Design and Innovation Minor

Design and Innovation Minor

Design and Innovation Minor

No matter your major, the Design and Innovation minor augments your plan of study so you can create your very own innovations!

The Design and Innovation minor provides a flexible and continuous pathway for students to explore the practice of innovation while learning within the context of their own passions and projects. This experience includes scoping problems and generating ideas and then creating, optimizing and preparing innovative solutions for people – from idea formation to functional prototype – ready for launching into the world to make an impact.

The Design and Innovation minor completes the puzzle!

You will:

  • Benefit from campus-wide resources.
  • Connect with students across all majors by working in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Enjoy added flexibility and space for your projects.
  • Participate in campus competitions.
  • Identify opportunities for innovation in alignment with your major.
  • Design and develop solutions to real problems across multiple years of study.
  • Develop an innovative mindset through co-teaching and co-learning.

You bring your ideas to life by:

  • Combining liberal arts, technology and business thinking.
  • Applying design thinking methodologies.
  • Engaging in ethnographic studies of people.
  • Prototyping products and processes.
  • Conducting user tests with target user groups.
  • Developing entrepreneurial and business development abilities.
  • Immersing in global and cultural experiences.
  • Engaging with campus resources for technology commercialization, business development and prototyping.

Besides learning to apply design thinking methodologies, you’ll also benefit from ethnographic studies of people, taught by the College of Liberal Arts, and learn to employ business development practices, thanks to Krannert School of Management.


Lauren Robbers, Anthropology

The Design and Innovation minor changed the trajectory of my interests as an Anthropology undergraduate, and provided me with valuable experiences that are currently supporting me in my role at Amazon. I am working on a project that requires me to evaluate a certain group of people in our Fulfillment Center to see how we can create a program to boost the rate of individual goal setting and internal promotions. I wouldn’t know where to start if it weren’t for what I learned in the Design and Innovation Minor.

I am grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful and enriching program while at Purdue, and I am looking forward to applying my Design and Innovation skill set to various aspects of my career!


Katelinn Lentine, Organizational Leadership

When I first heard of the Design & Innovation minor, I immediately saw it as just a way to boost my undergraduate degree. However, the minor is much more than that. This minor can be challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding. The material teaches you how to change your mindset, how to think outside the box, and it even teaches you some fundamental skills that are valued in the workforce, such as leadership and ethics.

“I didn’t know what to expect when taking on this minor, but I can say from experience that it was worth my time. It inspired me, it motivated me, and it gave me confidence in my own abilities. I’m grateful for the skills it taught me and how it helped me improve the ones I already had.”


Nicholas Pride, Supply Chain Management Technology

I really value what was taught to me and how I developed as a student and a thinker. TECH 34000 and the Design and Innovation minor have helped me understand how I think. They helped me in my other classes and have given me a better sense of direction for the future. I feel more confident in becoming an entrepreneur and I take advantage of opportunities when I come across them.


Vanessa Santana, Engineering Technology Teacher Education

There is something amazing about seeing an idea created, supported and refined over my time in the minor. Ultimately, TECH 34000 gave me the opportunity to take an idea that I was working on outside of the classroom, refine it and eventually share it with a company.

Today, that project I had been working on in my spare time, and supported through the class, has been sold and is being distributed to classrooms across the state!


Jackson Otto, Engineering Technology Teacher Education

Participating in the Design and Innovation minor allowed me to expand my network of peers beyond those that I would normally interact with. Being a part of a relatively small major, engineering technology education, I appreciated the opportunity to interact with a group of individuals with diverse knowledge and backgrounds, toward a common goal.

Working with individuals from different fields of study provides a similar structure to the current business world, and developing confidence and the skills to effectively work with multiple peers is certain to benefit me in the future.”


Ben Walters, Biomedical Engineering

The Design and Innovation program provided me with the space, tools and expertise to develop a real product for a problem that real people encounter. This is one of the few programs at Purdue that combines both product and business plan development in a practical, hands-on manner. My professors, Dr. Strimel and Dr. Peoples, went above and beyond to guide my team and me to the best possible solution, while helping us understand how to best utilize the resources available to us.


Zackary Roth, Mechatronics & Robotics Engineering Technology

Speaking on behalf of the team, we all went into the design and innovation curriculum thinking it was a check off for our degrees. It turns out that it was way more than a checkmark. What we thought would be busy work revealed itself to be valuable lessons to help us solve a major problem. The individual assignments in the class allowed us to find underlying issues in the space we chose to research: healthcare. The courses broke this large problem down into many different steps. Within each of these steps, the instructors guided us to solve miniscule issues, as these issues became the path leading us to conquer the larger problem at hand.


The Design & Innovation Minor provides all students, regardless of their major, a multi-semester learning experience focused on the actual pursuit of innovation. This program affords the space and flexibility for students to explore the practice of innovation and learn within the context of their own passions or innovation projects as they explore their interests through their campus experience. Rather than a series of additional courses, the minor augments a student’s current plan of study toward exploring the practices of innovation while on campus, with support for technology commercialization and start-up ventures. 

A core feature of the program is that courses are co-taught with faculty across colleges with expertise in design, anthropology, business development, entrepreneurship and prototyping. In this type of coursework, you are able to co-learn with a variety of students across different majors. This can help bring the diversity of thought and capabilities to the innovation experience and prepare students for the future of work.


For more information, please contact Dr. Greg Strimel.