12-week immersive program for young adults (18-24 years old) who live in St. Paul or Minneapolis & meet eligibility requirements

NEXT offering: March 28–JUNE 17, 2022

Registration for this program is currently closed.  Full program details are below, including eligibility criteria. If you are interested in upcoming or similar opportunities, please contact our program staff.

Contact us

Learn design skills & build a portfolio to prepare you for a career in UX design

UX Academy is offered in partnership with MSP Tech Hire, Right Track, and Prime Digital Academy—a school that offers immersive learning opportunities for adults looking to career switch into tech. This collaboration offers an opportunity for young adults to explore the career pathway of user experience design, while being immersed in Prime's practice-based, collaborative learning environment. UX Academy is offered as a 12-week full-time immersive program for those who meet eligibility requirements

Students can expect to:

  • Work individually and with a team on a variety of client projects, with a focus on digital experience
  • Practice essential techniques for communicating with users and business stakeholders
  • Network with UX professionals, employers, and clients

Each participant will be provided with:

  • Free tuition (a $16,000 value)
  • A $400/week stipend for successful participation
  • A Mac laptop and required design software

What is UX?

User experience (or “UX”) is all about understanding how designs affect people. Designs include anything that humans interact with: physical objects, digital applications, and even services or experiences (like eating in a restaurant). UXers may research how people are feeling about a design as well as create potential solutions—or prototypes—for making the experience better for the intended users.

You might enjoy UX if you are interested in:

  • Doing research to understand what things are important to users and/or creating many different ideas based on that information
  • Taking an idea and thinking through the steps needed to make that idea a reality
  • Creating an interactive (clickable or tappable) version of an idea
  • Watching users interact with a design and talking to them about what's working or not working

What does the work look like?

A great way to see the type of work that you'll be doing as a student in UX Academy is to take a look at the portfolios of some of our Prime UX program graduates! Explore the following portfolios to see a variety of projects and the type of work that UXers do!


Want to dig deeper?

Get a sense of how the field of UX came to be, listen to the factors that influence UX in a business environment, and read about current topics being discussed in the industry.

The Design of Everyday Things

A well-known book in the UX field that will provide you with a great foundation for the practice

UX Podcast

A variety of topics related to business, technology, and people—the key components of a UX practice!


Inside Design blog

Hot and current topics are addressed by the team at Invisionapp (a common prototyping tool, and one we use in the program)

Eligibility & APPLICATION

UX Academy is designed to build the Minneapolis Saint Paul regional tech workforce by providing training and work experience for under-resourced young adults. In order to be eligible for UX Academy, participants must meet the following requirements:

  • 18-24-year-old resident of Saint Paul or Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Must meet income criteria OR have a barrier to employment, as defined below

    Income Criteria

    Applicant must be eligible for Free- and Reduced-Price lunch or have a household income that is less than the guideline shown below:
    Family Size 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person 5 person 6 person 7 person 8 person
    Total Household Income $55,951 $63,951 $71,951 $79,901 $86,301 $92,701 $99,101 $105,501


    Barriers to Employment

    The following characteristics are considered barriers to employment:
    • youth who are pregnant or parenting
    • youth with Limited English Proficiency
    • youth who have dropped out of high school or who have a high potential of dropping out
    • youth who are juvenile offenders or in a diversion program
    • youth receiving public assistance and/or group home services
    • youth with disabilities, including learning disabilities
    • youth in transition (currently homeless or runaway)
    • youth who are chemically dependent or are children of drug or alcohol abusers/dependents
    • youth with basic skills deficiency
    • youth with educational attainment one or more levels below grade level appropriate to age
    • youth in foster care
    We encourage participation by persons with disabilities. If you need an accommodation to fully participate, contact us directly at RightTrack@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Apply today!

***Our application period is closed.***
If you are interested in being contacted for the next offering, please connect with program staff.


What is the time commitment? 

UX Academy is a 12-week, full-time immersion program which means that you are expected to be in class, Monday through Friday, from 9am-5pm. Some light requirements, as well as opportunities for additional learning, will take place during evenings and weekends.

What will I be doing during that time? 

That time is spent in active practice, working with your peers on a number of different client projects, coached by your instructor. You will be using your computer (as well as your sketchbook!) for the majority of the day. We facilitate taking morning and afternoon breaks, as well as provide a 1-hour lunch break each day during which you can fully unplug. You will meet with your Right Track job coach at least once each week, as well as will have opportunities to hear from industry guest speakers.

Will the program be in-person or remote?

We are currently planning for the program to be in-person. However, if/as COVID-19 situation changes, we may need to modify our approach to maintain health and wellness for students and staff.

What software programs do I need for the program?

Access to the following software will be provided to you, at no cost:

  • Zoom
  • InVision
  • Keynote
  • Sketch
  • Axure RP
  • Squarespace or other portfolio hosting tool

What are the laptop requirements? 

Mac laptops will be provided to program participants, at no cost.




Hosting a UX Academy intern is an immediately achievable way to demonstrate your commitment to diversifying and creating a more inclusive UX industry.
If you have the funds, willing mentors, and project work to be tackled, these folks have budding talent and inordinate amounts of gumption to work towards that shared goal! Plus, as an employer partner, you will be instrumental in helping to inform the manner in which we recruit, train, and provide career opportunities to under-resourced, under-represented, and predominantly BIPOC talent. 

Learn more about internships


Program or application questions

Nardos Tesfalidet
Right Track Program Manager

Tammy Dickinson
Step Up Director


UX community engagement

(including Summer 2022 internships for program graduates)

Ange Wang
Prime Digital Academy
Sr. Director of UX Instruction & Strategy