B.S. Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation

Group of student sitting at table looking at a laptop

The world-unique Bachelor of Science degree is  built on the Academy’s signature integrated learning framework that develops personalized cross-cutting knowledge and skills at the intersection of human-centered design, technology, entrepreneurship, and communication. 

Foundational to the Academy’s degree program is Challenge-based Learning (CBL). Through industry-facing initiatives and real-world challenge prompts, students develop projects or solutions in response to complex problems facing individuals, communities, organizations, and society at large.  Students ideate solutions, build multidisciplinary teams, develop and refine pitch presentations,  secure mentors and external support and implement functioning prototypes.  The CBL experience culminates in the fourth-year "Garage Experience" course where students create and develop original products, solutions, or ventures to address a meaningful problem.. The Academy’s CBL experience also includes rich professionalization opportunities through CurriculumPlus offerings including industry driven labs and projects.

Throughout the Academy’s learning experience, students are taught to think seamlessly across multiple disciplines, and to apply a wide array of relevant technologies, design techniques and business strategies  toward innovative problem solving.

Academy Core and Electives

The Academy’s undergraduate degree* requires a total of 128 units, including:

  • 52 units through the Academy’s core focused on integrated innovation
  • 34 units through Academy’s concentrations or custom pathways of electives
  • 40 units of USC General Education and Writing core

*The above updated degree requirements are due to start for students entering Fall 2023, pending final university curriculum approval.

Through the Academy's core, students gain applied skills, knowledge, comprehension and competencies in key theories and concepts in design, technology, business and communication. Significant emphasis is placed on integrated learning and identifying common abstract elements that can connect these four areas into innovative insights and solutions.

The core creates foundations in business and entrepreneurship, engineering, human-centered design and communication through courses such as Innovators Forum, Disruptive Innovation, Rapid Visualization, Device Development 1 and 2, Design Strategy and the Practice of Design. It also adds industry-specific skills and knowledge, practical projects and solutions, and real-world experiences through Industry Practicum and The Garage Experience. 

Academy Concentrations

Building on the rigorous undergraduate core, students can apply 34 units of electives to develop  cross-sector expertise by pursuing Academy concentrations in the following growing sectors of the 21st century economy:

Alternatively, students can create their own specialization path in consultation with their advisor that combines courses across the Academy concentrations with Academy current and future-approved electives including courses from the Academy's graduate program, Integrated Design, Business and Technology, and academic units or disciplines outside of the Academy.

USC Core

In addition to the Academy Core Curriculum and electives, Academy students must complete the USC Core which consists of courses in General Education, Writing and Global Perspectives. Together these provide training in the liberal arts - the critical skills necessary for a person to function effectively, thoughtfully and productively in a complex world. More information can be found on the USC General Catalogue

Learning Outcomes

Through the Academy’s  bachelor’s degree, students develop a powerfully agile mindset to analyze challenges, think creatively across disciplinary boundaries, and synthesize diverse ideas to create new technologies, ventures, and humane solutions for purpose-driven societal change. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation will gain:

  • A solid foundation in the languages and problem-solving tools and methodologies in the core areas of art and design; engineering and computer science; and business and venture management 
  • In-depth knowledge of one or more of the areas above, in addition to critical knowledge in related or synergistic fields and areas of endeavor 
  • Applied skills in information technology, coding and programming, 2D and 3D design, prototyping, visual and verbal communication, business modeling, management, team-based collaboration, marketing, finance and accounting, and more 
  • An ability to both manage and work in creative team environments; take part in and lead multidisciplinary project teams; and excel in technology-driven business and creative environments


A hallmark of the Academy’s mission is the mandate to provide learning across multiple platforms that include rigorous instruction, research, and experimentation, but also deep dives into real-world problem solving with existing companies and institutions.Through the Academy’s expansive CurriculumPlus programming, students have unprecedented opportunities to learn from top-tier executives, creatives, technologists, and thought leaders from around the globe.

IYA Career Edge 

As innovators who are well prepared for an ever-changing global landscape, Academy students are already capturing highly competitive internships, fellowships and full-time positions at a roster of leading global organizations. Startups founded by Academy students or teams have garnered more than $120 million in development funding and acquisition payouts, and won national and international awards for design and impact. Academy student ideas have been supported by leading accelerators, venture capital firms, and foundations, and highlighted in major press and media outlets, including Forbes,Inc.,TechCrunch,Business Insider,Fast Company,Los Angeles Times,New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Subscribe to our Newsletter