Which schools would you recommend to someone who wants to pursue a UX master's degree?


Hi all, I’m currently a UX designer at Google Seattle. People often ask me to recommend a list of reputable UX Master’s programs. Since the list in my mind might be biased, I’m really curious about what other UX professionals think!

I know that there’s already the “Where to study interaction design” thread, but it’s hard to turn that into a quantifiable result. If you are a UX working professional, please take this super short survey (3 min). I’m happy to share the result afterward. Thanks! :grinning:

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In my opinion, the top masters in Ixd/UX are as follows (in no particular order):

  • California College of the Arts - MDes in IxD. This is a really strong 1-year program aimed at people who want to be working professionals in the field.
  • Carnegie Mellon - MDes in Design. This is also a really strong program that brings in a little bit more HCI than the above program.
  • University of Washington - MHCI+D. This program is more HCI-heavy with design added on, great if you want to learn a more technical approach.
  • ArtCenter College of Design - MFA in Media Design Practices. This is the most experimental of all the programs. If you want to experiment with AI, XR and other emerging technologies this is great.

I teach UX designers across North America how to apply behavioral psychology to tech, so I can share a bigger-picture perspective on your question.

My most serious students completed their Masters or PhD in HCI, especially those on the west coast of America. And a few others got their post-grad credentials through an interdisciplinary program by combining UX with another topic.

UX is a generic skill, so if you want to specialize in a niche UX application, you’ll either have to to find a formal HCI/UX program that has a flexible thesis option, or target some other faculty and pitch your UX thesis to the faculty.

I taught a course of UX Masters students in the iSchool at the University of Toronto last year, and I was quite impressed by their program. Their UX stream is grounded in formal HCI and interaction design curriculum. But what’s amazing for students is a large number of electives and great options for research, so you can probably fine-tune your Masters to get exactly what you want out of it. It’s also a wonderful place to do a PhD if you want to go further. https://ischool.utoronto.ca/