Designing Your Stanford
what is this course about?
Designing Your Stanford is a class about getting more out of, rather than cramming more into, Stanford. This course helps Freshmen and Sophomores craft a more fulfilling college experience by sharing practical design thinking tools and ideas.
Topics include the purpose of college, major selection, educational wayfinding, and innovating college outcomes - all applied through an introduction to Design Thinking. This seminar class incorporates small group discussion, in-class activities, field exercises, personal reflection, and individual coaching.
This is a 2-unit class, meets once a week and is graded on credit/no credit basis.
when is this course offered?
This course is offered in the Autumn, Winter and Spring terms. During the Autumn term, the course is open to sophomores only. During Winter and Spring terms, both frosh and sophomores are eligible to enroll.
WHAT ARE STUDENTS SAYING?
is this course for me?
Many of us arrive freshman year having heard that the next four years will represent the best of our lives. But as wonderful as the Stanford experience often proves to be, it almost always presents a slew of difficult decisions and stressful tradeoffs. How do you choose a single major given the disparate interests you have? How do you discover all of the exciting opportunities Stanford has to offer? And once you’ve discovered them, how do you possibly choose among them? Most critically, how do you leave Stanford after four years feelings satisfied with the experience? Designing Your Stanford aims to help students navigate these thorny questions. Using a process rooted in Design Thinking, the course equips students with tools to design a college experience that better aligns with who they are and what they hope to get from Stanford.
HOW IS THE CLASS STRUCTURED?
In an effort to keep the student experience engaging and rich, a typical class will have you on your feet participating in large group activities, listening to mini-lectures, sharing personal reflections with a partner, and discussing provocative ideas about the purpose of college in small, facilitated groups. You’ll do things like talk to a potential major advisor, create mind maps about what you want to do, and practice the art of storytelling
DO WE LEARN DESIGN THINKING?
Yes! We will teach you the core concepts of Design Thinking and work through a number of exercises and applications of those ideas to your own life and college experience.
HOW MUCH WORK WILL IT BE?
You can expect 1-3 hours of homework each week in addition to the 2 hours of class. Aside from some light reading and videos, homework will have you out in the world doing things and then reflecting on those experiences. You might take a professor out for coffee; you might explore a club on campus you know nothing about. In documenting and reflecting on these encounters, you will begin to piece together a portfolio of experiences that will help tell the story of your Stanford career.
ARE THERE SIMILAR COURSES I COULD TAKE?
Designing Your Stanford is one of many courses we teach that applies the Design Thinking approach to wicked life problems. Check out the full list of courses we offer here. With each course, we’ve tailored the material to a specific student population.