Mission and Values

Group of students looking at laptop

Mission

The USC Iovine and Young Academy seeks to empower the next generation of thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs through a unique educational experience focused at the intersection of four essential areas: the arts and design; technology; venture management; and communication. These new literacies for the 21st century combine to create a new disciplinary expertise that will prepare our graduates to adapt quickly to rapidly changing work landscapes, and to rethink, reimagine, and reapply.

Our students will develop high-level problem-solving abilities and skills that can be applied across a broad spectrum of industries, fields, and areas of endeavor, and a mindset that embraces lifelong learning. Through the strategic application of human-centered design fueled by diversity and inclusion, technology, agency, and unbridled creativity, Academy alumni will develop new ways of working, learning, collaborating, and engaging with our communities, and drive positive change for society and the environment.

Three students wearing USC shirts pose for a photo
Two students, shirt says the degree is in disruption.

The USC Iovine and Young Academy is proud of our efforts to foster an accessible, inclusive, diverse, and equitable learning community. As a school, it is our express purpose to reinvent undergraduate and graduate education, specifically to meet the changing needs of our students and, through their abilities, society. Through these new models for education, we are intent on providing greater access for students from diverse backgrounds, and especially those who exhibit talents, traits and attributes different from those traditionally sought by higher education programs. With a commitment to cultivating global drivers of change, the Academy is preparing students with qualities encompassing the ability to collaborate with and engage in diverse teams; think critically across a broad spectrum of issues; encourage emotional and cultural intelligence and competence; act with kindness and humility; and effectively communicate to diverse populations as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

We are committed to a transformative faculty body whose work as educators, scholars, technologists, entrepreneurs, artists and designers transcends disciplinary silos and ignites innovation across our campus. We support our faculty by facilitating research and course development practices that provide greater insights on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and access, as well as social and environmental impact. Further, we encourage our faculty, staff and students toward greater and more significant interaction with university wide educational resources such as the USC Rossier Center on Race and Equity, the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, and the USC Center for Diversity and Democracy. 

The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy was founded in 2013 with a visionary gift from entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, to establish a new school to nurture critical thinking and unbridled creativity at the intersection of four essential areas: arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication. 

Under the leadership of its founding executive director and dean, Erica Muhl, the Academy enrolled its inaugural class of freshmen, Cohort 1, in fall 2014. In July, 2018, the Academy was named USC’s newest professional school – only the 20th to be so named in the university’s nearly one hundred and forty years. 

The Academy’s first degree program, the Bachelor of Science in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, heralded a new age in higher education, and attracted top high school students from across the U.S. and abroad. In 2017, the Academy launched its first graduate degree, the online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology, followed in 2020 by the landmark Master of Science in Product Innovation, which redefines product design for the 21st century. 

The Academy’s first home was the iconic “Garage” incubator, located on the 4th floor of Steven and Katherine Sample Hall at USC. The Garage set a new tone for learning spaces at USC and in higher education in general, opting for an open-concept, tech-enabled environment that encouraged and facilitated collaboration, and team- and project-based work. From 2014 to 2020, the students’ and faculty’s use of the Garage laid the conceptual and technological foundations for the Academy’s current home, Iovine and Young Hall.   

Belying its collegiate gothic exterior, IYH has taken learning environments into uncharted territory. Immediately upon entering, visitors experience an inspiring, design-rich environment in which every studio, laboratory, workshop and classroom can serve as a creative ‘partner’ for creation, ideation, invention and innovation. 

Timeline

Four presenters stand around a podium in front of a red banner
Iovine and Young Academy (IYA) founded as an independent academic unit at USC
2013
An open-space classroom with red chairs, circular grey ottomans and circular ceiling lights
Dedication of the IYA “Garage” incubator
2014
Group of freshmen sitting in classroom posing for a photo
Inaugural cohort enrolled, Bachelor of Science Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation (BSATBI)
Group of male students hold giant check
Iovine and Young Prize established as part of a $1M gift to the school
2015
A screenshot of a Zoom meeting.
Inaugural cohort enrolled, online Master of Science Integrated Design, Business and Technology (MSIDBT)
2017
3 males and 1 female wearing white hard hats and holding shovels ready to break ground
Groundbreaking for Iovine and Young Hall (IYH)
2018
Graduating students wearing cap and gown throw caps into the air
First commencement, BSATBI
A red brick building with lights on in the evening
Iovine and Young Academy named USC’s 20th professional school
White male holds a white plaque with red sphere
Academy student startup Mira wins Red Dot Product Design Award
Collage of photos including male wearing VR headset, exploding lightbulb, welding metal, and female holding glowing stick
Launch of Academy minors in Product Design, Disruptive Innovation, Designing for Experiences, and Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs
Group of graduating students wearing black gown and red sash
First commencement, MSIDBT
2019
2 males and 2 females hold giant scissors poised to cut giant red ribbon
Official dedication, Iovine and Young Hall
Black and gold postcard with words Class of 2020
Virtual graduation celebration takes place under COVID-19 conditions
2020
Exploding lightbulb
Inaugural cohort enrolled, Master Science Product Innovation
White male wearing beige suit jacket and light blue dress shirt
Dr. Thanassis Rikakis named new dean of IYA
2021

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