Design Thinking Minor

The Design Thinking minor is an interdisciplinary program that will strengthen students’ technical, creative, and management skills as they prepare to become design managers, innovation specialists, and creative leaders at companies. Classes will prepare students to holistically and empathetically consider challenges in people’s lives and how design could be used to solve a problem through new products and/or systems.

For this minor, a minimum of 22 credit hours is required, with at least 3 credits earned in courses numbered 300 or above from each of the categories: Business, Design, and Social Sciences. Students wishing to complete this minor must have their programs approved by their advisor and the Design Thinking Minor Coordinator, Jessa Wilcoxen.

Design thinking involves an approach to innovation and problem solving that takes into account the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and requirements for business success. ~ Tim Brown, IDEO

Learning Goals

Students will use various visual communication techniques and software to generate designs and prototypes.

Students will learn to evaluate a problem from various interdisciplinary approaches individually and in groups in anticipation for leading businesses towards creative and innovative solutions.

Students will develop an understanding of human behavior as it is affected by societal or environmental issues, and use that knowledge to compassionately design products, services, or systems that aim to improve lives and/or dissolve issues.

Design Thinking Courses

Core Courses & Electives

Core (13 credits)
AT 110 Intro to Digital Media (3) or AR 201 Computer Art & Design Orientation (3)
MK200. Principles of Marketing (3)
SO100. Intro to Sociology - (3)
ET260. Designing Your Life (1)
ET383. Innovation Lab (3)

Choose 9 credit hours from the Following. You must have a three credit (300 level or higher) class from each section (Business, Design, and Social Science).

Business Electives
MG345. Leading Organizational Change (3)
MK308. Consumer Behavior & Analytics (3)
MG300. People & Performance (3)
ET340. Foundations of Entrepreneurship (3)
ET333. Global Social Entrepreneurship (3)
ET380. Art of Entrepreneurship (3)
MG375. Project Management (3) - pre req. MG275
OL300. Self-Leadership (3)
OL310. Group and Team Dynamics (3)
OL344. Organizational Leadership (3)
OL385. Leadership, Diversity, and Multi-Culturalism (3)
OL306. Organizational Behavior (3)
Other approved Business Topics Course

Design Electives
AR327. Computer Art and Design: Creative Concepts (3)
EN305. Web Publishing (3)
AT365. Topics in Visual Media (3)
AT320. Motion Graphics Animation (3)
AT366. Topics in Interactive Media (3)
AR325. Graphic Design: Ad Agency (3)
Other approved Design Topics Course

Social Science Electives
SO320. Social Stratification (3)
SO330. Sociology of Gender (3)
SO365. Sociology of Globalization (3)
SO390. Environmental Sociology (3)
CO332. Gender Communication (3)
CO432. Intercultural Communication (3)
HM320. Poverty (3)
SO313. Multiculturalism and Diversity (3)
PS305/SP305. Social Psychology (3)
Other approved Social Science Topics Course


* It is advised but not required that students take BU230 Business Conversations when selecting a course to meet their Oral Communication general education requirement.
* It is advised but not required that students take ET383 Innovation Lab after they have completed all other classes in the minor or along with other classes in that final semester.




Design is so much more than craft. It is also strategy. Combine this with technology and that can lead to innovation.




Learn tactics in management or leadership and be the one that ensures that design thinking is used in all major decisions.


Social Sciences


Design Thinking starts by being empathetic to others and understanding how people interact with each other and institutions.

Is This Minor Right For Me?

Are you interested in helping organizations design products or systems that meet the needs of people? Do you enjoy thinking about design strategy and innovation? Are you interested in improving your management and leadership skills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are ready to Make it Millikin!