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User experience designers are concerned with all the elements that together make up that interface, including layout, visual design, text, brand, sound, and interaction.

User Experience - M.S.

User experience encompasses every aspect of the user's interaction with a product, service or company that make up the user's perceptions of the whole. As a discipline it is concerned with all the elements that together make up that interface, including layout, visual design, text, brand, sound, and interaction. User experience works to coordinate these elements to allow for the best possible interaction by users.

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The Master of Science in user experience (UX) is your ticket to an advanced degree in an exciting, emerging field.

The UX program at Kent State University is designed to prepare user experience professionals to work in agencies and within organizations and to immerse students in the following major components of the field: information architecture, usability, content strategy, organization of information and user research. All courses are offered conveniently online.

Meet Some of Our Dynamic Staff

As one of the newest faculty members in the iSchool, Professor Dong Whi Yoo is encouraging students to see the potential of interdisciplinary research.

Professor Yoo is an assistant professor in the iSchool, teaching courses such as Introduction to UX Design and UX in Practice.

Yoo has researched the interaction between artificial intelligence and mental health, as well as human-computer interaction. More specifically, he analyzed the relationship between mental health and college students during his doctorate at Georgia Tech.

Read More About Professor Yoo

Kelsey Pytlik serves as an adjunct professor for the Kent State University School of Information, teaching courses in UX, UX principles and concepts, principles of interaction and more.

Pytlik completed her UX master’s degree in 2011 but returned to the iSchool four years later to teach. She was inspired to do so after attending a UX conference and running into a familiar face.

“I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Pytlik said. “I ran into one of my professors and they invited me to become an adjunct professor and here I am.”

Read More About Kelsey Pytlik

Felesia McDonald, '14 is an adjunct instructor in the iSchool, teaching courses in User Experience (UX). McDonald is also the Sr Manager UX Design at Optum, a branch of UnitedHealth Group. 

McDonald worked as a page designer at the Plain Dealer but went back to school to get a diploma in web design from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This introduced her to the field of UX.

“I enjoyed the strategy behind building a website more than designing, which led me to UX” McDonald said.

The UX master's degree program at Kent State University helped McDonald refine skills such as client and stakeholder interaction and presenting.

Read More About Felesia McDonald

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Master of Science degree in User Experience prepares students for careers in discovery research, information architecture, interaction design, prototyping, usability testing and user experience strategy and assessment. As essential members of multidisciplinary design teams, user experience professionals engage in a variety of activities to produce usable products that delight users and help organizations meet the needs of their clients, patrons, users and stakeholders. User experience analysis addresses the structural, informational, psychological and emotional dimensions that make interactive communication and information technologies useful and successful.

Kent State's program provides a broad introduction to all phases of the multidisciplinary design process, with the opportunity to build deeper knowledge and skills in a focus area. The program includes electives from aligned master's programs in the College of Communication and Information and related disciplines.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale1
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Résumé
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 587 TOEFL PBT score
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL IBT score
    • Minimum 82 MELAB score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 Duolingo English score
1

Applicants who do not meet the minimum 2.750 GPA requirement must submit a statement that addresses the circumstances that contributed to the GPA and preparation for success in graduate study. Applicants should include recent professional achievements that indicate an ability to perform at a higher academic level to be considered for conditional admission to the program.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: April 15
  • Spring Semester
    • Application deadline: November 15
  • Summer Term
    • Application deadline: March 15

Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  1. Articulate the values of a user experience professional in the context of agile, multidisciplinary design teams.
  2. Design and conduct research to understand user needs.
  3. Apply interaction design fundamentals to address user needs.
  4. Create and evaluate information structures to support usability and content strategy.
  5. Test and assess design ideas, prototypes and existing systems by employing data collection and analysis methods.
  6. Communicate research findings and contribute design solutions to designers, developers and stakeholders.
  7. Demonstrate professional competencies aligned with career goals.
Coursework

Programs Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
UX 60501INTRODUCTION TO USER EXPERIENCE 3
UX 60502USER EXPERIENCE PROCESSES AND PRACTICE 3
UX 60503FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERACTION DESIGN 3
UX 60504ACCESSIBILITY AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN 3
Fundamentals Elective, choose from the following:3
UX 60511
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE FUNDAMENTALS
UX 60521
DATA-DRIVEN INTERACTION FUNDAMENTALS
UX 60531
DISCOVERY RESEARCH FUNDAMENTALS
UX 60541
USER EXPERIENCE EVALUATION FUNDAMENTALS
Major Electives, choose from the following:15
EMAT 51510
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND TEAM DYNAMICS
EMAT 60999
PROJECTS IN EMERGING MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY
ETEC 57403
INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN
ETEC 67410
SIMULATIONS AND GAMES IN EDUCATION
ETEC 67411
DESIGNING VISUALS FOR EDUCATION
ETEC 67432
DESIGNING MULTIMEDIA FOR EDUCATION
ETEC 67434
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR EDUCATION
ETEC 67435
VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY
ETEC 67442
DESIGNING ONLINE AND BLENDED COURSES
ETEC 67444
TEACHING ONLINE AND BLENDED COURSES
ETEC 67445
DESIGNING INSTRUCTIONAL AND PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS
ETEC 67449
RESEARCH IN ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING
HI 60414
HUMAN FACTORS AND USABILITY IN HEALTH INFORMATICS
LIS 60636
KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION STRUCTURES, SYSTEMS AND SERVICES
UX 60117
USER EXPERIENCE LEADERSHIP
UX 60511
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE FUNDAMENTALS 1
UX 60521
DATA-DRIVEN INTERACTION FUNDAMENTALS 1
UX 60531
DISCOVERY RESEARCH FUNDAMENTALS 1
UX 60541
USER EXPERIENCE EVALUATION FUNDAMENTALS 1
UX 60691
SEMINAR IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 60693
VARIABLE TITLE WORKSHOP IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 60792
ELECTIVE INTERNSHIP IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 61095
SPECIAL TOPICS IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 61096
INDIVIDUAL INVESTIGATION IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 66092
MASTER'S INTERNSHIP IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 66099
MASTERS PROJECT IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 66198
MASTER'S RESEARCH PAPER IN USER EXPERIENCE 2
UX 66199
THESIS I 2
VCD 60012
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
Any graduate course approved by faculty advisor
Minimum Total Credit Hours:30
1

Students may apply the course as a major elective if the course is not already fulfilling the fundamentals elective.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours, combined, may count toward the degree: UX 60691, UX 60693, UX 60792, UX 61095, UX 61096, UX 66092, UX 66099, UX 66198 and UX 66199.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
3.000
  • Completion of all requirements with a minimum C grade.
  • Completion of a minimum 50 percent of coursework at the 60000-level.
  • Evidence of preparation for professional advancement as approved by faculty advisor.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • Fully online
Our User Experience Faculty

Our talented User Experience faculty is made up of faculty whose research helps guide the field and develops insights into best practices and user behaviors plus knowledgable professionals whose skills and expertise guide students in how companies, organizations and institutions are applying and developing new online and interactive experiences across a wide range of platforms and settings.

Learn More About Our Talented UX Faculty

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects increasing demand for user experience-related careers through 2032. 

15%
Digital Interface Designers
$80,910
Median Wage in UX Careers
17%
Web Developers

Meet Our Alumni

Graduates from the School of Information's User Experience program go on to interesting careers where they make a difference every day in the lives of users – in ways large and small.

Currently working as User Experience Researcher for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, alumna Mackenzie Husmann, BS ‘18, MS ‘19, demonstrates how widespread user experience (UX) work is and how universal the need is. 

At the Cleveland Federal Reserve, Mackenzie puts her user experience research skills to work along with some UX design. Her responsibilities touch on multiple internal and external applications, but one of her previous projects included updating of the Bank’s public facing website. She also helped brainstorm how the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve could enhance their interactions visitors would have within the exhibits.  

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Stephanie is the Principal Product Manager at ServiceNow, a company focused on developing automated solutions for organizations to help streamline their processes. Prior to that, she was a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft where she oversaw the Azure.com A/B testing program. “I was given ownership over the program after a re-org, and interestingly enough, I was told that I would be good for it on the basis of having my UXD degree,” Stephanie says.

As a Senior Program Manager, she was in charge of managing the backlog of experiments and seeing them through from ideation to execution. Throughout this process, she interacted frequently with designers, engineers and analysis to ensure experiments were created according to specifications. Her team’s goals were to optimize the user experience of Azure.com and make it easier for users to get started with utilizing Azure.

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Brian is a UX Designer at Sony PlayStation where he primarily focuses on accounts and accessibility. He is in charge conceptualizing and creating new accessibility features for games, supporting hardware and software design for Access Controller and designing accessible components for the PS ecosystem of user research studies across the PlayStation environment, including the console, mobile app, and website.

As an advocate for accessibility and inclusive design, he works to educate people about accessibility. He created a Global Accessibility Awareness Day event for PlayStation’s San Francisco office.

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