WHAT ARE THE BASICS?
Designing Your Stanford is a class that helps students craft a more satisfying college experience. This 2-unit class meets weekly and is graded on credit/no credit basis. During Fall quarter, the class is open to sophomores only. During Winter and Spring quarters, the class is open to both freshmen and sophomores.
WHAT IS DESIGNING YOUR STANFORD REALLY ABOUT?
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? IS THIS A SEMINAR? A WORKSHOP? A LECTURE?
Yes, yes, and yes. 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.
I SEE "DESIGN" IN THE COURSE TITLE. 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.
DO ALL THE COOL KIDS TAKE THE CLASS?
I'M NOT A FRESHMAN OR A SOPHOMORE BUT DESIGNING YOUR STANFORD SEEMS REALLY COOL. 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. With each course, we’ve tailored the material to a specific student population.
- For juniors and seniors of all majors: ME104B – Designing Your Life
- For graduate students of all majors: ENGR311B – Designing the Professional
- For senior majoring in Product Design: ME104 – The Designer’s Voice
- For Masters students in the Graduate Design Program: ME304 – The Designer’s Voice
A DYS GRAD REFLECTS ON HIS EXPERIENCE IN CLASS AND URGES YOU (YES YOU!) TO ENROLL
“I’m writing this to tell you why you have to take ME104S/EDUC118S: Designing Your Stanford, or as we normally refer to it DYS. DYS is one of a very short list of classes I feel comfortable recommending to anyone and everyone. I love recommending DYS to all types of people because I know that no matter where they are in their Stanford careers and no matter what their interests or major are (or might be), this class will be valuable to you.
DYS is wildly entertaining and immediately applicable: the purpose is to optimize your Stanford experience, and you can start doing that right now. Through a combination of presentations, creative exercises, and homework assignments putting the principles to practice, DYS shows you how to use design principles like “prototype and iterate” to get the most out of four short, dense years.
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… DYS will provide you with incredible mentoring, and introduce you to a host of other awesome students. AND the class meets just once a week and has a very manageable amount of homework; the bang for your buck is off the charts. However, like anything, the more you put in to DYS the more you will get back out of it (a lot more). So I highly encourage you to take the homework seriously and dedicate real time to crafting your assignments.
Check it out, and have an awesome quarter!”