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Minor in Innovation and Transformational Change

The global population has never been larger, and it’s still growing. We need students like you—now more than ever—to solve our most pressing problems in business, government, the non-profit sector, and academia. We need to solve Grand Challenges. Ending poverty, providing safe drinking water for all, and restoring our crumbling urban infrastructure might seem like daunting feats, but the Minor in Innovation and Transformational Change will teach you world-class methods and techniques to transform these challenges into opportunities to make a significant impact. Innovation is commonly associated with the creation of new and different technologies. While we certainly need to innovate technology, we must do so by seeing the bigger picture of how technologies interact with organizations and people; and we must be driven not just by the originality of our ideas but also by their potential to affect change. Innovation science provides insight into ways of thinking, planning, and acting that can be applied across a broad range of domains to drive impact. We can innovate business models, human behavior, and complex systems like cities and schools. Innovation is both an art and a science. It’s both creativity and pattern recognition. The Minor in Innovation and Transformational Change will equip you with the mindsets, behaviors, attributes, tools, and methods you need to obtain leadership roles and make large-scale, positive impact wherever you may go in your career.


Tailor Your Minor Plan of Study

Choose your own path to obtain the Minor in Innovation and Transformational Change. Achieving the Minor requires 18 credits drawn from three categories of classes: Core Courses, Selectives, and Electives, with the latter two categories offering numerous opportunities to ensure you are linking your new knowledge and skills to problems you care about.

Core Courses (6 credits)

The CORE COURSES are required, and bookend the Minor experience providing an introduction to problem framing, solution space development, innovation, and design fundamentals at the onset of the program, and an in-depth experiential learning opportunity to apply your skills to a real grand challenge problem as you prepare to graduate. There are no prerequisites for the core courses; however, ENGR490 must be the last course in the course sequence for the Minor.  Also note that the core courses are open to Honors and non-Honors students, but are listed with an Honors designation in the course catalog (e.g., ENGR-30500-H01).


·       ENGR305              Fundamentals of Innovation Theory and Practice………………..…..3 credits

·       ENGR490              Breakthrough Thinking for Complex Challenges………………..…….3 credits


Selectives (9 credits)

SELECTIVES provide an opportunity for you to develop mindsets and capabilities that are critical to driving the innovative change necessary to address complex socio-technical challenges.  You choose one course in each of three key areas to build your background: 

  •   employ systems thinking and rigorous innovation processes to DESIGN HOLISTIC SOLUTIONS,
  •   help realize a shift in paradigm by MOTIVATING CHANGE, and


Electives (3 credits)

ELECTIVES enable you to further contextualize your minor by gaining depth in an area that will enhance your potential to drive innovation and transformational change in industry, academia, or the non-profit sector.  Accumulate 3 credits from any of the following areas:

  • Learn versatile RESEARCH METHODS to gain insight into human behavior
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and social aspects of GRAND CHALLENGES such as: Education, Energy, the Environment, Food, and Health


Summary of Requirements 

In order to complete the minor, you must:

  Accumulate 18 credits from the approved course options

Complete ENGR305: Fundamentals of Innovation Theory and Practice (3 credits, counts toward the 18 credit total)

  Achieve breadth by completing 3 credits in each category of the approved SELECTIVES (9 credits in total)


Achieve depth by completing 3 credits from approved ELECTIVES
  Complete ENGR490: Breakthrough Thinking for Complex Challenges (3 credits, counts toward the 18 credit total) after completing all other program requirements
  Achieve a grade point average of at least 2.0 across the courses pursued for the minor

Note that the majority of the course options listed above can likely be used to concurrently satisfy general education or technical elective requirements of your school. 



To enroll in the minor, please speak with your academic advisor. Questions? Contact