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Design Program

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Product Design is transforming to Design in 2022-23!  As of September 1, 2022, Stanford’s long standing undergraduate Product Design program, along with the graduate-level Design Impact program, have moved under the umbrella of the as interdisciplinary programs (IDPs). 

You’ll find everything you need to know about the new undergrad Design IDP on this page.  We've also recently launched a new undergraduate Design program site to share the program vision, showcase the Domain areas, and point you to resources and support. Please check it out -- we will be updating it 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). Going forward, all freshman or sophomores declaring design will receive the new Design degree. 
Product Design has been retired.

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 requirements.

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.


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)






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




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


History and Ethics of Design (same as ME 120)




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




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




Product Design Methods (same as ME 115B)

4 W


Designing Your Business (same as ME 115C)




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



*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.

Methods Depth 

Students will get to sharpen 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

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.


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)


  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).

How Do I Learn More?

Discover the Major Night Recording Available

In this informational event on February 7, 2023 we talk about the vision for the program and its graduates, get into the details of the core classes, hear from the faculty representing the new Method and Domain options for students, and highlight advising resources.

Office Hours
Both faculty advisors and peers advisors will be hosting regular Office Hours sessions.  Please view the current OH Schedule here. For advising questions, please email us at  We’ll be checking messages and responding on a weekly cadence.

Instructions for Declaring the Design Major

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:
Email with the following subject line template: Declaring  Design, [insert Firstname Lastname], Class of [insert year].  Our advising team will reply with instructions to meet with your assigned peer and faculty advisor during their office hours.

2. Gather and complete the following paperwork

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, 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 (  Email your final declaration form, program sheet and unofficial transcript to for final processing.

Log into Axess and formally declare your major!