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Design your future with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interaction Design from Santa Monica College.

Build the skills and connections to launch yourself into a career you love (without breaking the bank). Through hands-on collaborative experiences, you’ll learn the essentials of Interaction (IxD) and User Experience (UX) Design while earning a fully accredited BS degree.

venn diagram showing how your career can be built from the IxD Bachelor's Degree and your interests and life experiences

So what is Interaction Design?

Here’s how you can answer the classic party question, “so what do you do for a living?” Try this: “I create meaningful interactions between people and the products and services they encounter.” From websites to physical devices to entire systems and beyond, Interaction Designers help define the way things look, how they work, and how they fit into people’s lives. Read more about Interaction Design.

Applications of ixd

Interaction Design skills are in-demand.

From tech companies to governments and non-profits, our interconnected world needs designers that can translate human needs into innovation. SMC’s IxD program equips you with the tools and mindsets needed to thrive in this rapidly growing profession.

A few ideas of where your new skills could take you:

Industry Professional

Jill DaSilva uses her Product Design skills as a Business Owner

“My design skills help me create improved workflow, communications, and collaboration. I feel great joy when I help entrepreneurs successfully build their dreams and solve actual needs for their customers.”

Industry Professional

Shane Chase uses his Design Strategy skills to help Nonprofits

“In my work as a design strategist I collaborate with nonprofits, for-profits, and everything in between as they work to find innovative ways to benefit their stakeholders and employees alike.”

Industry Professional

Joel Miller uses his User Experience Design skills in Biotech

“I love the new and interesting human centered design challenges in Biotech and the blend of teamwork, creativity, and practical problem-solving that my career in design allows.”

SMC ixD Grad

Casey McCallister uses her Interaction Design skills at Cultural Institutions

“It’s humbling to use my storytelling, listening, and usability skills in a tangible museum setting. To be inclusive, inspiring, and eye opening for our community we need to get the design of these experiences right.”

SMC IxD Grad

D. Laughton uses her Design Thinking skills to improve Organizational Culture

“I’m using design to transform HR from a transactional field into more of a creative field. As a society we spend a lot of time at work, and the experiences we have there are hugely impactful on our overall lives.”

SMC IxD Grad

Michael Coty uses his Creative Technology skills to create Interactive Art

“I’m combining the design processes I learned (like scrum and agile) with my existing skills in fabrication and mechanics. That’s been huge and enabled me to push my work further than I ever have before.”

The foundation we gained in the IxD program gave us confidence to follow our dream and start our own design firm.

AJ, Orhan and Evan, members of the graduating class of 2018 and founders of Playground vision.
First graduates of class of 2018 IxD Program

life in smc Ixd and existing work

Experience new technologies and real-world projects alongside ambitious classmates

Get hands-on designing digital and physical experiences with apps, web, 3D printing, arduino, IoT, and more. Become versed in service design, organizational communication, and design thinking. And experience class-company partnerships that tackle real-world challenges, preparing you for future team environments.

Take classes in the heart of Silicon Beach

The ixd program is located at the brand new Center for Media and Design campus in Santa Monica, CA. Easily get to campus by train or bus (with special discounted fares for our students). Enjoy the year round beautiful weather by relaxing in the quad or walking to visit nearby companies like Red Bull, Hulu, and Amazon. IxD projects frequently partner with local businesses like these, giving you industry connections to start your career.

Count on a cohort of supportive peers

You'll navigate the IxD program alongside 20-25 fellow students from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds. As a cohort, students support each other, provide feedback, and create a foundation for strong professional network. Here you'll connect and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

SMC IxD Class of 2018

Amanda Sanchez

“I have always been passionate about teamwork, leadership, and cultural development, but I never wanted to pursue a traditional career in HR. When I started the IxD program, I fell madly in love with the field, mindset, and methodologies of the discipline. It gave me a process and a confidence to take on problems that previously felt too big for me. Today, you find me at the intersection of research, design, and HR working on a project that uses design to help teams co-create more considerate environments.”

SMC IxD Class of 2019

Manny Hernandez

“I serve as a Combat Engineer in the California Army National Guard. I had no background in design, but when I heard about the IxD program it just felt like the right fit. I’ve learned to design, but also to be a better public speaker, to know my strengths and weaknesses, and where my passions lie. My dream is to improve lives. Whether I’m designing interfaces, infrastructure, or human interactions; I’m gaining skills that I can take anywhere.”

CURRICULUM

What will I learn?

A whole lot! Interaction (IxD) and User Experience (UX) Design history, practices, methodologies, tools, and project-based processes. All learned through complex, real-world challenges that ensure that you graduate with a full portfolio and the experience needed to jump start your career. Interested? Explore the detailed curriculum below.

The IxD program consists of 55-62 upper division and 60 lower division CSU transferable units. To ensure you meet all lower division requirements, we recommend you to speak with an IxD counselor. You must apply to be considered for the upper division IxD courses. Admission is not guaranteed.

learn how to apply

upper division courses

55-62 units total

Bachelor of Science, Interaction Design

Click on each course to learn more.

 SMC IxD Student working

Dates and Tuition

New students are accepted annually. See key dates below. Contact an SMC IxD counselor with any questions or to get started.

speak to an ixd counselor

priority application Deadline

January 15, 2019

rolling admissions until

May 15, 2019

if accepted, you will start

August 2019

Estimated graduation

June 2021

estimated cost (for the entire degree)

$10,000*

Financial aid

Available

scholarships

Present

*This estimation is calculated for domestic students who are California residents. Read more about the cost breakdown on the FAQ page.

faculty spotlight

Your professors work hard in (and out of) the classroom

IxD faculty have backgrounds in interaction, graphic, and industrial design as well as cognitive psychology, dance, and new media. They weave their experience, industry connections, and perspectives on emerging technology right into the classroom. Expect to receive the right mix of support and rigor.

Faculty Lead - Interaction Design

Nicole Chan

“I aim to foster creative problem solvers and empathetic collaborators conscious of the impact they have in the world . My approach has students making, questioning, and synthesizing to create intentional designs. This is solidified through design challenges that demand critical thinking and build confidence to solve real world problems. I hold an MFA in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design, and a BFA in Graphic Design from Utah State University. Outside the classroom I enjoy trail running and travel adventures with my family.”

Adjunct Faculty - Interaction Design

Selwa Sweidan

“My goal is to support students in becoming engaged makers and critical designers. I seek to expose students to technical know-how while creating opportunities for reflexive engagement. My research interests include embodied research methodologies and systems innovations. I hold a Bachelor's degree from Smith College and a Master's of Fine Art from ArtCenter College of Design.”

Adjunct Faculty - Interaction Design

Selwa Sweidan

“My goal is to support students in becoming engaged makers and critical designers. I seek to expose students to technical know-how while creating opportunities for reflexive engagement. My research interests include embodied research methodologies and systems innovations. I hold a Bachelor's degree from Smith College and a Master's of Fine Art from ArtCenter College of Design.”

Faculty Lead - Interaction Design

Nicole Chan

“I aim to foster creative problem solvers and empathetic collaborators conscious of the impact they have in the world . My approach has students making, questioning, and synthesizing to create intentional designs. This is solidified through design challenges that demand critical thinking and build confidence to solve real world problems. I hold an MFA in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design, and a BFA in Graphic Design from Utah State University. Outside the classroom I enjoy trail running and travel adventures with my family.”

Adjunct Faculty - Interaction Design

Maxim Safioulline

“My goal is to help students discover what they’re truly passionate about, and give them the tools necessary to pursue that passion. My teaching approach is non-prescriptive and focused on collaboration and self-motivated learning. I’ve worked as a creative technologist and multimedia designer for 13 years and am interested in new media and emerging interfaces for human-computer interaction, like VR and Brain-Computer Interfaces. I hold an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons and taught in the IxD program of Lawrence Tech University in Detroit.”

Want to know more?

Get set up for success - contact an IxD counselor today! We’re here to answer your questions and help you create a personalized IxD degree plan.

speak to an ixd counselor