Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Product Design, BFA

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Program will launch in Fall 2022.

Matthew Rhoades, Program Director



Learn more and apply to the Product Design program.


As a BFA graduate in Product Design at University of the Arts, you create objects, services and systems that solve pressing problems and improve lives. You leave ready for professional careers in Product Design or to start meaningful businesses that act as a force for good: positively affecting customers, community and the planet we share.

The program offers a number of unique curriculum tracks that allow an unprecedented amount of freedom to shape and focus your design education and pursue your passions. Courses in our program examine a range of contemporary topics, including emerging manufacturing methods, virtual prototyping, sustainability, entrepreneurial best practices and design ethics. The products we create help you explore your curiosities and ask deep questions about the changing world around you.

An interdisciplinary mindset is central to our work. You’ll learn to work with students in other disciplines to amplify design projects: you might partner with interaction designers to develop internet-enabled devices or collaborate with graphic designers to brand market-ready products. By taking classes outside your discipline, you’ll have access to experts in related fields, as well as facilities and resources that refine your vision, including UArts’ Center for Immersive Media, Greenfield Makerspace, and Corzo Center, the last of which supports the entrepreneurial spirit through grants and consultation.

Program Objectives

Students graduating with a BFA in Product Design will be able to:

-Manage a human-centered design process for the purpose of creating products that solve pressing needs in the immediate community and around the world;

-Prioritize sustainability by considering the social, environmental and economic impact in the development of each project;

-Develop a broad understanding of material properties and contemporary methods and manipulate both to achieve desired results;

-Integrate entrepreneurial best practices into product development, including validated learning, continuous deployment and minimally viable products;

-Discover the languages, concepts, relationships and practices across design through exploration and study of related disciplines;

-Practice the mindsets necessary to succeed in industry: collaborate across disciplines effectively, iterate wildly, rebound from failure quickly and be endlessly curious about the world around them.

Program Requirements (120 credits)

Discipline History (12 credits)

Critical Studies (30 credits)

Writing (6-12 credits)

Students are placed into one of the following writing sequences after the completion of a writing placement exam. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA.


Increased Support

CRIT Choice (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Critical Studies Electives (12-15 credits)

Students who complete the increased support or ESL writing sequence complete 9-12 credits of CS electives; all other students complete 15 credits.

  • Though not representative of all options, students can select from the following subjects:
    • ​AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • AMSL (American Sign Language), FRCH (French), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    •  : Critical Studies Elective.

General Electives (9 credits)

  • Complete 9 credits. This requirement is satisfied by any undergraduate course that isn’t required by the program.

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