User Experience Design

Next Program Entry:
May 30, 2020
As short as one semester (approximately six months) 
Due to the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak, classes will meet online until it is deemed safe to meet on campus.
Priority Rate (until 2 weeks before start date): $3,695
Standard Rate: $3,945
User Experience Design (UX) is one of the fastest-growing and most innovative and exciting career paths in the interactive industry today.
Discover the many facets of this in-demand profession, and learn the skills, tools and techniques that UX designers apply every day. You'll practice the essential skills of UX while you work on projects in hands-on workshops.

Who Should Attend?

  • Web and app designers and front-end developers, as well as software developers
  • Graphic, visual, and product designers
  • Interactive and digital marketing professionals
  • User-research and usability analysts
  • Information architects, interaction designers and community managers
  • Product developers, product managers and business analysts

Key Benefits

  • All courses are taught by seasoned professionals who work in the UX industry and share tips and tricks of the profession that employers demand.
  • The program has been developed in consultation with the industry to be relevant and completely up-to-date.
  • Classes are scheduled on weekday evenings to fit your busy life, and you can complete your certificate outside of work hours in just one semester.
The SMU PRO User Experience Design Certificate program is offered in a face-to-face, classroom setting in a modular format. You can register for just one course or complete the full certificate by signing up for the entire program offering.
Developed in consultation with industry leaders, this certificate will prepare you to navigate the rapidly-changing world of user experience design with proven strategies and practical tips from industry experts. It was selected as one of Value Colleges’ Top 50 Alternative UX Programs.

Certificate Program Completion Requirements

Required Courses and Workshops to Complete the Program:
Students must also choose 2 electives:
Or, for an even more comprehensive learning experience, you may take a third elective for an additional $295. You will need to call 214-768-1086 to take advantage of this opportunity, which is only available to students taking the full certificate program. Register and pay for the full certificate at one time and save over $1,000 over the price of all courses if purchased separately!


You will have 18 months from your first day of class to successfully complete the program. In the event that you experience personal or professional reasons that delay your completion of the program or fail to successfully pass required exams, the following policies apply:
  • The 18 month clock begins on the first day of class.
  • The program must be completed within the 18-month period so students should plan their schedules accordingly. This means that the last day of class of the last necessary area must be completed within the 18-month period.
  • After 18 months from the student’s first day of class, when the student originally begins the program, the student’s enrollment in the program expires. The student will be removed from participating in the program. If they have not successfully completed the program within the 18-month window, their program status is “incomplete” and they will not receive a certificate of completion from the program.
  • After 18 months, a former student may reapply to the program and will be subject to the program’s current tuition rate and space availability.

Next Steps

The certificate is offered in a modular format with weekday evening classes (and one full-day Saturday workshop) offered throughout the year. Simply follow the steps below to register for the User Experience Design Certificate program at SMU.

Tuition and Fees

  • Tuition for the User Experience Design Certificate program is $3,695 if you register and pay for the full certificate by the priority deadline ($3,945 thereafter). This is more than $1,000 in savings over the price of the courses if purchased separately.
  • Discounts are available for SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as for groups and not-for-profit organizations. 

Financing Options

Students may qualify for a Smart Options Continuing Education Student Loan, offered by Sallie Mae. Your Sallie Mae Loan application must be completed and approved 14 days before the first day of the program. Loan cannot exceed the cost of tuition. Contact our admissions team for details.

General Policies

Students must register before attending a course. Instructors cannot accept registration fees. SMU reserves the right to substitute instructors, change course locations, cancel courses, adjust curricula or schedules, or limit enrollment.

Program Requirements

Do I need to have a college degree to enroll in the program?
A college degree is not required to enroll in the program.
Can I take the program modularly? Can I enroll in just one course?
The program can be bought as a package or taken modularly. You are welcome to take an individual User Experience Design course, however, to earn the certificate you must take the classes in order.
Can I handle the User Experience Design program if I have no previous experience?
Whether you are a web or graphic designer, a software developer, a digital marketing professional, a user research or usability analyst, or a product developer or manager, or someone aspiring to take on a role in user experience, this certificate program offers all practical aspects of user experience design.
How many hours outside of class will I need to devote to studying?
Plan on spending an additional 2–3 hours per week on course material.
Will I receive a grade in each course? Are there exams?
The courses are pass/fail. Due to the nature of the subject, this is a project-based program.
Are there any required textbooks or additional costs?
Some classes may require textbooks, supplies, laptops or other equipment that are not included in the course fees. Please refer to the Section Notes in the course listing and your enrollment confirmation message for more information.
Can I take the course online?
No, the entire User Experience Design Certificate must be taken in person.
What is the average salary for a UX Designer?
This is currently a career with high growth rates and in high demand. As of 2016, the average salary for a UX Designer in the DFW area is $66,500. Please click here for updated information.
Why SMU PRO’s User Experience Design program?
SMU PRO’s User Experience Design Certificate program was ranked by Value Colleges as one of the Top 50 Alternative UX Design Programs of 2016. Our content is current based on input from our industry leading instructors (check out their bios under Instructors). The program also provides a great networking opportunity, as all of our instructors are highly connected in the DFW UX community.

Registration and Enrollment

Do you offer financial assistance?
Our courses are noncredit and therefore do not qualify for FASFA.
SMU faculty, staff, students, alumni and nonprofits receive a 10% discount. Please contact us for group discounts.
For veterans' benefits, please contact our Veterans Assistance and Outreach Coordinator, Robert Hurst, at 214-768-1104.
SMU has a relationship with Sallie Mae for their Smart Options Continuing Education Student Loan. You can only apply for the loan if you are enrolling in the entire program package. To apply for this loan, follow the steps outlined under Tuition.
How do I register?
To register for the certificate program package:
  • If taking the full User Experience Design Certificate program, please click “Register” and then “Apply Now” to begin your application. You will be required to log in or create an account if you do not already have one.
  • After completing and submitting your application, SMU will approve your application and facilitate your payment.
  • If you are interested in taking individual User Experience Design courses, please view available courses and enroll.
  • You will receive an email receipt confirming your enrollment.
*Please note that your seat in the program is not guaranteed until registration for entire course or individual course is paid in full.
Can I make multiple payments throughout the program?
If you are paying for the program course-by-course, you will make separate payments for each course. If you are paying for the certificate package, you must pay for the full amount at one time. Please view Tuition for more details.
Can I still sign up if the program is full?
Our courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and a spot is not guaranteed until registration is paid in full. If a course you want to take is full, please add your name to the waitlist, and we will notify you if a spot opens up. Students on the waitlist are not obligated to register if/when a space becomes available.
My company is paying for me; how do I apply?
If your company is paying for your tuition, please contact a program advisor to receive a third-party billing form and application. Please include whether or not your company is paying for the application fee, and then submit both your application and the third-party billing form simultaneously. You will not be enrolled in the course until we receive the approved Line of Credit form with the necessary signatures.
Can I get a transcript for my course?
Yes, please contact the SMU PRO Student Advisor at 214-768-2273 for assistance. Transcripts cost $10 each and are processed within two business days of your paid request.
Do you offer discounts?
SMU students, alumni, faculty/staff, veterans and nonprofits receive a 10% discount on our courses. Contact the SMU PRO office at 214-768-2273 if you qualify for a discount. Please note that this discount is applied to standard tuition rate; not the priority rate. Select corporate and group rates are available, contact a program advisor for more details. Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you will be given the one with the largest savings.
What is the difference between purchasing the package and paying course-by course?
Paying for the certificate at one time allows you to save money on the total price, and gives you priority enrollment. This option may help with employer-paid or employer-reimbursement policies. Paying course-by-course allows you to complete the courses and pay for them one at a time. If you are interested in using the smart option loan from Sallie Mae, this option is only available when purchasing the entire certificate package. After I have taken all my classes, how do I receive my certificate? Upon entering the final course needed to satisfy the certificate requirements, please contact the SMU PRO Student Advisor at 214-768-2273 or Our advisor will verify that all required courses have been successfully completed and will prepare your certificate. You will be notified that your certificate is ready after the conclusion of your final course.

General Information

Where do I park for my class?
You will receive enrollment confirmation and course reminders via emails for all SMU PRO courses. In addition, a parking pass with additional details and directions also will be sent to all attendees. Parking in an undesignated parking area may result in a parking fine.
What if I need to withdraw from a class?
If you choose to withdraw from the certificate program, please notify us in writing (via email: or fax 214-768-1071) prior to the start of the program. If a withdrawal request is received in writing more than three (3) full business days prior to the first course start date students may receive a refund, minus a $250.00 processing fee.
SMU PRO certificate enrollment is final as of three (3) business days prior to first course start date and programs are intended to be successfully completed in full. After that date, you will not receive a refund if you withdraw or quit the course before completion. We do not provide prorated refunds or credits for partial certificate program completion. Students enrolled in a certificate program may have the option to transfer to another cohort, according to the terms and conditions of each program, pending space availability and time remaining to successfully complete their program. Students may also put funds in escrow for up to 12 months for use by themselves or someone else if withdrawing prior to program start date.
Failure to attend class does not constitute withdrawal.
All refunds will be made in the form of the original payment. Please allow up to six weeks to receive check refunds.
Full details are available on the certificate application.
Can I take a tour of the campus?
Most classes are held in the SMU GO building on East Campus, but you are welcome to join undergraduate tours. Campus tours are designed for prospective undergraduates, but if you are interested, you can find more information here on daily visit registration.
Do you offer job placement/internships?
Your success is important to us, and we want to provide you with opportunities to reach your goals. That is why we offer a complimentary career-coaching service exclusively for our certificate program participants. Career coaching is designed to help you explore topics relevant to your career success in a flexible and personalized format. Career coaching does not guarantee job placement. Students also have access to our private job posting board on LinkedIn. Jobs are posted by employers in the DFW area who are eager to employ graduates of SMU programs.
I still have more questions; can I speak with an advisor?
Yes, please e-mail and our program advisor will be in touch with you.

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is one of the most prominent figures in the UX industry in DFW today with over 25 years of experience in IT. He is the President of DFW-UXPA, which has over 1,200 design and usability professionals. Brian has performed design research and usability testing at the Sabre Human Factors Center for over 10 years with clients including United Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels, DOT, American Airlines, Mandarin Oriental, Trip Case, and many more. Brian is the founder of the nationally renowned Big (D)esign Conference, which attracts over 1,000 people each year to learn about content strategy, design, usability, app development, film design, accessibility and gaming. Brian frequently speaks at industry events, such as SxSW Interactive, STC Summit, UxPA International, User Friendly China, IA Summit and Big Design Conference. Brian is a prolific writer with over 500 blog articles. He has published The Design Studio Method (2015), a book on sketching user experiences. Brian holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.B.A. in Management Information Systems.

Preston McCauley

Preston's career of over 17 years in the UX industry has given him the opportunity to not only create and manage literally hundreds of applications and projects, but also to develop the rare industry knowledge and skill to bring a product through the entire life cycle. At the root of his many successes is the ability to identify problems and opportunities and focus on building a robust product implementation. He challenges his teams to approach problems from different angles and push for innovative solutions. He is always looking for ways in which to leverage new technology. This means identifying trends, methods and tools that can be used for product development and marketing. He is a strong believer in Practical UX, a term he coined to help teams and business owners iterate and improve the product before the coding phase. Preston has both small project and industry-level, large-scale application experience.
Preston is an active industry leader in the Dallas-Fort Worth User Experience Professional Association (UXPA), speaking at events and group meetups and actively mentoring peers and those new to this expanding industry. He believes in guiding talent through constructive and clear feedback that helps the individual grow beyond current capabilities. Preston's many specialties include: front end UI, interaction design and creating easy-to-use application experiences for the front-end user. This includes business UX strategy, UX ideation, UX architecting, UX design patterns, mobile design, ios storyboard design, grunt.js, phonegap and more.
Preston has also created his own proven methods of SEO marketing and promotion, and is on the cutting edge when it comes to social marketing, future UX theories and education methods. He keeps a daily pulse on the UX design world like no one else.

J. Schuh

J. Schuh is an Adobe Community Professional with a passion for teaching creativity and Adobe products. He is an adjunct professor at Collin College, Texas A&M Commerce and Southern Methodist University. J. is an award-winning animator, cartoonist, designer and motion graphics artist who has 20 years of experience developing compelling interactive design and video content for Fortune 500 companies. He is national conference speaker and the co-author of BRILLIANCE: Understanding the Creative Mind.

Brandon Ward

Brandon’s passion for Experience and Service Design comes from a background in the arts combined with an interest in interactive media on mobile, the web and video games. An artsy kid with bachelor's degrees in vocal performance, music theory and acting, Brandon now enjoys leading teams to create user-friendly solutions that help people. He holds an M.S. degree from Indiana University in Interactive Media Design and has developed a talent for bridging the gaps between development, design, business, and the customer. Brandon currently serves as Director of User Experience at Precocity.

Brandon grew up in eight states and the Philippines. When not working, Brandon loves watching movies, restoring old cars, training Kung Fu, and hanging out with his four adorable kids and lovely wife. 

Skip Howard

Skip is founder/CEO of Spacee, leaders in Spatial Augmented Reality. Spacee turns any 2D or 3D space into a touch screen using light only. No phones, tablets, glasses or any other wearables are necessary. Combined with facial recognition, image detection, emotional state recognition, in-air gestures and interactive holograms, Spacee has built an experiential marketing platform with emerging technology. Their first project turned a Mercedes c300 into a touch screen. Spacee is currently working with several Fortune 100 companies. Spacee is Skip’s third startup. In 2014, he co-founded of Cancer Gene Connect, the leaders in hereditary cancer risk assessments and he co-founded Pave Systems, a judicial software company for higher education right out of college. Prior to Spacee, he worked for Ross Perot’s real estate company, Hillwood. Skip also runs the largest computer vision developers group south of New York.

Did you know?


Average annual salary for app developers in Texas


Projected increase in employment by 2024 for web developers

Top job titles include UX designer, java developer, web developer.


Brian Sullivan

“We give student practical experience and training so they work on a real project they could present to future employers. It’s helping to build the case as to why a Dallas-area corporation should hire a SMU PRO student. A couple of our students have launched their own applications after taking the program and most of the students have gotten promotions.”

– Brian Sullivan, Director of UX Operations at Sabre Corporation and SMU PRO Instructor

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Contact Us Talk to a Program Advisor at or 214-768-1086.