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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 three essential areas: art and design; engineering and computer science; and business and venture management. 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 Innovator’s 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 Consulting: 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.    
    8,8 units

Elective Courses

Students must complete 12 units from the following menu:

  • ACAD 200 Advanced Sound and Audio 4 units
    ACAD 352 Digital Audio Recording 4 units
    ACAD 354 Synthesis and Sound Design 4 units
    ACAD 356 Audio and Media Integration 4 units
    • ACAD 206 / COMM 206 Communciation and Cultures 4 units
      ACAD 375 / COMM 375 Business and Professional Communication 4 units
      ACAD 306 / COMM 306 Innovation, Entertainment and the Arts 4 units
      ACAD 366 / COMM 366 Designing Media/Communication Projects for Social Change 4 units
      • ACAD/DES 230

        3D Design: Materials and Tools 4 units

        ACAD/DES 303 

        Web Design  2 units

        ACAD/DES 330 

        3D Design: Objects and Space (pre-req DES 230) 4 units

        ACAD/DES 332a 

        Typography A 2 units

        ACAD/DES 332b 

        Typography B (pre-req DES 332a)

        2 units
      • ACAD 315x / BAUD 315x Basics of Project and Operations Management  2 units
        ACAD 385x / MKT 385x Marketing of Creative Disruption and Innovation 4 units
        ACAD 467 / MOR 467  Strategic Management of Innovation 4 units
        MOR 461 Design of Effective Organizations 4 units 
        MOR 431 Interpersonal Competence and Development 4 units 
        BAEP 455 Founders Dilemma 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 
      • ACAD 342 / ITP 342 Mobile App Development  3 units
        ACAD 344 / ITP 344 Advanced Topics in Mobile App Development 3 units
        ACAD 365 / ITP 365 Managing Data in C++ 3 units
        ACAD 382 / ITP 382 Mobile Gaming Programming 3 units
        ACAD 442 / ITP 442  Mobile App Project (by approval)  3 units
        ACAD 404 / ITP 404  Modern Technologies of Web Development 3 units
        ACAD 405 / ITP 405 Professional Applications and Frameworks in Web Development 3 units
        ACAD 460 / ITP 460 Web Application Project (by approval)  4 units
        ACAD 425 / ITP 425 Web Application Security  4 units
        ACAD 435 / ITP 435 Professional C++ 3 units
        ITP 476 Technologies for Interactive Marketing  4 units
        ITP 251 Applied Statistics for Analytics  2 units
        ITP 350  Technologies and Practices for Analytics  4 units
        ACAD 203 / AME 201 Statics (pre-req Math 125 and Physics 151L) 3 units
        ACAD 204 / AME 204 Strength of Materials (pre-req AME 201) 3 units
        ACAD 231L / AME 231L Mechanical Behavior of Materials (c0-req AME 204) 3 units
        ACAD 301 / AME 301 Dynamics (pre-req AME 201) 3 units
        ACAD 308 / ITP 308 Computer-Aided Design for Bio-Mechanical Systems 3 units
        ACAD 312 / MASC 310 Materials Behavior and Processing 3 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.