Skip to main content

Design of User Experience Graduate Certificate

About The Program

The Design of User Experience graduate certificate is a 16-credit, online program that prepares professionals to design compelling user interfaces and digital experience. Subject matter areas include but are not limited to user experience design, design thinking, research methods, content strategy, and information architecture.

This program:

  • offers a deep understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations of user experience Immerses students in the scholarship and best practices of user experience
  • enables students to discover user goals, design prototypes, and conduct multi-faceted user research with sound methods
  • applies design thinking in constructing innovative design solutions
  • adapts various research methods for particular communication challenges
  • provides students with insights on leading and advocating for user experience in organizational contexts

Student outcomes

Students completing the graduate certificate in Design of User Experience will be able to:

  • design and conduct user research in an agile environment
  • conceptualize, build, and evaluate design solutions
  • analyze and communicate research findings to design team
  • articulate multidisciplinary concepts of user experience
  • synthesize the cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions of user experience
  • assess scholarship in user experience
  • appreciate and advocate for user experience in product design, business decisions, and change making


How to enroll

Program eligibility requirements

  • Bachelor's degree earned from an accredited institution (or a foreign equivalent)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Basic digital literacy

International Students

Because this is not a degree-granting program, applications from international students studying on an F-1 student visa will not be accepted. However, international students may complete the certificate online without traveling to the United States. In such cases, international students must meet the criteria above and present evidence of language proficiency. We accept TOEFL scores of at least 550 (PBT) or 213 (CBT) or 80 (IBT) and IELTS scores of at least 6.0.

International Students

This is not a degree-granting program, therefore applications from international students studying on an F-1 student visa cannot be accepted into this program.

Application instructions

Metro State University is participating in the common application for graduate programs (GradCAS). Applications are only accepted via the CAS website.

CAS steps

  1. Select the term for which you are seeking admission (below), and navigate to the CAS website. Open applications include:
  2. Create or log in to your account and select the Design of User Experience Graduate Certificate program.
  3. Carefully review all instructions and complete all four sections of the application.

Specific application requirements for individual programs can be found on each program page in CAS. Carefully read the instructions that appear throughout the application pages. You can only submit your application once. If you need to update information you have submitted, please notify

Application fee

A nonrefundable $38 fee is required for each application.
Applications will not be processed until this fee is received.

Active-duty military, veterans, and Metro State alumni can receive an application fee waiver. Contact

Courses and Requirements


Academic Standing

You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain in the certificate program. Only courses for which you receive a letter grade of C (2.0) or better count toward certificate requirements; and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. If you receive a letter grade of C+ or below in any graduate course, you will be placed on academic probation. If you receive a letter grade of C+ or below in two courses, or if your cumulative GPA is below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters, you will be dismissed from the graduate certificate program.

If you have been dismissed from the program for unsatisfactory academic progress, you may apply for readmission after one calendar year has passed. To reapply, submit an updated resume and a letter to the Design of User Experience Graduate Certificate Program indicating what circumstances have changed and how you plan to successfully complete the program. The program faculty review your request and respond in writing.

Only courses in which you receive a letter grade are applied toward your certificate. The option of a competence/no competence with a narrative transcript is not available.

Appeal of Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Removals from the Program

If you are removed from the program for unsatisfactory academic progress, you may appeal the removal to the College of Liberal Arts dean. The appeal must be in writing, and it must provide specific grounds for the appeal. The appeal is due to the dean within 30 days of the date of the letter notifying you of the decision to remove you from the program. The dean has 30 days to respond, in writing, to the appeal. Appeals received after 30 days will not be considered.

Time to Completion

You have two years from your first semester of graduate study to complete your certificate program requirements. You may request an extension of the time limit by writing to the Design of User Experience Graduate Certificate Program. Such requests must be received prior to the expiration of the time limit. Requests for extensions should include your reason(s) for requesting the extension, a summary of your plan to finish graduation requirements, and a specific date for the extension to expire. Extension decisions are made by the certificate program faculty and are not automatic.

Reactivating into the Program

If you are a student in good academic standing who has not registered for courses for three or more consecutive semesters, you must apply to reactivate into the certificate program. To reactivate, submit an updated resume and a letter to the Design of User Experience Graduate Certificate Program expressing a desire to reactivate into the program. The faculty review your request and respond in writing, specifying certificate completion requirements and deadline for completion. You may be required to satisfy certificate requirements in force at the time of reactivation, even if those requirements differ from those in force at the time of original admission to the certificate program.

Requirements (16 credits)

+ Required courses (12 credits)

This course focuses on usability and user experience for technical and information products. Students learn concepts, principles, processes, and methods of usability and user experience. Students work in teams and conduct a usability study systematically to improve an information product. Topics also include usability in business and organizational settings, usability workflow and governance. Students will also interact with user experience professionals.

Full course description for Usability and User Experience

This course introduces students to designing, conducting, communicating, and evaluating user research. Students learn to form and investigate a research question, examine existing literature, use a wide array of methods, conduct effective user research, make design recommendations, and communicate research findings.

Full course description for User Research

+ Elective (4 credits)

Choose one of the below

This course provides students with techniques and strategies to work on complex business problems while exercising strong critical thinking skills. It also helps them develop potential solutions. This course then focuses on how to take the results of students' professional work and present complex material in a manner that helps them clearly explain and market their information.

Full course description for Problem Formulation and Data Presentation

This course is designed to provide an introduction to Learner Experience Design, which brings together principles of design and learning to create effective interactive training and learning experiences. The course draws on fields such as instructional design, user experience design (UXD), and learning and development. Students learn concepts and techniques to prepare them to analyze learners and learning situations and to choose appropriate strategies in order to create interactive, engaging, and effective learning experiences

Full course description for Foundations of Learner Experience Design