Product Design (BFA)

This program will launch in fall 2023.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Product Design at University of the Arts teaches you to create objects, services and systems that solve problems and improve lives. We offer a number of unique curriculum tracks that allow an unprecedented amount of freedom to shape and focus your design education in the way you imagine. Equipped with human-centered problem-solving techniques, Product Design students learn to untangle and solve the issues of our time. 

Courses in our program examine a range of contemporary topics, including emerging manufacturing methods, virtual prototyping, sustainability, entrepreneurial best practices and design ethics. The products you’ll create in these classes will help you explore your curiosities and ask deep questions about the changing world around you.

An interdisciplinary mindset is central to our work. Our product designers learn to work with students in other majors to amplify their projects: You might partner with interaction designers to develop internet-enabled devices or collaborate with graphic designers to brand your market-ready products. By taking classes outside your major, you’ll have access to experts in related fields, as well as facilities and resources that refine your vision, including UArts’ Center for Immersive Media, Greenfield Makerspace, and Corzo Center, the last of which supports the entrepreneurial spirit through grants and consultation.  

You’ll graduate from UArts’ Product Design program transformed and ready for a professional career in product design, or to set out on your own and start a meaningful business that acts as a force for good: positively affecting customers, community and the planet we share. 


Sample Curriculum

School of Design core: 24
Major requirements: 45
Discipline history: 12
Critical Studies: 30
Free electives: 9

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First Year

Fall: 16.5 credits
Drawing as Seeing (3c)
Design Process, Theory, and Communication (3c)
Digital Design Lab (3c)
Writing I Placement (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)
Free elective (1.5c)

Spring: 15 credits
Drawing as Thinking (3c)
Design Studio (3c)
Writing II Placement (3c)
Discipline history (3c)
Free elective (3c)

Second Year

Fall: 15 credits 
Human Factors (1.5c)
Design Research (1.5c)
ODR* selection (3c)
Design for Persuasive Visual Communication (3c)
Philosophy & Context of Product (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)

Spring: 15 credits
Elements of Product Design (3c)
Prototyping & Fabrication I (3c)
Design History (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)
Free elective (3c)

Third Year

Fall: 15 credits 
Prototyping & Fabrication II (3c)
Emerging Materials (1.5c)
Design for Sustainability & Ethics (1.5c)
ODR selection* (3c)
Contemporary Issues (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)

Spring: 13.5 credits 
Product Service System (1.5c)
Design for Social Innovation (3c)
ODR selection* (3c)
Intro to Business Prep & Creative Practice (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)

Fourth Year

Fall: 15 credits
Prototyping & Fabrication III (1.5c)
Entrepreneurship & the Object (1.5c)
Senior Thesis I (3c)
Internship, Workshop or Interdisciplinary Project (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)
Free elective (3c)

Spring: 13.5 credits 
Senior Thesis II (3c)
Presentation & Portfolio (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)
Critical Studies (3c)
Free elective (1.5c)

Faculty Spotlight

Phil Holcombe
Phil Holcombe

Product Design (BFA)
Meet the Director
Virginia Geshan Headshot
Virginia Gehshan

Product Design (BFA)
Tony Guido Headshot
Anthony Guido

Product Design (BFA)
Justin Bernard Headshot
Justin Bernard

Product Design (MDes)
Andrew Dahlgren
Andrew Dahlgren

Product Design (BFA)

Alumni & Careers

Chris Santone headshot
Chris Santone

BS '15

Becca Danna headshot blue shirt blonde hair
Becca Danna

BS '11

Lorenzo Buffa
Lorenzo Buffa

BS '12

Jaime Salm
Jaime Salm

BS '01

How to Apply

The following materials are required for your application.

This program will launch in fall 2023.

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A completed application for admission


$60 application fee
  • If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code

Official high school transcript
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

  • International transcript requirements 

  • Transfer student transcript requirements

    • High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.

    • Official college transcript(s)

      • Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

      • If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available. 

  • A portfolio is required for all Art, Design, Film and Writing programs. Your portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission. View a full list of portfolio requirements by program.

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency.
Optional letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

Apply Now

Scholarships & Financial Aid

UArts recognizes the extraordinary talent of our students through a range of merit-based scholarshipsAll applicants are automatically considered for such scholarships—no special application is necessary.

Nearly 80 percent of UArts’ undergraduate students enrolled on a full-time basis are eligible for some type of need-based aid. Additionally, some scholarship opportunities take need-based criteria into account. All students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and are enrolled in a degree program are encouraged to apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

About the School of Design

University of the Arts’ School of Design redefines what it means to educate a 21st century designer. We celebrate the reality that the boundaries between all sorts of contemporary design practices are more open than ever before and that a modern designer needs a greatly expanded skill set at their disposal. With this new reality in mind, the School of Design initiates innovation and empowers you to pursue your passions, build core values, broaden your design exposure and become a design leader of the future.

The School of Design strongly believes in collaboration, self-expression and professional preparation through its undergraduate programs in Graphic Design and Illustration, with Product Design and Interaction Design launching in 2023. The School of Design consists of programs that work together, providing depth in your discipline while expanding your understanding of design. This academic model best prepares you to respond flexibly to change and future career opportunities.

Learn more about the School of Design.

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