With recent approval by the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees and the Council for Postsecondary Education (CPE), the new Product Design program will officially launch in the College of Design (CoD) in Fall 2020 with its first cohort of students.
“No other institution of higher education in Kentucky offers a degree in industrial or product design,” said Dean Mitzi Vernon. “By providing this new program, UK will be a magnet for Kentucky high school students who would otherwise have to travel outside the Commonwealth to experience such an opportunity.”
Students will obtain the Bachelor of Science degree in Product Design upon completion of the four-year curriculum, which includes a diverse array of special topics courses from contemporary technology, healthcare, professional development to furniture design and more.
The BSPD program aligns with the University of Kentucky Strategic Plan in fulfilling the goal of undergraduate student success by offering a new degree choice. And for those applicants outside of Kentucky, a product design degree with special emphasis on ergonomics, UX/UI and healthcare devices and systems puts them at a competitive advantage in the industry. The CoD has been working hand in glove with the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) as they simultaneously launch their new undergraduate degree in BME with an emphasis on design thinking. We will share at least six courses across our curricula.
Students will also have opportunities for collaboration with the UK colleges of business, engineering, and nearly all of the healthcare colleges as well as engaging in a cross-disciplinary environment within the CoD. The College is also home to the School of Architecture, the School of Interiors and the Department of Historic Preservation.
“Product design is tangent to everything we see, touch and use. The field attracts those who have an optimistic way of looking at the future, reframing problems as opportunities for new and sustainable artifacts, systems and service,” explained Dean Vernon. “There isn’t a more relevant time than now, in the era of COVID-19, to make a new program, a 21st century program in Product Design.”
With the completion of the College’s new state-of-the-art adaptive reuse building in 2022, Product Design students will be at the forefront of an expanding profession that lays the groundwork for long-term, universal impact.