User Experience (UX)/User-Centered Design

User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.

This interdisciplinary certificate unites computer science, engineering, psychology, statistics, art, and design to focus on user experience and culturally relevant solutions to problems. User research, human centered design and design ethics are emphasized so students have the sharpest possible insights to approach problems. Students will be introduced to the core mechanics of design (research, ideation, prototyping, testing and iterating, and presenting) from multiple disciplines.

Students who enroll in this certificate will:

  • Apply understanding of multiple research methods to user experience design in academic and industry settings
  • Contrast past and current technology developments and media and their impact on shaping society (current and future)
  • Understand elements of user experience in order to prototype a concept or apply an iterative design process
  • Complete a capstone experience that includes applying key concepts and working in a collaborative group

This certificate program is advised by:

Interested students should apply online by the spring semester of their junior year.

Certificate Requirements

Students must fulfill requirements one through four listed below and a final capstone project.

1. Concepts Introduction

  • DMST 104: Design in the Digital Age (4 credits)

2. Discovery (Research)

  • PSYC 219: Research Methods in Psychology (4 credits)
  • STAT 212: Applied Statistics I (4 credits) (valid until spring 2024)
  • STAT 180: Introduction to Applied Statistical Methodology (4 credits) (valid starting fall 2024)

3. Solutions (Design)

  • DMST 170: (Art &) Design: Design Fundamentals (4 credits) OR DMST 230: Climate Interventions: Performing Arts + New Media
  • CSC 299: Social Implications of Computing OR PHIL 120: Ethics of Technology (4 credits)

4. Implementation (Technology)

  • CSC 211: Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) (4 credits)
  • CSC 170: Introduction to Web Development (4 credits)


Students will select from one of the following experiences in their junior or senior year (may be dependent upon primary major). Final capstone projects will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary work group coordinated by the Greene Center.

  • Independent study with approved faculty member
  • Industry internship
    • View UX internship opportunities on Handshake or in your Handshake job search, filter by the job label #ux. Note that a Handshake account will be required to view the opportunities.
  • Senior design or capstone project (aligned with primary declared major)
  • Grand Challenges

Beginning fall 2023, students must submit a paragraph-length abstract detailing their capstone project idea and the role they will play in it as it relates to UX Design prior to the spring semester of their senior year.

All students must write a one-page reflection of the U/X Certificate experience upon completion of their senior year. Reflections should include the details of their capstone project and any future plans concerning work or study in the U/X field.

Interdisciplinary Work Group

Stephanie Ashenfelder (digital media studies)
Paul Funkenbusch (Hajim School of Engineering)
Ted Pawlicki (computer science)
Brad Orego '10 (computer science, psychology) (UX industry expertise)