Program Overview

Mobile App Certificate Program

The Mobile App Program takes a unique approach in a fast-growing field. Choosing one of two tracks: Designer or Developer, students bring their own project to the program and work with industry-expert faculty members who also act as mentors. The mentors help students get the most out of their idea and prepare it for production or for demo to venture capital firms. Students also gain exposure to the incubator/start-up culture in Chicago, and learn from practitioners with experience at Fortune 500 companies and agile start-ups. Courses meet in-person and meetings are spaced to allow time for students to work on their projects with their instructor using online collaboration tools. Each certificate can be completed in about six months. 

Why learn mobile?

Tom Hanks made an app.  So can you: 

"But there’s another thing that makes Hanx Writer unique in the App Store, and it’s actually relevant to the app: Hanx Writer is the only word processor that becomes a more effective productivity tool if you have your headphones on while you use it.

There’s a steady rhythm to the typewriter noises. It’s kind of soothing, even, like a reassuring rain that helps to close out the world. It delivers constant, audible, reassuring feedback that you’re actually getting work done."

--Chicago Sun Times 8/18/2014

The Google Play Store mobile app revenue will catch up to Apple’s App Store in 2018, according to Radio Free Mobile analyst Richard WindsorThe sheer magnitude of Android’s 80% market share is driving app revenue growth despite lower per capita spending by Android users. 7/17/2014


Program Goals

Students will be well prepared to:

  • Design mobile applications for Android and iOS devices
  • Create applications that are designed with the end user in mind
  • Analyze user data to identify opportunities and constraints for application development
  • Manage application development projects using agile project and scrum management tools

New Program Format for Fall 2014

We are offering two tracks beginning in Fall 2014.  Check back in July for course schedules.

  • The designer track is for those who want to design and app but don't have programming experience. 
  • The developer track is for those with programming experience that want to learn how to code for mobile devices.

Designer Track Begins Fall 2014

Students complete five required courses covering the fundamentals of mobile app design. We recommend the following pathway through the program.

  • Application Design and Prototyping
  • Mobile Optimized User Design
  • Analytics for Application Design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Introduction to Mobile Programming

Developer Track Coming 2015

Students complete four required courses covering the fundamentals of mobile app design. We recommend the following pathway through the program.

  • iOS or Android Coding
  • Mobile Security (you may sit for the the CompTia Mobile App Security + certificate after this course)
  • Open elective from Designer Track or rotating Developer Track Elective.

Prerequisites and Technical Requirements

Knowledge of programming: The Developer Track requires knowledge of a programming language which allows students to take full advantage of each course. We recommend experience with java or a C language.

Technical requirements for all classes: Students need to bring their own devices and laptop to each class. Students can bring a PC or Mac for the App Design for Android Operating Systems class.

Technical requirements for the App Design for Apple Operating Systems: Students will need their own Mac laptop with administrator access.

Core Courses:

  • MOB_APP 301-0 App Design and Prototyping
  • MOB_APP 302-0 Mobile Optimized User Design
  • MOB_APP 306-0 Analytics for Applications
  • MOB_APP 410-0 Exploring Entrepreneurship
  • MOB_APP 415-0 Intro to Mobile Programming