New online master’s program prioritizes a user-first perspective 

Launching in spring semester of 2023, the Master of Science in User Experience (UX MS) program offers graduate students the opportunity to jumpstart their professional career in IT environments. This online and asynchronous program aims to help students become leaders in their field — training them for UX roles in design, research and project management.

The need has never been greater for professionals to understand the relationship between people and the products/applications they use. This expertise in crucial in world that is constantly generating new and improved ways to use technology. The Department of Media and Information is passionate about finding new ways to improve communication technology, and this new program will be instrumental in refining the skills of UX students.

"We’ve designed our program to support students who are seeking new opportunities in this growing field to achieve their goals and ambitions,” said Sarah Swierenga, director of the program. “Our ultimate goal is to help you build the skills and experiences you’ll need to become a UX champion in your organization. Students can enjoy a rich curriculum at their own pace with the opportunity to be mentored by accomplished industry professionals and gain a network of trusted colleagues."

This program requires 30 credits and can be completed in a one-, two- or three-year plan of study. Courses integrate the history of user experience, its evolution, the fundamentals of writing computer programs, and understanding social science concepts important for designing user interfaces. The program and its courses emphasize a “user-first” perspective, meaning it integrates knowledge of human-computer interaction with industry-relevant methods in order to prepare students for real-world experiences in the workplace.

"How we interact with technology is becoming critically important for businesses to understand, making the study of the relationship between humans and computers one of the most dynamic and significant fields of technical investigation,” said Department of Media and Information chair, Michael Stern. “The department is very proud to offer this unique, innovative, transformative UX MS program, which focuses on understanding and creating high-quality designs through human-computer interaction research and principles integrated with user-centered design, user research, usability evaluation, information architecture, information science, user interface design, interaction design, visual design, content strategy, accessibility, web analytics, and project management."

Students who are passionate about the importance of usability, accessibility and sustainability in the world of technology will especially benefit from the courses in this program. UX 835 Accessibility and Design is one of the many courses that focus on researching and designing technology that can be more inclusive to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Check out the course description for more information in addition to the other courses offered in this program.

The UX MS program will start in spring 2023. Applications are open to apply to the program now until October 17. For more information, visit the home page for UX MS to learn about requirements, courses and the application process.


By Casey Halas