How do I apply to UX Academy? Are there any prerequisites for the program?

Course Prerequisites

We accept a limited number of students per cohort of UX Academy. To be accepted into UX Academy, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Have a foundational level of visual design experience, demonstrated through samples of your work
  • Possess strong English language skills
  • Be able to commit a minimum weekly time, depending on your track
  • Complete the prerequisite course on time (if applicable)
  • Have keen motivation and be a good fit for the program, demonstrated through professional and respectful communication with the Designlab team and community


Foundational Design Experience

All students who enter into UX Academy must pass a skills assessment, which determines whether or not they have the foundational skills necessary to begin the program. There are two pathways to apply to UX Academy.


How to apply if you have previous experience as a graphic, web, or digital designer

  1. Complete our Design Challenge. The design challenge project brief will ask you to create high-fidelity wireframes for 1x desktop and 3x mobile screens for a digital product. You should use a UX design tool such as Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD to complete the challenge. If you aren't familiar with one of these tools, you can learn the basics via one of our free email courses or tutorial resources on YouTube. (Please note that projects created in platforms such as Squarespace or Wix do not meet the eligibility criteria for entry.) 
  2. Apply to UX Academy. On the application, select the option indicating you have previous design experience. Then copy and paste the link to your design challenge project file in the appropriate application field.
  3. Receive your admission decision within a week. Our team will evaluate your application and you'll hear back within 4 business days. If you're accepted, you can enroll to save your spot in an upcoming cohort of UX Academy. If you're not accepted, you should enroll in our UX Academy Foundations prerequisite course to build the foundational design skills needed. After completing Foundations, you can re-apply.


How to apply if you don't have previous design experience:

  1. Enroll in UX Academy Foundations. This prerequisite course will help you learn fundamental visual and UI design skills and also get comfortable using a UX design tool such as Figma or Sketch. You'll also get a sense of how Designlab's asynchronous, mentor-led course format works. Learn more about UX Academy Foundations and then enroll here.
  2. Apply to UX Academy. Once you've completed Foundations, you can apply to UX Academy. On the application, select the option indicating you've completed Foundations. Then copy and paste the link to your Foundations final Unit 8 project work in the appropriate application field.
  3. Receive your admission decision within a week. Our team will evaluate your application and you'll hear back within 4 business days.

Please note: completion of UX Academy Foundations does not guarantee admission to UX Academy program. 


Evaluation of Design Work

All design work submissions should demonstrate understanding of UI principles, and will be evaluated and scored on the principles below:

  • Theme
  • Color
  • Typography
  • Graphical Elements
  • Layout
  • Alignment


Application Restrictions

You can only apply to a given cohort cohort once. If your application meets all of our entry criteria, you'll be invited to enroll in UX Academy to save your spot in the cohort. If our design reviewers think your project work is capable of reaching our entry requirements through a single round of iteration, you will be offered the opportunity to iterate and resubmit your application for the same cohort. If you are unable to gain entry into UX Academy thereafter, you may apply again to any future cohort! However, priority in each cohort will be given to first-time applicants. 


English Language Proficiency

Clear and effortless communication between students and mentors is a vital part of the UX Academy experience. We require all students to have a minimum CEFR level of C1 or greater.

If you're not sure of your fluency level, please take this free assessment. Please complete both the Business and General English assessments. 


Timely completion of the prerequisite course

If you take UX Academy Foundations, your progression through this prerequisite course will be taken into consideration during the application review process. We'll look to see that you:

  • Reach 100% course progress.
  • Complete the course within the 8-week time frame.
  • Attend no fewer than five mentorship sessions (with none being forfeited).
  • Demonstrate you can take mentor feedback on board and iterate through multiple versions of your project pieces.


Motivation and fit for the UX Academy program

We're committed to creating a respectful, professional, and inclusive community at Designlab, and this is part of our assessment in determining whether you’re a good fit for our program and the wider UX Academy community.

While we’re always happy to receive constructive feedback from students throughout their learning journey, we do expect communications to be respectful regardless of who’s on the receiving end. 

This will be assessed based on:

  • Your communication with the Designlab team via email and phone.
  • The way you communicate with your mentor, if you take the prerequisite course.
  • Interactions you have with other students, alumni, and members of the wider Designlab community.

The UX Academy program is designed to help students gain a holistic understanding of the UX/UI design process, create a professional UX/UI design portfolio, and land a job in the industry. It would be a disservice to an applicant if we were to admit them into UX Academy if we truly believe the program and the community around it are not a good fit for them based on the criteria above.


 Still have questions? Here are some next steps:

  1. Read more about UX Academy and confirm the program fits your goals.

  2. Book an admissions call.

  3. Attend our next webinar.