Product Design

Bachelor of Science Degree: 187.0 quarter credits

About the Program

Product design combines the fields of art, business, and engineering to design the products people use every day. The program in product design focuses creativity and intellect, and prepares students for careers in a range of product design fields including corporate product design, design consulting, entrepreneurial endeavors, sustainable product development, and global design initiatives.

The major in product design is centered on teaching students the skills to develop and design products for a vast array of industries, specializing in multidisciplinary design research focused on product development and commercialization. It will also encourage collaboration in green design, sustainability and innovation in product development, facilitating and combining the fields of art, business, engineering and technology.

Students have the opportunity to create products ranging from furniture and toys to medical devices and consumer electronics in design competitions and charrettes. Students learn in state-of-the-art facilities that include a modeling shop and studio, laser cutters, 3D printers, rapid prototypers and molding clays and tools. The modeling shop and studio are large design-centered spaces, built to promote and sustain the studio culture students will enter upon graduation.

Students enrolled in the product design major will be expected to pursue a minor outside of product design that will allow them to apply their design capabilities toward a specific area of expertise.

For more information about this major, visit the College's Product Design page.

Degree Requirements 

In addition to the following requirements for graduation, students enrolled in the Product Design major will be expected to pursue a minor outside of product design that will allow them to apply their design capabilities toward a specific area of expertise.

General education requirements
ENGL 101Expository Writing and Reading3.0
ENGL 102Persuasive Writing and Reading3.0
ENGL 103Analytical Writing and Reading3.0
CHEM 201Why Things Work: Everyday Chemistry3.0
COM 220Qualitative Research Methods3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
PHYS 103General Physics I4.0
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
PSY 332Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and humanities electives9.0
Free electives27.0
Visual studies requirements
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
DIGM 100Digital Design Tools3.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
PHTO 234Studio Photography4.0
VSCM 230Visual Communication I4.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
Select one of the following:4.0
Multimedia: Performance
Multimedia: Space
Multimedia: Materials
Product Design requirements
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
MEM 201Foundations of Computer Aided Design3.0
MGMT 260Introduction to Entrepreneurship4.0
PROD 101History and Analysis of Product Design3.0
PROD 205Applied Making I3.0
PROD 210Introduction to Product Design3.0
PROD 220Product Design Form Studio4.0
PROD 225Computer Aided Imagining in Product Design3.0
PROD 230Product Design Process Studio4.0
PROD 235Applied Design Visualization3.0
PROD 245Seminar Professional Landscape3.0
PROD 255Applied Materials in Product Design3.0
PROD 340Interdisciplinary Product Design Studio4.0
PROD 345Applied Human Centered Design3.0
PROD 425Applied Design Research3.0
PROD 460Research Synthesis Studio4.0
PROD 470Create Build Studio4.0
PROD 475Professional Practice in Product Design3.0
PROD 480Exhibition Studio4.0
Optional Product Design electives
Design Thinking in Production Design
Sponsored Product Design Studio
Independent Study in Product Design
Special Topics in Product Design
Total Credits187.0


Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Expository Writing and Reading3.0
PROD 101History and Analysis of Product Design3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 2
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
DIGM 100Digital Design Tools3.0
ENGL 102Persuasive Writing and Reading3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 3
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
ENGL 103Analytical Writing and Reading3.0
MATH 101Introduction to Analysis I4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
PHYS 103General Physics I4.0
PROD 205Applied Making I3.0
PROD 210Introduction to Product Design3.0
PROD 235Applied Design Visualization3.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 5
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
MEM 201Foundations of Computer Aided Design3.0
PROD 220Product Design Form Studio4.0
VSCM 230Visual Communication I4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
CHEM 201Why Things Work: Everyday Chemistry3.0
DSMR 201Analysis of Product3.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
PROD 225Computer Aided Imagining in Product Design3.0
PROD 230Product Design Process Studio4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 7
PHTO 110Photography3.0
PROD 245Seminar Professional Landscape3.0
PROD 255Applied Materials in Product Design3.0
Select one of the following:4.0
Multimedia: Space 
Multimedia: Performance 
Multimedia: Materials 
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
PHTO 234Studio Photography4.0
PROD 340Interdisciplinary Product Design Studio4.0
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 9
COM 220Qualitative Research Methods3.0
PROD 345Applied Human Centered Design3.0
PSY 332Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering3.0
Social science elective 3.0
Free elective 3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
PROD 425Applied Design Research3.0
PROD 460Research Synthesis Studio4.0
Free electives 6.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 11
MGMT 260Introduction to Entrepreneurship4.0
PROD 470Create Build Studio4.0
Free electives 6.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 12
PROD 475Professional Practice in Product Design3.0
PROD 480Exhibition Studio4.0
Free electives 6.0
 Term Credits13.0
Total Credit: 187.0

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Product designers have careers in a wide range of industries including consumer electronics, housewares, furniture, fashion accessories, medical devices, toys, automotive and transportation. The work of product designers improves the usefulness and appearance of countless products that contribute to the quality of our work and personal lives.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Minor in Product Design 

Students in this minor—through a combination of three studio courses and four applied lecture courses—learn to combine skills in creative problem solving with a visual product design process. Students develop product concepts and collaborate on the development of product ideas, including the creation and integration of new technologies, sustainability, health-care and socially responsible design, all of which are beneficial for design professionals.

The minor is specifically created to offer students a unique multi-disciplinary studio experience. Students will develop skills in the rapid visualization of ideas, creative problem solving, transformative design thinking and an understanding of the product development process in a collaborative setting. This minor is offered to all students having an interest in developing product ideas, including students from the College of Engineering, the LeBow College of Business, and the School of Biomedical Engineering as well as College of Media Arts and Design students who would like to add a product focus to their design degree.

Academic requirements

To be eligible for the minor in product design, a student must have completed a minimum of 30.0 undergraduate credits, have declared a major, and have a minimum GPA of 2.7. No pre-requisite courses are required. Students may be encouraged to augment or prepare for this minor. Only upon review by the faculty advisor for the minor will students with design credits from other institutions or departments be allowed to apply these to the requirements.


Required courses
PROD 101History and Analysis of Product Design3.0
PROD 205Applied Making I3.0
PROD 210Introduction to Product Design3.0
PROD 215Design Thinking in Production Design4.0
PROD 230Product Design Process Studio4.0
PROD 235Applied Design Visualization3.0
PROD 340Interdisciplinary Product Design Studio4.0
Total Credits24.0

Courses

PROD 101 History and Analysis of Product Design 3.0 Credits

This class studies the chronological context of the development of the product design profession, relating it to the social, cultural and economic events that helped shape our modern day society. Studies are focuses on major industrial designers and innovations. This course has both a project and written analysis paper component.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

PROD 205 Applied Making I 3.0 Credits

This course introduces the development of rapid study models and mid-fidelity prototypes related to product design. Students, through a series of exercises, build study models of products to professional standards of accuracy and finish, with an emphasis on rapid development. Aspects of workshop practice and safety are emphasized.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 101 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 210 Introduction to Product Design 3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to basic product design techniques. It combines lectures, demonstrations, discussions and problem solving exercises exploring product design as a creative process in the producation of simple objects. Students develop a command of product development, skills in modeling and communication of their novel solutions.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 101 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 215 Design Thinking in Production Design 4.0 Credits

This course is a studio-seminar introducing principles and theories of product design, systematic design process, problem-solving, decision making and design as authorship. The course uses design research methods, and topical design issues to explore and expierience design thinking.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.

PROD 220 Product Design Form Studio 4.0 Credits

This course uses principles of design in the visual organization of physical elements and analysis of form. Building on abstract relationships including additive and subtractive forms as well as gestalt. Students develop a sensitivity to form language, semantics and aesthetics of volumes and synthesize this abstract language into functional objects.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 210 [Min Grade: D] and PROD 205 [Min Grade: D] and PROD 235 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 225 Computer Aided Imagining in Product Design 3.0 Credits

This is an applied computer class in which students pursue the development of design projects using current product design photo-realistic rendering softward for object design and three-dimensional modeling of products applicable to rapid prototyping.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: MEM 201 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 230 Product Design Process Studio 4.0 Credits

In this course students are presented complex design issues in mass-produced objects. Students develop an understanding of the product development process focusing on the designers skills and technical knowledge to formulate appropriate design solutions. Students practice collaboration of ideas with engineers, marketing, users and shareholders.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 220 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 235 Applied Design Visualization 3.0 Credits

This course will provide students with schemas and strategies for using visualization as a thinking tool, as well as persuasive techniques for communicating design intent. It will put into practice the essential techniques that product designers use to think and communicate visually.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

PROD 245 Seminar Professional Landscape 3.0 Credits

In this course students explore current trends in the product design profession today. Students will research and present insights into important design issues, trends, and criticism in contemporary product design. Through extensive readings and discussions, students develop an understanding of the relationship of product design to society and culture.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 220 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 255 Applied Materials in Product Design 3.0 Credits

The course emphasizes the practical relationship between product design and the manufacturing industry and the technical considerations that influence the choice of material and process for small batch and mass production.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 235 [Min Grade: D] and ENGR 220 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 340 Interdisciplinary Product Design Studio 4.0 Credits

Through a focused design project, students of various backgrounds and departments collaborate on complex design issues as they seek to create an appropriate and novel solution to the assigned design problem. Bringing both the PROD majors and PROD minors together, students work as teams through the product development cycle.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 230 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 345 Applied Human Centered Design 3.0 Credits

This course explores the physical, psychological, perceptual, and behavioral characteristics of humans. Through a series of lectures and projects, this information is applied to the field of product design to develop safe and effective products.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: PSY 101 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 350 Sponsored Product Design Studio 4.0 Credits

Students undertake projects that are sponsored by industry partners to investigate a broad range of design, marketing and production issues. In this course, students, working in a team environment, research user needs, human factors, aesthetic issues, manufacturing requirements, and market demands to indentify user needs and product opportunities.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 340 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 399 Independent Study in Product Design 3.0 Credits

Provides individualized study in product design in a specialized area of study. May be repeated for credit.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 2 times for 6 credits
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD and classification is Junior or Senior.
Prerequisites: PROD 340 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 425 Applied Design Research 3.0 Credits

This course covers diverse theories and methods for conducting product design research. Emphasis is given to understanding quantitative and qualitative research methods and the role the designer in synthesizing and applying research as a critical part of the design process. This course combines writing and short projects.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: COM 220 [Min Grade: D] and PROD 345 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 460 Research Synthesis Studio 4.0 Credits

In this first of two senior studios, students apply their skills to initiate research on an opportunity of their selection. Under supervision, students demonstrate control of applied design research and synthesis. This course focuses on the information gathering, study, and analysis that product designers do to inspire and inform themselves.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 340 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 465 Special Topics in Product Design 4.0 Credits

Provides study in product design on a special topic or on an experimental basis. May be repeated 2 times for credit if topics vary.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 2 times for 8 credits
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD and classification is Junior or Senior.
Prerequisites: PROD 340 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 470 Create Build Studio 4.0 Credits

In this second of two studios, students apply their skills to develop a solution based on the research conducted in the previous studio. Under supervision, students will demonstrate control of the product design process in the producation of a novel and appropriate user-focused solution.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 460 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 475 Professional Practice in Product Design 3.0 Credits

This course provides information about career planning and job seeking, including the development of cover letters, resumes, online and physical portfolios and the interview process. Practicing design professionals serve as guest speakers and conduct mock interviews to address topics relevant to the practice of product design.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 460 [Min Grade: D]

PROD 480 Exhibition Studio 4.0 Credits

This final studio is a culmination of the educational experience in the production of a senior exhibition highlighting the students' accomplishments. Under supervision, students work together to demonstrate control of all aspects of the design process and visual communication in the production of a graduation exhibition.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PROD.
Prerequisites: PROD 470 [Min Grade: D]

Fashion, Product Design & Merchandising Faculty

Kristen Ainscoe, BS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Visual merchandiser; merchandise management.
Catherine Byers, MA (American University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Journalism; marketing and communications.
Nick Cassway, BFA (Tyler School of Art). Assistant Teaching Professor. Curating; experimental portraiture; computer design.
Anne C. Cecil, MA (University of the Arts) Program Director, Design & Merchandising. Associate Teaching Professor. Web designer, product designer, merchandising and artist.
Renee Weiss Chase, MS (Drexel University). Professor. Fashion designer; computer-aided design systems for the fashion curriculum.
Anita Dennis, AST (Art Institute of Philadelphia) Fashion Laboratory Technician. Assistant Teaching Professor. Fashion designer and technician; construction skills.
Genevieve Dion, MFA (University of the Arts). Assistant Professor. Industrial designer, wearable artist, new materials technology research.
Michael Glaser, MFA (Ohio State University) Program Director for Product Design. Assistant Professor. Quantifying the designer's intuition; the interplay between digital and physical forms; human desire to shape our surroundings.
Cynthia Golembuski, MS (Drexel University) Associate Program Director, Fashion Design. Assistant Teaching Professor. Fashion designer, illustrator, computer aided design.
Roberta Hochberger Gruber, MS (Drexel University) Head of the Fashion and Product Design & Merchandising Department. Associate Professor. Fashion designer and illustrator; wearable artist, merchandiser, special events.
Joseph H. Hancock, II, PhD (Ohio State University). Associate Professor. Apparel merchandising, textiles and clothing, culture and marketing strategies.
Lisa L. Hayes, BFA (Syracuse University) Program Director, Fashion Design. Associate Professor. Fashion designer, product designer, pattern design.
Jan Marshall, BA (Long Island University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Fashion designer, knitwear, product development, fashion analysis.
Kathi Martin, MSIS (Drexel University) Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Fashion Design. Associate Professor. Fashion and textile designer; textile artist; computer-aided design, best practices online databases and graphic interfaces for fashion and historic costume, virtual characters for fashion design.
Alphonso McClendon, MS (Drexel University). Assistant Professor. Fashion designer, textile designer, computer aided design.
Beth Phillips, MS (Georgetown University). Associate Teaching Professor. Business and international marketing, linguist, analysis of products.
Juanita Phillips, BS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Fashion designer and educator.
Clare Sauro, MA (Fashion Institute of Technology) Curator of the Drexel Historic Costume Collection. Assistant Teaching Professor. Museum studies: costume and textiles.
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