Media contact:
Renee LeGendre
Director of Communications
Columbus College of Art & Design
[email protected]

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Columbus College of Art & Design is using its 140-plus years of creative teaching and interdisciplinary, flexible thinking to create the next evolution of user experience (UX) design education: a master’s degree rooted in human-centered design.

CCAD has launched a Master of Professional Studies in User Experience Design (MPS in UX Design) degree, currently enrolling for fall 2023. The versatile program is designed for working professionals, allowing students to enroll full- or part-time with primarily online, synchronous weekly evening classes. The program fills a need for compressed, accredited post-baccalaureate coursework that is not currently fulfilled by traditional bootcamp or certificate offerings; students in CCAD’s MPS in UX Design program can receive an accredited degree in as soon as one year, and can complete the majority of the coursework remotely.

“We are in a service-driven economy grounded in the need for people to have instant access to relevant information or services; there is an immense need for skilled UX talent, and it’s a stable, well-paying career path for new graduates or anyone looking for a career pivot,” said Dr. Jennifer Schlueter, associate provost & dean of academics at CCAD. “Through our new master’s program, CCAD is thrilled to offer a more robust, comprehensive alternative to traditional UX bite-sized training, while still providing a program that is accessible to the working professional.”

As a leader in design education, CCAD’s focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity enables the MPS in UX Design program to lean into the wider contexts of creative problem solving beyond strictly technical solutions. The program will deliver human-centered design education and expand upon CCAD’s existing UX and user interface curriculum as the demand for UX talent increases across industries. Dr. Tamara Peyton, MPS chair and associate professor of UX Design at CCAD, will spearhead the new program.

“With its laser focus on the user throughout the creation process, human-centered design will transform how we approach user experience.” said Peyton. “By merging practice in human sciences, product and service management, and digital design, human-centered design will take UX into places it’s not traditionally been, like government and social services.”

CCAD’s MPS in UX Design program will give graduates versatile skills applicable and desirable across industries, such as financial services, healthcare, government, and nonprofit.

The program’s coursework will be based on professional training and centered around real-world examples, situations, and project prompts that draw from regional businesses. The program is ideal for professionals who are practicing UX without formal training and want to advance their career, those who are working in areas that demand professional services and want to upskill, or those looking for a career pivot from the arts, humanities, healthcare, creative design, or social sciences. Finally, Peyton notes the program is designed for those looking for a larger arsenal of adaptable skills than traditional technology skills offered by many other UX programs.

“As artists and designers, we at CCAD look at problems—and solutions—differently than most, and our new program will reflect that to give graduates a competitive leg up in the job market,” said Peyton. “Human-centered design is the next frontier of UX.”