Program Structure

Learn by doing

The objective of this minor is to teach students the skills, methods and mindsets needed to engineer lifesaving or life-improving innovations with and for people impacted by global challenges. These challenges are often ill-defined, and involve multiple stakeholders and complex, tightly coupled systems (e.g., social, economic, technological, political, environmental, etc.) and require specific experiential knowledge and resources to address.

Students enrolled in this academic program will gain competency in the following areas:

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION: how to solve the “right” problem

ENGINEERING DESIGN: developing products with a human-centered approach

PROTOTYPING: the process for bringing physical and digital products to life

INNOVATION: the creative spark and imagination that turns ideas into life-altering solutions

ETHICS: developing engineering solutions without bias while respecting norms of human values and morals

TRUST:  leading from a position of service and not power utilizing responsible, open development methods

SYSTEMS THINKING: understanding of how different problems and different solutions influence one another within a system

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: an engine for innovation that concerns itself with social impact and sustainability on all levels above profits

USER-CENTERED DESIGN: focusing on users and their needs throughout the innovation process

CULTURAL AGILITY: a trained awareness for the solutions to survive in a myriad of cultures; how to operate deftly in varied global environments and to see situations through different even conflicting cultural lenses

STORYTELLING: how to collect and interpret narratives, and finally communicating the story of your innovation in ways that engage and action and transfers solutions from the classroom to the street

CRITICAL THINKING: instilling the habit of disciplined, rational analysis and judgement (the art of asking the right questions and distilling from a multitude of possible answers)

GLOBAL COLLABORATION: the skills required for networking and development of strategic partnerships with other organizations and stakeholders, including fundraising in a highly global environment


Required Courses:

ENGR 254: Immersive Storytelling for Engineers, Innovators and Makers (2 units)

ENGR 270: Ethics for Engineers (2 units)

ENGR 365: Prototyping for Design and Development of Physical Products (4 units)

ENGR/CE 385: Human-Systems Integration for Global Engineering (4 units)

CE 486a: Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Crises (3 units)

CE 486b: Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Crises (3 units)

Total required units: 18 


Elective (Optional) Courses:

ITP 215: Introduction to 3D Modeling, Animation, and Visual Effects (2 units)

ITP 228: Computer-Aided Modeling for 3D Product Design (2 units)

ITP 308: Computer-Aided Design for Bio- Mechanical Systems (3 units)

ITP 415: 3D Design and Prototyping (2 units)

ITP 466: Building the High-Tech Startup (4 units)

ENGR 345: Principles and Practices of Global Innovation

BUAD 201X: Intro to business for non-majors (4 units)

BUAD 301: Technology Entrepreneurship (3 units)

BUAD 452: Feasibility Analysis (4 units) (BUAD 301 is the prerequisite)

BAEP 496: The digital startup launchpad (2 units)

BAEP 455: Founders dilemmas (4 units)

BAEP 460: Entrepreneurial Solutions to the UN Global Goals (2 units)

GESM 131: Engineering Diplomacy: Fusing Engineering with Foreign Policy and International Development (4 units)

IR 305w: Managing New Global Challenges (4 units)

ENST 150: Environmental Issues in Society (4 units)


Students who have graduated from our program have gone on to launch several startups. Others have taken the skills learned in the course to graduate school or professional programs in law and medicine while others continue to lead social innovation projects at Fortune-500 companies and NGOs worldwide.

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