Brainstorming Charts The Design Thinking process is useful for solving any big problem or answering any question.

MDC Academics

Start with our Design Thinking foundation, and move on to courses in Art | Psychology | Entrepreneurship | Interactive Media Studies


Miami Plan Foundation (fine arts and formal reasoning)
SCA111: Innovation, Creativity and Design Thinking
This course will explore the roots of original thought and it’s role in the evolution of different areas of human endeavor. Students will explore the many facets of creativity, design and innovation, which are purely human traits at the heart of our ability to grow, change and adapt as individuals, and ultimately to survive as a species. The course will present scientific and scholarly ways of understanding creativity, but will also engage students in a series of exercises to experience processes through a diverse range of media and project types. Learning the roles and processes of innovation and design thinking will be central to this exploration. Team work, problem-solving and leadership skills will also be addressed, and students will both self-author and collaboratively author original concepts.


Design Thinking Certificate
The Design Thinking Certificate is offer by the Miami Design Collaborative, led by the College of Creative Arts. MDC is a multi-disciplinary design initiative that brings together students and faculty from throughout campus to develop expertise in design thinking and to implement that knowledge through complex, team-based, problem-solving experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. MDC offers the Design Thinking Certificate to students interested in gaining knowledge and a level of expertise in design process and collaborative problem-solving. Students must complete the following experiences to receive a certificate:

CFA 111 The Design Thinking Foundation (3 credit hours)

Take a minimum of two curricular experiences:
Curricular experiences are defined as courses which are officially approved by the university to receive traditional credit hours and meet graduation requirements. The following courses are approved:
IMS 440 Armstrong Interactive / IMS Practicum (4 hours)
ART 354 Three-dimensional Design / Multi-disciplinary Design Studio (4 hours)
Engineering Capstone (by advisor approval)
Architecture/Interior Design Studio (by advisor approval)
Other courses allowed through MDC advisor approval.

Participate in a minimum of one co-curricular experiences:
Co-curricular experiences are defined as experiences outside of normal classroom activity and may or may not receive university credit. Such experiences would include identified conferences/symposiums, ad-hoc design challenges/competitions, service projects, student-organized activities, etc. by MDC advisor approval only.

Each student pursuing the certificate will be advised by the MDC Advisor/Director.

At the close of the academic year each student would be required to present a reflective “portfolio” representing their progress and their work within the certificate program.


Miami Plan Thematic Sequence:  Principles in Innovation, Creativity and Design Thinking
This multi-disciplinary sequence is shared between the Departments of Art, Psychology, Entrepreneurship and Interactive Media Studies. The goals of the thematic sequence include:

  • Offer multi-disciplinary learning opportunities where students can experience different problem-solving orientations inherent in various disciplinary perspectives.
  • Offer learning opportunities focused on contemporary issues.
  • Fuse design thinking processes inherent in art, psychology, entrepreneurship and interactive media.
  • Balance theory and practice, allowing students to implement their ideas through project-based learning.

Tier 1: Take this course:
CFA 111 (MPF)

Tier 2: Select one of the following:
ART 256 Design, Perception and Audience (MPF)*
PSY 271 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (MPT)
IMS 253 Building Interactive Objects

Tier 3: Select one of the following:
PSY 453 Human Factors and Ergonomics (MPT)
ESP 464 Social Entrepreneurship
ESP 467 Entrepreneurship: New Ventures (MPC)
ESP 469 Entrepreneurship in Complex Organizations
IMS 440 Interactive Media Studies Practicum (MPC)

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This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. - Gary Lew

A network of people and experiences emphasizing multi-disciplinary collaboration, design thinking, and experiential learning.

  • MDC

    Miami Design Collaborative

    We are a multi-disciplinary design initiative at Miami University that brings together students and faculty from throughout campus to develop expertise in design thinking and to implement that knowledge through complex, team-based, problem-solving experiences.

    223 Hiestand Hall
    Oxford, OH 45056