Product Design (Major)

Program Overview

How is the Product Design curriculum structured?

First Year (100 Level)

Before entering the Product Design major, students start in the First Year Experience (FYE) program. The Product Design program offers an elective for  FYE students or students in other majors looking to get hands-on studio courses  - PRD 101: Introduction to Product Design. 

Second Year (200 Level)

The second year courses set the fundamental skills and ways of thinking for product design students. The core skills and concepts included in this year are; fabrication skills for making prototypes and thinking in 3D, hand sketching new concepts in 2D, the first steps into CAD modeling, understanding the aesthetic, emotive and physical properties of materials, thinking about manufacturing process in a sustainable way and ergonomics and accessible design. 

These classes are also suitable for non-product design majors looking to augment their studies in other majors.

Third Year (300 Level)

In the third year students engage with increasing complex inputs into the design process including; user-centered research, projects with feedback from industry partners, high levels of CAD modeling and rendering to communicate design intent to clients, projects with an entrepreneurial mindset to develop new ventures, or create profitable products from concept to fabrication. 

In these courses students build on and refine their abilities from the previous two semesters. 

Between the third and fourth year students are encouraged to intern during the summer break. Internships may be granted course credit. 

Fourth Year (400 Level)

In the final year of the program students are the author of their own thesis project. Starting in the spring semester students define an area of research that will propel their success in the fall semester thesis project. In addition to working on their thesis project, students tackle advanced design issues such as socially responsible design and future-focused concept development for more new markets.