Course Delivery

100% online

Total Credits

36

Approximate Cost per Credit

$725 in state
$735 out of state

Time to Completion

Graduate in as few as 24 months

Program Overview

Tech savvy, empathy and ingenuity are your strengths. Use them to create human-centered, universal designs that make your work stand out.

In Kent State’s online Master of Science in User Experience Design program, you’ll gain essential skills and advanced expertise through in-depth training and practical experience. Increase your proficiency in usability, content strategy, information architecture, user research and soft skills

Military Friendly School ‘21-22 Bronze

Program Details

Kent State’s online Master’s in UXD program is designed for busy working professionals, with the following features:

  • 36 credits, with 12 three-credit courses
  • Courses are seven weeks in length, with two courses taken sequentially each semester
  • Multiple sections of each course are offered to keep class sizes small and maximize collaboration
  • Program consists of seven core required courses (21 credit hours), four electives (12 credit hours) and a culminating requirement (3 credit hours)
  • Professional portfolio course helps you develop a digital body of work to help you find employment in a UXD role—see examples from program alumni

Once you are admitted to the program, your Admissions Advisor will craft your personalized degree plan, giving you a clear course sequence and path to graduation.­­

Meet the Faculty

Master of Science in User Experience Design

In Kent State University’s online Master of Science in User Experience Design program, you’ll learn the process, methodology and reasoning behind UX tools and techniques—and you’ll graduate with a degree and portfolio that prove it.

Program Outcomes

Students in the online MS in UX Design program will master the knowledge and craft that empower them to get to the heart of problems and build creative solutions.

Between the required courses and the electives that comprise the degree, you’ll graduate with new expertise in many of these areas, among others:

  • Methods of design evaluation, design research and creative problem-solving
  • Current research on human behavior as it applies to user experience design
  • Concepts and practices of information architecture
  • Interaction design principles and concepts
  • Processes and methods of usability testing
  • Principles of accessibility and universal design, and how they guide and influence the design of digital experiences
  • Functional philosophical, logical and linguistic fundamentals of knowledge organization systems
  • History and practices of content strategy
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods appropriate for conducting advanced studies of human interaction with computers
  • Business terms and principles for UXD leadership

View Courses

Career Outcomes with a Master of Science in User Experience Design

The Master of Science in User Experience Design degree empowers students with in-depth practical knowledge, real-world experience and the opportunity to create professional portfolios before entering the job market. As a result, our graduates are prepared to thrive in diverse careers, including:

  • User experience designer
  • User researcher
  • User interface designer
  • Information architect
  • UX/UI manager

Learn more about potential careers in user experience design.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed online application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), from an accredited university*
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Goal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission

*Students who do not meet GPA requirements may be conditionally admitted.Please contact an Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at _1 844-234-4073 for more information.

The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Schedule a Call Download Application Checklist

Important Dates

Jul
5
Priority Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
2
Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
26
First Day of Class
Fall 2021 Semester

Application Resources

Application Checklist thumbnail image

Our step-by-step application checklist will help ensure the success of your application submission.

Download Checklist

Application FAQs

Each applicant is required to create an account in the online application system, which allows people to save their applications and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at gradapps@kent.edu or by mail to:

Division of Graduate Studies
Kent State University
650 Hilltop Drive
Kent, OH 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or gradapps@kent.edu.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at intladm@kent.edu or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242
USA

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or intladm@kent.edu.

Courses

Core Courses (7 Courses, 21 Credit Hours)

UXD 60001 USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS (3 CREDITS)

Students explore the context in which User Experience Design exists and the various methods employed by designers in various fields related to design research, the generation of ideas and implementation of designs. Students are introduced to methods of design evaluation and to the conceptual framework of the related curricula.

UXD 60002 USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN IN PRACTICE (3 CREDITS)

Students learn and employ methods for engaging in creative problem solving. Introduce students to design research methods and current research on human behavior as it applies to user experience design. A core set of design deliverables are examined. Students begin to develop individual portfolio materials.

UXD 60101 INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE I (3 CREDITS)

Introduction to the fundamental concepts and practices of information architecture (IA). Students develop practical skills for comparing, analyzing, critiquing and designing information architectures. Major topics include organization, navigation, labeling, search and other core IA concepts. Students learn to create blueprints, wireframes, process flows and other documents used to communicate an information architecture design.

UXD 60102 PRINCIPLES OF INTERACTION (3 CREDITS)

This course provides students with an overview of interaction design principles and concepts. It is divided into five modules.

UXD 60103 RESEARCHING THE USER EXPERIENCE I (3 CREDITS)

Design research seeks to understand user needs, goals and tasks. Deals with research methods for human-centered design of information-rich artifacts and experiences. Covers interviews, surveys, diary studies and other methods applicable to the formative stages of the design process. Students learn to distill research findings into audience segments, user profiles, personas, scenarios and other documents that model user behavior.

UXD 60104 USABILITY I (3 CREDITS)

Provides a conceptual and practical overview of the processes and methods of usability testing, such as Think Aloud protocols, performance measurements and eye-tracking analysis. Actual usability testing is performed, using quantitative and qualitative methods and employing current and emerging software tools to facilitate data collection and analysis.

UXD 60118 ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN

This course provides learners with an understanding of the principles of accessibility and universal design, and how they guide and influence the design of digital experiences. Students also learn how to evaluate software and hardware products for accessibility. The course is divided into five modules.

In the first module, students learn about the different types of disabilities (i.e., visual, auditory, physical/motor, cognitive, temporary and environmental), and how they affect a person's interaction with technologies. Students also become familiar with assistive technologies, how people with disabilities make use of them, and what limitations they impose. The assignment for this module will be to write an accessibility and universal design justification brief for an organization. In the brief, learners will describe what accessibility and universal design are, and why the organization should begin to address it.

The second module will introduce learners to key accessibility guidelines and standards for web, mobile and hardware experiences, as well as the principles of universal design. Learners will become familiar with the guidelines and standards for designing accessible experiences for a variety of task types, including form completion, content creation and consumption, and other common web-based tasks. For the assignment learners will apply the knowledge they've gained by creating a plan for conducting an accessibility evaluation on several areas of an organization's web site.

During the third module, students will learn to perform an accessibility evaluation, and then document their findings in a manner intended to persuade an organization to address the accessibility issues they identified.

In the fourth module, learners will put principles into practice by designing an interaction following the principles of universal design.

The fifth module provides learners with the opportunity to create a comprehensive plan for incorporating accessibility into an organization's product/service design, development, quality assurance and deployment life cycle.

Electives (Choose 12 credits from the following)

HI 60414 HUMAN FACTORS AND USABILITY IN HEALTH INFORMATICS (3 CREDITS)

Provides students with the foundational principles of usability and human factors as applied to safety and quality in health informatics technology. Course readings and materials review the concepts of human factors, usability and the cognitive consequences of health information technology on clinical performance and decision making. Attention is given to the role of mobile computing in health care, as well as information visualization.

LIS 60636 KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS AND SERVICES (3 CREDITS)

Introduction to various types of knowledge organization systems, services and structures (KOS) used in the networked environment. Understanding of the functional philosophical, logical and linguistic fundamentals of KOS. Explanation of design options, features of KOS, and procedures to be used in thesaurus, taxonomy and ontology construction.

UXD 60111 INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE II (3 CREDITS)

This course will cover current topics in architecting for a changing web environment. Conceptual and technical aspects of Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications (RIA) have created the need for different types of design deliverables and usability considerations. In order to understand how to architect for Web 2.0, we must come to an understanding of what it is and how it works at least at a basic level. In addition, design tools to aid information architects are becoming more advanced and can aid IAs, making them more effective and efficient. These tools will be covered in depth.

UXD 60112 INTERACTION IN PRACTICE

This course provides students with experience planning, designing and prototyping interactions. Students will learn common interaction design (IxD) methodologies, what is expected of interaction designers, and what deliverables a designer typically provides. Students will practice interaction design by specifying content organization, hierarchy and user journeys for a mobile application in wireframe form. Students will create a functional prototype, building in the basic functionality needed for navigation and process funnels. Finally, students will test their prototypes formally. (3 Credit Hours)

Prerequisite: UXD 60001 and UXD 60002; and graduate standing.

Pre/corequisite: UXD 60102

UXD 60113 RESEARCHING USER EXPERIENCE II (3 CREDITS)

In order to design and develop effective user interfaces, task analysis process and theory are explored and applied via principles drawn from anthropology, ethnography, cognitive psychology, document and instruction systems design and marketing research. Practical techniques and methodologies are presented to improve interface design through all phases of the design process.

UXD 60114 USABILITY II (3 CREDITS)

Provides students with an understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods appropriate for conducting advanced studies of human interaction with computers. In addition, students learn how to evaluate, purchase, implement and operate equipment for usability labs in a manner consistent with research methods.

UXD 60117 UXD LEADERSHIP

The importance of user-centered design to organizational success is increasing, and user experience professionals are moving into higher level roles within their organizations. This course will teach UX professionals about leadership, followership, the ethics of design, and how to become an effective leader within an organization.

UXD 60691 SEMINAR IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (1-3 CREDITS; REPEATABLE FOR CREDIT)

Advanced research by students who are qualified to examine problems of certain special areas related to concentrations of study in user experience design.

UXD 60792 ELECTIVE INTERNSHIP IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (2-3 CREDITS)

Supervised work experience in user experience design of a professional nature of not less than 100 clock hours (for 2 credit hours) or 150 clock hours (for 3 credit hours) with directed readings and preparation of a paper.

UXD 61095 SPECIAL TOPICS IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN

Offered irregularly as resources and/or opportunities permit. Topics could include current or emerging issues in user experience design.

Culminating Requirement (Choose 3 credits from the following)

UXD 66080 PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO DESIGN AND ASSESSMENT (3 CREDITS)

Students complete the assembly and evaluation of their work throughout the User Experience Design program in the form of a professional portfolio that will be used in efforts to gain employment or freelance work. Evaluation is done through critique by User Experience Design faculty and by peers.

UXD 66092 MASTER'S INTERNSHIP IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (3 CREDITS)

Supervised work experience of an advanced professional nature that concentrates on developing skills in areas of user experience design and integrates their knowledge from all UXD courses and experiences. Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours towards the user experience design major prior to registration.

UXD 66098 MASTERS PROJECT IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (3 CREDITS)

Provides a means for the application of the knowledge, research and competencies learned through study in user experience design to the development of an information system, product, setting or service. Cumulative GPA of 3.000 is required prior to enrolling in the course. Students must have completed 30 credit hours towards the MS-UXDE program prior to registration.

UXD 66198 MASTER'S RESEARCH PAPER IN USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN (3 CREDITS)

Under the advisement of a faculty member, students will complete a research paper that serves as a culminating experience for the M.S.-UXD degree. Students must have completed 30 credit hours towards the MS-UXDE program prior to registration.

UXD 66199 THESIS I (2-6 CREDITS)

Thesis students must register for a total of 6 hours, 2 to 6 hours in a single semester distributed over several semesters if desired. Students must have completed 30 credit hours towards the MS-UXDE program prior to registration.

Develop Your Portfolio

Every UX designer needs a robust digital portfolio. As part of the Professional Portfolio Design and Assessment course, one of your options for the culminating requirement of this program, you’ll develop a portfolio highlighting projects from your coursework. To help you improve your design and presentation, you’ll present this body of work for critique by your faculty and peers.

Want examples? Check out the following projects and portfolios from our program alumni.

Monica Mielke, MS '20

Monica's portfolio takes you through an app redesign for the not-for-profit organization Animal Watch. Her work reduces the number of redirects from the application itself, and she shows her step-by-step process to improve various other aspects of the application.

View Monica's Portfolio

Preview of Monica's Portfolio

From Our Students

Kent-UXD-KendraJobes

Kendra Jobes, MS '19 Candidate

Through my various portfolio pieces, I was able to show that I've been involved in every step of the UX process.

Hear Her Story

Kelly Van Wert, MS ‘18 | UX Specialist

For this project, Kelly outlined how a company could expand their reminder app. Her portfolio covers her approach to solving the issue—from user research to wireframes to prototyping—as well as lessons she learned along the way.

View Kelly’s Portfolio

Snapshots of Kelly Van Wert portfolio

Ken Jackson, MS ‘17 | UX Designer and Product Manager

Ken’s portfolio walks you through the proposal, wireframes, personas, sitemap and prototypes he created for a Lunch Buddy App, which allows parents to manage various aspects of their children’s in-school cafeteria lunch accounts.

View Ken’s Portfolio

Snapshots of Ken Jackson’s UXD portfolio

Course Requirements

Courses are delivered through our course management system, Blackboard Learn. Course content consists of text, narrated PowerPoint presentations, video and audio, live chats, discussion groups and other learning enhancements.

To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband Internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit HourApproximate Program CostPer Credit HourApproximate Program Cost
$725$26,100$735$26,460

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $12 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For comprehensive tuition information, please refer to the tuition rates posted on the Bursar’s website.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information on tuition and fees either by email at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Schedule a Call Download Application Checklist

Immersive Online Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Practitioner Faculty

Study with experts: UXD innovators and entrepreneurs who bring current industry knowledge to their coursework.

UXD Career Potential

Graduate with the advanced degree and expertise you need to become a UX leader and desirable hire.
Admissions and Application Deadlines
Jul
5
Priority Deadline
Fall 2021 Term
Aug
2
Final Deadline
Fall 2021 Term
Aug
26
First Day of Class
Fall 2021 Term