10 Best Schools for UX Design [2023 Career Guide]

Sakshi GuptaSakshi Gupta | 10 minute read | November 16, 2022
Best Schools for UX Design

In this article

Whether you’re paying bills or playing games, the world has gone digital. But what often separates a good product from a bad one isn’t the hardware itself—oftentimes, it’s the digital interface and the user experience (UX) that these devices provide. UX designers imagine and build the digital interfaces we use every day, and because a good UX can make or break a digital product, they’re in increasingly high demand. 

The UX designer role features in Glassdoor’s top 50 best jobs in America for 2022 and PayScale’s top 100. It is also on Indeed’s list of high-paying careers, with thousands of opportunities projected to open up in the next few years. If you’re looking to start or transition into a career in UX design, there’s no time like the present. 

So if you’re an aspiring UX designer, you may be wondering: What qualifications do I need, and where do I get those from? That’s why we’ve written this blog post. Below, we’ll detail the ten best UX design schools that will help you kickstart a career in the field.

How Important Is a UX Design Course for Your Career?

While UX design jobs often don’t require a formal qualification, teaching yourself UX design can be challenging. A good UX design course will help you structure your learning while giving you hands-on experience, mentorship, and a community of fellow learners. All of this will help accelerate your learning.

Should You Choose an Accredited or Non-Accredited UX Design School?

When making hiring decisions, potential employers focus more on your skills and experience rather than the accreditation of your UX design school. Therefore, either type of school is okay, as long as it aligns with your career goals, helps build the skills you need, and helps you transition into a UX design career.

Best Schools for UX Design

Here are our rankings for the best UX design schools:

Springboard: UI/UX Design Bootcamp

best schools for ux design- springboard

Rating

  • Course Report: 4.63 
  • Indeed: 4.4
  • Career Karma: 4.6 
  • Switchup: 4.69

Format

100% online classes structured across nine months on a flexible schedule. The course also includes 40 hours of industry design project, a week-long design sprint and weekly 1-on-1 calls with a design mentor.

Overview

The Springboard UI/UX Design Career Track is a comprehensive online course designed to help you build a versatile skill set. The curriculum includes design thinking, user research, user interface design, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, and behavioral skills. As part of the course, you’ll complete four portfolio projects, including a design sprint. You’ll have 1:1 mentorship from a senior design professional throughout the course. The course also includes career coaching and a job guarantee.

Related Read: What Are the 5 Stages of Design Thinking?

Best For

The only prerequisites for this program are an eye for good visual design and the ability to empathize with the user. This makes it best for anyone—with or without a background in design—interested in pursuing a career in UX.

Duration

This nine-month course is designed to be taken part-time, dedicating 15-20 hours a week.

Prices Starting From

When you pay upfront, the course is priced at $11,900. There are also options to pay monthly or defer tuition fees until you find a job. 

Austin Center for Design (One-Year Immersive)

Austin Center for Design (One-Year Immersive)

Rating

N/A

Format

Full-time in-person classes at Austin, Texas. Classes are typically held in the evenings on weekdays and during the day on Saturdays.

Overview

The one-year UX design immersive offered by the Austin Center for Design is a full-time interaction design and social entrepreneurship program. The curriculum, delivered over four quarters, includes research, prototyping, testing, business design, and creative leadership modules. Each quarter also has a theory module for social entrepreneurship and a studio module for practical learning.

Best For

As an immersive program, students are expected to have an interest in and a proven track record with art, design, business, social work, or technology. However, no formal qualification or degree is necessary. Professional work experience can be a bonus.

Duration

This is a 9-month program split into four quarters of 8 weeks each, with a 1-week break between quarters. Students are expected to spend 40+hours a week on the program.

Prices Starting From

The program costs $16,000 plus a $50 application fee. Alternative payment plans and scholarships are available.

George Brown College (Interaction Design Program)

best schools for ux design- green brown college

Rating

  • IDP: 4

Format

Three years full-time advanced diploma program delivered in a hybrid model. 

Overview

This advanced diploma in interaction design is a comprehensive program in user experience, interface development, and graphic design with coding fundamentals. The curriculum includes 2D and 3D visualization, information architecture, usability testing, cognitive ergonomics, communication design, branding and marketing strategy, physical interfaces, and human-computer interaction. 

Best For

High school or diploma graduates with a keen interest in the full interaction design process. 

Duration

This is a full-time advanced diploma program lasting three years divided into six semesters. 

Prices Starting From

The course cost starts from $8,607 for domestic students. Financial assistance is available for people meeting OSAP eligibility criteria.

Careerfoundry UX Design Program

Careerfoundry UX Design Program

Rating

Format

100% online program with full-time, part-time, and flexible options. 

Overview

The Careerfoundry UX Design Program consists of three modules: Introduction to UX Design, UX Immersion, and a specialized course of your choice. In the first module, you’ll learn the foundational knowledge and skills, including user research, personas, information architecture, wireframing and prototyping, and usability testing. In the UX immersion module, you’ll get a deep dive into the practice and mindset of a professional UX designer. In the third module, you can choose a specialization from options such as voice UI design, UI for UX designers, or frontend development.

The course also offers 1:1 work with an expert mentor and tutor and tailored career coaching.

Best For

This course is open to anyone interested in UX design; no background in design or tech is necessary. 

Duration

You can take this course in 6 months, committing 30-40 hrs per week, or in 10 months working for 15-20 hrs per week. 

Prices Starting From

When you pay upfront, the program costs $7,505. They offer flexible monthly payment plans. They also provide scholarships for the first 100 women who apply.

MIT Media Lab (Media Arts and Sciences Program)

MIT Media Lab (Media Arts and Sciences Program)

Rating

  • Niche: 4

Format

Full-time masters or Ph.D. program at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Overview

The MIT Media Lab accepts around 50 master’s and Ph.D. candidates every year across computer science, psychology, architecture, material science, and more. The lab explores several themes, including human-computer interaction, communications, design, and more. You can choose from a wide range of graduate courses, including supervised independent study. 

Best For

Candidates who have academic qualifications in a related field.

Duration

The master’s program is for two years. Students will have the option to apply for a Ph.D. in their second year.

Prices Starting From

This is a fully funded program and includes a stipend, medical insurance, and tuition.

University of California – Irvine (Human-Centered Computing)

University of California – Irvine (Human-Centered Computing)

Rating

Niche: 4

Format

Mixed-format, low-residency program, with some parts delivered in-person in Irvine, California, and others online.

Overview

This one-year Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design program draws from various schools within the University of California at Irvine to develop comprehensive design education. The curriculum covers theories of human-centered design, empirical analysis, high and low-fidelity prototypes, personas, scenarios, storyboards, and effective communication. You will complete several capstone projects and build a portfolio as part of the course. 

Best For

This program requires applications to have a 4-year undergraduate degree in a related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Duration

This master’s program is conducted over one year, split into four quarters. 

Prices Starting From

This program costs $49,600, payable in four equal installments, one for each quarter.

Carnegie Mellon University (Bachelor of Science in Human-Computer Interaction)

Carnegie Mellon University (Bachelor of Science in Human-Computer Interaction)

Rating

Format

Full-time in-person undergraduate program.

Overview

This bachelor of science program in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University offers human-computer interaction as a primary major. It includes 360 units (35 courses) across computing, mathematics, statistics, functional programming, and psychology. It also offers electives in design, machine learning, animation, web application development, and human-robot interaction. 

Best For

Students looking to undertake a four-year program in human-computer interaction.

Duration

Four years, full-time. 

Prices Starting From

This course costs $80,540 for residents. Financial aid is available.

Georgia Tech (Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction)

Georgia Tech (Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction)

Rating

Niche: 4

Format

Full-time, in-person program, with classes delivered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Overview

This interdisciplinary program draws from four schools within Georgia Tech: Industrial design, interactive computing, literature, media and communication, and psychology. The curriculum is split into fixed core courses and specializations in interactive computing, digital media, industrial design, and psychology. The program also includes a master’s project and an internship in the summer after the first year of study. 

Best For

Those with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Work experience is a bonus. This program focuses on building leadership in human-computer interaction, so previous work experience is a bonus.

Duration

This master’s course lasts 18 months, spread over four semesters. 

Prices Starting From

The fees for this program are based on credit hours. This course can cost $8,875.

UX Design Institute (Professional Diploma in UX Design)

UX Design Institute (Professional Diploma in UX Design)

Rating

  • Course Report: 4.78

Format

Online, self-paced.

Overview

This is a program designed to teach the entire UX process. The curriculum includes UX research, structure and navigation, interactions, design process, mobile UX, and prototyping. It also requires you to complete 16 hands-on projects and a two-hour exam. 

Best For

Fresh graduates and career pivoters with an interest in design and the ability to commit to a minimum of five hours per week. While not necessary, a background in design or technology is a bonus. 

Duration

Six months at five hours per week

Prices Starting From

This program is priced at approximately $5,400. Monthly interest-free payment plans are available. 

Purdue University (Masters of Science in Computer Graphics Technology)

Purdue University (Masters of Science in Computer Graphics Technology)

Rating

  • Niche: 4

Format

In-person, full-time.

Overview

This is a Master of Science program in Computer Graphics Technology designed to help students prepare for leadership positions in user experience design, animation, gaming, and other related fields. The curriculum includes foundations of UX design, product lifecycle management, augmented reality, game development, data visualization, and research. Those interested in UX design can choose a specialization in the field.

Best For

Students with a bachelor’s degree in any field looking to strengthen their knowledge and skills in UX design. Work experience is a plus.

Duration

This is a two-year program spread over four semesters. However, a student has up to 5 years to complete the degree. 

Prices Starting From

Prices for non-resident students can go up to $41,614. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

Get To Know Other Design Students

Bibi Tanjasiri

Bibi Tanjasiri

Product Designer at Hatch

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Kelly Hart

Kelly Hart

UX/UI Designer at Perficient

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Pete Bruno

Pete Bruno

Product UX Designer at Service Management Group

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How Do You Choose Your UX Design Program?

Given the diversity of options available, the various curricula, fee structures, and duration, it can be a huge challenge to choose the right course for you. Before you make a decision, make a list of the factors that are important to you. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to do a college degree or a certification/bootcamp?
  • Can you study full-time, or do you need a flexible schedule?
  • Can you spare 2-3 years, or do you want to finish sooner?
  • Is mentorship/career coaching important to you?
  • Do you need scholarships or financial assistance?

Once you have your needs and career goals clearly, consider the following:

Instructor Credibility

instructors credibility

UX design is a practical field that requires interdisciplinary skills and experience to find a job. The most successful teachers tend to be practitioners with a strong presence in the industry. When choosing a course, see if the instructors have industry experience and have built successful products. Read any blogs or articles they’ve written, or watch any talks they’ve given. 

Accreditation

While employers might not demand that you have a certificate from an accredited school, it demonstrates trustworthiness if the course has one. While doing this, also check for ratings, reviews, and testimonials of alums to get a clearer idea of what to expect.

Course Structure

Not all courses in UX design are equal. Each has a different curriculum, delivery method, completion criteria, etc. For instance, some require you to attend classes at a particular time, but others offer self-paced learning. Some might be more practical, while others are research-driven. Study the curriculum and structure thoroughly before deciding.

Schedule

You can complete the UX design course only if it fits perfectly well into your schedule. So look into how long the course is and how much time commitment it expects of you. Make sure you can commit to that.

Payment Options

Upfront payment is almost always the least expensive. However, most programs offer payment options, scholarships, and discounts. Some programs, like the Springboard UI/UX Design Career Track, offer deferred tuition plans that you can pay after finding a job. 

UX Design Schools FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions. 

Should I Go to School for UX Design?

You don’t need a college degree or certification to start your UX design career. But if you’re looking for structured learning, practical experience, mentorship, and career support, it helps to go to school.

Can I Get Into UX Without an Official Course?

Yes. There are several successful self-taught UX designers. Organizations don’t particularly demand that you complete an official course. Your design skills and portfolio will hold you in good stead.

Do Companies Value UX Programs Over Experience?

No. Organizations need skilled UX designers with a track record of building successful products. You can demonstrate your skills through a strong portfolio, design samples, and case studies, without or without completing a course.

Since you’re here
If you want to work in design, you can. It’s that simple. With our UX Design Course, you’ll launch your career in design in 9 months or less – guaranteed. Browse our free UX salary guide to see what you could be making

Sakshi Gupta

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Senior Associate Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer and has experience working in the Indian and US markets.