If you are interested in improving products and services to make them easier to use, you might consider pursuing a UX design degree.
UX designers use a combination of design, technology, psychology, research, and problem-solving skills to improve the wide range of products we use every day.
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A UX designer’s role is critical in keeping consumers and customers wanting to continue their interaction with a brand’s product or their engagement in a service.
Online UX Design Degrees
User experience design degrees are beneficial for students who are interested in problem-solving, have strong attention to detail, and enjoy using design and technology together.
While the curriculum will vary by UX design school, topics frequently covered in a UX design program include:
- Graphic design
- Design theory
- Industry-specific software
- Web design
- User research
- Web development
- Business of design
- Language of design
- Multimedia design
- Fundamentals of imaging technology
Many courses are offered in a studio environment, allowing students to engage with the material in a hands-on environment and apply what they are learning in real-time.
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Successful students in this field tend to have strong critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, research, organization, and collaboration skills.UI UX design degree students can also benefit from basic coding knowledge, but it is not required for UX design.
Graduates tend to pursue a variety of roles, including:
- UX designers
- Information architects
- Technical writers
- User researchers
- Usability engineers
- Mobile app developers
Almost every industry requires customers and consumers to interact with their product or service on some level. As a result, they may require the expertise of a UX designer to enhance the user experience. These products can include devices used by hospital medical staff, self-service kiosks in stores, vehicle dashboards, mobile apps, websites, smartwatches, kitchen appliances, and more.
UX design is not limited to technology, though. It can also include a customer’s experience in a particular place and how enjoyable and easy the experience was for them.
UI UX Design Careers & Salaries
Graduates with user experience design degrees can find career opportunities in various industries, including finance, technology, healthcare, marketing, and sales. Many graduates pursue opportunities as UX designers, designing interfaces for various technologies, such as websites and mobile apps.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are the median salaries of potential careers associated with UI UX design.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$99,620|
|Special Effects Artists and Animators||$98,950|
|Web and Digital Interface Designers||$83,240|
Information architecture is another career path graduates may pursue. Information architects organize information, such as on websites, to help users quickly and easily find information. Graduates might also find careers as usability engineers.
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These professionals may work with computer hardware in addition to software and websites to improve user experience. Other career paths related to this innovative field include product manager, interaction designer, user researcher, mobile app designer, web developer, and mobile game designer.
Bachelor of UX Design Curriculum & Courses
While the courses in UI UX design degree programs will vary, listed below are some courses you may take as part of your program:
- Language of Design: This course introduces you to design ideas, projects, and topics, including iteration, visual analysis, ideation, and form and meaning-making.
- Fundamentals of Imaging Technology: You’ll develop a foundation for developing and using raster and vector images.
- Digital Video Techniques: You’ll examine how video is integrated with graphic information, with topics such as video production, planning, and post-production.
- Typography: This course introduces you to the fundamentals of typography, including typefaces, letterforms, and typographic form and structure.
- UX Design Studio: Fundamentals: You can develop essential user-centered design methods, including visual design principles, usability, and user research.
- Web Content Design: This course examines design for visual content on the internet, emphasizing user experience, coding, and content strategy.
- Sketching for Interactive Design: You’ll learn to use drawing, mapping, and types of diagramming as a visual communication method for user interactions.
- Human-Computer Interaction: This course focuses on theories and methods of designing effective user interfaces.
- UX Design Business Practices: This course introduces you to business aspects of design, including project planning and proposals, salaries, freelancing, and budgets.
- Multimedia Design, Planning, and Storyboards: You’ll examine the process of multimedia product creation, from idea generation to storyboarding and presentation.
In addition to core UI/UX design courses, bachelor programs also require the completion of general courses in areas such as English, science, and math.
UI UX Degree Admissions Requirements
While admissions requirements will vary by school, some common requirements for entry into a UX design school are listed below:
- Minimum GPA from your high school courses
- Official copy of your transcripts from high school and any college courses you’ve taken
- SAT or ACT scores (not required by all schools)
- Personal statement
In addition to the above, some programs require letters of recommendation as well as the submission of an online application and accompanying fee.
Degrees for UX Design Accreditation
As you look into options for where to earn your UX designer degree, one important factor to consider is a school’s accreditation status.
The accreditation process ensures an institution meets agreed-upon educational standards. Regional accreditation is the most accepted form of accreditation among other schools and employers. Many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from regionally accredited schools, and employers tend to look favorably at candidates with degrees from regionally accredited schools.
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You can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website to learn more about regional accreditation.
UX Design Majors Financial Aid and Scholarships
When looking into programs for user experience design degrees, you can also explore different types of financial aid that may help with the overall cost of your program. You might find scholarship opportunities available through individual schools or even qualify for reduced tuition in some schools if you meet the criteria.
Scholarship opportunities can also be found through public and private institutions. You can also seek assistance through government loans, grants, and work-study programs that offer work opportunities to help you pay for your program. Grants typically do not need to be repaid, and some, like the Pell Grant, are meant specifically for undergraduate students.
You can go to the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about grants and other financial assistance opportunities that may be available.
Is UX Design a Good Career?
Yes, UX design is a good career for many professionals. These professionals can use their skills in numerous unique, innovative, and rewarding careers. Careers in this area tend to pay higher than average salaries, and students can gain valuable skills that they can apply to various jobs. This could help increase their job security and employability.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions like web developers and digital designers are expected to grow 23% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.
Do You Need a Degree for UX Design?
A UI UX design degree will likely increase your opportunities in this specific field, but you don’t necessarily need to hold a degree focused solely on UX design. For instance, some professionals in the field of UX design have degrees in areas such as graphic design, psychology, industrial design, and computer science.
Some UX designers find employment without traditional degrees. They might instead earn certifications or learn through relevant work experience. If you are interested in a career in UX design, a degree focused on this specialty might help you advance your professional qualifications and stand out to employers.
What Is a UX Design Bachelor’s Degree?
A user experience (UX) design bachelor degree is intended to help prepare students to design products and services that provide an easy and enjoyable experience for users.
UX designers can apply a combination of design, research, psychology, and technology skills to create a range of products, from mobile apps and websites to vehicle dashboards. UI UX design degree programs focus on problem-solving and how to conduct and analyze user research to develop and assess prototype solutions to real-world problems.
What Can You Do with a User Experience Degree?
Graduates of UX design school may find employment in various careers across numerous industries, including technology, marketing, sales, and finance. Many students find careers in UX/UI design working on technology, including websites, mobile apps, and software.
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Some graduates find opportunities as information architects who categorize and organize information on apps and websites to make information easily accessible for users. Other potential career opportunities for graduates include web and digital interface designer, web developer, graphic designer, product manager, technical writer, art director, and mobile app designer.
What Skills Do You Learn in UX Design?
UI/UX design degree programs help students develop numerous skills that are applicable in a wide variety of careers.
Key skills developed and learned while earning a UI UX design degree include:
- Design theory and principles
- User-focused approach to design
- Business knowledge
- Critical thinking
Students can also learn to use industry-specific design tools and software, including Adobe Illustrator, InVision, Zeplin, and Adobe InDesign. UX design professionals continue learning new skills throughout their careers as technology develops rapidly and new design tools become available.
Does UX Design Require Coding?
Coding is not a requirement of UX design, but having a basic understanding of coding may benefit your career and improve your job performance. UX designers with some basic coding knowledge have a better understanding of what can feasibly be built and how user interfaces are developed.
Communication and teamwork are essential in UX design work. UX designers who understand coding can communicate their ideas more efficiently and effectively with other team members. Knowledge of coding can also help set you apart from the competition, showing potential employers that you bring multiple skill sets to the table.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor in UX Design Online Degree?
The time needed to complete a UI UX design degree will vary based on several factors, including the program schedule and your own schedule.
If your program follows a traditional 16 week semester and you are enrolled full-time, you can expect to take 4 years to complete your UX designer degree. If your program follows an 8 week semester and you are enrolled full-time and year-round, including during the summer, you may be able to finish in less than 4 years.
What’s the Difference Between a UX vs. UI Design Degree?
While a user experience (UX) design degree and a user interface (UI) design degree may sound similar, they are two unique degrees with some key distinctions.
|UX Design Degree||UI Design Degree|
While UI designers typically deal with designing digital products, UX design can include non-digital products and services.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in UX Design Worth It?
Yes, a bachelor’s degree in UX design is worth it for many students. While UX design is not limited to technology, the increasing use of digital interfaces that users interact with in everyday life makes it an area that is in demand now more than ever.
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According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers and digital designers are projected to see 23% job growth over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in UX Design Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The Academy of Art University offers a BFA in Interaction and UI and UX Design online. Potential courses include Introduction to Design Thinking, Design Technology: Digital Publishing Tools, and Introduction to Visual Communication. The curriculum typically incorporates hands-on projects and the opportunity to build portfolios. The program’s instructors have experience working in creative industries.
Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication – User Experience. The program requires a total of 40 credits. Each course is 7.5 weeks long. Potential courses include Principles of Visual Communication, Information Design and Usability, Principles of Technical Editing, and Human-Computer Interaction. The program also includes a capstone project.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Boise State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Innovation and Design program completely online with an asynchronous schedule. Admission is offered in the spring and fall. With the completion of the program, each student also earns a Certificate in Innovation and Design, as well as three more certificates of their own choosing.
Boise State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Lesley University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Design for User Experience. The program offers part-time and full-time attendance options with the opportunity to develop technological and graphic design skills. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning, as well as an understanding of how digital culture impacts day-to-day lives.
Lesley University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Lindenwood University offers a BFA in Art and Design with an emphasis in Web and User Experience. The program is offered both on campus and online. Courses typically include Applications for Mobile Devices, Introduction to Digital and Web Design, 3D Graphics, and Design with Photoshop.
Lindenwood is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts. The program typically includes courses such as User Interface and Experience, Digital Design Tools, and Digital Graphic Design for the Web. Courses are taught by accomplished instructors who have real-world experience in the industry.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
The University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Arts in Design Arts and Practices. The program aims to provide an interdisciplinary, project-based education. Coursework typically includes Introduction to Design Thinking, Design for Web and Devices, Introduction to Modern Design History, and Introduction to the History of Photography.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Bachelor of Science in Web and Digital Design. All courses are available online, and select courses are also available in a hybrid format. The program aims to offer hands-on experience through potential courses like Introduction to Interactive Design, Fundamentals of Digital Design, and Web and Digital Design Capstone.
UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences: Applied Data Analytics and User Experience. The program is offered in an online, asynchronous format. The curriculum can be customized to specific professional interests. Some general courses typically include Internet and Society, Database Design, and Data Analytics.
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Utah State University offers a BS in Human Experience Design and Interaction. To enhance the core curriculum and further specialize, two emphasis areas are chosen. Possible options include Game Studies, Marketing, New Venture Management, Multimedia, Culturally Responsive Design, Product Development, and Technical Communication.
The Utah State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Bachelors in UX Design Degree Online
Earning a bachelors degree in UI/UX design could help you develop versatile skills and knowledge needed to begin a career in this innovative field.
Many careers in this field—including web developers, digital designers, and software developers—are on a strong growth trajectory over the next decade. As long as there are customers for products and services, there will continue to be a need for professionals with the unique skill set to understand how to improve the user experience.
If you are interested in developing the necessary skills for a career in UX design, you can start exploring online UI UX design degrees from accredited institutions today.