Innovation & Design

Students majoring in a business discipline may add a concentration in Innovation & Design by completing an additional nine credits of coursework in the area.

Required Courses (Choose Two)
BUAD 451 - Customer Insights for Innovation

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 311 - Principles of Marketing or consent of the instructor.


Many business opportunities and decisions depend on an understanding of customers' values, needs, aspirations and behaviors. These unique insights inform the development of products, services, and brands that are valued by customers and differentiated from competition. This course will be an immersive and experiential introduction to customer insights research, including fieldwork using a variety of qualitative research methods. In addition, these methods will be applied within the context of generating concepts for new products and services that address the insights identified.

BUAD 453 - Sustainability Inspired Innovation and Design

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 311 - Principles of Marketing


Many companies are embracing sustainability as the inspiration and impetus for the next wave of product and service innovation. In this course, we will explore the reasons behind this growing interest in sustainability, what sustainability means to consumers, and the opportunities it presents to companies that want to "do well while doing good". This course will also emphasize the process and outcome of product and service innovation, from creative idea generation to concept evaluation. Specifically, students will gain significant hands-on experience with the tools and techniques of "Design Thinking" in a studio setting, with a focus on developing innovative ideas that promote the principles of sustainability.

BUAD 457 - Creative Problem Solving

3 credits | Fall or Spring


A study of the processes of creativity and innovation in complex problem-solving, informed by both business and inter-disciplinary approaches. Throughout the course, students engage in a mix of experiential, experimental, and reflective exercises designed to promote integrative and creative problem-solving, with an emphasis on the techniques, frameworks and mindsets that drive innovation in organizations.

Electives (Choose One)
BUAD 441 - Social Entrepreneurship

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): Junior or Senior standing.


Social Entrepreneurs create innovative and sustainable solutions to critical social and environmental challenges, using strategies from business. This course integrates the concepts of social responsibility, sustainable business, nonprofit and for-profit management, and consulting practice by applying these frameworks to specific issues in domestic and international contexts.

BUAD 443 - Entrepreneurial Ventures

3 credits | Fall or Spring | Prerequisite(s): BUAD 311 - Principles of Marketing, BUAD 323 - Financial Management, BUAD 350 - Introduction to Business Analytics; or consent of the instructor.


Entrepreneurial Ventures focuses on the issues, decisions, and problems faced by entrepreneurial owners and innovators who wish to create and manage new or smaller enterprises, family businesses, technology based enterprises or franchises. Students will develop the knowledge and skill set relevant for the creation, operation and ultimate success of the venture based on enterprise.

BUAD 444 & 445 - Entrepreneurship Consulting

4 credits | Fall & Spring


Students will work with real business organizations as consultants under the guidance of the Entrepreneurship Center. This opportunity will involve students in many phases of problem solving and organizational development in launching entrepreneurial ventures. Students will work in teams to address challenges requiring independent analysis and interdisciplinary thinking, while also developing analytical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills. The course will involve field work and independent research on project(s) that extend across the fall and spring semesters, so students must enroll in both semesters.