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This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Master of Science in Engineering, Product Design

The Joint Program in Design focuses on the synthesis of technology with human needs and values to create innovative products, services, and experience designs. This program is offered jointly by the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Art and Art History. It provides a design education that integrates technical, human, aesthetic, and business concerns. Students entering the program from the engineering side earn a Master of Science in Engineering degree with a concentration in Product Design, and those from the art side a Master of Fine Arts. Students complete the core product design courses in their first year of graduate study at Stanford before undertaking the master's project in their second year.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete the following courses. Students making unsatisfactory degree progress by the end of the first year may not advance to the thesis year per the faculty's discretion. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required for degree conferral.

Subject and Catalog Number


ME 203. Manufacturing and Design


ME 216A. Advanced Product Design: Needfinding


ME 311. Design Strategy and Leadership


ME 312. Advanced Product Design: Formgiving


ME 313. Human Value and Innovation in Design


ME 316A,B,C. Product Design Master's Project*


ME 365. Structure of Design Research


ARTSTUDI 60. Design I: Fundamental Visual Language


ARTSTUDI 160. Design II: The Bridge


ARTSTUDI 360A,B,C. Master's Project*


Approved Electives**


Total Units


Note: All required and approved electives must be taken for a letter grade unless prior approval is granted to take a class CR/NC.

* ME 316A,B,C and ARTSTUDI 360A,B,C are taken concurrently for three quarters during the second year.

** Students may choose classes (at the 200 level or higher) from any of the schools at the University to fulfill their elective requirement. However, electives that are not already pre-approved must be approved by the student's adviser via petition prior to enrollment. Electives should be chosen to fulfill career objectives; students may focus their energy in engineering, entrepreneurship and business, psychology, or other areas relevant to design. Taking a coherent sequence of electives focused on a subject area is recommended. For example, the patent, negotiation, and licensing classes (ME 207, 208, 265) constitute a sequence most relevant to potential inventors. The classes in the Graduate School of Business (STRAMGT S353, 356/366) and MS&E 273 constitute a coherent sequence in entrepreneurship and new venture formation. Students interested in social entrepreneurship should apply to the course ME 206A,B, Extreme Affordability.

Pre-approved electives list: The following courses are pre-approved for fulfilling the 18-unit elective requirement for the master's degree in Engineering/Product Design. Electives taken that are not on this list must be approved via petition prior to enrollment. These must be taken for a letter grade unless prior approval is obtained.

ME 204.

The Designer's Voice

ME 207.


ME 208.

Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

ME 212.

Calibrating the Instrument

ME 222.

Design for Sustainability

ME 265.

Technology Licensing and Commercialization

ME 297.

Forecasting the Future of Engineering

ME 315.

The Designer in Society

MS&E 273.

Technology Venture Formation


Entrepreneurship: Formation of New Ventures

STRAMGT 356/366.

Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Additional requirements: As part of their master's degree program, students are required to take at least one course offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.School). All d.School courses require applications submitted the quarter prior to the start of class. These classes are considered pre-approved electives that fulfill part of the 18 units elective requirement.

ME206 A/B.

Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability

ME 228.

Creating Infectious Action

ME 325.

Software Design Experience

MS&E 287.

Prototyping Organizational Change

MS&E 485.

Crosscultural Design

ENGR 231.

Transformative Design

ENGR 280.

From Play to Innovation

ENGR 281.

Design and Media

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