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Academy Minors



The Academy offers several minor options for non-majors who wish to specialize in cross-disciplinary theory and application. Each minor provides access to the Academy's unique and extensive maker facilities, as well as the breadth of Academy faculty expertise. The minors include courses of study in Product Design, Designing for Experiences, Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs, and Disruptive Innovation. In partnership with USC Keck MESH Academy, the Academy is also now offering a new minor, Health Innovation.  Full descriptions of the minors are provided below.  

The Spring 2020 minor/non-major Academy course offerings can be found here.

How to Apply

The Fall 2019 minor application is now available. The deadline to apply is November 6, 2019. Students who meet the eligibility requirements will be notified of their admission to the minor mid-November.


Eligibility Requirements:
In order to be admitted to an Academy minor, students must meet the following:
• A minimum 3.0 cumulative USC GPA
• A minimum of 12 USC units must be completed at the time of the minor application


important information

• All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade, with a minimum "B-" grade earned in each course. 

• If a grade below "B-" is earned in a required minor course, the student will be placed on probation. Any further grade below a "B-" (beyond one) in a required minor course will result in removal from the minor.
• A minimum of 16 units must be unique to the minor and not overlap with requirements for your major or another minor.
• Some courses for the minors are sequential and may require pre or co-requisites. In some cases, students may petition to substitute classes taken in other schools that may cover the pre-requisites.
• It is recommended that you meet with your major advisor to ensure that you have enough elective space to complete a minor.
• Any outstanding minor requirements will prevent the awarding of the degree for your major. If you are unable to complete the minor by your graduation term, it is your responsibility to alert the Iovine and Young Academy advisor so that the minor can be removed from your record.


Minor Descriptions



Health Innovation Minor

The potential for innovation at the intersection of health, medicine, design and technology is exploding. In order to take full advantage of the entrepreneurial and research opportunities in this space, a new style of undergraduate education is necessary for a new generation of learners – agile and adaptive thinkers who cross easily from discipline to discipline, steadily advancing the role that technology plays in our present and our future. Because of their strong interdisciplinary foundations, the USC Iovine and Young Academy and the USC Keck MESH Academy are uniquely poised to take the lead in the design and implementation of such a curriculum, one that will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the emerging field of health innovation.

Complete information about the Health Innovation Minor is available through the USC catalogue.



Product Design Minor

A minor in Product Design offers USC students a deep understanding of the design process leading to the creation of consumer goods and services, including the fundamentals of design thinking and human-centered design as they relate to successful ideation and implementation. Students will learn the method by which conclusions are made through study and application of acquired knowledge and skills in the areas of user research, market opportunity, consumer insights, competitive analysis, ideation, 3D form development, production methodologies, branding, packaging, marketing, and distribution. Course work will focus on the process by which decisions are made regarding not only a physical object's function and aesthetic qualities, but also if it is solving a problem, how it is solving that problem better than the competition, and whether or not it is a problem worth solving in the first place.

Complete information about the Product Design Minor is available through the USC catalogue.

Disruptive Innovation Minor

Disruptive innovation results from an invention or discovery that radically changes an existing eco or social system. Invariably, that change requires new learning and new, sustaining innovations in response. Lasting innovation, then, requires both creativity in generating fresh, bold new ideas and an understanding of the constant interplay of economic, technological, cultural and social forces that drive the use and consumption of products, goods and services. Innovators who maintain success and momentum over long periods have learned to anticipate and adapt to trends by focusing on the needs and opportunities presented by the customer, the citizen, the community and the user. The Iovine and Young Academy utilizes the techniques of human-centered design and a uniquely interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to provide students with the knowledge and skills to understand, nurture and drive innovation. The course work in this minor delivers a range of fundamental theories, frameworks and experiences to augment and enhance the knowledge students are gaining in their majors with an understanding of the techniques, methods and methodologies of the world's greatest innovators.

Complete information about the Disruptive Innovation Minor is available through the USC catalogue.

Designing for Experiences Minor

The Designing for Experiences minor provides USC students in all fields of study an opportunity to gain essential knowledge and skills related to interaction design. Courses focus on the practical tools required to implement interactive visual and tangible experiences as well as the conceptual basis for their creation from the standpoint of universal design theory. The minor is of particular interest to students wishing to further develop specializations such as data visualization, application design and social media platform development.

Complete information the Designing for Experiences Minor available through the USC catalogue.

Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs Minor

Entrepreneurs, content creators and experience designers in today's tech-rich market environments must understand how multimedia arts platforms interconnect. Facility with state-of-the-art visual and audio tools, and the ability to combine and integrate them successfully to create compelling and persuasive experiences, is essential. The learning approach in this minor combines design-driven, user-focused theory with hands-on, practical tools and production skills. Within a studio critique model, technology fundamentals are combined with entrepreneurial and design thinking perspectives. These skills and techniques will augment and enhance the knowledge students learn in their home domains and majors, and in virtually any future field of endeavor.

Complete information about the Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs Minor is available through the USC catalogue.