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These are elective studio-based courses that explore specific topics related to a subject matter, skill, process, material, technology, or emerging aspects in the field. Special topic courses vary each semester and are selected based on trends in the design field or future opportunities. Students should contact the Product Design Department for specific course offerings each semester.

Electives (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Beginning Ceramics PRDS362 2
Beginning Ceramics

This introductory course pushes the boundaries of ceramics through the blending of traditional making with state-of-the-art technology. Students learn various hand-building techniques such as the Potter’s wheel, plaster hump, slump, hollow and solid 2-piece plaster molds, extruder, slab coil combined in this project-driven studio with the use of 3-D printing technology.

Intermediate Ceramics PRDS363
Intermediate Ceramics

This is an intermediate course reserved for students who demonstrate the ability to make limited, mass production or art installation multiples with an emphasis on sustainable and environmental, and financial practices.

Prerequisite: Ceramic Production Techniques I or department approval.

Digital Design Lab - Keyshot Rendering & Animation or
Soft Goods Lab or
Hard Goods Lab or
Fashion x Product or
Jewelry Design Lab or
Packaging Lab or
Hybrid Design Lab - Designing the 21st Century
PRDS462 or
PRDS462 or
PRDS462 or
PRDS462 or
PRDS462 or
PRDS462 or
Digital Design Lab - Keyshot Rendering & Animation

This course advances the 3-D digital rendering and animation techniques of students using the KeyShot software. This course covers the KeyShot workflow, advanced materials, textures, lighting settings, photorealism, and animation techniques. Projects will range from recreating an image from existing or supplied models and assets to making photoreal images and animations from 3D models.

Prerequisite: Digital Design II PRDS 273 or Digital Design III PRDS or wavier upon Chair or instructor approval

Soft Goods Lab

A one semester introductory class for students who want to learn the basics of working with textiles, or for students who want to advance their skills outside or in conjunction with their Soft Goods Design studio. The course introduces sewing techniques, patternmaking, draping, dyeing and other joinery techniques using fabrics and other soft materials in the fabrication of objects for the area of soft good products, home d├ęcor, and fashion related items. In this immersive workshop, students will do research, find inspiration, creative problem-solve, present a “sketch presentation,” and prototype a model. Instructor works one-onone with students. Through project-based learning, students develop and gain mastery in their own unique design methodology and process

Hard Goods Lab

This is an introductory class for students who want to learn the basics of designing with various hard materials such as wood, metal, plastics, glass, and more. This course gives the student a hands-on opportunity to develop design skills through interaction with industrial materials with strictly defined properties. The course introduces various tools, machines, and methods of the fabrication of objects for the area of hard goods products. Students learn the process of pattern making, materials, characteristics, manipulation for form-making, joinery, and finishing. Students will achieve a more precise, professional, and sensitive approach to design while broadening their technical skill base. This is a companion course for students who want to advance their skills outside or in conjunction with their Hard Goods Design Studio.

Fashion x Product

This course is a unique collaborative studio that integrates qualifying students. Students are challenged with projects whose themes drive creativity, originality, and disruptive design. The course work introduces the fusion of 2D, 3D, and various fabrication methods using different materials, technologies, and processes to articulate and express ideas. Guest lecturers from industry, technology, art, and design will be invited to present and demonstrate their work and practices.

NOTE: Students who wish to take this elective will go through a pre-admission screening interview by the course instructors or the Fashion and Product Department Chairs.

Jewelry Design Lab

This is a project driven studio where free expression and  experimentation is encouraged.  Students are introduced to the basics of jewelry making and develop the supporting technical skills through lectures and hands-on metal working, glass fusion and stone setting.  The class is primarily analogue, though the integration of digital fabrication methods is welcome and supported for students who are interested.

Packaging Lab

This introductory course in the fundamentals of package design includes both the three-dimensional and two-dimensional aspects of designing a package.  This project-based course involves storytelling, branding, marketing positioning, sustainability, online retail, and more.  Students analyze the role that packaging plays in contemporary commerce and are encouraged to rethink and question that role in aesthetics, consumerism, and resource sustainability.  Students gain a solid foundation in packaging basics in the design and development of a package.

Hybrid Design Lab - Designing the 21st Century

This unique interdisciplinary studio for artists and designers has been created around designing the future through speculative design. Using various materials, methods, and processes combined with innovative technologies, students stimulate their creativity by exploring, experimenting, and discovering new design possibilities. Students have access to the model shops and labs. Course content and or design theme varies depending on the instructor

Independent Study PRDS999 1
Independent Study

Independent studies provide students with the opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with faculty in an area of interest that expands their expertise. Applications for independent study with a project proposal are submitted to the Department Chair for review and approval.


The curriculum displayed is meant to provide an overview of the current semester’s offerings in this department; it does not represent all degree requirements for the Major or Area of Emphasis. These can be found in each student’s Course Catalog (identified by the year in which one would have entered the college as a Foundation student), which can be found here. If you have questions regarding your specific curricular requirements and/or Course Catalog, please contact your department.