Application Deadlines for Fall 2018 Admission
Priority Considerations applications due by January 15, 2018. Rolling admissions continue for applications received through May 15, 2018.
“For us, this has been about our students first, and also about fulfilling our mission to create a competitive workforce to keep California on the economic cutting edge. We are thrilled at the prospect of training our students for a career that pays well and will launch many of them into the middle class, while meeting a dire need in our tech industry.”
– Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Former President, Santa Monica College
Only two private universities in California offer a bachelor’s level degree in Interaction Design (also referred to as “User Experience Design”). The programs at these two universities cost around $160,000 – the four-year degree at SMC would cost just over $10,000.
Over 100 letters of support poured in to affirm the need for SMC’s degree from Los Angeles tech and entertainment companies including giants like Microsoft, Warner Brothers, Disney, Fox TV, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Amazon Web Services.
SMC Board of Trustees Chair Rob Rader called SMC’s bachelor’s degree “a natural choice” for a college that sits in the heart of Silicon Beach and the LA entertainment industry.
The campus will include a newly-remodeled 50,000 square-foot teaching facility, a new 30,000 square-foot addition with TV and production studios, a cafe, and a new 430-space parking garage.
“Interaction Design (IxD) defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction Designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.”
With so many emerging innovations such as mobile apps, smartphones, medical devices, wearable technology, connected appliances, and self-driving cars, technology and design are converging like never before.
A new breed of designer who understands the user and a user-centered approach is required. Designers must consider the following questions:
Here’s a great example of what an Interaction Designer does — Meet Noah, Interaction Designer for Google
Meet the UX designers of Amazon Devices
The need for a baccalaureate level degree in Interaction Design is evidenced by examination of labor market gap analyses and current job postings in the field. Area companies such as Activision, Capital Group, DIRECTV, Electronic Arts, Google, Snapchat, Sony Pictures, Symantec and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, to name a few, have all posted job opportunities for IxD/UX designers.
Students completing a four-year degree program in Interaction Design may find positions as a designer, web designer, mobile designer, information architect, user experience designer and interaction designer.
While entry-level creatives are landing good jobs, the designer salary range for experienced professionals is higher, especially for roles requiring more technical skills. Here’s a sampling of starting compensation from The Creative Group Salary Guide.
Graphic designer (1-3 years): $39,750–$56,750
Graphic designer (5+ years): $67,500–$93,000
Package designer: $59,500–$91,000
Visual designer: $66,000–$99,250
Front-end web developer (3+ years): $80,000–$119,500
Web designer (5+ years): $83,250–$118,000
Interaction designer (5+ years): $88,250–$124,500
UX designer (1–3 years): $52,000–$79,500
UX designer (5+ years): $92,750–$138,000
Source: How Magazine
Fall Admissions, Priority Consideration Deadline: January 15 of the same calendar year
Fall Admissions, Rolling Admissions Deadline: May 15 of the same calendar year
Current students in Santa Monica College’s existing Graphic Design Associate degree program can submit materials if they are in junior standing (completion of 60 units). Please check with a counselor to confirm that your coursework is following the major preparation for the Interaction Design degree.
Individuals who are graduates of a Graphic Design program (or related) and/or who possess work experience in design are eligible to apply to the IxD program.
Please see the Apply page for information about the application form and supplemental materials, including the portfolio requirements.
Application Deadlines for Fall Admission:
Priority admissions deadline is January 15 of the same calendar year. Rolling admissions continue for applications received through May 15 of the same calendar year.
During the Admissions Review Process, we review the following materials:
The portfolio should be a curated body of work that demonstrates your understanding and interest in design. The portfolio should be edited to highlight your best and most relevant design work. Specifically, your submissions should demonstrate your interest in web and mobile design, user experience and interaction design, along with understanding of the problem/concept, design process, and evaluation of the outcome and solutions.
Students with under 60 units may continue to enroll in the College’s two-year Associate program in Graphic Design.
(For the four-year program, 85 units are lower division courses at $46/unit, and 35 units are upper division courses at $130/unit.)
A cohort of around 25 students in the Interaction Design (IxD) program will begin in Fall 2016. In Fall 2016, SMC will start offering the junior-level courses in the IxD program, as well as the upper-division general education courses.
The IxD Program is open to students who have earned a Graphic Design Associate degree (or equivalent), and/or have the necessary work experience.
Lower division courses for the first two years of the Interaction Design (IxD) Bachelor’s degree will follow the existing SMC Associates degree in Graphic Design with an User Experience concentration. For a complete listing of the suggested lower division courses, please see the Program page.
The baccalaureate curriculum builds upon the Associate level coursework and focuses on industry-identified areas including interaction design studio courses, product design, coding for web development, cognitive psychology, interactive storytelling, tangible interaction, an industry-sponsored senior studio, project management and portfolio preparation. Please see the Program page for more details.