This unique Bachelor of Science degree offers a highly select group of students an integrated, four-year course of study that provides in-depth learning in four core areas deemed new literacies for the 21st century: art and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication. Through the Academy's Core, students learn applied skills and gain understanding of the theories, concepts and “language” common to each area, and the innovative potential where they intersect. Academy electives serve to customize each student's experience to their individual strengths or desired focus. Courses such as Design Strategy and Industry Practicum place students inside powerful professionalizing experiences with industry collaborators, providing unparalleled preparation for careers or graduate study. The fourth-year “Garage Experience” provides an advanced workshop environment for student teams to develop original ideas and take them from concept to prototype, leading to new products, systems and services. Throughout the program students are taught to think seamlessly across multiple disciplines, and to apply a vast array of relevant technologies and techniques toward innovative problem solving.
The degree requires a total of 128 units, including 76 units in the Core and 12 units in major electives. Students must select elective courses from the Academy's current offerings in areas such as product, experience, or multimedia design; design strategy and human-centered design; creativity and innovation; venture management; the business of products; technology; and communication or from specialized electives as they become available, such as branding new ventures, intellectual property and machine learning. In consultation with their academic adviser, students may also petition to create unique degree paths by selecting courses from academic units or disciplines outside of the Academy. In addition to required courses, students may elect to register for other Academy experiences such as summer study abroad, Impact and Industry Labs (see CurriculumPlus for complete details) and internships.