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The Best UI Design Certification Programs

Emily Stevens

User interface (UI) designers are in high demand—but, as more and more people enter into the field, it’s essential that you’re able to stand out from the crowd. A professional certification helps to distinguish between self-taught or uncertified designers and those who have undergone comprehensive, hands-on training—immediately setting you apart as a credible candidate.

So what are your options for becoming a certified UI designer?

When it comes to obtaining a UI certification, there is no “gold standard” qualification that all designers should aim for. UI design certifications come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to do your research and make sure that you’re training with a reputable provider. Not sure where to start? Here are nine of the best UI design certification programs on the market right now.

1. CareerFoundry UI Design Program

The CareerFoundry UI Design Program at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online, with a mentor and tutor

  • Ideal for: Beginners who want to make a career change

  • Duration: Between 4.5 and 9 months, flexibly paced

  • Price: $6,900 USD

Who is it for?

The CareerFoundry UI Design Program is ideal for anyone looking to start a new career as a UI designer. Built for beginners, the hands-on curriculum will take you through all the skills, tools, and processes necessary to work in the field—with no prior knowledge or experience needed. The course is taught entirely online, allowing you to fit your studies around work and other commitments. If you’re still deciding whether or not UI design is the right field for you, try out this free introductory short course.

How does it work?

Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll be given access to the CareerFoundry online learning platform. You’ll also be assigned a personal tutor and a one-to-one mentor—both industry experts who will guide you through the learning process. You’ll access all the course content via the online platform, reading through the material and completing practical exercises. These are submitted to, and marked by, your tutor. You’ll also work on larger UI projects which go into your portfolio. Throughout the course, you’ll have regular video calls with your mentor. There’s no final exam or assessment, but you do need to have each exercise approved in order to progress to the next chapter. You’ll graduate with a UI design certification and a professional portfolio. You can learn more about how the program works here.

How long does it take to complete?

The program is flexibly paced, which means you can study according to your own schedule—however, you will be held to certain milestones in order to keep you on track, as well as an overall finish date. If you dedicate around 30 hours per week, you can expect to finish the program within four and a half months. For a less intense schedule, you can dedicate around 15 hours per week and finish within nine months.

How much does it cost?

The CareerFoundry UI Design Program costs $6,900 USD (or $6,555 USD if you pay upfront). The course is also covered by a job guarantee; if you don’t get a job within six months of completion, you could be eligible for a full refund.

2. Learn UI Design Video Course

The Learn UI Design video course at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Beginners looking for a practical foundation in UI

  • Duration: Flexible

  • Price: $995 - $2,495 USD

Who is it for?

Run by Seattle-based designer Erik Kennedy, this video-based program is ideal for beginners looking to gain a practical introduction to the field. For those who prefer to watch and learn, this is a great alternative to some of the more theory-heavy offerings on the market. It’s a strong contender if you’re looking for complete flexibility and independent learning at a relatively low price point.

How does it work?

The course is broken down into seven units, comprising a total of 48 video-based lessons which you’ll access through the web app. You can work through each unit lesson by lesson, or simply choose which topics interest you the most—it’s entirely up to you. You’ll also have access to downloadable exercises, printable cheat sheets, and the community Slack channel. The most expensive plan comes with five one-on-one coaching sessions, while the cheaper options will see you taking a more independent approach.

How long does it take to complete?

The video content amounts to 24 hours in total, and the course is paced entirely flexibly with no fixed end date. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have lifetime access to all the course materials.

How much does it cost?

The basic plan costs $995 USD, giving you access to all the video lessons, downloads, and assignments. The full access plan costs $1,495 USD and also includes access to the Slack channel. The 1-on-1 coaching plan, complete with five coaching sessions, costs $2,495 USD.

3. Springboard UI / UX Career Track

The Springboard UI / UX Career Track at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Aspiring designers who want to learn both UI and UX

  • Duration: 9 months

  • Price: $9,891 USD

Who is it for?

The Springboard course is geared towards those who want to learn both UI and UX design. You don’t need any professional experience to take the course—although you will need to pass an evaluation of baseline visual skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to empathize with users. The course is entirely online and flexibly paced, making it a good option if you plan on working and studying at the same time. If you’re not sure what the difference is between UX and UI design (and which one you’d like to learn), it’s worth doing some research before committing to the course.

How does it work?

The UX/UI career track takes place entirely online, with weekly support from a mentor. The curriculum is split into 35 units, covering topics such as design thinking, sketching and wireframing, style guides, and design elements. You’ll work on mini projects throughout, as well as larger portfolio projects. You’ll also complete a 40-hour industry design project, consolidating all the UX and UI skills you’ve learned on the course.

How long does it take to complete?

The course takes nine months to complete, with most students dedicating 15-20 hours per week.

How much does it cost?

At $9,981 USD, this is one of the more expensive offerings on the market. If you’re able to pay upfront, you’ll get a 17% discount. Springboard also offers a job guarantee, so you may be eligible for a refund if you don’t find a job after the course.

4. Designlab UI Design Short Course

The Designlab UI short course at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Mid-level designers looking to upskill

  • Duration: 4 weeks, 10-15 hours per week

  • Price: $499 USD

Who is it for?

This four-week course is for mid-level designers who already have some design experience and now want to hone their UI skills. Based entirely online and spanning the course of a month, this is a good option if you want to move through the fundamentals of visual design relatively quickly.

How does it work?

With the help of a professional mentor, you’ll work your way through a series of key UI design topics, starting with the origins of UI in week one and finishing with prototyping and design handoffs in week four. Throughout the course, you’ll work on your own project, ending up with a high fidelity prototype and a certificate of completion.

How long does it take to complete?

The course takes four weeks to complete, at a pace of around 15-20 hours per week.

How much does it cost?

The standard price of the course is $499 USD; however, you’ll find that Designlab often runs discounts and offers.

5. General Assembly Visual Design Course

The General Assembly course at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Beginners looking for an introduction to UI

  • Duration: 8 weeks, 4 hours per week

  • Price: $2,800 USD

Who is it for?

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although it does say on their website that many students have prior experience with tools such as Photoshop, Sketch, and Figma. If you’re looking to learn the fundamentals of UI design and work on your first practical design project without committing to long-term study, this eight-week course offers a relatively affordable option to do so.

How does it work?

Unlike most online courses, the General Assembly program takes place on set days and times. You’ll study two hours per day, two days a week, with lessons taking place via the remote classroom. With guidance and feedback from an instructor, you’ll tackle topics such as typography, color, and layout, as well as all the essential tools used by UI designers. You’ll graduate with a portfolio project and a signed certificate of completion.

How long does it take to complete?

The course takes eight weeks to complete at a rate of four hours per week.

How much does it cost?

The course costs $2,800 USD in total, but you’ll get a $250 discount if you can pay in full upfront. General Assembly also offers a range of flexible financing options, such as interest-free loans, monthly installments, and employer sponsorships.

6. Ironhack UX/UI Design Bootcamp

The Ironhack course at a glance:

  • Mode of study: In-person

  • Ideal for: Career changers, career boosters, and entrepreneurs

  • Duration: 9 weeks full-time or 24 weeks part-time

  • Price: $12,000 USD

Who is it for?

The Ironhack bootcamp combines both UX and UI design, making it most suitable for those who want to learn both. There are no entry requirements, so this is a good option if you’re new to design—whether you want to start a new career as a designer or simply add UI design to your current skillset. It’s important to note that the course requires in-person attendance, so you’ll need to be able to commit to a certain schedule. And, as the most expensive option on our list, this may not be feasible for those on a tighter budget.

How does it work?

The course requires in-person attendance on either a part-time or full-time basis at one of Ironhack’s many international campuses. The curriculum is divided into four modules, starting with the prework component which introduces the basics of design thinking and interaction design over 40 hours of online study. Modules 1, 2, and 3 are taught in-person, focusing on user experience design, user interface design, and implementation respectively. As well as learning key design principles and techniques, students also benefit from career coaching and help with building a professional portfolio.

How long does it take to complete?

The full-time program takes nine weeks to complete at a pace of 40 hours per week, with classes typically running Monday-Friday from 9am to 6pm. The part-time program takes 24 weeks to complete at a pace of ten hours per week.

How much does it cost?

The course costs around $12,000 USD, with various scholarships and discounts available.

7. Interaction Design Foundation UI Design Course

The Interaction Design Foundation course at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Upskillers on a budget

  • Duration: Approximately 18 hours (spread over 7 weeks)

  • Price: Free with a yearly membership ($96-$156 USD per month)

Who is it for?

This short, seven-week course provides an introduction to UI design patterns, focusing on how to choose the right patterns in order to enhance the user experience of an interface. With that in mind, this course is best suited to those who already have some knowledge of what UI design is and the principles behind it. It won’t prepare you for a career change into UI, but it will give you a good taster of the kind of work that UI designers do—ideal if you just want to dip your toes in.

How does it work?

This is a self-paced, fully online course with no deadlines. The syllabus is divided into seven lessons, covering topics such as page structure, fluid navigation, social aspects of UI design, and dark patterns. A new lesson is released each week, and you can work through each component at your own pace. Once you’ve completed all lessons, you can download your course certificate.

How long does it take to complete?

The course takes approximately 18 hours to complete, spread out over seven weeks. However, you can spend as much time as you like on each lesson—there are no deadlines, and you won’t lose access to the content.

How much does it cost?

The UI design course is free for members of the Interaction Design Foundation. Membership costs around $16 USD per month for individual members, and around $195 USD per month for a company membership. Once you’re a member, you can take as many courses as you like.

8. FIT NYC User Interface Design Certificate Program

The UI design certificate program at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online

  • Ideal for: Creative professionals looking to upskill or change careers

  • Duration: 8 weeks

  • Price: $2,430 - $2,700 USD

Who is it for?

This eight-week program is described as a “career accelerator” which will give you the hands-on experience needed to work in the field of UI. However, it’s not suitable for complete beginners; the program is largely tailored to creative professionals such as graphic designers who want to move into app and web design. In order to enroll, you’ll need proficiency in design software (such as Adobe Creative Suite) as well as knowledge of fundamentals such as typography and layout.

How does it work?

The course is taught entirely online, every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm-8.30pm. It’s a Synchronous and Collaborative Remote Experiential Learning™ certificate program, which means that students attend remote lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in real-time. The curriculum also focuses heavily on project-based learning, encouraging you to actively explore real-world problems and work on your own portfolio. Topics covered include the UI design workflow, UI design tools, designing for usability, micro-interactions, and presentation skills.

How long does it take to complete?

The course takes eight weeks to complete, comprising four hours of remote classroom instruction each week.

How much does it cost?

Tuition costs between $2,430 and $2,700 USD.

9. CIW User Interface Designer Certification

The CIW certification at a glance:

  • Mode of study: Online 

  • Ideal for: Professionals looking to upskill

  • Duration: Flexible

  • Price: $843 USD (plus $150 USD for the exam)

Who is it for?

The CIW certification is a self-study kit that prepares you to take the CIW User Interface Designer exam. It is geared towards web designers, internet consultants, IT professionals, marketers, web and graphic designers, and business professionals—essentially anyone already working in the tech industry who wants to add UI design to their repertoire. The self-study kit contains everything you need to prepare for the exam, allowing you to work completely flexibly, online, at your own pace. And, at just under $1000 USD, it’s one of the most affordable options available.

How does it work?

The CIW self-study kit contains an official curriculum coursebook, an online pre-assessment which will give you an idea of what to expect from the final exam, online videos to complement the coursebook, interactive online exercises, online labs for practicing your skills hands-on, and practice exams. Topics range from an introduction to UI design right through to color, typography, navigation, and even publishing and maintaining a website. Once you’ve worked through all the materials, you can sit the exam either online (via video) or at one of their worldwide testing centers.

How long does it take to complete?

There is little guidance as to how long the CIW course takes to complete; it is completely flexible and independent, so it’s up to you how many hours you put in each week.

How much does it cost?

The self-study kit costs $843 USD, and the exam costs $150 USD.

What next?

That just about concludes our round-up of the best UI design certification programs. Hopefully you’ve been able to pick out a few options that meet your needs in terms of budget, flexibility, and skill level. So what now? If you’ve narrowed it down to a few favorites, it’s time to conduct some more in-depth research. Where possible, read student testimonials and independent reviews, speak to someone from the course provider to ask any questions you might have, and learn as much as you can about what the curriculum covers. If you’re still not sure whether to pursue a UI design certification, have a read through the following:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to UI with a free, 7-day short course.
  2. Become a qualified UI designer in 5-9 months—complete with a job guarantee.
  3. Talk to a Career Advisor to discuss career change and find out if UI is right for you.
  4. Learn about our graduates, see their portfolio projects, and find out where they’re at now.

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Emily Stevens

Emily Stevens

Managing Editor at CareerFoundry

Originally from England, Emily moved to Berlin after studying French and German at university. She has spent the last five years working in tech startups, immersed in the world of UX and design thinking. In addition to writing for the CareerFoundry blog, Emily has been a regular contributor to several industry-leading design publications, including the InVision blog, UX Planet, and Adobe XD Ideas.