Questions about UX Academy? Book a call with Admissions to learn more about the program. We’re excited to chat with you!

Questions about UX Academy?
We've got answers!

Schedule a call with Admissions

Ready for a career switch?
Start your UX Academy journey!

Apply Now

New to design?
Take your first step today!

Enroll in Foundations

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Designlab offers two tracks for students to choose from.

Full-time Track (40 hours/week)

  • The program takes about 15 weeks
  • Average of ~2 60-minute mentor sessions a week (total of 26 mentor sessions)
  • Weekly Group Crits (12 mandatory)
  • 18 30-minute Career Coach sessions during Career Services

Part-time Track (20 hours/week)

  • The program takes about 28 weeks
  • Average of 1 mentor session a week (total of 26 mentor sessions)
  • Weekly Group Crits (22 mandatory)
  • 18 30-minute Career Coach sessions during Career Services

REFUND/CANCELLATION POLICY

  • You have the right to cancel your enrollment at any time. You must contact Designlab via email to cancel your enrollment.
  • You can cancel the course within the first two weeks for any reason and receive a full refund for all payments made. After this two-week period, the $399 USD deposit becomes non-refundable (except for a refund granted under the Tuition Reimbursement Policy as described below).
  • If you cancel your enrollment at any time after the initial two-week period, Designlab will issue a pro­rated refund for the unearned portion of the tuition, less the non­refundable deposit fee.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

UX Academy is a rigorous academic program. To graduate, you must meet the following requirements.

1. Meet academic requirements

Complete all the assigned coursework each week

You must complete 100% of the assigned readings & projects with mentor approval according to the course schedule, and submit iterations for projects based on mentor feedback.

Pass the following skills checkpoints:

  • Objective project assessments for each project according to a skills rubric. You are responsible for ensuring all of your coursework is approved by your mentor.
  • Two Phase 1 formal checkpoints:
    • A mid-phase Progress Report, where your mentor will evaluate your course progress and skills development
    • An end-of-phase Progress Report, where your mentor will ascertain your overall development and ability to proceed to Phase 2. If your work does not meet the required quality by the end of Phase 1, you will be asked to repeat work and develop your skills before moving on to Phase 2.
  • A formal portfolio review at the end of Phase 2 (known as the “Panel Review”). You must pass this review to graduate from the program and enter Career Services. If you do not wish to enter Career Services, you must still pass the review to graduate.
    • In the case that your portfolio does not pass the review, you will be allotted additional time and mentor sessions to prep and polish your portfolio. You will remain in this prep phase until you and your mentor determine you are ready to submit for another review.

2. Stay on track and graduate in a timely manner

Falling Behind

You may not fall more than 40 hours behind the course schedule.

Doing so renders you ineligible for the Tuition Reimbursement Policy, but we have a support system designed to help you complete the program on a revised timeline:

Behind by 80 hours

  • The first time we’ll help you design a timeline to get you back on track.
  • The second time after receiving a timeline, we require you to stay on track for the remaining duration of the program. If you do not, we may remove our mentorship support for the remainder of your course.

Behind by 160 hours

  • The first time we’ll help you design a timeline and require you to stay on track for the remaining duration of the program. If you do not, we may remove our mentorship support for the remainder of your course.

Behind by 400 hours

  • We reserve the right to fully withdraw you from the program with a pro-rated refund, if applicable.

Inactivity

Student “inactivity” occurs when you do not log in or interact with the platform for two weeks. We understand life happens, but our data shows students who go inactive even once are far less likely to receive a successful outcome. As a result, we’ve developed a support system to protect students to the best of our ability (which starts with not falling behind above).

We also have a distinction between inactivity due to an “excused reason” (an equivalent to pausing for an “excused reason”) versus an “unexcused reason.” Any “unexcused reasons” lose their Tuition Reimbursement Policy eligibility, whereas “excused reasons” will not if you have some normal pause time left. Additionally, unexcused inactivity will receive a stricter response.

Inactive for 2 Weeks

  • The first time you fall inactive, we’ll help you design a timeline to get you back on track.
  • The second time you fall inactive, we require you stay on track for the remaining duration of the program. If you do not, we may remove our mentorship support for the remainder of your course.

Inactive for 4 Weeks

  • The first time you fall inactive for longer than 4 weeks, we’ll help you design a timeline and require you to stay on track for the remaining duration of the program. If you do not, we may remove our mentorship support for the remainder of your course.
  • The second time you fall inactive, we may remove our mentorship support for the remainder of your course.

Inactive for more than 4 weeks

  • First time or not, we reserve the right to fully withdraw you from the program with a pro-rated refund, if applicable.

Pausing

Normal Pauses

We allow you up to two pauses, each one week long, to use at your discretion throughout the course. During a pause, you will have access to your coursework, but you won’t be able to schedule mentor sessions.

Special Pauses

This section qualifies as “excused reasons” for any time away, particularly when having already used your allotted two weeks. We allow unique one-time pause lengths for various exceptional circumstances, but in all cases (except for “Parental Leave,” you lose Tuition Reimbursement Eligibility):

  • Sick Leave (any health-related reason) - We provide up to 6 additional weeks off for any medical concerns, so long as it is accompanied by a physician’s note.
  • Bereavement - We provide up to 2 additional weeks for bereavement leave.
  • Parental Leave - We provide up to 8 additional weeks off to expecting or new parents, with any additional time being allowed when accompanied by a physician’s note.
  • Personal Emergency - If you’ve used up your normal pause time and have run into an emergency, we provide up to two additional weeks.

3. Attend mentor sessions

You must attend all of your 1-on-1 mentor sessions, meeting with your mentor regularly according to the program schedule (refer to Program Overview above).

Out of respect for your mentor’s time, if you need to cancel or reschedule a session, you must give your mentor at least 24 hours notice. Failure to do so will result in the session being forfeited and counted towards your session limit with that mentor (for to pausing this graduation requirement, a forfeited session counts as an attended session). You may forfeit no more than two sessions during the program.

4. Attend & participate in weekly Group Crits

You must attend the minimum number of Group Crits specified in the Program Overview above.

Some of your Group Crit session requirements may be excused by Designlab, for example in the case of certain holidays. In the case that Group Crits are specified as optional for a certain time period, you would not be required to make up those sessions.

5. Meet community and academic standards

  • Inappropriate or abusive behavior towards mentors, fellow students, or Designlab staff is unacceptable.
  • We do not tolerate any plagiarism or academic misconduct.

We reserve the right to withdraw you from UX Academy at any point throughout the program. Reasons for withdrawal include, but are not limited to, failing to meet any of the requirements outlined above.

CAREER SERVICES REQUIREMENTS

All students must meet minimum activity requirements to stay enrolled in Career Services. If you do not meet these minimum requirements, your enrollment status will be marked as Inactive and you may be removed from the program.

  • Respond to all Career Coach and Designlab communications within 2 business days.
  • Attend weekly Career Coach sessions. You must attend Coach sessions every week (unless your Coach is unavailable for any reason).
  • Stay active in Career Services. To maintain your enrollment in Career Services, you must attend one Coach session each week and complete the required curriculum each week. If you do not meet these requirements for 2 or more weeks, your account will be flagged as Inactive and you will receive a warning. If your account goes Inactive a second time, you may be removed from Career Services.
  • Uphold Career Services Code of Conduct. Any violation of the conduct policy is grounds for removal from the Designlab platform and community.

As long as you have sessions remaining and have been meeting all other requirements (including activity requirements), you can meet with your Coach throughout Career Services (6 months post-graduation). Unused sessions expire at the end of Career Services.

OTHER POLICIES

Additional Mentor Sessions

Each student is eligible to request up to 4 additional free sessions for UX Academy and Career Services. Please reach out to the Designlab Support team, who will assist you. They may require you to submit a Typeform citing the reason(s) why you require the sessions, and the request will be processed accordingly.

Valid reasons for request include:

  • Mentor switches after unproductive sessions
  • Additional sessions if a particular project (especially in Phase 2) is more ambitious or requires more specialized skills if the mentor can help
  • Dedicated additional sessions at the end of CS if a student is in the final stages of a job interview process

Furthermore, mentors can request these 4 sessions on behalf of their students if they have a focused plan to utilize the sessions in service of a particular skill gap or plan of learning that would particularly benefit them.

Students can also submit requests for paid sessions, which require mentor approval.

Mentor Switches

Students are not allowed to request a mentor switch during the first two weeks unless there is:

  • a scheduling conflict, in which case the student’s proposed availability will be verified prior to granting the switch.
  • a violation of the Designlab Code of Conduct by either party

For the remainder of the course, the following are valid reasons for requesting a mentor switch:

  • Personality clash
  • Mentoring style
  • Feedback not being thorough enough
  • Scheduling issues
  • Unresponsive mentor
  • Mentor updating capacity

For the majority of these, we ask the student to try working through the issue with their mentor first prior to granting a switch.

Track Switches

You can request a track switch once during your time in UX Academy. We will calculate your adjusted weeks to complete the course and inform you of the adjusted Group Crit requirement for the duration of the course.

For a switch to full-time, you are required to be at least on time with your week-over-week progress.

For a switch to part-time, we will adjust your enrollment to on time if you are up to 40 hours behind in the full-time track. If you’re further behind than that, you will need to additionally speak to Support to receive a “Special Approval” and accompanying catch-up plan with its terms.

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT POLICY

This policy is designed to support your entry into the design field with rigorous requirements that have led to candidate success. You may be eligible for a tuition reimbursement if you are unable to receive a qualifying job offer within 6 months of completing UX Academy, provided you satisfy all requirements below. No exceptions to this policy are granted for any purpose.

If you receive an offer of any type, paid or unpaid, you must let us know by completing the “I’m Hired” form which you will find on your student dashboard. Any paid design role with >20 hours/week for 4 or more weeks of work will count as a qualifying offer, rendering the reimbursement null and void. Failure to report a qualifying offer is a breach of the Career Services Code of Conduct.

All active students receive the full UX Academy and Career Services support and experience, regardless of their eligibility for the Tuition Reimbursement Policy. Many students become ineligible during the program, however, this does not affect their ability to complete the program and land a job in the field.

To request your reimbursement

You must submit your tuition reimbursement request in writing to hello@trydesignlab.com not more than 9 months after starting Career Services. You must provide evidence that you fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed by completing and attaching a copy of the tuition reimbursement checklist below.

Please note, to remain eligible for tuition reimbursement you must meet all graduation and Career Services requirements, which are included again for convenience in the comprehensive checklist below. All of the below requirements must be completed before requesting the reimbursement; any proof/evidence submitted after the fact is inadmissible.

Tuition Reimbursement Checklist

General

  • You are over 21 years of age
  • You are legally able to work in your target city or cities
  • You live within commuting distance (90 minutes) of your target city
  • Your target work city is on our list of eligible cities (see list below)

UX Academy

  • You must complete 100% of required weekly readings and have projects completed and mentor approved

    • This includes a formal review at the end of phase 1 of UX Academy where your mentor will ascertain your overall development and ability to proceed to Phase 2. If your work does not meet the required quality by the end of Phase 1, you will be asked to repeat work and develop your skills before moving on to Phase 2.
  • You need to make sure that all mentor suggested iterations are re-submitted and approved
  • You must not fall behind more than 40 hours at any point during the course or become inactive at any point
  • You cannot take more than 2 pauses and each pause may not exceed 1 week

    • Special exceptions are allowed for parental leave.
  • You must attend all mentor sessions in Phase 1 and Phase 2

    • Out of respect for your mentor’s time, if you need to cancel or reschedule a session, you must give your mentor at least 24 hours notice. Failure to do so will result in the session being forfeited and counted towards your session limit with that mentor (for this tuition reimbursement requirement, a forfeited session does not count as an attended session).
  • You must attend the minimum number of weekly Group Crit sessions: 12 in the full-time track and 22 in the part-time track.

Graduating UX Academy

  • You must submit your final portfolio for panel review no later than 4 weeks after the Scheduled Completion Date listed at the top of your UX Academy Student Agreement.

    • If there are any Designlab-sponsored break periods (e.g. Winter Holiday break), then for this requirement the Scheduled Completion Date will be adjusted by the official duration of the break(s).
    • You must pass this review to graduate from the program and enter Career Services. If you do not wish to enter Career Services, you must still pass the review to graduate.
  • You must pass portfolio review within 8 weeks of your first submission

    • If there are any Designlab-sponsored break periods (e.g. Winter Holiday break), then for this requirement, the 8 week period will be increased by the official duration of the break(s).
    • In the case that your portfolio does not pass the review, you will be allotted additional time and mentor sessions to prep and polish your portfolio. You will remain in this prep phase until you and your mentor determine you are ready to submit for another review. If this process takes longer than 8 weeks, you will no longer be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

Career Services

  • To maintain an active status in Career Services, you must:

    • Start Career Services immediately after graduation.
    • Work through Career Services without taking any pauses.
    • Attend all weekly Career Services sessions with no forfeited sessions.
    • Respond to all Career Coach and Designlab staff communications within 2 business days.
    • Complete 100% of required weekly readings and have required weekly projects completed and mentor approved.
  • To adequately track your job search, you must:

    • Set up your Huntr account. When you start Career Services, you’ll receive an invitation to set up your job hunting board. Accept the invite, set up your account, and share your board with your Career Coach.
    • Keep your Huntr Board updated weekly and apply to at least 5 jobs per week (at least 3 in your target work city, up to 2 remote), starting in Week 3 of Career Services at the latest.
    • At least 5 jobs per week must be for generalist positions (e.g. job titles such as UX Designer, UX/UI Designer, or Product Designer). Any jobs tracked for specialized roles (e.g. job titles such as UX Researcher, UX Strategist, UX Analyst, etc…) do not count toward the weekly 5-job minimum.
    • If you receive an offer of any type, paid or unpaid, you must let us know by completing the “I’m Hired” form which you will find on your student dashboard. Any paid design role with >20 hours/week for 4 or more weeks of work will count as a qualifying offer, rendering the reimbursement null and void. Failure to report a qualifying offer is a breach of the Career Services Code of Conduct.
  • To develop your skills during the job search, you must:

    • Complete all assigned work in Career Services, each week. There are 2 types of projects in Career Services: regular projects, and bonus projects (Design Challenges). Design Challenges are not required. They are meant to help you keep practicing, and you should speak with your Coach about which ones you and they find useful for your development. Regular design projects and any relevant design challenges should be submitted each week.
    • If you get a freelance project, internship, placement through the Designlab Partnerships program, or part-time UX/UI or Product design role, this will take the place of all design curriculum for the duration of the role. Tracking work to meet the weekly requirement is up to the student and, if requested, you must successfully prove that the work was completed during the weeks you do not complete the design curriculum.
    • You must attend a minimum of 1 relevant networking event per month AND conduct 1 informational interview each month. These can be completed either in person (in one of your target job hunting cities) or virtually.

Additional notes

The Tuition Reimbursement Policy does not apply to students who have been convicted of a felony in the last seven years.

Eligible Cities Checklist:

US Cities:
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex)
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN
  • New York, NY
  • Oakland, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Raleigh-Durham 'Research Triangle', NC
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington DC
Non-US Cities:
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Berlin, Germany
  • London, UK
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Shenzen, China
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Paris, France
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Singapore
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Cape Town, South Africa

Outcome Data

By participating in the UX Academy program, you are agreeing to share your outcome data with us when we request it. Personal information will be kept confidential but may be used in outcome reporting.

Grounds for Course Withdrawal

UX Academy is a rigorous course that requires a full commitment from you as a student to ensure your success. We also understand that life happens and will do our best to support you through the course. However, in certain cases, we reserve the right to withdraw you from the course. If you are eligible for a prorated refund, this will be processed upon withdrawal. Here is a list of the criteria that would mark you as a candidate for withdrawal:

  • Any plagiarism or academic misconduct
  • Inappropriate behavior or abuse of any Designlab student, mentor, facilitator, or staff member
  • Falling more than 40 hours behind in your Phase 1 or Phase 2 coursework
  • Any pause longer than 2 weeks in total or any combined pause time longer than 2 weeks across the duration of UX Academy
  • Forfeiting more than 2 mentor sessions in total in Phase 1 and Phase 2
  • Not responding to mentor or career coach communications within 48 hours
  • Forfeiting any career coach sessions
  • Not setting up your Huntr board in Career Services or not sharing it with your Career Coach

Last Updated: October 19, 2021