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Design Program

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Product Design is transforming to Design in 2022-23!  Starting this September, Stanford’s long standing undergraduate Product Design program, along with the graduate-level Design Impact program, are moving under the umbrella of the d.school as interdisciplinary programs (IDPs). 
You’ll find everything you need to know about the new undergrad Design IDP on this page.  This is the one central source for the undergrad program, and we’ll be updating it continuously, so please continue to check back here often.  If you’re looking for more information on the graduate Design program, please go here. Completion of the undergraduate program in Design leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Design (DESIGN-BS).

Students may still elect to follow the Product Design engineering subplan program if preferred (ENGR-BS) and if they matriculated prior to 2022-23 (leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. The subplan "Product Design" appears on the transcript and on the diploma).

Find FAQs addressed after listed requirements below.

The Design major has three possible Methods tracks:

  • Physical Design + Manufacturing
  • AI + Digital User Experience
  • Human Behavior + Multi-stakeholder Research

In addition to the Methods tracks listed above, students will also choose from one of five Domain Focus Areas:

  • Climate + Environment
  • Living Matter
  • Healthcare & Health Technology Innovation
  • Oceans
  • Global Development & Poverty

See Requirements below for detail on each Method and Domain, and specific course options and requirements. Important Note: There are three versions of Program Sheets for AY22-23 to reflect the three Method Depths offered.  Some of the Math, Science, and SoE Fundamentals vary depending on Method Depth.  Use the information below as a general guide, but please refer to the individual program sheets for the most precise look at requirement

Program Sheets are available now; Flowcharts and 4-Year Plans will be posted as they become available

Find current major requirements for this and all other School of Engineering major programs at Explore Degrees

2022-23 Requirements

Math, Behavioral Science, and SoE Science must reach a combined total of 30 units minimum. See Note 1 below for using AP or IB credit to satisfy major requirements.

Mathematics

15-20 units minimum (requirements vary slightly by Method Depth; see Note 1)

  • STATS 60/160 (recommended) or STATS 110
  • MATH 19, 20, 21 Calculus
  • MATH 51 or CME 100 (required for Physical and Digital Methods Depths only)

Behavioral Sciences

Choose 1-2 courses of 3-5 units each from the following list (no more than 2 courses apply to 30-unit minimum):

  • BIO 150 / HUMBIO 160: Human Behavioral Biology
  • MS&E 180: Organizations: Theory and Management 
  • MS&E 184: Future of Work: Issues in Organizational Learning and Design
  • PSYCH 1: Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYCH 30: Introduction to Perception
  • Psychology course numbered 31-180 listed for at least 3 units

Note that PSYC (Psychiatry) courses are not acceptable substitutes. 

Additional SoE Math and Science

Additional approved courses from SoE-approved lists to reach the required 30 unit minimum (No additional social or behavioral science courses are allowed)(see Note 1).

  • PHYSICS 41 is required for the Physical Design + Manufacturing track
  • CS 103 and/or CS 109 recommended for the Digital Methods track

Technology in Society

  • Choose one course from list of SoE-approved courses on Approved Courses; the course must be on the list the year it is taken.

Engineering Fundamentals (2 courses required)

  • CS 106A Programming Methodologies required for the Digital track
  • ENGR 14 Intro to Solid Mechanics required for the Physical Design+Manufacturing track
  • Check Methods and Domains in Design Depth for suggestions within each track and domain

Design Core (all required)

Course*

Title

Units

Quarter

DESIGN 1

[new introductory course under development in ‘22-23.  See Note 2]

 

 

DESIGN 11 Visual Thinking (same as ME 101) 4 A,W,S

DESIGN 101 

History and Ethics of Design (same as ME 120)

3

S

DESIGN 121  Introduction to Human Values in Design (same as ME 115A) 4 A

DESIGN 131 

Advanced Product Design: Needfinding (same as ME 216A)

4

A

DESIGN 141 Product Design Methods (same as ME 115B) 4 W

DESIGN 151 

Designing Your Business (same as ME 115C)

3

S

DESIGN 170 

Visual Frontiers (same as ME 125) or other visual expression elective (see Note 3)

3

W,S

*Important note about course numbers: All core courses have new DESIGN numbers.  Since they are still being finalized in the registrar’s system, please search using the existing ME course number if you cannot find the new DESIGN course number yet.  We expect most/all of the new DESIGN course numbers to be live within Explore Courses in the coming weeks.

3. Methods Depth 

Students will get to sharpen their making skills and abilities and gain professional fluency by choosing one of three Method Depths tracks.  These expand upon and deepen skills already taught in Product Design.  Students choose one of the following three Methods Depths tracks. 

(A) Physical Design + Manufacturing 

Methods range from classes on materials and mechanisms to understand what is possible with physical design, to manufacturing processes and supply chain logistics to understand how physical design is implemented.

One of the following foundational classes in making with physical materials:   

  • ME 80: Mechanics of Materials    (3 units)
  • CEE 101a: Mechanics of Materials (4 units)

Both applied classes in aspects of physical manufacturing:   

  • ME 102: Foundations of Product Realization (3 units)
  • ME 103: Product Realization: Design and Making (4 units)

Optional but suggested additional applied course in mechanical design:   

  • ME 104: Mechanical Product Design (4 units)
  • ME 127: Design for Additive Manufacturing (3 units)
  • ME 128 Computer Aided Product Realization (3-4 units)
  • ME 129: Manufacturing Processes and Design    (3 units)
  • ME 210: Introduction to Mechatronics (EE 118)    (4 units)
  • ME 216M: Smart Products [take E40M as ENGR fundamental]   

(B) AI + Digital User Experience 

Methods range from foundational classes on programing methodologies and human computer interaction to applied courses on digital prototyping, user experience design, and incorporating AI and data science. 

The following foundational class in programming:   

CS 106B: Programming Abstractions (5 units)       

One of the following applied classes in artificial intelligence:   

  • CS 129: Applied Machine Learning (3-4 units)   
  • CS 131: Computer Vision Foundations and Applications (3-4 units)
  • CS 124: From Languages to Information (3-4 units)
  • CS 223A: Intro to Robotics (3 units)

One of the following applied classes in human augmentation or interaction:   

  • Any CS247 class (ex: CS 247A: Design for Artificial Intelligence)    (3-4 units)
  • SYMSYS 245: Cognition in Interaction Design (3 units)
  • CS 448B: Data Visualization (4 units)
  • CS 278: Social Computing (3-4 units)
  • CS 347: Human-Computer Interaction: Foundations and Frontiers (3-4 units)
  • CS 377Q: Designing for Accessibility (3-4 units)   

Optional but suggested additional applied course in AI + Digital Experience:   

  • COMM 172: Media Psychology    (5 units)
  • PSYCH 30: Introduction to Perception (4 units)
  • BIOMEDIN 220: Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (BIODS 220, CS 271) (3-4 units)
  • CS 372: Artificial Intelligence for Disease Diagnosis and Information Recommendations (3 units)
  • PSYCH 293: What makes a good explanation? Psychological and philosophical perspectives

(C) Human Behavior + Multi-stakeholder Research

This method depth is an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of how to build the body of knowledge that will allow them to execute effective design AND how to use research to modify and evolve design directions as they manifest in the world.

One of the following foundational classes in social theory:   

  • COMM 1: Introduction to communication (5 units)
  • MS&E 180: Org Behavior (4 units)
  • MS&E 184: Future of Work (4 units)
  • ANTHRO 1: Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology (3-5 units)
  • SOC 1: Introduction to Sociology (5 units)
  • SOC 180A: Foundations of Social Research (4 units)
  • PSYCH 70: Social Psych (4 units)
  • PSYCH 75: Cultural Psych  (5 units)
  • PSYCH 80: Personality and Affective Psych (3 units)

    One of the following qualitative methods courses:   

  • HUMBIO 82A: Qualitative Research Methodology (3 units)
  • EDUC 450C: Qualitative Interviewing (ENVRES 231) (3 units)
  • ANTHRO 91: Method and Evidence in Anthropology (5 units)

One of the following quantitative methods courses:   

  • ANTHRO 116: Data Analysis for Quantitative Research (5 units)
  • COMM 106: Communication Research Methods (5 units)
  • MS&E 125: Introduction to Applied Statistics (4 units)
  • PSYCH 290: Natural Language Processing & Text-Based Machine Learning in the SocSci (4 units)
  • STATS 191: Introduction to Applied Statistics (3 units)

Optional but suggested additional applied course in applied research:   

  • CS 377U: Understanding Users    (3-4 units)
  • CS 347: Human-Computer Interaction: Foundations and Frontiers (3-4 units)
  • CS 278: Social Computing (3-4 units)
  • COMM 124/224: Truth, Trust, and Tech (5 units)
  • MS&E 92: Introduction to Health Policy Modeling

4. Domain Focus Area

Students will select a domain focus area to gain added knowledge in a field of interest to them. By completing a domain focus sequence, students are primed with enough context to scope their capstone project senior year. The focus areas described below include class options for students to take three courses: one foundational, one applied, and one that examines future horizons. 

We will begin with five focus areas, and add others depending on student interest. Students may in future propose their own domain area as an “honors” option, although this option will not be available in ‘22-23. Please see Domain Focus Areas Appendix to view complete course listings for each.

  • Climate + Environment - Gain knowledge around environmental problem solving at macro and micro scales.
  • Living Matter -  Learn about biofutures and explore the possibilities of building with biology.
  • Global Development & Poverty - Investigate global governance and its intersection with development and economics. 
  • Healthcare & Health Technology Innovation - Gain understanding in anatomy and physiology and deepen it through learning about health and health technology innovation.
  • Oceans - Learn about oceans, ecology, and biological change and how they affect marine conservation and management.

5. Capstone 

For their Capstone, students will scope and execute design work that integrates and draws upon what they’ve learned across both their methods depths and domain focus areas.

  • DESIGN 160R: Reflection & Intention (see Note 4)
  • DESIGN 161A:  Advanced Product Design: Capstone (req'd; see Note 5) (same as ME 216B)
  • DESIGN 161B:  Advanced Product Design: Capstone (req'd; see Note 5) (same as ME 216C)

Notes:

  1. The School of Engineering list of approved math and science courses can be found on the Approved Courses page of the UGHB website. Up to 10 units of transfer and/or AP/IB credit may be used to satisfy the MATH 19/20/21 req't. Breadth course (Math, Science, Fundamentals, & TiS) AP or transfers must be approved by the SoE Dean's office. AP approval process & transfer credit information and petitions are available . Transfer credits in Engineering Depth must be approved and documented by the major advisor. See Courses page for additional approved Science, Fundamentals, and TiS courses. Additional math and science must be from SoE-approved list, and no further Behavioral Science courses are allowed.
  2. DESIGN 1, required for all Design majors, will be offered Spring 2023, at earliest. It is waived as a requirement for seniors graduating in 2023 and 2024. After that it will be required for students.  It should be taken early in a student’s academic career. No prerequisites. 
  3. Choose ME 125, or one 3-5-unit course from the following:  ARTSTUDI 185: Interactive Storytelling, AFRICAAM 186: Black Experimental Narrative (ARTSTUDI 186), ARTSTUDI 287: Animation II, CS448B: Data Visualization (SYMSYS 195V), or ME 110: Design Sketching (DESIGN 172) and ME 110B: Digital Design Principles and Applications (DESIGN 173) (take both 110 and 110B if using this option).
  4. DESIGN 160R (currently under development) is a required one-unit advisory class taken junior or early senior year, to prepare for designing a novel capstone project. It is waived as a required course for seniors graduating in 2023.
  5. DESIGN 161A & B (ME 216B & C) together meet the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement.
  6. Cumulative GPA for all courses within the ENGR Fundamentals and Engineering Depth categories must be at least 2.0; all courses listed must be taken for a letter grade (except those taken pandemic quarters Spring 2020-Summer 2021).

FAQs: We’ll continue to update this section as new questions come in, so please keep checking back.  

Q:  I’m currently declared PD and want to switch to the new Design degree!  How do I do that? A:  You can view some sample transition plans (coming soon) for PD students based on your current academic standing to help you understand if this is something you’d like to do.

Q:  Do I have to switch to the new Design degree if I’m already declared PD? A:  No, only if you want to!  Remember that you can use any Program Sheet from any year you were enrolled at Stanford.  So any PD program sheet from a year you were a student is still valid.  

Q: If I’m still undeclared, can I declare the old Product Design major if I want? A:  The classes of ‘23, ‘24, and ‘25 still have the option to declare the old Product Design major, as you can use a Program Sheet from any year you were enrolled as a student.  You can find old Program Sheets by scrolling down on the Program Sheets page.  Starting with the class of ‘26 and onwards, students will only be able to declare the new Design major. The declaration process described on this page is the same for both programs.  If you’re interested in declaring the old Product Design major, we encourage you to discuss this with your Advisor. 

Q: What kind of degree will I be awarded with the new Design IDP, and how will it show up on my transcript? A: Completion of the undergraduate program in Design leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Design (DESIGN-BS). Students may still elect to follow the Product Design engineering subplan program if preferred (see question above).  This leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (ENGR-BS) (the subplan "Product Design" appears on the transcript and on the diploma).

Q:  Will it be called “Design” now and not “Product Design”? A:  Yes.  As you may have already experienced, what we teach in the program extends beyond the design of physical and digital products.  We’re still under the School of Engineering, so a technical foundation will always be core to the degree, but we wanted to open up design applications. We are no longer a subset of Mechanical Engineering.

Q: Is the overall number of units for the new Design major different than Product Design? A: No, they’re both equivalent at 100 units.  

How do I learn more? 

Events: Please mark your calendars for the upcoming events!  

Thursday, September 29, 4:30-6:30p is “Back to School Night” at the d.school 

This will be a community event to welcome all design students and instructors back to campus, across both our d.school elective classes and degree programs.  You’ll meet d.school staff, get oriented to the space, and enjoy some food and mingle time!  The Design program faculty will welcome degree students specifically, and provide reminders about the following week’s Info Session. 

Wednesday, October 5, 5:00-7:00p (exact time TBD) is New UG Design Program Info Session

This will be the essential introductory info session for current PD Juniors and Seniors curious about the new program.  Other prospective design students are welcome, but we plan to offer additional info sessions later in the quarter geared more towards frosh and sophomores.  At this session, we’ll walk through the new program, spotlight the new Method and Domain options, offer breakout Q + A sessions for Juniors and Seniors, and highlight advising resources.

Office Hours

After the info session on October 5th, both faculty advisors and peers advisors will be hosting regular Office Hours sessions.  Check back for scheduling details. For advising questions, please email us at ugdesign-advising@stanford.edu.  We’ll be checking messages and responding on a weekly cadence.

Instructions for Declaring Major in Design (Design-BS)

Students will be able to begin declaring Design starting on September 1, 2022.  For questions about options relating to the old Product Design major, see the FAQ section above

Expect for the whole declaration process to take at least 2-3 weeks depending on your preparation and planning, and your advisors’ availability.

1. Assignment to faculty advisor and peer advisor: Coming soon

2. Gather and complete the following paperwork

  • Declaration Cover Sheet (available soon)
  • Program Sheet
  • Unofficial Transcript: Download from Axess

Please note: When completing your program sheet, include courses you plan to take as well as those you have already taken. List all course numbers and names along with their units then add units in each section as requested.

3. Meet with advisors: AY2023 office hours will be both in-person and via Zoom, depending on your assigned advisors’ setup. Attend office hours with your assigned peer advisor first. Prepare your program sheet or a tentative draft, so they can review it and answer any logistical questions about the declaration process and the major in general.

Once your set of digital paperwork is ready to be signed and available to screen share in-person or via Zoom, meet with your assigned faculty advisor during their office hours.

4. Declare:To apply AP or IB credit towards major requirements, email your completed program sheet with your transcript to Darlene Lazar (dlazar@stanford.edu).  Email your final declaration form, program sheet and unofficial transcript to your assigned peer advisor for final processing.

Log into Axess and formally declare your major!