SCAD launches the first user experience research (UXR) degree

Developed in collaboration with Google, the state-of-the art degree program will propel graduates to the top of the innovative UXR industry

SAVANNAH, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is thrilled to announce the new user experience research (UXR) degree program launched this Fall 2022 quarter. Developed in collaboration with Google, the Bachelor of Fine Arts program is the first and only degree in user experience research. Instructed by leading faculty and mentored by Google design leaders, students will be prepared to lead design sprints and find tomorrow’s solutions for today’s challenges. In the UXR program, students learn to use analytics, consumer data, and behavioral insights to generate opportunities to improve services and products end to end. These professional research skills, design thinking, and knowledge will make lasting impacts with leading companies around the world.

“SCAD prepares entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs for their future careers,” said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. “I’m over the moon to announce another historic first for our Bees: the new SCAD B.F.A. in user experience research, developed in partnership with Google. This unique program (our second to co-develop with Google) paves a direct path to careers with Google, the world’s leading tech brand, as well as companies like Samsung, Honeywell, Edward Jones, Monster, and so many more. SCAD innovation shapes the future — always has, always will.”

Google leadership approached SCAD about the formation of the program because of the extreme need for UX researchers. Major technology, finance, retail, and real estate industries are in demand for these professionals who establish, drive, and evolve insights that inform the customer experience. According to ZipRecruiter, there are more than 750,000 open UX researcher positions globally, and LinkedIn ranks it as one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. This marks the second curriculum collaboration between SCAD and Google. In 2016, the university launched the first-ever B.F.A. in user experience design degree program. The program quickly became a resounding success for students, with UX alumni now working at leading companies including Lenovo, Bank of America, Mailchimp, Deloitte, eBay, and of course Google.

“With a diverse student profile and talented faculty and staff, I could not think of a better university than SCAD to launch this program with,” said Utkarsh Seth, User Experience Manager for Android at Google. “UX research is at the core of human-centered design, and with this one-of-a kind UXR degree SCAD is going to offer, I am deeply excited about this journey to collaboratively grow future UX researchers.”

SCAD academic leadership developed a dynamic curriculum that explores UX design and research methods, business fundamentals, and ethical responsibilities. Course titles include Data Mining Technology, Insight Generation and Business Strategies, Contextual Research, Usability Testing: People vs. The World, Research Ethics and Professional Practices, Perceptual and Cognitive Human Factors, and more. The B.F.A. program culminates in a capstone studio sequence where students generate original research and synthesize their findings into innovative solutions and actionable business strategies.

The UXR program is the latest example of SCAD’s preeminent approach to curriculum development, preparing students for success in their creative careers. SCAD has led the way in the creation of many degree programs, offering the world’s first degrees in luxury fashion management, service design, user experience design, design for sustainability, themed entertainment design, immersive reality, and more.

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SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCADnow.

SCAD enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 120 countries. The future-minded SCAD curriculum engages professional-level technology and myriad advanced learning resources, affording students opportunities for internships, professional certifications, and real-world assignments with corporate partners through SCADpro, the university’s renowned research lab and prototype generator. SCAD is No. 1 in the U.S., according to Art & Object’s 2023 Best Art Schools ranking, with additional top rankings for degree programs in interior design, architecture, film, fashion, digital media, and more. Career success is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. For the past five years, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. SCAD provides students and alumni with ongoing career support through personal coaching, alumni programs, a professional presentation studio, and more. Visit


JJ Maxwell

Executive Director, PR + Marketing


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