User experience and usability

University of Missouri-Columbia
Graduate certificate
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Graduate certificate

How easily do users perform a specific action? How readable and accessible is an interface? In today’s world, effective usability separates engaging experiences from frustrating ones. Going further, this difference means less website traffic, lower sales and fewer customer recommendations.

Considering these results, websites, software, hardware, products and systems increasingly incorporate intuitive, friendly and easy-to-navigate features and functions. For technology professionals interested in exploring this growing discipline, the University of Missouri’s (Mizzou) online graduate certificate in user experience (UX) and usability program takes a scientific and analytical approach to human-centered design.

To round out your existing skill set, you’ll understand how to develop products, tools, interfaces and websites that support the user’s journey. At the same time, you learn to evaluate these aspects in order to improve interactivity, engagement, accessibility and overall satisfaction.

The School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT) is a proud member of iSchools, an international coalition of leading information schools.  

Quick facts

Official name

Graduate certificate in user experience and usability


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Graduate certificate

Academic home

College of Education & Human Development | School of Information Science and Learning Technologies

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission, Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Credit hours


Estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

User experience professional working on a laptop.

Career prospects

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting 25% greater demand for software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers through 2032, set yourself apart from other professionals — or switch fields — with Mizzou’s online graduate certificate in user experience and usability.

Workplaces prioritizing learning and performance, including health care, education, museums and workplace training programs, particularly seek UX/UI professionals to develop interfaces that hold user attention and help them retain information.

Consider upskilling with this certificate program if you’re involved in:

  • App and web development
  • Archives and museums
  • Computer science and information technology
  • Content strategy and journalism
  • Library science
  • Visual design
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Median salary

About the online graduate certificate in user experience and usability

Not all users have identical experiences. Yet, certain factors regularly prevent them from achieving certain goals. These include small fonts, illogical layouts, difficult directions, unresponsive features, minimal color contrasts and a slow load time. As a result, users may click off a website, not complete a desired action or be unable to participate fully.

Mizzou’s online graduate certificate in user experience and usability program trains you to identify and avoid these pitfalls ahead of time. Benefitting from the research conducted by the Information Experience Laboratory, the program explores user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) best practices and data-gathering methods for gauging user response. 

To create products, systems and interfaces that connect with users, you:

  • Acquire an understanding of human-centered design
  • Learn to prototype and assess user experiences
  • Prepare to observe user behavior and identify patterns through data collection
  • Understand how to develop more inclusive and culturally sensitive systems and products
  • Grow your knowledge of UX/UI tools and methodologies
  • Delve into the user journey to create a more organized pathway toward specific objectives

Program structure

The online graduate certificate in user experience and usability requires 12 credit hours, including fully online course work and an internship with the Information Experience Laboratory, which students can also complete entirely online. During the program, students compile a Competency Portfolio reflecting their mastery of user-friendly environments and understanding of prototyping tools and data-based assessments.

Courses are semester-based. Students who study part time and take one course each semester complete the program in just over one year.

Students interested in exploring user experience and usability further may transfer their credits to pursue:

Course work covers

The online graduate certificate in user experience and usability program introduces you to:

  • Data collection and analysis to evaluate systems
  • Interactive design concepts, usability engineering and prototyping principles
  • Usability testing and research to develop human-centered design strategies

Review all requirements for the online graduate certificate in user experience and usability.


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length

1+ years

Typical course load

1 class per semester


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The College of Education and Human Development is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies