What are the top undergraduate User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) schools in the South?

Top 5 Undergraduate UX/UI/HCI Schools and Colleges in the South - 2024 Rankings
1Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgia
2Full Sail UniversityFlorida
3University of KentuckyKentucky
4University of TennesseeTennessee
5Kennesaw State UniversityGeorgia

Our 2024 rankings of the Top 5 undergraduate UX/UI/HCI school programs in the South. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has a UX Design program that was developed in collaboration with Google. Leading to a BFA and available at the Savannah and Atlanta campuses, the program provides the opportunity to complete an undergraduate internship or work with major corporations to solve real-world problems. Through SCADpro, students have worked with Microsoft, Capital One, Home Depot, 3M, Hewlett-Packard, and Instagram, among others.

In addition to completing an undergraduate internship or participating in SCADpro—all before graduation—SCAD UX students have the opportunity to select a minor from more than 75 options. Examples of minors that complement the UX program include Graphic Design, Mobile and Interactive Design, Game UX, Electronic Design, and Interactive Design and Game Development.

Consisting of 180 credit hours, the UX BFA at Savannah College of Art and Design requires foundation, general education, major, and elective courses. Students can expect to take courses such as User Experience Design Methods; Coding for UX Designers; Computer-aided Product Design; Front-end Visual Interface Design; Interactive Product Design; Usability Testing: People vs. the World; and Production for Digital Environments.

The UX BFA curriculum also requires a number of studios including Studio I: Production and Technique; Design Studio I: Innovation; and Design Studio II: The Complexity of Simplicity. The program culminates with Senior Studio I: Researching and Ideation; and UX Design Senior Studio II: Prototyping and Communication.

Graduates of the UX BFA program at SCAD are prepared for careers such as UI/UX Designer, Product Researcher, Interaction Design Director, UX Design Analyst, Visual Designer, Mobile Application Designer, UX Strategist, Product Designer, Front-end Developer, and UX Researcher. Program alumni have been hired at Google, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Deloitte Digital, Apple, FedEx, IBM, Volvo, Uber, State Farm, Truist, and Uber.

Founded in 1978, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) opened in 1979 with just 71 students, one classroom, and an administration building. Today, SCAD serves more than 15,000 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Lacoste, France. Providing more than 100 degree program options and over 75 minors and certificate programs, the has more programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S.

Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University

From film sets and state-of-the-art design studios to live venues and labs, Full Sail University provides endless opportunities to work and learn in a professional environment that mirrors today’s professional production studios. The school’s project-based programs also allow students across majors to gain valuable real-world experience before graduation.

All Full Sail students have access to the Project LaunchBox, which provides software and tools to create projects. LaunchBox also houses student coursework and files, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

For undergraduate students seeking a UX program, Full Sail University has two options: a BS and a 28-week certificate. Consisting of 23 credit hours, the UX certificate is designed to help students increase their marketability in the user experience and human-centered design arenas. Courses include Introduction to User Experience; Graphic Principles I-II; Design Art and theory; and UI Visual Design and Prototyping. The final two courses for the program include Project I: User Experience and Portfolio I: User Experience.

Graduates are prepared for advancement opportunities in their current careers or to pursue entry-level roles in a variety of interactive media industries.

The User Experience BS at Full Sail University explores visual design, typography, and psychology and perception as they relate to UX design. Students in this program will design user experiences for products and services by utilizing research, testing, and prototyping.

Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include User Experience Design; Psychology of Play; UX Production; UI Visual Design and Prototyping; UX/UI for Gaming Platforms; Graphic Principles I-II; Interactive Editorial Design; Information Visualization; Interactive Media Design and Usability; Psychology of Perception in UX; Systems Design; UX Design for Platform Standards; Typography and Page Layout; Physiology of Sensation in UX; UX Production; and Creative Presentation.

Throughout the User Experience BS program at Full Sail University, students will complete six project and portfolio courses. These hands-on learning experiences culminate with a multimedia postmortem presentation. The final course in the program—Career Readiness—prepares students to enter the job market through industry research, personal brand development, and developing strategies for employer engagement. Students will build resumes and cover letters, while developing a professional portfolio for their target audience.

Graduates of the User Experience BS program are prepared for careers in areas such as technology, retail and ecommerce, game design, manufacturing, fine arts, product design, healthcare, education, finance, digital marketing, and advertising. Full Sail alumni have been hired at places such as Apple, ESPN, Disney, Google, HBO, Insomniac Games, NASA, Industrial Light & Magic, PBS, NASCAR, Sony, Unity Technologies, and Universal Studios.

Full Sail University opened in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the school is located just 35 minutes from downtown Orlando and Universal Studios. Serving approximately 21,000 students, Full Sail provides graduate certificates and programs at all degree levels in the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Full Sail University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

3. University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
University of Kentucky

The College of Design (CoD) at University of Kentucky (UK) launched a new Product Design program in Fall 2020. Leading to a BS, the program places special emphasis on UX/UI, healthcare devices and systems, and ergonomics in a cross-disciplinary environment within the CoD. In addition, Product Design students have the unique opportunity to collaborate with the Colleges of Engineering and Business, and nearly all UK Healthcare Colleges.  

The Product Design BS at University of Kentucky requires 120 credit hours of study to graduate. Students will begin the program with several workshops and studios, as well as courses such as Elementary Calculus; Computer Aided Design; Human Anatomy for Design; and Design Visualization Digital. Over the next three years, the program consists of four design studios and courses such as UX + UI for Product Design; Design Research Methods; Advanced Materials & Processes; Design Management; and Colloquium: Topics in Product Design.

Throughout the program, students will explore an array of special topics such in areas such as contemporary technology, furniture design, healthcare, and professional development.

In the final year of the Product Design program at University of Kentucky, students will complete a professional development course and the Portfolio for Product Design course. Graduates are prepared for careers in a wide range of fields. Examples include healthcare, packaging, medical, smart textiles, electronic, toy design, athletic gear and clothing, furniture, and hardware.

University of Kentucky was founded on February 22, 1865 as a land-grant institution. The school serves over 34,000 students, including more than 24,000 undergraduates—for the first time in the school’s history. UK provides more than 200 academic programs across 16 degree granting colleges, Lewis Honors College, and the Graduate School. University of Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

4. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee
University of Tennessee

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) is part of the College of Communication and Information (CCI). In 2019, UT SIS launched the state’s first undergraduate Information Sciences program. Leading to a BS (BSIS), the program explores areas such as human-computer interaction and usability; web development and programming; analytics and visualization; data management; and information literacy and ethics. To enhance the degree, the SIS provides several concentration options. This includes User Experience Design (UXD).

Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BSIS UXD program begins with courses such as Communication in the Information Age; Expanded Perspectives; General Psychology; Quantitative Reasoning; English Composition; Public Speaking; and Business and Professional Communication.

In the junior and senior years of the program, students will take advanced courses such as Interfaces and Interaction Design; User-Centered Design; Programming for Information Architecture; Analytics and Metrics for User Experience; Usability Testing and Methods; and Information Management in Organizations.

Other program highlights include opportunities for global study, independent research, practicums, and internships.

The BSIS at University of Tennessee, Knoxville culminates with a capstone project. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue positions such as UX Designer, UX Researcher, Web Content Analyst Information Manager, Metadata Specialist, IT Analyst, and Data Analyst.

Founded in 1794 as Blount College, University of Tennessee, Knoxville is the state’s flagship land-grant university. The school serves approximately 36,305 students enrolled in more than 900 programs of study across 17 degree-granting colleges and schools. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1897.

5. Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw State or KSU) is home to the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Science. Serving close to 8,600 students, the College houses the Department of Technical Communication and Interactive Design. Within the Department is an Interactive Design program that leads to a BS. This interdisciplinary program features hands-on coursework, team-building exercises, workshops, and internship opportunities.  

Consisting of 120 credit hours, the Interactive Design BS explores prototyping, front-end digital design, user interface design, programming, interaction design, and visual design. Specific course titles include User Interface Design I-II; Introduction to Programming; Prototyping I-II; Ethnography for Designers; Front-End Development I-II; Productivity Tools and Techniques; Visual Design I-II; Digital Media and Culture; and Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory.

In the final year of the program, KSU BS students have the opportunity to complete the Professional Development course. This required course features professional networking situations, company meetings, and interviews. This course also highlights personal portfolio development and the how to prepare a career development roadmap. The Professional Development course is worth three credits.

The Interactive Design BS at Kennesaw State University culminates with the Capstone Project and Portfolio Showcase. This final senior course for the Technical Communication and Interactive Design department consists of a capstone project for the student’s portfolio and preparation for a portfolio showcase that takes place at the end of the semester.

Graduates of the KSU Interactive Design BS are prepared to work as Interaction, User experience (UX), and User Interface (UI) designers on teams that include may include Engineers, Product Developers, Marketing Professionals, and any others.

Founded in 1963 as a junior college, Kennesaw State University is part of the University System of Georgia. The school serves nearly 45,000 students, making it the third largest university in Georgia, and one of top 50 largest public institutions in the U.S. Kennesaw State provides more than 180 undergraduate, master’s, doctoral degree and certificate programs across two campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia, 11 colleges, and KSU Journey Honors College.

Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).