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Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience

Design and testing. Theory and practice. Technology and media.

Increase your expertise with an Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience.

You already have a master's degree or you've earned a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University. The Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience gives you the opportunity to become an expert in the field.

You'll deepen your existing knowledge with theory. You'll apply that theory to hands-on projects in which you'll confront and resolve real-world business issues using the latest technology and media.

And you'll receive quality instruction and guidance from full-time SPSU faculty from the convenience of an online learning environment. With the additional support of your fellow students, you'll learn to create meaning, inspire change, deliver value.

Who enrolls in the online Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience program?

Your fellow students hold a master's degree or a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication from Southern Polytech and are seeking to specialize in user experience. In some cases, they may already be working as user experience practitioners. In other cases, they want to move into this dynamic and growing professional arena.

With the concentration of advanced courses in user experience (UX), you can apply for this advanced graduate certificate, or you can apply for admission to the MSc in Information Design & Communication degree program, then specialize in the courses in the Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience.

What will I learn?

User experience is at the heart of design, communication, and deployment of new products and processes. Your coursework will center on projects that build a portfolio of deliverables you can use to enter or advance in the field of user experience.

You will learn how to

  • become the user's advocate;
  • design communication products that reflect knowledge of how real users work with products;
  • create products for the Web and other online media, as well as for mobile platforms;
  • become a content strategist who leads the content creation effort in the companies and organizations you work for;
  • create information architecture structures that reflect principles of effective navigation and terminology; and
  • apply skills and knowledge as a business analyst so you can successfully compete for this rapidly growing job opportunity in your field.

What will my learning experience be like?

Like your previous graduate-level studies, the work is rigorous, challenging, and exciting. You'll work independently and collaboratively on projects that confront and resolve actual business issues faced by real project sponsors.

Your intensive coursework will be entirely online. But that doesn't make it "easy"; in fact, an online learning environment demands more from you. But it also gives more back to you. You will be challenged to set goals and be self directed. You'll increase both the breadth and depth of your knowledge, while making critical connections to full-time faculty members who are experts in the field, as well as your fellow students with whom you share similar goals and backgrounds.

What kinds of courses will I take?

You'll take 6 courses (18 hours). The 5 required courses focus on requirements, design, testing, and implementation:

  • IDC 6120—Usability Testing
  • IDC 6135—Website Design
  • IDC 6180—Information Architecture
  • IDC 6220—Mobile User Experience
  • IDC 6245—Business Analysis

You'll select your 6th course from any of our offerings, which include courses in instructional design, visual thinking, applied graphics, content strategy, and more.

How long will the certificate take to complete?

Because of its rigor, and other life demands you must meet, the program is designed primarily for part-time study. Students with full-time jobs typically take no more than 2 courses per semester and plan a 2-year timeline to complete the advanced certificate. Full-time study (9 credit hours or 3 courses per semester) is limited to students receiving financial aid or those who are not employed.

Since graduate-level courses require more reading and study and the assignments are significantly more complex, you'll spend at least 15 to 20 hours per week, per course.

How much will it cost?

No matter where in the world you call home, you'll pay in-state tuition and fees. For the 2012–13 academic year, one 3-credit course will cost  approximately $1,215. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for information about funding your education.

How will an Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience enhance my current competencies?

You may already deal with usability issues on a regular basis. But you want to improve your skills beyond the basics. The Advanced Graduate Certificate in User Experience program will advance your competency by teaching you to design, implement, and test content that communicates effectively to a defined audience.

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