UX design promises a solid career to anyone with the skills and determination to succeed. Ranked among the 50 best jobs in 2022, a UX designer role can be equally rewarding and challenging. Today, we'll be discussing some of the best schools to learn UX design.

To excel at UX design, you need to build your expertise in design thinking, user research, prototyping, interaction design, and computer graphics technology. Beyond your technical aptitude, your knack for communication, creativity, and project management is another decisive factor for your success. 

While there’s no shortcut to building this skill set, enrolling in one of the best schools for UX design can accelerate your growth. We reviewed nine of the best UX design schools to help you make an informed choice. 

Bonus tip: if you don’t have the time or resources to invest in a college degree, Uxcel is the perfect platform to start or scale your UX career. We’ll show you how.  

  1. Purdue Polytechnic Institute
  2. Uxcel
  3. Parsons School of Design
  4. Austin Center for Design
  5. CareerFoundry UX Design Program
  6. Pratt Institute
  7. University of California San Diego
  8. UX Design Institute
  9. MIT Media Lab

First, let’s look at a few key factors to consider before making this decision. 

How to find a UX school that works for you

The variety of UX design programs—each with its own USPs—can make it incredibly difficult to choose the best option for you. Knowing your preferences is one way to ensure you make the right decision. 

Once you’re clear about what you want from a UX design program, you can shortlist and weigh your options against these parameters:

Remote vs. in-person UX design programs

The first factor to consider is the medium of learning that works for you—remote or in-person. This is a subjective choice and depends on the time you can devote to the degree as well as your ability to travel. 

In-person programs are suitable for a more hands-on learning environment to work in teams and gain more exposure. It also creates better opportunities for networking among peers and participating in activities across campus.

Online UX design courses are ideal if you're more comfortable learning remotely to balance your time between work and the course. Remote education gives you more flexibility to learn in a comfortable environment while managing your schedule. It's also a great option to work with a global cohort without bearing the costs of relocation and living in another country. 

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Accredited vs. non-accredited UX schools

Accreditation is another crucial factor when shortlisting UX design schools. 

Accredited schools have verified standards for the quality of education they deliver. These design programs follow approved practices for student experience, learning pedagogy, and integrity to maintain a high level of academic excellence. 

Accredited schools are ideal for aspiring UX designers looking to launch their careers in the industry. UX design Master's programs at such a school will be a hallmark of excellence. 

On the other hand, non-accredited schools deliver a similar quality of education and tend not to differ starkly from accredited institutions. Since most employers don’t ask for an accredited certificate, this can be a good choice if you’re working with a limited budget, know employers value ability over accreditation, and already have experience in the tech industry. 

UX course intensity

The time you can devote to learning also plays a key role in choosing an ideal design school. If you have enough time to learn user experience design in a formal learning environment, a Master’s degree of 1-3 years is a good choice. 

You can go for an MS degree in specializations like human-computer interaction, human-centered design, or similar UX design graduate programs. Most universities don't require a Bachelor's coursework in UX design. So, you can get in irrespective of your prior academic background. 

However, a UX Bootcamp would be a better option if you're short on time and need a faster learning opportunity. These bootcamps are project-focused and offer a flexible, self-paced path to learning. 

Cost vs. quality of UX design programs 

You need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to choose the best UX design course for your needs. A program can promise the highest quality education with more benefits than any other school. However, you can’t enroll for it if it's outside your budget.

The key is to set your budget and establish your learning needs before you start shortlisting design schools. This way, you can pick courses that align with your budget and match most of your quality benchmarks. To make your final choice, you can perform a cost-benefit analysis for all shortlisted schools. 

Flexibility vs. intensity

Every UX design school has a unique curriculum, mode of delivery, and learning criteria. If you're pursuing a graduate degree alongside a full-time job, you should go for less intensive programs with greater flexibility in learning. Look for courses with an element of self-paced learning. 

However, if you're starting from scratch or want to return to a formal learning environment, a full-fledged degree program with intensive learning is the best choice. 

Now that you know what to look for in your ideal UX design schools, let's break down our nine best schools for UX design in 2022.

9 Best Schools for UX Design for 2022

For every school, you'll find all the necessary details about the course(s) to pursue, the learning format, and what kind of UX design students it's ideal for. 

1. Purdue Polytechnic Institute: best for multiple specializations

Purdue University is among the top-rated US universities with various degree programs for UX design students, like a Master’s degree in Computer Graphics Technology. The school offers learning in a studio environment emphasizing project-based learning. 

You can choose between two different types of studios: Experience Studio and Learning Studio. The latter equips you with hands-on skills in user research, problem framing, visual design, data visualization, and prototyping. You can use these skills in a real-world setting and work on client projects in the Experience Studio. 

Who is this school designed for?

This school is ideal for future UX designers aiming to build their technical skills from scratch and create a solid profile to enter the job market. The school promises several paths for a UX design career with roles like user experience architect, UX developer, interaction designer, and more. 

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

This program can offer core UX design skills, like:

  • User research 
  • Problem-framing
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing 

You can also expect to gain practical experience and industry exposure by working on real-time client projects. 

  • Price: $22,812 for Indiana residents, $41,614 for nonresidents, and $45,954 for international students
  • Duration: Two years‍
  • Formats Available: In-person

2. Uxcel: Best for learning at all levels

Uxcel is a modern learning platform for UX designers to learn new skills, test these skills, and get certified. The platform offers a wide range of learning programs on various aspects of UX design, such as design accessibility, mobile development, wireframing, typography, and more. 

The platform gives you complete ownership over your learning goals and methods with flexible, self-paced courses. You can select any course based on the difficulty level and enroll for free. 

You'll find a detailed overview of every course, with details on:

  • Course description
  • Syllabus with individual modules
  • Course creators and experts
  • Learner reviews
  • Similar courses 

Not only that, you can also improve your skills by taking up challenges. These are mini-courses containing multiple exercises that you have to finish in a given timeline. 

Who is this school designed for?

Uxcel is one of the most convenient UX design schools for the global design community. Whether you're new to the field or have decent experience in the industry, Uxcel empowers you to hone your skills through interactive design courses. 

The best part? You’ll find carefully curated learning paths for three key roles in the design industry:

These start-to-finish courses will teach you every essential skill to start and scale your career in these individual roles. You can also browse our detailed guide on starting your UX career to choose the best courses. 

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

Uxcel has a library of 16 UX design programs including, but not limited to, lessons on:

On top of these courses, the platform also offers multiple UX skills tests to assess your skills. Each assessment includes skill-building resources to ace the test. You’ll find assessments for topics like:

These assessments are available for various soft and technical skills and commonly used UX design tools like Maze, Sketch, and Adobe XD. Once you clear these tests, you become a part of the Uxcel verified program, earning a badge for your profile. This badge sets you apart from the pool of candidates and increases your chances of getting hired.

You can also create your profile on Uxcel and apply for relevant jobs. Uxcel’s job board is among the best UX design job boards where applicants can transparently convey their expectations to recruiters and land jobs quickly. 

  • Price: Starter plan at $0 and Pro plan at $8/month paid annually
  • Duration: Flexible ‍
  • Formats Available: Remote

Looking to grow your UX skills, take skill-specific assessments, and build a profile that lands you your ideal UX position? Start with assessing your UI/UX skills and becoming a verified designer for free.

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3. Parsons School of Design: Best for advanced UX professionals

Parsons School of Design is the number one design school in the US, according to the QS World Rankings 2021. The Master's in Fine Arts program in Design and Technology (DT) is the best program for prospective UX designers. 

The studio-based curriculum blends innovative research and critical thinking with interdisciplinary learning. Graduate students enrolled in the Design and Technology program can collaborate with others in Communication Design and Data Visualization programs. 

Who is this school designed for?

Parsons is a niche design school for students interested in understanding the intersection of various design fields, computing and digital media. 

The MFA in Design and Technology course combines design education with hands-on learning. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects with the school’s external partners, like The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The MFA program equips you with essentials skills to excel in various domains:

  • Mobile and application design
  • New media art
  • Motion graphics
  • Digital filmmaking
  • Human-centered design
  • UI and UX design

You can also pursue a design practice working toward social justice issues. 

  • Price: $27,540 per semester
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Formats Available: In-person

4. Austin Center for Design: Best for weekend availability

Austin Center for Design is a non-profit educational institution considered one of the best UX design schools. The school aims to empower its community of designers through affordable programs, small cohort-based batches, and interactive systems for learning. 

The school empowers its graduate students with a strong foundation in various complementary fields like design strategy, product management, and social entrepreneurship. Its Interaction Design & Social Entrepreneurship course follows a rigorous six-day schedule to equip students with the must-have design skills to solve complex real-world problems. 

Who is this school designed for?

The school is designed for students interested in exploring the cross-section of design, technology, and social work. It includes a cohort of only 15 students with a faculty of renowned thought leaders and design experts. The course also focuses on multi-platform design systems.

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

This year-long course will help you hone skills like:

  • Synthesis and interpretation
  • Storyboards and wireframes
  • Complex system diagramming
  • Service design blueprinting

It will prepare you to advance your career as a UX designer, product developer, or social entrepreneur. 

  • Price: $16,000
  • Duration: One year
  • Formats Available: In-person

5. CareerFoundry UX Design Program: Best for asynchronous learning

CareerFoundry’s UX Design Program holistically prepares you for a career in UX with personalized mentorship, practical projects, and specialized modules. This job-focused program also gives you the benefit of learning at your own pace.

One of the best UX design programs, it includes four main modules: 

  • Introduction to UX
  • UX Immersion
  • A specialization course (UI design, frontend development, and voice UI design)
  • A job preparation course

Even though it’s an asynchronous course, you’ll get on-demand access to a mentor with a few intermediate deadlines to complete the program in 10 months. 

Who is this school designed for?

The program is specifically designed for beginners. If you're looking to break into user experience design, you can gain solid industry knowledge and build a specialized skill set with this flexibly-paced course. Besides, the program is also a good fit for people who want to balance learning with other obligations. 

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The school will help you secure a job within six months of completion. At the end of the program, you’ll have a professional portfolio and projects to show for your experience. It’ll also offer job-oriented skills and tools to ace your career in UX. 

  • Price: $7,505-$7,900
  • Duration: 5-10 months
  • Formats Available: Remote

6. Pratt Institute: Best for students from a liberal arts background

Pratt Institute’s School of Design offers four undergraduate and graduate degrees to teach students the multifaceted potential of design. The school aims to use design as a force for building a sustainable and more inclusive world. 

You’ll find design programs in multiple specializations, including Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Communication Design. However, the Master’s program in Information Experience Design (IXD) is best-suited for UX designers. It takes a research-intensive and human-centered approach to teach design thinking and technology. 

Who is this school designed for?

This coursework is designed for students from diverse academic backgrounds. You don't need a UX design degree to enroll in the IXD program. Since the course is UX-focused, it's meant for individuals with a prior interest in digital product design, human-centered design, and user experience design. 

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The IXD program promises high-level skill-building in five key areas:

  • Research on human factors of design
  • Communication and storytelling
  • User centered design tools
  • Experience design 
  • Ethical practice 

By the end of the program, you’ll have a strong portfolio for various roles like usability analysts, UX designers, and interaction designers.

  • Price: $350 per semester
  • Duration: 2-3 years
  • ‍Formats Available: In-person

7. University of California San Diego: Best for remote and hybrid learning

University of California San Diego (UCSD)’s Division of Extended Studies offers great user experience design programs with flexible learning modes. The specialized certificate course on User Experience Design gives students practical skills in UX principles and techniques to launch their careers in the field. 

The certificate program is available in two formats: online and in-person. The program includes instructor-led classes spanning 15-21 months. Online students can complete the course as per their schedule. 

Who is this school designed for?

The UX Design certificate program is ideal for beginners in the field. It introduces you to the core principles of UX design and branches into various electives like programming languages, web analytics, UX metrics, and UI design. 

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The program teaches you technical skills in UX design, such as:

  • User research
  • Data collection
  • Human-computer interaction program

It prepares you to enter the UX job market with a good portfolio. However, junior designers can also enroll in this program to sharpen their skills and seek better roles. 

  • Price: $5400
  • Duration: 15-21 months
  • ‍Formats Available: Remote and in-person

8. UX Design Institute: Best for diploma and certification

UX Design Institute enables UX professionals to maximize their potential through top-notch design courses and certification programs. The platform is among the best UX design schools offering skill-oriented courses created by globally recognized experts. 

You can pursue professional diploma courses to learn UX design from start to finish regardless of whether you have a background in software engineering or computer science. Or you can complete short courses and certificates to hone specific skills and build a better portfolio. All learning happens remotely in a self-paced mode.

More importantly, every course meets international educational standards and is credit-rated by Glasgow Caledonian University.

Who is this school designed for?

The school is designed for UX professionals with a proven track record in the field. They can pursue diploma and certificate courses to enhance their skill set and add more weight to their profiles. The courses are designed for university students and professionals working in full-time/part-time roles with a focus on an asynchronous and self-paced learning style.

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The certifications and diploma programs at the UX Design Institute equip students with transferable skills to secure their dream roles in the industry. Enrolling in these programs also helps you network with a community of learners and interact with like-minded individuals. 

The diploma courses offer a more well-rounded learning experience than short, fast-paced bootcamps. 

  • Price: €2,950
  • Duration: 6 months‍
  • Formats Available: Remote

9. MIT Media Lab: Best for a variety of courses

MIT Media Lab is among the world's leading research organizations focusing on interdisciplinary and diverse disciplines. Students in the Media Arts & Sciences (MAS) school can choose from over 30 undergraduate and graduate degrees in various specializations like human-computer interaction (HCI), design entrepreneurship, experimental psychology, and communication. 

Who is this school designed for?

This school is better suited for advanced professionals with prior experience in the field of UX design. With its core focus on research and innovation, MAS school admits students with demonstrated experiences in human-computer interaction and design.

What skills and qualifications can you expect to learn here?

The graduate programs available at MAS can teach students skills in various domains like 

  • Computer graphics technology 
  • Visual arts 
  • Creative technology

Once enrolled at MAS, you’ll become a part of a global community of researchers and designers, gaining exposure in several industries. 

  • Price: Fully-supported programs
  • Duration: NA
  • Formats Available: In-person

That’s a wrap on our list of the nine best UX design programs you can consider—here’s a quick summary.

Start your career path with these UX design programs

If you’re building a career in UX design, learning should never stop—whether you’re a rookie or an advanced professional. Honing your skills, learning new ones, and solidifying your industry knowledge can open the doors for better opportunities. 

With this round-up of the nine best schools for UX design, you’re all set to draw a roadmap for further education and unlock new skills. 

If you’re looking for a convenient and trusted design school, check out Uxcel's extensive selection of courses to learn new skills and finish assessments and challenges to validate your skills.