The St. Edward’s degree in User Experience Design equips you with the creative, technical and communication skills to enter a career in a fast-growing industry.
St. Edward's is one of a handful of universities to offer a four-year undergraduate degree in the emerging field of User Experience Design and takes advantage of its location in Austin to offer career-building internships and professional connections.
User Experience Design, often referred to as UX, sits at the intersection of design, technology and innovation. UX seeks to understand how people search for information and interact with digital tools to design more intuitive, easy-to-use products — both digital products, like apps, websites and software, and other processes and systems.
You should consider a career in UX if you have both an artistic and technical mindset and enjoy working in teams to build new digital products that improve people’s lives.
Key UX Program Courses
Key courses in the St. Edward’s UX program are taught online, giving you useful experience in the digital space where you’ll be working. This format also prepares you to communicate and carry out teamwork in an industry where remote teams are common and in a post-pandemic world where virtual collaboration is the norm.
Your classes will teach you to design prototypes, conduct user research, carry out usability tests and learn basic coding. You’ll also build strong communication skills through liberal arts courses in psychology, communication, business and sociology. You’ll learn how to listen, negotiate compromise, understand different cultural expectations, and develop deep empathy — all skills that are essential to being a good designer. This combination of relational abilities and practical experience will prepare you to enter a career in a field that’s in demand in Central Texas.
For more information about the User Experience Design major or minor, please contact Hollis Hammonds, chair of the Department of Visual Studies.
What do our graduates do?
As a UX designer or researcher, you’ll be ready to join any size of team, from a startup to a small boutique design studio to a large, multinational company. All industries hire UX professionals, especially information technology, software, finance, insurance and consulting. You may work on websites, software products, mobile applications or artificial intelligence products — or you could help any organization seeking to improve its process and better serve its clients.
- Senior experience designer at Accomplice in Austin
- UX/UI designer at USAA
- UX designer and researcher at Visa
- Digital creative designer at James Avery Artisan Jewelry
- Interactive production designer at Houndstooth Studio
50 Alumni Who Inspire
St. Edward’s University counts more than 25,000 alumni around the globe. Some are making their mark in the job they started right after graduation. Others have excelled in multiple careers. Read about how they’re all building on the education they received at St. Edward’s.
The Classroom & Beyond
Your courses will incorporate plenty of hands-on experiments and application. In your studio classes, you’ll work in collaborative teams structured like real-world, professional teams. The UX program was developed with significant input from partners in the industry — so you’ll graduate with the specific training employers want in their new hires. And, like all majors at St. Edward’s, the UX major will teach you to consider how diverse social identities influence your work, as people’s cultural backgrounds and physical abilities shape their expectations for the user experience.
- UX for Social Good teaches you to partner with a community organization and apply UX processes to address a social issue. You’ll learn how to research the issue and formulate a user-focused solution to an identified community need.
- UX Studio: Digital Spaces will give you hands-on experience creating digital products such as websites and app prototypes.
- UX Senior Studio challenges you to apply your skills and knowledge to design a self-initiated UX project. You’ll develop expertise in project management, research, problem solving, and prototyping and present your project outcomes as part of a professional online portfolio.
- Topper Studios is the digital media club. Members are involved in creating podcasts, YouTube channels, short films, music videos and comedy sketches, and helping their fellow students produce digital content. Students in Topper Studios also frequently make promotional videos for other clubs at St. Edward’s.
- The Digital Media Center in the Munday Library is a resource for creating your own content and learning new skills. Here, you can produce and edit videos, podcasts and visual design projects with the help of your fellow students. The lab is equipped with top-of-the-line computers running the latest software including the Adobe Creative Suite. It also has a group editing/podcasting room, a green screen room and a “whisper room” used for voiceovers. If you are skilled at software, hardware repair, graphic design or video editing, you can apply to work in the lab as a digital media specialist.
- The Computer Science Club helps students build their skills through events like Capture the Flag, a cybersecurity-focused programming competition.
- The St. Edward’s Maker Club attracts tinkerers and programmers who have worked on projects involving 3-D printing, soldering, programming LED strips, and creating art through programming.
- The Command G graphic design group furthers skills through studio tours, museum visits, lecture series, workshops, and bi-annual screenprinting sales.
- The Video Game Association hosts game nights – with a mix of console games, PC games, MTG, D&D and handheld games – as well as LAN parties and tournaments.
You’ll work with your faculty mentors to connect with internships at companies ranging from tech startups to large, multinational corporations.
The UX program is especially designed to serve two groups of students. The first is traditional undergraduates who want to double-major, minor, or double-minor in a related or complementary field such as Computer Science, Graphic Design, Digital Media Management, Entrepreneurship, Psychology or Writing and Rhetoric. The second group is transfer students; if you have an associate’s degree, you’ll be able to graduate in two years. If you’ve taken the Texas Common Core, you’ll be able to finish in three. The UX courses’ cutting-edge online format allows you greater flexibility in how you balance academic, work and family responsibilities.
View and download the full degree plan for the User Experience Design major (PDF).
You’ll learn from professors with expertise in graphic design, computer science, video game design, psychology, communication and art. In addition to being caring, thoughtful teachers, they have years of experience in the industry and understand the skills employers are seeking in entry-level hires.
To keep her students on the forefront of the ever-changing design profession, Professor Garza frequently pilots leading-edge technologies and pedagogical approaches, such as creating a mobile scavenger hunt to immerse students in new content, using cloud collaboration tools for a digital history project, running a Hackathon to create mobile websites, and experimenting with 3D printing.
– Kim Garza, Associate Professor of Graphic Design