DEC Curriculum

Integrative Design Process: “How do I discover opportunities?”

Business Models: “How do I create value?”

Systems Thinking: “How do I deal with complexity?”

Research Methods: “How do I ask the right questions?”

DEC Advanced Electives: “What does this mean in the real world?”

Capstone: “How do I put it all together?”

By majoring in a program in the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, students retain the core learning of their major while forging new collaborations among designers, engineers and business professionals. The DEC core curriculum offers an integrated educational experience that prepares students to think critically about the world, which gives them a multidimensional understanding of their rapidly evolving fields.

The Kanbar College curriculum includes four core courses—Integrative Design Process, Business Models, Systems Thinking and Ethnographic Research—and an integrated senior capstone project. Each course combines aspects of design, business and engineering to give students a well-rounded education that goes beyond the boundaries of a traditional degree. It’s an approach that aggressively addresses changes in the 21st-century work world, where a sophisticated interdisciplinary understanding gives young professionals a broader perspective across a wide range of disciplines, making them more effective in their own field of expertise and enhancing their ability to lead and succeed.

Integrative Design Processes introduces students to dealing with ambiguity through finding problems, prototyping and iterating solutions while working in diverse teams of students.

Business Models introduces students to the concept of how a value proposition is delivered to customers through infrastructure to create financial, social and environmental value.

For the final course, students choose between one of three courses Sustainability & Eco-Innovation, Biology for Design, and Materials Selection to explore inter-connections of complex and dynamic natural and social systems.

Ethnographic Research Methods, the last course students take before their integrated capstone, brings together students’ DEC core studies with the liberal arts and discipline expertise through a focus on understanding people and behavior.

Through this curriculum, students learn effective strategies to innovate across areas of expertise, an approach that adds educational value to each major and prepares students for strategic leadership in their fields.