Certificate in Design Strategy

What is it about?

Housed in the School of Human Ecology, this eighteen credit certificate in Design Strategy provides undergraduate students from all majors with a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving for strategic change. Through applying Design Thinking techniques and exploring the interconnections between people, built, natural, and financial environments, students will learn to put ideas into action and develop forward-thinking approaches to a variety of issues.

What is Design Strategy?

Design Strategy is a successful approach to problem solving with a focus on quality of life and sustainable futures. It begins with asking ‘better’ questions as a way to understand the root of the problem and why it is an issue. It is an empathetic, human-centered perspective that uses Design Thinking and draws from historical precedence and current research from a variety of fields to help solve complex and persistent problems.

What will students gain?

Students acquire concrete methodologies which enable them to apply what they have learned in their degree studies in a way that goes beyond the theoretical emphasis of most degree programs. Rather than adding additional expertise and knowledge in a particular field, this certificate gives students ways to apply what they have learned in their majors to real world problems; in the process, they become confident and creative forward thinkers, who are able to work in interdisciplinary teams.

How to apply?

All undergraduate students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for the Certificate in Design Strategy on October and February deadlines.


Foundational Course 3
DS 341 Design Thinking for Transformation
Selective Topics (choose one course from each of the three sections) 9
1: Consumer Behavior and Product Development
CNSR SCI/​RELIG ST  173 Consuming Happiness
CNSR SCI 201 Consumer Research & Analysis
CNSR SCI 255 Consumer Financial Services Innovation
CNSR SCI 301 Advanced Consumer Analytics
CNSR SCI 657 Consumer Behavior
DS 527 Global Artisans
2: Communities and Social Change
CSCS 125 Community and Social Change
CSCS 300 Nonprofit Sector: Overview and Foundations
CSCS 335 Communicating with Key Audiences
CSCS 460 Civil Society and Community Leadership
CSCS 570 Community Based Research and Evaluation
HDFS 469 Family and Community Influences on the Young Child
3: Humans and the Environment
DS 130 Introduction to Interior Architecture
DS 221 Person and Environment Interactions
DS/​ANTHRO/​ART HIST/​HISTORY/​LAND ARC  264 Dimensions of Material Culture
DS/​LAND ARC  639  Culture and Built Environment
HDFS 425 Research Methods in Human Development and Family Studies
HDFS/​CNSR SCI  465 Families & Poverty
HDFS 474  Racial Ethnic Families in the U.S.
HDFS 516 Stress and Resilience in Families Across the Lifespan
Elective Topics 3
Methods and Theories
ANTHRO 104  Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity
ANTHRO 300 Cultural Anthropology: Theory and Ethnography
ANTHRO 415 The Anthropological Study of Children & Youth
COM ARTS 260 Communication and Human Behavior
COM ARTS 325 Media and Human Behavior
L I S 202  Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society
ART 448 Special Topics
DS 270 Design and Fashion Event Practicum
DS/​COMP SCI/​I SY E  518 Wearable Technology
DS/​COMP SCI  579 Virtual Reality
INTL ST 523 International Internship
LAND ARC 210 Introduction to Landscape Architecture Design
LAND ARC 563 Designing Sustainable and Resilient Regions
M E 351 Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects I
THEATRE 234 Collaborative Problem Solving
Communication and Analysis
ART 346 Basic Graphic Design
BSE 270 Introduction to Computer Aided Design
COM ARTS 155 Introduction to Digital Media Production
COM ARTS 200 Introduction to Digital Communication
DS 120 Design: Fundamentals I
L I S 351 Introduction to Digital Information
Capstone 3
CNSR SCI 555 Consumer Strategy & Evaluation
DS 361 Design-Related International Experience
DS 570 Design and Fashion Event Management
DS 641 Advanced Design Thinking for Transformation
HDFS 592 Research Experience in Human Development and Family Studies
Total Credits 18