 2: Click on the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page. Complete the required fields on the application. Then click the “Save” button. Once you have saved the application, the “Submit” button will appear. Click the “Submit” button to submit your application for review and consideration. Once submitted, your application cannot be changed.  You can track the progress of your application at My Extension.

Is there an application fee for the certificate program?

Current application or certificate enrollment fees, if any, are listed under the “Apply Now” button on the certificate page on our website.

Can I register for the certificate program at any time?

Yes, you may enroll in the program at any time. However, it is recommended that you enroll as soon as possible. The program curriculum may be updated at any time; if certificate requirements change, you must adhere to the curriculum at the time of your enrollment into the certificate. Enrolling in the certificate also gives you access to quarterly, personalized enrollment reminders from the program manager.

Can I take a course without registering for the certificate?

Yes, you may take any course in this program except for the final capstone portfolio course without registering for the certificate, provided you have fulfilled any and all prerequisites for the course.

When should I enroll in my class(es)?

We recommend enrolling as soon as possible. Many of our core certificate courses will fill up before the course start date. 

Each quarter we also offer an early enrollment discount of $25 on select courses if you enroll by the discount deadline. 

How do I enroll in a class?

To enroll in a class, click on the class link in the course matrix above and that will take you to the specific class page. On the class page you can find additional details about the course such as start date, time, classroom number, instructor and textbook info.  To enroll click on “Add to Cart” which will lead you to complete the registration/payment process. You can also register over the phone with Student Services at 858-534-3400.

Why was my enrollment in a course blocked?

Enrollment in a class may be blocked in the following situations: The class is closed (see FAQ on when enrollment closes). OR The class is at capacity. If the class is at capacity you will only be able to join the waitlist. Students on the waitlist are contacted in the order they joined the waitlist. OR The class is cancelled due to low enrollments. OR The class has prerequisites that the student has not completed yet. If you feel that you have fulfilled the prerequisites, please contact unex-digital@ucsd.edu. OR You are attempting to enroll in our capstone UX Portfolio course without permission. Our capstone UX Portfolio course requires that students reach out to unex-digital@ucsd.edu prior to enrolling.

What are the grading options?

When students enroll in a class they are given three grading options: Letter grade, Pass/No Pass, or Not for Credit. Students taking a class as part of a certificate need to complete their classes for credit (i.e. Pass/No Pass or Letter grade) and receive a C-/Pass or higher grade.

Grades below a C-, No Pass, and Not for Credit do not count towards certificate requirements.

When is the refund deadline?

The refund deadline for courses is typically six (6) days after the first class meeting. This allows students to attend the first class meeting to determine if the class is a good fit for them. The exact refund deadline for each section is listed in the section notes.    

What are the attendance and participation requirements?

Students are expected to attend all class meetings, participate in class, and complete all homework assignments. Attendance is factored as a part of students’ final grades, and varies by instructor. Typically students can miss one class meeting without it impacting their final grade as long as they still complete their homework. Students who miss a class meeting should always reach out to their instructor regarding late work and homework.

When will I have access to my online information session or course?

You will have access to the online Canvas class on the official start date of the class/exam/info session.  Access will be available at 12:01am Pacific Time.

Enrollment to online classes can take up to 24 hours to process and sync up to our online classroom platform, Canvas. For example, if a class started on Tuesday and that is the day a student enrolled, they will likely not have full access to the class until 24 hours later on Wednesday.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?

Each student has their own learning style so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in-class. For online courses, students should plan to spend approximately 8-10 hours per week viewing lectures and completing coursework.

How are online classes formatted?

Online courses will be asynchronous. Students do not need to meet at a specific time online, but will need to log in each week to view the lessons, participate in course discussion, and complete and submit coursework.

What are the instructors’ credentials?

The program courses are taught by seasoned professionals and overseen by an advisory board of leaders in the field. You can view the advisor list under the “Advisors” section on the certificate page. You can find information about a course instructor, including a biography and credentials, on the course page.

How do I communicate with a course instructor if I have a question during the course?

Each instructor has his/her own preferred method of communication and response policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus. However, most instructors utilize email or the discussion board and will respond within 24-48 hours.

How long is each course?

Three unit courses run for approximately 9 weeks; four unit courses run for approximately 10 weeks. For exact course dates of upcoming sections, visit the webpage of the course you are interested in taking on our website.

Where are the classes held?

All of our in-class courses are held at our La Jolla Extension complex or at our University City Center location. For directions, visit https://extension.ucsd.edu/maps 

Online coures are held on the online platform Canvas.  

Do I need to pay for parking?

If your class is located at our La Jolla campus and takes place on a weeknight, you will need to pay for parking. No parking permit is required at our University City Center (UCC) location.

We recommend purchasing a quarterly night parking permit (~$43). If you are taking a 9-10 week class it is more affordable to buy this permit rather than use the hourly permit machines ($3 per hour). Quarterly night permits can be purchased online at: http://ow.ly/DnTP302mth0. Parking on weekends is free.

What class materials are used in my course?

Materials and software requirements vary by course. For details, check the course page.

Can I transfer in any courses?

Students can transfer in up to two courses that match the content of our required courses. Please email unex-digital@ucsd.edu for more information about the transferability of previously completed courses.

Are these classes transferable?

UC San Diego Extension is not a degree granting institution, however many UC San Diego Extension courses can be transferred to other colleges or universities.

The transferability of credit is determined solely by the receiving institution. Students should discuss how your individual courses will transfer with the Office of the Registrar at the receiving institution prior to enrolling.

Quarter to Semester Unit Conversion

If the receiving institution operates on a semester system, credits will be converted to semester hours during their evaluation. As a general rule, quarter credits are converted to semester credits by dividing the number of quarter credits by 1.5. For example, if the student completed a course worth 4 quarter credits at UC San Diego Extension, the course would be worth 4 ÷ 1.5 = 2.66 semester credits.

I am in high school. Can I take any of these courses?

If you are interested in taking courses at UC San Diego Extension, you will need to obtain written approval from your school principal or counselor. The approval must be signed and printed on school letterhead, and must be included with your registration. If you are homeschooled, your approval needs to be signed by your contact in your local school district. More details are on our Registration Policies and Procedures page, or you can contact our Student Services team at unex-reg@ucsd.edu or 858-534-3400.

Additional questions?

For questions regarding our classes and certificates, please contact us at unex-digital@ucsd.edu or 858-534-5760.

Advisory Board

Reid Carr

CEO

Red Door Interactive

Kara DeFrias, M.Ed.

Former Director of Experience Design

Obama White House

Jessica Hilt, B.A.

Manager of Applications Development

UC San Diego

Ben Katz, B.A.

CEO

JSX and ISPolitical

Scott Klemmer

Assoc. Professor, Co-Director

UC San Diego Design Lab

Lindsay Matheson

UX Research and Strategy Lead

Raken

Jesse Mellon

Creative Manager

NST Public Relations

Brian Murken, B.S.

Developer, CEO

Murken Media

Donna Sandsmark

Supervisor

NetSuite Consulting

Kristian Secor, Ed. D

Web Developer, Instructor

UC San Diego Extension

Jeremy Wiles

User Experience Architect, Campus Web Office

UC San Diego

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.