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How to apply to the Interaction Design program

About the SMC IxD Program

The Interaction Design (IxD) Bachelor of Science degree program blends the fields of design, user experience (UX), and technology. Interaction Designers ensure that products are appealing, effective and intuitive for their users. They create the experiences we have every day with smart objects, devices, and the web. There is strong demand for more UX/interaction designers in today’s high technology industries.  The Interaction Design degree is made up of 2 years of upper-division IxD classes including 3 general education requirements (as seen on the homepage). The upper division curriculum requires a full-time commitment (12 or more units per semester), and must be taken in sequence.

Visit to get started on your application.

You must apply and be admitted to the IxD program in order to enroll in the upper division IxD courses. Admission is not guaranteed. Candidates must have met the major preparation from lower division requirements and are selected based upon grades, a portfolio, and other supplemental materials.
Ideal Candidate Criteria

Students who complete the A.S. in Graphic Design with the User Experience Design Concentration at Santa Monica College, maintain a 2.8 GPA overall and 3.0 in Graphic Design classes, and have taken English 2 and transferable math (preferably Math 54) by the semester prior to submitting an application, meet the criteria for an ideal candidate for the baccalaureate program in Interaction Design. Although we prefer that individuals complete their major preparation courses at Santa Monica College, we encourage a broad range of educational backgrounds to apply to the program. 

Read more about who is eligible to apply on our FAQ Page.

Admissions Process

Important Dates and Deadlines

Dates and deadlines for admission to the IxD Bachelor's program is as follows.

  • Priority Consideration Deadline: February 1 of the same calendar year Fall Admissions
  • Rolling Admissions Deadline: May 15 of the same calendar year.

Applicants who submit before the Priority Consideration Deadline of February 1, 2019, are likely to hear about their acceptance status earlier than those applicants who submit during the Rolling Admissions Deadline. Applicants who are accepted into the program are to start in the program in the Fall Semester.

Steps to Admission
1) Contact and speak with a Santa Monica College IxD counselor to discuss whether the Interaction Design program might be right for you.
2) Enroll at Santa Monica College and set Interaction Design as your intended major (if you haven't already).

Follow the steps to enroll at Santa Monica College. Set Interaction Design as your intended major.

3) Work with a Santa Monica College IxD Counselor to establish your IxD Major Preparation plan
4) Complete 60 lower division units of CSU transferable general education and IxD Major Preparation Requirements 

The amount of Major Preparation depends entirely on your personal education history; please speak with a counselor to get a personalized education plan. The Interaction Design (IxD) bachelor’s of science is made up of two components: major preparation and lower division general education (Freshman/Sophomore), and 2 years of upper division degree requirements (Junior/Senior). The 60 lower division CSU transferable units of major preparation and general education courses for the bachelor’s can be fulfilled completing SMC’s Graphic Design Associate’s Degree and the IxD CSU General Education pattern or the IGETC for CSU. It’s recommended that lower division classes be taken at Santa Monica College, but substitutions from other regionally accredited high schools and colleges may be acceptable pending counselor approval. If you’ve been in school in the past or already have a degree, you may have already fulfilled some lower division coursework.

5) Prepare for the Application Process

If an applicant is not a SMC student, the applicant must apply to Santa Monica College. Please see the Application & Supplemental material page in the IxD informational Packet for information about the application form and supplemental materials, including the portfolio requirements. Check out the “Criteria for Admittance” in the FAQ section for more details about the supplemental materials.

During the Admissions Review Process, we review the following materials:

  • Application Transcripts
  • Two personal essays
  • Portfolio (3-5 projects)
Application Transcripts

Any additional transcripts must be sent to Santa Monica College.

Two personal Essays

Two personal essays are required to submit during the application.


The portfolio should be a curated body of work that demonstrates your understanding and interest in design. The portfolio should be edited to highlight your best and most relevant design work. Specifically, your submissions should demonstrate your interest in web and mobile design, user experience and interaction design, along with understanding of the problem/concept, design process, and evaluation of the outcome and solutions. Students with under 60 units may continue to enroll in the College’s two-year Associate program in Graphic Design.

Visit to get started on your application.

6) Apply before the Deadlines

Priority Consideration Deadline: February 1, of the same calendar year for Fall Admission. Rolling Admissions Deadline: May 15 of the same calendar year. Applicants who submit on or before the Priority Consideration Deadline of February 1, will hear about their acceptance status earlier than those applicants who submit during the Rolling Admissions Deadline.

7) If admitted, enroll and complete 2 years of IxD Degree Requirement courses.

Congratulations! Once you’ve been accepted in the IxD Program, you must enroll in the final 2 years of Interaction Design Degree Requirement courses. These upper division courses must be taken in sequence and cannot be substituted with any past coursework or coursework from another school. Check out the course listings here.

Questions? Concerns? 

Speak to an IxD Counselor to get started.

Our FAQ is filled with useful information too.

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
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