How do I apply to UX Academy? Are there any prerequisites for the program?

Course Prerequisites

We accept a limited number of students per cohort. We evaluate applicants to UX Academy based on the following prerequisites:

  • Our Design 101 course (see note below) or previous visual design experience with an approved Design 101 course waiver
  • Commitment to the program and motivation towards the field of UX Design
  • Strong English language skills: interacting with students, mentors and Designlab staff is a huge part of our program, so all applicants should be able to communicate effectively with others.

Since the program is very rigorous, we've found that these background requirements help us admit students with the greatest chance of success. In addition, we want to ensure that students are committed to the program and are prepared to budget 20 or 40 hours per week on coursework. Being selective with admissions helps us build a thriving community of enthusiastic students and mentors.

Students who take Design 101 prior to UX Academy will receive a Design 101 discount of $400.

Design 101 or Previous Design Experience

Students must demonstrate foundational design skills at a sufficient level in order to be admitted into UX Academy.

Typically, applicants meet the foundational skills requirement by taking our Design 101 course, and demonstrating expertise in their final project within the course. In some cases, students may be asked to take UI Design in addition to Design 101 to continue improving their skills, and will use their final project from UI Design on the application.

You may apply to waive the Design 101 course requirement if you have both of the following:

  1. An online portfolio containing wireframes and hi-res images of landing pages or digital applications
  2. Previous experience in Web Design, Graphic Design, UX Design, UI Design or Product Design

Print, illustration, and architecture portfolios will not be considered.

Evaluation of Design Work

All prerequisite design work will be evaluated and scored on the same principles, listed below:

The concept is original and thoughtful, almost on par with a solid design intern's work.

UI/Visual Design
The UI design is on trend, beautiful and original. The visual layout adapts balanced spacing and placement of elements.

UX Design Pattern
The final design is crafted with up-to-date design patterns with correct navigation, form fields, and button usage. The student work is almost on par with a solid design intern's work.

Color Palette
The color choice, contrast, or hierarchy are not only on trend but appropriate for the subject matter.

The type choices, hierarchy, spacing are implemented beautifully with optimal readability.

Graphical Elements
All graphics, icons, illustrations are expertly chosen, crafted and implemented.

The branding is on point and approriate for the subject matter. It not only grounds but also add more depth to the project.

If you have used your final project from Design 101 (or in some cases, UI Design), you will also be evaluated on the following:

Design 101
If the project is of a responsive website, there are a total of 3 screens to cover small, medium and large breakpoints. The layouts are perfectly responsive with adaptive strategy to optimize content placement and user experience for each breakpoint.

If the project is of a mobile app, there are a total of 3 screens to cover player, playlist and another screen of student's choice. The design adapts either iOS Human Guide Interface Guidelines or Material Design.

UI Design
The final output includes at least 3-5 screens with polished, systematic, and visually pleasing UI.


Commitment and Motivation for UX Design

Since so much of the course revolves around interacting with your mentors and peers through online video sessions, we’d like to get a feel for your communication skills, and your background and goals. We will ask a couple of short-answer questions and you'll also be asked to submit a mandatory short video (<1 minute). 

You will have the ability to live record (and re-record) your video within the application. Alternately, you may link to a hosted video or upload an existing file (accepted file types are .mp4, .mov, .webcam, .3gpp, .3gpp2, .flv, .wmv, and .mpeg).

If you plan on supplying a link to a hosted video we recommend using YouTube. If you don’t want other people to find your video, you can mark it as unlisted, however it’s important that you do not mark the video ‘private’ or disallow embedding or we won't be able to see it!

When recording, please answer the prompt as your would in natural conversation - you don’t need to worry about a script. Please leave out fancy editing, music and screenshots. We don't want to focus on your editing skills - we are interested in you! Before you submit the video, playback your recording to make sure the sound is clear - we want to be able to hear what you are saying! 


English Language Proficiency

Clear and effortless communication between students and mentors is a vital part of the UX Academy experience.  We require all students to have a minimum CEFR level of C1 or greater.

If you are not sure of your fluency level, please take the free assessment test here. For the most accurate results, please test for both business and general English. 


Before You Apply

  1. Check out and confirm that the program fits your goals.
  2. Make sure you meet the stated course prerequisites.
  3. Check out 5 Ways To Create A Winning UX Academy Application