Gain early fluency in the approaches and methodologies distinct to design, business and technology-based disciplines, with particular focus on critical analysis and problem-solving tools and techniques.
Design@USC is a full-time program that can be completed in 18 months. Classes and coursework are delivered online, and there are on- and off-campus residency requirements.
Circle graph shows breakdown of courses by credits: 16 Core Course credits, 6 Lab credits, 6 Essentials Course credits, 4 Residency credits, 3 Directed Research credits, 3 Capstone credits, 1 Intensive credit (optional)
Students complete 38 credits:
- 16 Core Course credits
- 6 Lab credits
- 6 Essentials Course credits
- 4 Residency credits
- 3 Directed Research credits
- 3 Capstone credits
- 1 Intensive credit (optional)
All students complete four core courses taught by a cross-disciplinary faculty team. The first course in the sequence must be Processes and Perspectives. Thereafter, the courses can be completed in any order, based on availability. Three core courses are paired with an Integrative Project (lab) course.
Develop the ability to analyze and vet opportunities as they arise in workplace and studio or creative contexts, and acquire the information central to discerning desirability, feasibility and viability of proposed projects, products, systems, services and/or experiences.
Use methods drawn from the core disciplines, including human-centered research and analysis, use quantitative and qualitative data to identify potential obstacles, address and resolve relevant issues, and take ideas from concept to final solution.
Essentials courses are offered in design, business and technology. Students choose two essentials courses based on the topics in which they would like to gain new or added experience.
The primary goal of these courses is to increase knowledge and fluency in subjects with which students are least familiar; a secondary goal may be to provide a new perspective on a student’s current field. Concepts in each of the Essentials courses are consistently applied within the framework of an integrated design/business/technology environment.
An overview of design language, concepts and techniques. Students will learn to apply established principles of visual communication and design-based problem-solving techniques. The course also explores historical and contemporary design issues.
An overview of general business and management concepts and techniques that builds theoretical and analytical fluency, and identifies and examines leadership and managerial challenges.
An overview of the language, concepts and techniques applicable to the use and development of information technologies and frameworks. Students will develop aptitude in using tools, applications and systems; and learn basic programming languages and methodologies.
At two in-person residency experiences, students come together with classmates, professors and industry experts to explore new concepts, generate and critique work and solve complex problems.
This five-day residency takes place at the beginning of the program. An emphasis is placed on teamwork, and team roles that may be outside of students’ prior experience, and builds foundations and skills in applying cross-disciplinary perspectives.
Toward the end of the program, all students participate in this applied, intensive workshop. The workshop poses a significant real-world problem for which students must research and collect qualitative and quantitative data; analyze findings; formulate and select a proposed solution; and create a formal presentation utilizing acquired skills and techniques.