Web and Interactive Media Design

Enhanced Curriculum for Web and Interactive Media Designers

As media evolves, professional designers must stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and industry platforms. This means keeping pace with emerging trends in business and personal communication, mobile devices, social networking, dynamic Web pages and interactive gaming. Today’s designers must learn to define business problems and determine user needs while applying principles of information architecture, interaction design, graphic design, and user research. They also have to write their own front-end code and use visual authoring software.

Professional-Level Program Delivers Solid Expertise

The professional Web and Interactive Media Design program at UCSC Extension equips you to meet the challenges of a changing industry. Our newly revised certificate program organizes courses in several tracks of study, including visual design, design implementation, user experience design and site management. Each track offers a strong foundation in the skills you need to pursue jobs in the industry. The final course, “Web Design Project,” provides an opportunity to apply newly acquired theory, tools, and techniques to create a professional-quality Web site. Our other courses expose you to each step in the user-centered design process.

Flexible Requirements Accommodate Entry-level and Experienced Designers

Our certificate program includes foundation skills and advanced design courses. We recommend that those new to the design field start by taking the prerequisites to each course. Established designers who want to expand and update their knowledge can select a mix of foundation and advanced courses based on their level of experience and career goals. Either approach leads to a UC certificate.

Get Hands-on Experience Working in Our State-of-the-Art Labs

Many software courses are taught in our state of-the-art Macintosh lab. The lab features multi-core Mac Pros, the latest version of Mac OS X, and the latest software, including Adobe Creative Suite. The lab provides you with the opportunity to practice new skills on top-quality machines loaded with the most current software. We emphasize hands-on and interactive learning.

Benefits of Studying Web and Interactive Media Design at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

The Web and Interactive Media Design program offers current and aspiring professionals:

  • Basic foundation skills for designing Web sites and media
  • Courses in advanced topics to help students specialize their skills
  • Courses taught by senior working professionals
  • Convenient course schedules and Silicon Valley location
  • Frequently updated courses to reflect the latest tools, platforms and techniques


There are no formal prerequisites to enter the certificate program. However, students should be proficient in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. For those in need of these skills, we offer introductory courses in both products. These two recommended prerequisites do not count toward the total number of units required for the certificate and may be satisfied with equivalent experience. We also recommend “Graphic Design Fundamentals” as a prerequisite for students who do not have a background in graphic design.

Recommended Course Sequence

Depending on student experience in Web and Interactive Media Design, courses may be taken in any order, provided the individual course prerequisites have been fulfilled. All students should complete the certificate with “Web Design Project.” New students should attend the Program Overview or Open House events to receive course sequence information.

Benefits of Declaring Candidacy

We encourage you to establish candidacy in a certificate program early in your studies. There are substantial benefits in doing so:

  • Curriculum changes subsequent to the date your application is received will not affect your course requirements.
  • Candidates will be notified of updates or special opportunities related to the program.

Engineering & Technology Program Contact

Enroll online now or contact the Engineering & Technology Department for more information:
(408) 861-3860
or e-mail extensionprogram@ucsc.edu.

Web and Interactive Design Certificate Requirements

Total: 17 units
Required: 2 core courses and "Web Design Project"
Elective: 10.5 units (min)
GPA: 3.0 
a C or better in all courses.
Timeline: Complete minimum units/courses within 3 years.

Courses completed more than five years prior to date of certificate issuance cannot be used to fulfill requirements.

To obtain the Certificate in Web and Interactive Media Design, you must complete a minimum of 17 units. Certificates are granted upon successful completion of “Web Design Project.” For students new to the design field, we strongly recommended following the prerequisites in each courses.

If you have two or more years of industry experience and are proficient in some design skills, you may customize your course sequence to round out your skill set. Contact the Engineering and Technology department to inquire whether you can substitute your experience for course prerequisites.

How to Apply

Certificate applications can be submitted online. Simply click on the "Declare Candidacy" button above. Then, select the "Enroll" button next to the certificate title and follow the instructions.

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What Students Say

Ann Fitzsimons, Web Design and Development, Internet Programming, UNIX Programming

Ann Fitzsimons

"Whenever I’ve needed anything to help support my career, UCSC Extension has given me the convenience and the full depth of offerings that I think I need, at the level of quality that I look for."

Read Ann's story...