UX Academy Policies

Our policies on what's expected from our students, refunds, and more

Program Overview

Designlab offers two tracks for students to choose from.

Full-time Track (40 hours/week)

  • The program takes about 16 weeks
  • Average of ~2 60-minute mentor sessions a week (total of 26 mentor sessions)
  • Weekly Group Crits (12 mandatory)
  • 12 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)
  • 12 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 in accordance with the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee as described below).
  • If you cancel your enrollment at any time after the 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. In order 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 in order to graduate from the program and enter Career Services. If you do not wish to enter Career Services, you must still pass the review in order 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

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

Buffer Time
Throughout the course, your work will be evaluated and approved by your mentor. We expect that through practice and iteration, your deliverables will meet a baseline level of quality. Two weeks of buffer time (one per phase) are built into the course schedule to allow you to make extra iterations on your design work.

In case special circumstances come up (travel, medical emergencies, etc.), 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. Students who wish to pause for more than two weeks total must withdraw from the course, receive a pro-rated refund, and re-apply to enter the program in a future cohort.

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 the purposes of 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 duration of the program. Reasons for withdrawal include, but are not limited to, failing to meet any of the requirements outlined above.

Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee

Any job search or career change requires an intense level of dedication and commitment. We want to be explicit that UX Academy does not provide job placement and that as a student, you are responsible for your job search — expect to put in a rigorous level of time and effort to land your first design role. We’re here to support you along the way with in-depth curriculum, mentorship, and other resources.

We believe in mutual accountability — you do the work and we’ll do our best to help you land a job. We’ve built our program to a high quality standard to help students navigate the hiring market, and we’ve had a consistent track record of our alumni finding success with this approach!

Our Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee is designed to help you feel confident in committing to the path of this rigorous career change.

If you’re unable to land a design role (full-time, part-time, freelance, internship, or apprenticeship) after successfully completing UX Academy and six months of Career Services, you may be eligible for a full tuition refund.

To qualify for the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee, we require a firm commitment from students who are interested in finding a new role after the program. Here are the requirements to maintain eligibility:

  • Meet all previously stated Graduation Requirements
  • Submit your portfolio for the first time to the Panel Review no later than four weeks after your Scheduled Completion Date
  • Your portfolio must pass the Panel Review within eight weeks after you first submit it
  • Meet all requirements for Career Services stated below

Career Services

You’re welcome to enroll in Career Services even if you’re not currently actively looking for a new role. All students must meet minimum program requirements to stay enrolled in Career Services.

We have a specific set of additional requirements if you’d like to remain eligible for the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee. You must be committed to the rigorous job search, and follow through on all necessary steps for success.

All students in Career Services

To remain eligible for the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee

Create a job search roadmap
When you start Career Services, you’ll meet with your Career Coach to strategize and create a roadmap for your time in the program. Each student and Coach develop a personalized plan, with appropriate coursework and goals that match students individually. You must keep your roadmap up-to-date during your time in Career Services.

Respond to Coach communications
You must respond to all Coach communications within 48 hours

Attend weekly Coaching sessions
You must attend Coach sessions every week for the first 12 weeks. You may not forfeit any Coach sessions.

Community Guidelines
All students must uphold our Designlab Community Guidelines

Submit progress reports
You must submit Progress Reports on time, every single week.

Start Career Services immediately
You must begin Career Services immediately after passing your Panel Review and graduating, without taking a pause or break

Complete assigned work
If you’ve yet to land a role after your first 12 weeks of Career Services, Designlab may assign you customized curriculum to support your job search. You must follow along with this curriculum, attend additional assigned sessions, and complete all required work.

Location Guidelines
You must focus your job search on a maximum of two cities from our approved list below, and you must be located within commuting distance of one of those cities before beginning Career Services. You must also be eligible to work in your target city legally, and be above the age of 21.

Apply to jobs
You must apply to at least five jobs per week in your target location(s), unless you and your Coach agree to focus instead on initial stages of the job hunt such as portfolio/resume improvement (only appropriate within the first two weeks; students must begin applying to roles no later than Week 3).

Information for the jobs applied for must be documented via the weekly Progress Report, or they do not qualify as completed.

Follow up on job applications
Keep your job search roadmap up-to-date with follow-up efforts and additional communications.

Attend networking events
You must attend at least two networking events or meetups in at least one of your target locations per month.

You must provide the event link and document your attendance via the weekly Progress Report or they do not qualify as completed.

Apply for relevant roles
You must be searching for a UX Designer or Product Designer role.

UX Academy and Career Services are designed to help students land generalist positions (UX Designer, UX/UI Designer, Product Designer). Our system and curriculum are not designed to support junior-level students pursuing specialized roles (UX Researcher, UX Strategist, UX Analyst, etc.) at this time.

Keep us informed of news in your job search
Notify us in writing of any employment offer you receive (full-time, internship, apprenticeship, or contract role)

Program pauses and delays

Should you need to take a break or delay starting Career Services, we can pause Career Services for you. We’ll continue to provide up to 12 sessions with your Coach, however you’ll no longer be eligible for the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee.

Breaks or delays longer than two months will be considered an election to opt out of Career Services.

To retain eligibility for the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee, pauses or delays in Career Services are not permissible under any circumstances.

Additional Notes
The Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee does not apply for students who have been convicted of a felony in the last seven years.

Location Guidelines

Approved US Cities

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Boulder, CO
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex)
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN
  • New York, NY
  • Oakland, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh-Durham 'Research Triangle', NC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington DC

Cities Outside the US

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Berlin, Germany
  • London, UK
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada

To request reimbursement under the Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee

You must submit a request, in writing, to Designlab at hello@trydesignlab.com no later than nine months after starting Career Services.

You must provide evidence that you fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed under Career Services above.

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.