User Experience and Web Design



Smarter, Faster, Better

Does your online content suit your client’s needs—or anticipate them? From websites to interactive gaming, new human-computer interfaces to the Internet of Things and virtual reality, UX designers create online content that wows users and solves business problems. Our User Experience and Web Design certificate prepares you to create compelling designs with the best information architecture, interaction design, visual design, and user experience. Pick up skills course by course or declare candidacy for the certificate to add a UC credential to your resume.

Five Tracks of Study
Choose between our Visual Design, Design Implementation, Multimedia Content, User Experience Design, and Site and Content Management tracks to discover skills you can put to work.

Professional Portfolio
Upon completion of the certificate, students have assembled a design portfolio with key input from instructors. You will have high quality samples for your first interview.

The Profession

Design a Career That Works For You
As web, mobile, and software applications become increasingly dynamic and interactive, users want these products to be intuitive and easy to use. Businesses demand positive customer analytics to justify the design investment. If you’re looking for a career with room to grow, you can apply your UX and web design skills in a number of roles, including: user interface design, interaction design, mobile design, website design, front-end development, and back-end development.

$97,460—National average salary for a user experience designer (Glassdoor, March 2, 2018)
Historic Web Developer Salaries (IT Career Finder, February, 2017)
$66,130—Median annual wage for web developers in the U.S (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016)
$82,930—Median annual wage for web developers in California (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016)
$107,379—Average salary for a user experience designer in Silicon Valley. (Glassdoor, Feb. 18, 2018)
$102,080—Annual mean for web developers in Silicon Valley (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016)

Job Market Information
11,323 —User experience design jobs in the U.S. posted on Glassdoor (March 7, 2018)
1,136 —User experience design jobs in Silicon Valley posted on Glassdoor (March 7, 2018)

Employment of Web developers was projected to grow 27% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and e-commerce. –Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Articles

•  "Get A Peek Into The Job Market For Designers in 2018" Graphic Design USA

•  "State of UX in 2018" UX Trends


Program Objectives

As a graduate of the User Experience and Web Design certificate program, you can develop the skills to:

  • Use GIF, JPEG and PNG compressions
  • Work with color online
  • Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP
  • Communicate brand values using color, typography, layout and imagery
  • Launch, build and administer e-commerce sites
  • Design using the Adobe Creative suite
  • Create user interfaces that incorporate wearable technology

Program Format

UCSC Extension’s User Experience and Web Design courses are offered at UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus, a beautiful facility located on the corner of Scott and Bowers in Santa Clara. Many of our courses are available online. Choose courses according to your interest or declare candidacy in the certificate for a more comprehensive overview of the field.

User Experience and Web Design Courses

Required: 17 unit minimum

To complete the certificate, you must complete a total of 17 units, with at least 2 core (*) courses and “Capstone User Experience Project”


Recommended Prerequisites

  • Adobe Illustrator, Introduction, 1.5 units
  • Adobe Photoshop, Introduction, 1.5 units

Visual Design

  • Adobe Photoshop, Comprehensive, 2 units
  • Graphic Design Fundamentals, 2 units
  • Graphical Production for the Web, 1.5 units
  • Visual Design for the Interactive Web*, 2.5 units

User Experience Design

  • User Experience Design Fundamentals*, 3 units
  • User Experience Design, Advanced, 3 units
  • Mobile Interface Design, 3 units
  • Designing User Experience for Smart Things, Virtual Reality, and Wearable Technology, 3 units

Design Implementation

  • Web Technologies, Introduction, 1 unit
  • HTML Fundamentals*, 2 units
  • Designing with Cascading Style Sheets: Fundamentals*, 2 units
  • Introduction to Web Programming: JavaScript and PHP, 2 units
  • Designing with Cascading Style Sheets: Advanced, 2 units
  • HTML5: The Living Language, 3 units
  • Responsive Web Design with Open Source Frameworks, 2 units

Site and Content Management

  • Introduction to Website Hosting and Optimization*, 1 unit
  • Building E-Commerce Websites with Wordpress, 2 units

Design Project

  • Capstone User Experience Project*, 2 units


There are no formal prerequisites to enter the certificate program. However, you should be proficient in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop as they are the foundation in handling image and high fidelity graphics. 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 your previous experience in User Experience and Web Design, most courses may be taken in any order, provided the individual course prerequisites have been fulfilled. All students should complete the certificate with “Capstone Design Project”. New students should attend the Information Session to receive course sequence information.


Want to learn more about our curriculum in person? Join us for a free Info Session to learn more about our courses, faculty, and program requirements. Learn more on our Events page.


The rough cost of the User Experience and Web Design certificate is estimated at $6,500.



No application is required to enroll in our courses or certificate programs. Information about our open enrollment process can be found on our Enrollment page. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact the UCSC Extension Outreach office by phone at 408-861-3860, or by email at

From the schedule below, click on a course title to see sections available for enrollment. You may view the full course schedule, or enroll in the course, by clicking the respective button. The course type offerings (classroom, online, blended) are guidelines and subject to change. A blended (hybrid) course has both classroom and online components.

Declaring Candidacy

If you intend to pursue a certificate, declaring candidacy establishes program requirements early in your studies, so any subsequent curriculum changes do not affect your progress. It does not limit what courses you can take; and it helps you structure your professional development program for maximum benefit to you. Go the declare candidacy page to establish your requirements for this program. Certificate program requirements must be completed within three years of declaring candidacy.

Course Schedule

1. Recommended Prerequisites
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
UEWD.X400 Adobe Illustrator, Introduction 1.5 Classroom Classroom
UEWD.X401 Adobe Photoshop, Introduction 1.5 Classroom Classroom
2. Core Courses - Two core courses required
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
UEWD.X410 HTML Fundamentals 2.0 Online Classroom and Online
UEWD.X406 Designing with Cascading Style Sheets: Fundamentals 2.0 Online Classroom Online Classroom
UEWD.X418 Website Hosting and Optimization, Introduction 1.0 Classroom
UEWD.X414 User Experience Design Fundamentals 3.0 Classroom Classroom
UEWD.X416 Visual Design for the Interactive Web 2.5 Classroom Classroom
3. Elective Courses
4. Capstone Course
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
UEWD.X490 Capstone User Experience Project 2.0 Classroom Classroom
5. Required Certificate Review
classroom : Classroom
online : Online
hybrid : Blended
Offering Code Offering Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
O-CE0613 User Experience and Web Design Certificate Completion Review Online Online Online Online