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C+I Curriculum

Arts + Business + Design + Humanities + Technology


C+I is a home of a growing number of interdisciplinary curricular opportunities designed to enrich students’ experiential learning. These include the Pathways Minors, C+I Honors Diploma, as well as first-of-a-kind summer transdisciplinary curricular partnership. C+I’s curriculum explores intersections among Arts, Business, Design, Humanities, and Technology. Pathways minors, described further below, focus on a subset of these elements. Being a part of the University’s Tech for Humanity initiative, C+I curriculum consciously integrates Humanities.

C+I Summer Transdisciplinary Curriculum

Starting with the summer 2021, C+I has introduced a first-of-a-kind Virginia Tech initiative designed to promote a self-sustaining transdisciplinary curriculum. Partnering with a number of Colleges and Units across the University, C+I is excited to offer a selection of summer courses focusing on topics at the intersection of arts, business, design, humanities, and technology. These courses are predominantly taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, integrate guest lectures, and offer unique experiential learning opportunities.

C+I Pathways Minors

C+I offers two Pathways Minors. The Innovation minor explores the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship with the Arts + Design + Technology. The Design Tech’s primary focus is on the integration of Technology into the Arts + Design.

The Innovation Pathways Minor recognizes that complex issues facing our world today require innovative problem definition and problem solving skills, as well as working with people from different backgrounds and experiences. This innovation + entrepreneurship-centric minor provides a core sequence of classes with opportunities to practice these skills, as well as elective credits for students to pursue their personal interests. As such it also fills a unique niche by helping students expand their entrepreneurial ideas through customer discovery and business model activities. Through the minor capstone, students are given an opportunity to integrate the newfound knowledge and experiences into their major.

Design Tech
The new Design + Technology + Creative Expression (Design Tech) is a Pathways Minor that empowers students to pursue interdisciplinary technology-mediated topics that consciously integrate arts and design and allows them to go beyond their primary area of study. Students will seek knowledge across multiple disciplines necessary to pursue their passion project. They will then synthesize the newfound knowledge through a capstone course, resulting in a collaborative product and/or experience that is informed by the basic knowledge of prior work in aligned domains.

C+I Honors Diploma

C+I Honors Diploma empower Honors and Honors Eligible students to engage in the same curriculum found in the aforesaid Pathways Minors while earning their Honors credits. The Diploma weaves elements of both the Design Tech and the Innovation Pathways Minor to provide a flexible curricular framework for students to pursue their passion projects. As part of the University’s Tech for Humanity initiative, the diploma explores technology-mediated integration of arts, business, and design.


Human Centered Design

As of the fall 2020, C+I is also the home of the Human Centered Design (HCD) individualized PhD (a.k.a. iPhD) program, a part of the Virginia Tech Graduate School's Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEP), as well as the HCD graduate certificate. As an iPhD program, HCD offers a unique opportunity for students, in collaboration with their co-mentors, to craft their own interdisciplinary journey by focusing on a particular interdisciplinary problem space. The HCD/IGEP degree is built around competencies in four core areas: (1) Interdisciplinary Research, (2) Design Studies, (3) Understanding People, and (4) Design Realization. In the spirit of the C+I, the program is run by an Executive Committee consisting of an interdisciplinary group of faculty. For additional info on the program, its curriculum, as well as how to apply, please use the button below.