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Bachelor of Science

Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation

This Bachelor of Science in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation degree offers a highly select group of students an integrated, four-year course of study that provides in-depth learning in four essential areas: the arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management, and communication. Through the Academy's Core, students learn applied skills and gain understanding of the theories, concepts, and "languages" common to each area. Academy electives serve to customize each student's experience to his or her individual strengths or desired focus. The fourth-year "Garage Experience" moves student teams from concept to creation, vision to prototype, or through advanced research in an area or field of interest. Throughout the program students are taught to think seamlessly across multiple disciplines, and to apply a vast array of relevant technologies and techniques toward innovative problem solving.

The degree requires a total of 128 units, including 76 units in the Core and 12 units in major electives. Students must select elective courses from the Academy's current offerings in Visual Design, Technology, Venture Management, Audio Design and Communication, or from future electives as they become available. In consultation with their academic advisor, students may petition to create unique degree paths by selecting courses from across all of the Academy's partner offerings, or from academic units or disciplines outside of the Academy (subject to approval by the dean).

In addition to required courses, students may elect to register for other Academy experiences such as summer study abroad and internships.

Below are the Academy curricular requirements, a sample four-year program and course descriptions. 

USC Iovine and Young Academy Majors must receive a final grade of B- (2.7) or higher in all required courses offered by the Academy.


Major requirements for students entering the Academy in Fall 2017 and later.

Academy students will complete each of the following core courses:

  • ACAD 174 Innovators Forum (taken twice)
    Leaders in diverse disciplines, industries, and the arts present and discuss problems facing society, and critique real-world projects that challenge the concept of innovation.
    2,2 units
    ACAD 176 Rapid Visualization
    Techniques, methods, concepts, tools and materials that may be used to quickly and effectively communicate basic or elaborate ideas and concepts through visual means.
    4 units 
    ACAD 177 Digital Toolbox: Design
    An eight-week course covering industry-standard digital design software used for image manipulation, page layout, web design, computer illustration and more.
    2 units 
    ACAD 178 Digital Toolbox: Motion Graphics
    An eight-week course covering industry-standard digital video and motion graphics software used for visual effects, non-linear video production and editing.    
    2 units
    ACAD 187 Digital Toolbox: 3D Design
    An eight-week course covering the basics of industry-standard 3D modeling, rendering and capturing software used for product, packaging, industrial and environmental design.    
    2 units
    ACAD 180 Digital Toolbox: Sound and Audio
    An eight-week course covering industry-standard hardware and software used for designing, creating, processing, integrating and distributing sound and audio.
    2 units
    ACAD 181 Disruptive Innovation
    Critical approaches to social and cultural changes stemming from disruptive innovations in the arts, science, technology, communications, new media, politics and business.    
    4 units
    ACAD 182 Case Studies in Innovation
    Employing a case-study methodology, students analyze the artistic, technological and entrepreneurial factors and address the conceptual, ethical and logistical issues that lead to disruptive innovation.    
    4 units
    ACAD 207 Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs I
    A course covering the basics of industry-standard hardware and software specific to creating effective and compelling multimedia experiences.    
    4 units
    ACAD 275 Dev I 
    Web page design and creation, web objects, scripting and interactivity. Includes developing skills to design and build interactive websites. 
    4 units
    ACAD 276 Dev II 
    Fundamentals of server-side scripting and web templates. Design and creation of data structures and databases. Visualize analytics and data.    
    4 units
    ACAD 277 Dev III* 
    An accelerated approach to object-oriented programming, including foundations of mobile application development.  Course includes a focus on user interface design.
    4 units
    ACAD 245 Product Design I*
    A wide investigation of techniques specific to dimensional design as they apply to package, product and spatial design, in analog and digital environments.  
    4 units
    ACAD 240 Materials: Denim to Nanotubes
    This course will cover the fundamentals of materials science and introduce students to the principles of designing with specific materials in mind.
    4 units
    ACAD 280 Designing for Experiences
    A course focusing on designing effective and elegant interfaces and experiences for the ways people interact with data, devices, systems, and environments.    
    4 units
    *Students choose between ACAD 277: Dev III and ACAD 245: Product Design I 
  • ACAD 324

    The Practice of Design: Ideation to Innovation
    History and application of proven collaborative design processes and methodologies as they relate to ideation and innovation.    
    4 units
    ACAD 360 Design Strategy: Problem Solving for Organizations
    This course takes a professional, collaborative and multidisciplinary consulting approach to diagnosing problems and applying design-based solutions on behalf of organizations.    
    4 units
    ACAD 302 The Hacker Imagination: From Ancient Greece to Cupertino
    Exploring issues in innovation, design and invention from the perspective of the hacker imagination. 
    4 units
    ACAD 376 Discerning and Making I: Concept and Feasibility
    A broad look at innovation from the perspectives of designers, engineers and entrepreneurs as applied to concept/feasibility of art, design, products, services and experiences.    
    ACAD 377 Discerning and Making II: Creation and Implementation
    Building on skills gained in Discerning and Making I, students will learn to create and implement new ventures, products, services and processes.    
    4 units
    ACAD 475ab The Garage Experience
    In this Academy capstone experience, students develop innovative projects leading to operational prototypes and viable enterprises.  Students are mentored by faculty and industry experts.    
    4,4 units

Elective Courses

Students must complete 12 units from the following menu:

  • ACAD 206 Communication and Cultures 4 units
    ACAD 306 Innovation, Entertainment and the Arts 4 units
    ACAD 366 Designing Media and Communication Projects for Social Change 4 units
    ACAD 375 Business and Professional Communication 4 units
    • ACAD 200 Advanced Sound and Audio 4 units
      ACAD 307 Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs II 4 units
      ACAD 345 Product Design II 4 units
      ACAD 407 Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs III 4 units
      ACAD 445 Product Design III 4 units
    • ACAD 315x Basics of Project and Operations Management for Non-Majors 2 units
      ACAD 385x Marketing of Creative Disruption and Innovation 4 units
      ACAD 467 Strategic Management of Innovation 4 units
      BAEP 455 Founder’s Dilemmas 4 units 
      BAEP 460 Seminar in Entrepreneurship 2 units 
      BAEP 470 The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Taking the Leap 2 units 
      BAEP 475 Entertainment Entrepreneurship 2 units 
      MOR 431 Interpersonal Competence and Development 4 units 
      MOR 461 Design of Effective Organizations 4 units 
    • ACAD 341 Android App Development  4 units
      ACAD 342 iOS App Development 4 units
      ACAD 344 Advanced iOS App Development 4 units
      ACAD 365 Managing Data in C++ 4 units
      ACAD 382 Mobile Game Development 4 units
      ACAD 442 Mobile App Project 4 units
      ACAD 404 Advanced Front-End Web Development 4 units
      ACAD 405 Advanced Back-End Web Development 4 units
      ACAD 460 Web Application Project 4 units
      ACAD 425 Web Application Security  4 units
      ACAD 351 Technologies and Practices for Analytics 4 units
      ACAD 449 Data Mining: Descriptive and Predictive 4 units
      ACAD 449 Technologies for Interactive Marketing  4 units
      ITP 249 Introduction to Data Analytics  4 units
      ITP 348 Introduction to Physical Computing 4 units
      ITP 388 Developing Connected Devices 4 units
      ITP 468 Connected Devices Project 4 units
    • ACAD 203 Statics 3 units
      ACAD 204 Strength of Materials 3 units
      AME 231L Mechanical Behavior of Materials 3 units
      AME 301 Dynamics 3 units
      ACAD 308 Computer-Aided Design for Bio-Mechanical Systems 3 units
      ACAD 312 Materials Behavior and Processing 4 units
      • ACAD 260 Introduction to Healthcare Innovation 4 units
        ACAD 261 Human Health and Technology 4 units
        ACAD 362 Analytics for Health Innovators 4 units
        ACAD 463 Evidence Based Medicine for Health Innovators 2 units
        ACAD 464 Mining Health Data Through Machine Learning 4 units
        • ACAD 301 Understanding Play 4 units
          ACAD 350 International Experience 2 units
View the USC General Catalogue for detailed program and course information. 

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 free person to function effectively, thoughtfully and productively in a complex world. More information is available here.

Academy Program Outcomes can be found here.

academy 4-year sample plan

Below is a four-year schedule of courses for the degree. With the exception of the Core (listed in red), courses need not be taken in the exact sequence indicated.