LEARN THE ART & SCIENCE OF UX DESIGN

Earn your Master of Professional Studies in UX Design at MICA in 15 months.

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Program Benefits

The M.P.S. in UX Design program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is a 30-credit hour program, designed to be completed in 15 months while working full time. Students in this program explore both the design and computer science sides of the user-experience equation, while mastering the analytical, problem-solving, and design thinking skills required in today’s tech-focused marketplace.
Accelerated Online Format

Designed for working professionals, this program is offered primarily online and is completed in 15 months.

Key Skills for a Growth Market

Learn the skills employers are seeking, as job opportunities and salaries in the UX Design market continue to grow.

Unique Student Experience

Small class sizes allow for increased engagement, promoting collaboration with classmates and instructors.

Build your Portfolio While
Earning Your Degree

You will collaborate with your cohort in lab courses - leveraging best-in-class digital learning tools – on projects related to user design, usability, and challenges faced by professionals in the UX industry.

Focus on Networking
& Business Skills

As the industry evolves, business knowledge is necessary. This program covers topics including project management, marketing, client relations, budgeting, and the strategic planning process.

Course Sequence

UX Design is ubiquitous and essential to everything in the digital world from websites, to products, to apps. This program will give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence to excel as a UX Designer and have an impact on real world projects. Your courses will focus on analytic, problem-solving, and design skills that matter in today’s world to prepare you to thrive in the UX space. By utilizing a multi-pronged approach that places emphasis on theoretical and prototypical research and development while equally weighing the importance of application, you will leave this program with an advanced level of UX knowledge that will enable you to see any project through from start to finish.

In addition to the courses detailed below, these workshops are offered throughout the program at no additional cost:

  • Introduction to Figma
  • Advanced Figma
  • Project Management
Session
Course
Credits
Orientation
Virtual Orientation
To ensure your success in the program, students will meet virtually for a 1-day orientation where they will meet administrative staff, learn more about student services and success initiatives, and engage in community building with their cohort. In addition, students will complete an asynchronous orientation course in Canvas as a means to introduce them to the navigation of MICA’s administrative tools as well as inform them of academic services available through MICA. The content and assignments in the orientation course are designed to be an introduction to the program as well as a resource throughout the students’ time at MICA.
0
Session 1
Foundations of UX Research
Core Skills: Essentials of user research methods (interviews, screeners, competitive analysis), persona development, Otter.ai, Lookback (or other user testing/research tools)
Your first course will embolden you in your UX pursuits. Through the study of various UX methods and techniques, you will be able to define and develop problem statements while learning the systematic approach to data collection and interpretation. By the end of your Foundations course, you will possess a broadened inventory of UX knowledge ranging from research methods to archetypal descriptions while building a knowledge base that you will build upon in future courses.
3
Session 1
Foundations of UX Design
Core Skills: User journeys, prototypes, usability testing, Figma

Core Skills: 

This course will focus on the application of many skills and knowledge learned in Foundations of UX Research. Topics discussed will include information architecture, interaction design, inclusivity, visual design, and usability. You will gain practical experience through the exploration of screen and page layout, organization, navigation, labeling, search, and other core concepts and techniques as you design a prototype for further development in the next course.
3
Session 2
Prototyping
Core Skills: Storyboarding, design essentials, wireframing, high-fidelity prototyping, advanced Figma
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present
Building on the ideas you learned in Foundations of UX Design, you will continue to deepen your understanding of the value and importance of prototyping within the design process. By focusing on digital experiences, you will learn how prototypes aid in the exploration, testing, and communication of design ideas. You will gain practical experience while building & testing prototypes and will be adequately prepared to present and study your prototypes through a more human-centered design lens.
4
Session 2
Utility & Usability: Human-Centered Design
Core Skills: Screener development, heuristic evaluation, laws of UX, usability testing checklists
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present

This course provides an overview of how human-centered design can increase and improve the accessibility and inclusivity of UX. You will study the nature of human-machine interactions that involve multiple modes of feedback and explore the application of human factors in the design and evaluation of user interfaces. Perception, cognition, social factors, and cognitive bias will be studied as you learn how to solve design problems using principles of user satisfaction, heuristic evaluations, and usability testing.

4
Session 3
Industry Tools: Exploration & Analysis
Core Skills: Exploration of current tools used in the design process, along with building skills in Figma (with options to use Sketch, Adobe XD, Webflow). Design sprint planning, content strategy, formative and evaluative research, interactive or motion design prototypes.
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present

Creating an elegant and fully complete interface requires a comprehensive and practical knowledge of numerous digital tools, technologies, and resources. This course has been designed to teach you the product design cycle from research and research synthesis to prototyping and validation. You will build your skills by employing industry-standard tools for managing cross-functional teams, product design, user research, data management, road mapping, and more. You will utilize these tools throughout the design process, gaining proficiency for the remainder of the program.

4
Session 3
Industry Immersive
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present

The virtual industry immersive occurs at the midpoint of the program and enables you to collaborate with your cohort and network with each other as well as industry professionals. It consists of a mix of workshops, keynotes, and hands-on activities. This two-day experience surveys concepts, tools, and techniques that promote innovation. Students engage in exercises designed to apply and test creative techniques. At the conclusion of the virtual industry immersive, students will have knowledge of and practice with a number of approaches that can be applied through the second half of the program and into their careers.

1
Session 3
Design Lab: The Industry Challenge
Core Skills: Collaboration, critique and applying feedback, agile methodology and iterative design, managing client expectations, building collaborative prototypes
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present
The best way to become prepared for the professional world is through practical experience. Working in tandem with MICA’s industry partners, you will work in collaborative teams to work on real-world problems and challenges posed by UX industry professionals. UX professionals will engage with you and your team throughout the course to provide feedback, insight, encouragement, and critical analysis as you work through projects from start to finish.
3
Session 3
UX Product Management
Core Skills: Project management (student choice of tool), pitching to stakeholders, risk assessment, begin work on capstone project
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present
Networking, marketing, budgeting, and numerous other business skills will serve you well in your UX career. This course provides foundational knowledge of these skills and others that will empower you in the professional workspace and provide you with hands-on experience using project management software. Focus will be placed on leadership, teamwork, and project risk management as you deepen your knowledge of the essentials of the UX business.
3
Session 4
Capstone, Reflection & Presentation
Core Skills: Development of case study and fully realized prototype, critique, incorporating feedback, presentation
Core Skills: Exploring types of visualizations, contextualizing data visualization in the past and present
As the final course in the MPS UXD program, the Capstone and Reflection empowers you to create a final portfolio containing a Capstone project from concept to a fully realized prototype. A faculty advisor will work closely with you to provide guidance and make suggestions as you document your design process while utilizing research and materials gathered throughout your time in the program.
4
Total Credit Hours
30

INDUSTRY IMMERSIVE AT MICA

The virtual industry immersive occurs at the midpoint of the program and enables you to collaborate with your cohort and network with each other as well as industry professionals. It consists of a mix of workshops, keynotes, and hands-on activities. This two-day experience surveys concepts, tools, and techniques that promote innovation. Students engage in exercises designed to apply and test creative techniques. At the conclusion of the virtual industry immersive, students will have knowledge of and practice with a number of approaches that can be applied through the second half of the program and into their careers.