There are currently 81 approved classes in the Entrepreneurship Minor. The Entrepreneurship Minor team works with other schools and colleges to add new courses to the curriculum. Students are also welcome to petition for coursework that they believe is relevant.
Click here for our Spring, Summer, and Fall2021 course list.
Entrepreneurial Creativity (formerly UC 270, and ALA 261/PSYCH 218)
This course explores the relation between creativity, innovation, and problem-solving processes. We will consider the elements of creative thinking, explore insights from a variety of perspectives, and engage in projects designed to foster students’ own creativity and innovation. Is creative thinking somehow different from “normal” thinking? How do innovators frame problems and generate solutions? What is the relation between idea generation and collaborative team work? How do entrepreneurs in business, social goods, and technology develop and employ vital skills in persuasion, cooperation, communication as they bring ideas to life in the form of enterprises? This course will explore all these questions in order to ground students in both the theory and practice of creativity as it takes shape in entrepreneurial endeavors.
ES 212/UC 214 (formerly UC 270)
Entrepreneurial Business Basics
This business basics course covers how to make a product or service idea real in the form of a tangible, marketable product and an organization that can produce and distribute it. Topic areas covered include: motivation and social purpose of entrepreneurship, market research and product development activities, people resource management, capital resources management, and go-to-market management.
Building Design Prototypes
This short course guides students through the basics of design prototyping and concept visualization. It is intended for students who do not typically engage in hands-on making as part of their major area of study. Topics covered include using accessible materials like paper, chipboard, foam core, and found objects to build models that are tangible representations of concepts for new designs. Simple drawing techniques for visualizing and communicating ideas under development will also be demonstrated. Students will learn a variety of prototyping approaches and techniques ranging from the quick and dirty (useful for the brainstorming stage) to more precise and sophisticated (best for final design presentation). The course focuses on building models of existing design concepts rather than on developing new concepts.
Working with Wood
This short course introduces students to basic woodworking tools and techniques. It is intended for students who do not typically engage in hands-on making as part of their major area of study. Students will learn to build objects with wood and gain the basic skills needed to be able to complete simple wood fabrication projects with confidence. This course will compliment studies in other fields, provide technical support and resources, and encourage continued development beyond the classroom. Tools and materials will be provided.
Working with Metal
This short course introduces students to basic metal fabrication tools and techniques. It is intended for students who do not typically engage in hands-on making as part of their major area of study. Students will learn to build objects with metal and gain the basic skills needed to be able to complete simple metal fabrication projects with confidence. This course will compliment studies in other fields, provide technical support and resources, and encourage continued development beyond the classroom. Tools and materials will be provided.
Intro to Product Design
This course offers a gateway to the discipline of product/industrial design with an introduction to its history, cultural significance, and social importance. Through a series of projects students learn the key components of product development and manufacturing including design research, human factors, design methodology, materials and processes, and form and object appearance.
Business of Music
A survey of professional opportunities in performing arts management, the recording industry and arts entrepreneurship, with a focus on building business skills for the personal development of a career in music.
Students will learn basic skills that may serve any of the Business of Music areas of concentration: leadership, planning, budgeting, financial analysis, marketing, fund-raising and development (and/or seeking investors). Assignments will include: analysis of case studies, writing a grant proposal, and working in teams to create a model arts enterprise that will need a business plan and marketing materials. The course also features a number of guests from various businesses and music disciplines. Qualifies for Upper Level Writing Requirement.
Social Media and the Changing Nature of Business Communications
Technological advances in business communication continue to evolve. Social media has forced past favorites to recreate themselves into new formats while new social media companies penetrated existing markets and businesses. Social media has transformed internal and external business communication, such that it is becoming more democratic, open, and participatory than ever before. All of these changes have been happening at a speed previously unforeseen in business communication. Businesses that have been slow to adapt are finding that their business practices are quickly becoming inefficient and outdated. This course will teach students about the rapidly changing landscape in social media to enable them to adapt to contemporary business communication challenges. The course will be broken down into three parts.
The first part of the course will provide students with the background necessary to understand the key concepts covered in the course. This background section will first provide students with a historical perspective of technological changes relevant to business communication. In addition, students will be provided with an overview of key business communication principles.
The second part of the course will provide an overview of the contemporary digital communication channels that are currently being used by corporations. In addition to examining current usage trends, each channel will be examined in terms of its strengths and potential pitfalls. Furthermore, students will be instructed on how to select the most appropriate message structure, delivery strategy, and argument support for the channel.
The third part of the course will review the “new rules” of business in the era of social media and their implications for business communication. This section also covers how to organize and display ideas in forms (e.g., images, videos, and infographics) most effective on social media.
Legal Environment of Business
It is essential for future business leaders and entrepreneurs to have an understanding of the role of the law and legal risk in shaping business decisions, achieving competitive advantage, and avoiding legal pitfalls. This course provides an introduction to the Anglo-American legal system and the development of substantive and procedural law with emphasis on the idea that business relationships are based upon contractual agreements. The course covers numerous pertinent business laws and regulations that shape business activities, including common law contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code (sales and leases), tort law (including negligence and products liability), international business transactions, environmental law, intellectual property law, jurisdiction, constitutional law, accountants legal liability, criminal law, and the relationship between law and ethics. Legal cases are studied to trace the development of the common law and to illustrate actual business problems that business professionals will encounter throughout their careers.
Economics of Entrepreneurship
*pre-requisite: ECON 401*
This course will apply insights from economic theory to the practice of starting a new business or expanding a current business. The course will combine elements of strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurial finance courses as typically taught in a business school and an industrial organization class as taught in an economics department. We start by examining general issues regarding entrepreneurship, in particular the search for markets that can support entrepreneurial profits. The next section turns to specific strategic decisions that entrepreneurs make: pricing, advertising, product location, deterring entry by competitors, etc. The last section examines practical issues in entrepreneurship, e.g., finding capital, business plans, and patent protection.
Mobile App Development for Entrepreneurs
*pre-requisite: Computer Science CoE/LSA, senior standing and EECS 281 and 370*
Third Century Initiative Classification: Creativity and Innovation
The use of mobile technologies is fast becoming integral to lives of individuals and groups across the planet. In this course, working in teams, students will propose, design, develop, test, and market software for mobile devices. Not only will best practices for mobile software development be learned, but best practices for entrepreneurs will also be learned. As well, students will put their creations up for sale/distribution by uploading their apps to the appropriate market place.
Patent Fundamentals for Engineers
This course covers the fundamentals of patents for engineers. The first part of the course focuses on the rules and codes that govern patent prosecution, and the second part focuses on claim drafting and amendment writing. Other topics include litigation, ethics and licensing.
Entrepreneurial Business Fundamentals
This course provides students with a perspective in looking to form or join startup companies and those that are looking to create corporate value via industrial research. The students are taught the entrepreneurial business development screening tools necessary to translate opportunities into businesses with focus on: strategy, finance, and market positioning.
Clean Tech Entrepreneurship
*pre-requisite: senior/grad standing*
The course teaches the students how to screen venture opportunities in various cleantech domains. Venture assessments are approached through strategic, financial and market screens, and consider the impact of policy and regulatory constraints on the business opportunity.
Problem Solving, Troubleshooting, Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Making the Transition to the Workplace
This course goals are to help students enhance their problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, and troubleshooting skills and to ease the transition from college to the workplace. The course includes a few speakers from industry. Students work in teams to complete the home problems and the term project.
High Tech Entrepreneurship
Third Century Initiative Classification: Entrepreneurial Mindset
Four aspects of starting high-tech companies are discussed: opportunity and strategy, creating new ventures, functional development and growth and financing. Also, student groups work on reviewing business books, case studies, elevator and investor pitches. Different financing models are covered, including angel or VC funding and small business (SBIR) funding.
Intro to Entrepreneurial Design
1 credit for main lecture and 1 credit for required hands-on experience section
This class covers topics in 3D modeling and 3D printing, machining and metal working, embedded systems and microelectronics, apps and web development as it relates to design and entrepreneurship. Are you…Designing doorknobs for a Mars colony? Tired of browsing crappy university web pages? Inventing the best app ever for the Nest or the Apple Watch? Have ideas and want to prototype them before the next pitch to investors? Wondering why you aren’t going to an online college instead? Entrepreneurial Design is a cross-disciplinary course and lab for current and potential entrepreneurs, designers, hackers, makers, founders, and doers. The focus is on learning to hack things together and experience the fun of building, with minimal technical mumbo-jumbo.
Also select an additional lab:
Hardware/Coding Internet of Things
Web/App Development Internet of Things
The E-Commerce Entrepreneurship course is designed to introduce students to the online world of business, retail, and commerce. With the increasing popularity of shows like Shark Tank and the ease of setting up an online business, people are more than ever interested in setting up their own online business. The class will address the expected challenges and help students gain the knowledge they would need to start their own online business upon completion of the course.
Topics covered: Estimating Startup Costs; Case Studies of Other Businesses; Website Development / SEO; Presentation Style; Product Photos/Videos; Investigating Trends; Fulfillment /Shipping; Small Business Accounting; Advertising Streams; Social Media; Sourcing (Domestic & Intl.); Crowd Funding
While students are able to learn the more technical aspects of entrepreneurship in the other classes that are offered, this class hopes to engage the students in a hands-on environment where they will not only learn the skills necessary to start an online business, but also apply them first hand. By the end of the class the students will be required to present a turn-key business with a functioning website, product photos/videos, sourcing plan, shipping/fulfillment plan, and advertising plan to the class.
Digital Product Design
In this course, you’ll learn the total end-to-end process of discovering a digital product need, prototyping a digitized product and getting feedback to relentlessly improve it. In doing so, you’ll be a part of creating the next generation of products that disrupts the economy and reinvents the ways we live – from how we learn and exercise, to how we socialize and get around.
Students will learn how to: use design thinking to discover problems worth solving, generate and prototype solutions, and test with real users; design own product(s) by creating wireframes, interactions, and visual designs; use typography, color, shape, space – and industry-standard tools like Sketch, Invision, etc – to build designs that are attractive, simple, and functional; solicit constructive feedback, critique design work, and substantiate criticism; discuss topics in the design world, including usability, user experience design, user interface design, and design research.
Organizational Values and Ethics in Startups
This course explores the development of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, the ethical dilemmas faced by entrepreneurs, and their impact on start-ups and the broader community through case studies, media, dialogue, and team projects. This course prepares students to address ethical decision-making in the workplace by providing an opportunity to first analyze ethical dilemmas, concepts and ideas to then develop individual and organizational strategies for addressing ethical competencies. Students draw on insights from other courses, real-life experiences, real-world companies and course content. Course includes self-reflective exercises, development, analytical and practical skills for understanding the value of workplace ethics.
*Can only be used once toward the minor
This weekly seminar series invites disruptive, influential, and respected entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and business leaders to speak to students about their personal experiences founding, financing, and managing a startup venture. Following the lecture, students will be able to meet the guest speaker and network with members of the entrepreneurial community.
Inventors and entrepreneurs have four concerns related to patent law: protecting inventions during product development, determining invention patentability, avoiding infringement, and leveraging a patent as a business asset. This course addresses these concerns through the application of case law and business cases to an invention of the student’s choice.
Intro to Venture Capital
Successful entrepreneurship and early stage venture capital appear to require a mixture of four very different traits and abilities: innovation/vision, evaluation, operation/management, and dedication. This course dives deep into these four pillars of success for the next generation of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Junior standing or above.
Finding Your Venture
It’s hard to start a company, but doesn’t have to be complicated. This course dramatically improves your odds of starting a viable business by providing a framework for identifying large, attractive opportunities. Every student will leave with a viable business opportunity to pursue and a set of valuable and repeatable skills that will be an asset in any entrepreneurial setting.
This course presents a pragmatic approach to marketing for new ventures. The course examines general marketing terms and principles, including the nature, dynamics, and strategies of marketing decision for new ventures. Students will apply these concepts to situations and problems relating to real ventures.
Entrepreneurship Hour Discussion Section
This class is a complimentary, graded discussion group to ENTR 407. In this one-credit course, students will learn about, discuss and debate the key characteristics of entrepreneurship and learn how to apply it to their own life goals. A brief weekly assignment is required.
Leadership in Startups
This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of identifying and prioritizing the “who” (human resource capital) and the “what” (skill sets) needed for your venture to grow and thrive. Building and managing a world-class team is one of the most critical factors determining the success of a company. You will learn the fundamentals of establishing and protecting a corporate culture, and best practices in recruiting, interviewing, and managing your organization. You will learn how to keep employees motivated, accountable, and happy. Students will also study what to do in failure mode to resolve internal conflicts and terminate team relationships when necessary. Course work includes selected readings in organizational structure and development, case study review, in-class discussion and active role play exercises designed to demonstrate skill proficiencies.
Environmental Values in Public Policy
Public policy embodies an assortment of value systems. While individual value systems express coherent, consistent approaches, public policy expresses an amalgam of values, with corresponding decrease in coherence/consistency. This course explores the relationships between various environmental values and public policy through analysis of policy issues at local, state, and national levels.
Students in this course reflect on and refine their own approach to environmental ethics through a close examination of a set of current environmental issues. They develop skills in detecting the value systems presently underlying public policy as expressed in laws, administrative regulations, and government action. Discussion and presentations by participants and by outside speakers who are professionals in the field will give insight into the challenges of meeting stakeholder expectations and forging a coherent, effective approach to environmental challenges. Issues such as water protection/preservation in the Great Lakes Basin, the sustainability and survivability of endangered species, the management of wildlife in rural, suburban, and urban areas, and formulation of energy policy will provide the basis for investigation.
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Introduction to Entrepreneurship — Introduction to Entrepreneurship is designed for all freshman, sophomores and juniors, including non-business students, who wish to learn about entrepreneurship, its role and importance in our society, and how to bring new ideas to marketplace both in the startup and corporate setting. This is an introductory course intended to provide students with a solid foundation on how entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship play a key role in the 21st century global economy.
In the course, we will assess, explore, and critique the world of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is approached as a way of thinking and acting, as an attitude and a behavior. Our emphasis is on entrepreneurship as a process that can be applied in virtually any organizational setting.
The principle focus will be on the creation of new ventures, the ways that they come into being, and factors associated with their success. This is a course of many ideas and questions, and you will be encouraged to develop and defend your own set of conclusions regarding each of these issues. This course mixes theory with practice, and you will be challenged to apply principles, concepts and frameworks to real world situations.
Business Entrepreneurship in Thought & Action (formerly BA 201)
This course introduces students to business. In this course we foster development of the key skill of learning via reflection on one’s own experience. The course will rely heavily on examination of individual organizations or industries from which generalizations can be made. Specific situations will be selected to convey the excitement of business situations, the role of business in society and the global scope of business. The primary purpose of this class is to educate students about the broad range of problems and opportunities that businesses face and the tools and skills that are necessary to face them. A secondary purpose is to show the students the richness of business activity by ‘peeling back the onion’ via case discussions of situations and companies they have experienced in their lives. Students will gain familiarity with different kinds of information resources: from trade magazines to mass market books to research journals.
Entrepreneurship is about overcoming ambiguity, risk and failure, embracing it, and learning from it. This course will explore entrepreneurship and identify and many contexts in which entrepreneurship manifests, including start-up, corporate, social, and public sector. It will prepare students for starting and succeeding in an entrepreneurial venture. The main course deliverable is a complete business plan and a presentation to an outside group of investors.
This course will enable participants to sharpen their ability to find and evaluate opportunities for a new venture, as well as to think creatively and solve problems in highly unstructured situations. A broad range of topics essential to entrepreneurial ventures will be covered, including idea generation, feasibility analysis, raising capital, marketing strategies, financial modeling, attracting a capable team, creating a culture, and preparing for growth. In addition, the course will cover buying a business, franchising, and family business.
This course explores the strategic, operating, financial, legal, family, career and business issues found in family-owned and managed companies or privately-held firms. The challenge of the course is to provide the tools to be successful, whether as part of a family business, work for one, or want to be a consultant to a family business.
Students participating in the course will: 1) Learn about opportunities to create and capture value in the health, wellness, and personal resiliency sectors. 2) Develop tools and methods to implement practices in their workplaces that contribute to wellness and resiliency among all employees. 3) Apply wellness tools and practices in their own lives.
Introduction to Microfinance
Microfinance provides financial services to the poor, including credit, savings, and insurance. The field is undergoing a period of transition as microfinance institutions begin to seek money from capital markets. This course will explore how microfinance institutions are organized, how they raise money and are managed, and emerging trends that are shaping the field, all with an eye towards understanding the interplay between business models and poverty alleviation.
This course is open to all BBA students and Juniors + and presents the fundamentals of venture capital and private equity finance. It is focused on financing startup and early stage, technology-based firms, later stage investment and buyouts. The course covers venture capital and private equity market structure and institutional arrangements and the application of financial theory and methods in a venture capital and private equity setting. Four main aspects of venture capital and private equity are covered: valuation, deal structuring, governance, and harvesting. “Live” case studies are used in demonstrate the practical, hands-on application of techniques following their development in class.
FinTech Global Immersion
Application only, travel required
This Global Business Field Projects course investigates specific aspects of FinTech in depth. The course pairs with company sponsors to provide actionable solutions to problems these companies have in the FinTech area. The course is paired with two-one-week field visits to countries in which the sponsor companies have FinTech interests.
Engineering students will explore the dynamics of turning an innovative idea into a commercial venture in an increasingly global economy. Creating a business plan originating in an international setting will: challenge students to innovate; manage risk, stress and failure; confront ethical problems: question cultural assumptions; and closely simulate the realities of life as an entrepreneur.
Front-End Design (formerly ENGR 345)
Processes of design, focusing on front-end strategies, including opportunity discovery, problem definition, developing robust mechanisms to gather information from users and other stakeholders, data synthesis methods for translating user data into design requirements, creating innovative solutions during concept generation, and decision-making systems for evaluating possible solutions.
Fundamentals of Sales Management
Nearly $1 trillion is spent every year on the selling function. Every senior management team must deliver its revenue and profit numbers. As customer loyalties diminish and marketing channels proliferate, sales – once seen as a tactical adjunct to marketing – has increased its role to become the key interaction between company and customer. Today sales professionals must expand their perspective to see their role in an enterprise–wide, cross functional context. This course covers the basics of selling skills as well as the core sales management building blocks including organization, compensation/motivation, hiring, training, sales tools, process and leadership. The goal of the course is to show how integrating the sales function within the company’s strategic planning increases productivity and profits.
Retails Marketing Management
This course will familiarize students with principles of sales and marketing in a business to consumer space. The course will provide an understanding of the sales function in a retail environment, with topics including sales training, consumer service, merchandizing, and the effective use of CRMs. The course will also provide student an overview of managing retail businesses, ranging from the fast-paced cadence of daily goal-sitting, training, and performance reviews to the seasonality of specific marketplaces. The course will include modules on overcoming the hurdles to success in such settings, such as high employee turnover and communicating and managing a diverse workforce.
Formulation of appropriate and effective marketing strategies must begin with a clean and accurate understanding of consumers. This includes an understanding of consumer needs and wants, the process by which they are satisfied, and the environment in which the behavior occurs. The objectives of the course are as follows: (1) to introduce the student to concepts developed in psychology, economics, and sociology and their relationship to consumer behavior, (2) to involve the student directly in the study and analysis of consumer behavior, and (3) to develop in students the ability to translate what can be learned into marketing action implications.
Technology has significantly transformed marketing. The last several years have seen an explosion of digital options to engage consumers and attract client marketing budgets. This course is designed for students who have taken marketing management. It will focus on the tools and techniques of digital marketing. We will explore such topics as search engine advertising, the effectiveness of banner ads, and how to use viral marketing, email marketing, and consumer-generated media. The approach is to bring a healthy dose of action-based learning into the classroom. Readings will include recent research, cases, and books on key industry trends. Grades will be based on team presentations built on a live project, as well as several one-page essays and classroom contributions.
MKT 425/ES 425
Innovation and New Product Development
This course is designed to focus on the new product development process which is key to the success of any organization. The course will expose students to (a) creative techniques for idea generation, (b) fine-tuning these ideas to develop products and services that meet specific consumer needs, and (c) testing the feasibility of these ideas. The course uses lectures, cases, and outside speakers. Moreover, the course includes a project wherein student teams need to use the creativity techniques covered in this class to come up with new product ideas and perform a concept test to evaluate their feasibility. The course will be useful to students interested in product/brand management, management consulting, and entrepreneurship.
Magnify: The Science and Practice of Flourishing at Work and Behond
This intensive course is designed to prepare undergraduates to understand and lead teams and organizations where people flourish. The word flourish captures people who are in an optimal state of human functioning, where they are both effective and healthy. The course exposes student to cutting edge research in the field of Positive Organizational Scholarship and provides intensive field experiences in work organizations interested in fostering human flourishing at work (and beyond). The course includes highly engaged learning experiences that challenge and build knowledge about how to make work organizations (and the people within them) better. The course is designed to be intensive and inspiring through exposure to foundational research, challenging and creative assignments, engagement with a variety of practitioners and a transformative classroom experience. The course is ideal for students who wish to make a positive difference in their workplaces and beyond.
Foundations of Positive Organizational Scholarship
Spring term only
*pre-requisite: instructor consent*
The Magnify Program is an immersion in Positive Organizational Scholarship knowledge, principles, and practices designed especially for undergraduates between their sophomore and junior years. Magnify offers a high-quality academic and real-world action learning experience in the Spring term. Participation in Magnify equips students with a new view of the latent potential in organizations and fuels them with motivation to become positive leaders and change agents.
Overall, this program aspires to build knowledge as well as provide students with opportunities for application, analysis, creativity, and critical thinking. Participation in Magnify will:
- Equip students with frameworks from positive organizational scholarship that build understanding in how to create and sustain organizations that strive for positive capabilities and provide contexts where people flourish. This is the focus of classroom learning activities.
- Create opportunities for students to apply frameworks in the field during a one-week intensive action learning experience in a partner organization
- Engage students in data gathering, coding, and analysis such that they can analyze their observations systemically and evaluate the potential for positive capabilities as well as existing strengths in their partner organization
- Require high-level, high-quality creative presentations to the partner organizations, which demand a high level of both application and analysis to reach conclusions that reflect back their insight and demonstrate their understanding of both current practices in the organization and possibilities for improving flourishing in the future by application of general knowledge, practices, and principles related to Positive Organizational Scholarship
- Create self-assessments and design a personal portfolio that reflects the relevance of ideas, principles, and practices of POS for one’s own flourishing.
Creativity at Work
*pre-requisite: BBA senior standing*
This course is designed to introduce the student to the practices necessary to stimulate and manage creativity in a business. Students will be given frameworks and methods for designing, developing, and implementing creativity in real work situations. The aim of the course is to provide students with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage creative projects, people and ventures.
Each class will consist of two basic components: 1) a theatrical framework, and 2) a methodology or tool. Each segment of the course is designed to engage the student in a conceptual and experiential application of creativity practices that will be applied to a real challenge.
Leadership and Collaboration
This project-based class uses organizational sociology, psychology, economics, and political science to ask what good leadership is and how people can be effective when they lack formal authority. Practical exercises, academic readings, and leader profiles ground this exploration of collaborative leadership, a process with deep roots in Michigan organizational research.This class begins with idea that much important leadership takes place in situations that are neither highly visible nor characterized by the exercise of authority. Instead, understanding, evaluating, and exercising leadership requires attention to collaboration, social influence, and persuasion when potential leaders lack any ability to command the attention, respect, or effort of others. Such influence-based, collaborative processes are the primary mechanism for exercising leadership in civic, religious and voluntary organizations, mission-driven non- profit organizations, and among younger and entry level employees in multiple settings. In other words, the ideas and practices this course seeks to develop have wide ranging potential uses. We draw on a classical and contemporary social science to address three key questions about the process and practice of collaborative leadership. Those questions are: (1) What is good leadership? (2) Why do effective leaders often fail? (3) How can people and institutions improve the practice of leadership? Readings and exercises grounded in organizational approaches to sociology and psychology are leavened with ideas from economics and political science.We will integrate a rigorous academic introduction to the features and implications of collaborative leadership with more pragmatic work that develops skills students can use they pursue effective collaborations within and across multiple organizational settings.
Negotiations (also offered under OS 405)
Merging theory and practice, this course aims to provide students with the theoretical perspective and practical skills they need to become effective negotiators. By the end of the term, students will have learned the fundamentals of distributive and integrative bargaining as well as an array of social influence tactics in order to succeed as a negotiator.
Organizational psychology is the subfield of psychology devoted to the study of human thought and action in organizations, and it aims at describing, explaining, predicting, and influencing the experiences and actions of people at work. This course offers a broad-ranging introduction to the field and aims to help students to develop understanding and practical skills related to managing behaviors in organizations. Topics covered in the course include, for instance, individual differences at work, motivation, stress and well-being at work, group dynamics, communication in organizations, culture in organizations, and leadership. The course will include both lectures and a discussion section session each week.
Psychology of Creativity
This discussion course attempts to define what we mean when we say, “creative.” What can scientific research tell us about creativity in terms of individual aptitude and personality, cognitive and brain processes, and social and cultural influences? We will explore the range of theories developed by psychologists and other researchers about the cognitive processes underlying the creative process, including problem definition, idea generation, fixation, incubation, iteration, evaluation, and reflection.
Printmaking (RC ARTS 287) focuses on printmaking as a means of visual inquiry and expression. Projects will direct students to create multiples as well as one-of-a-kind images using a variety of printmaking techniques (linocut, monotype and screenprint). The aim of the course is for students to acquire a rounded education including image development, conceptual growth, and technical skills via lectures, demonstrations, studio projects, discussions, and field trips to local exhibitions. The final goal is to empower the student to feel comfortable articulating his/her visual interests via the print medium, and to be able to make choices in that context from an informed standpoint.
RCSSCI 489/SOC 489
Organizing People, Power, and Social Change
Many students want to understand the roots of social problems, and they value this knowledge, at least in part, because they believe (correctly) that it can help them to become more effective in addressing these problems. Such students learn a great deal about the structural causes of social problems in our courses. Community service learning courses like Project Community (SOC 389), and programs like Semester in Detroit, give students who lack prior personal experience a powerful sense of the harm these structures do to people with whom they form relationships, and an equally strong motivation to do what they can to reduce these harms. But neither type of course teaches our students how to use social scientific knowledge to help make deliberate, positive changes to problematic social structures. The course will introduce students to community organizing.
Urban and Community Studies
This course is designed to help students develop historical perspectives and analytical frameworks that will guide them as they study and work in urban communities. Focusing on the collective experience of African Americans in the second half of the twentieth century, we will conduct an interdisciplinary investigation into the processes of community formation and social change impacting contemporary urban life. Course texts therefore include historical studies, urban sociology, social work, autobiography, ethnography, community studies, and film. We will begin with a review of the various meanings and uses of the idea of “community,” moving next to a brief consideration of the historical development of American cities. Then we will explore the processes of African American migration and urbanization, including the exploration of specific urban areas and their dynamics of community formation. Finally, we will examine case studies of community organizing, leading us to consider broad questions concerning our understanding of contemporary urban communities, the challenges they face, and the prospects for engaged social action. Our guiding concern throughout the semester will be the relationship between universities and their surrounding communities—including the historical expressions, contemporary realities, and future prospects of this relationship. This is the one required course for the Urban Studies minor.
Opportunity in the Age of Intelligent Machines: What to Do When Machines Do Everything
Automation isn’t a new story. Across the centuries, the burden of work has shifted from humans to machines. But something is different today. Our machines are acquiring intelligence, and they’re becoming mobile. At some point, no job will be spared the risk of automation. We will investigate this looming reality together, explore the ramifications, and attempt to answer the driving question.
UX Field Research in the Public Sector
Students work with governmental departments and nonprofit agencies to conduct user research around an information need determined by their partner organization. Students work in teams to collect direct user data, using multiple UX research methods. The deliverable is a recommendations report supported by evidence to our partner organizations.
Evaluation of Systems of Services
Have you ever been frustrated navigating the menu of a device or an application? Have you given up trying to reprogram the clock on your microwave? Many products fail because they are designed with little knowledge of user needs and capabilities. It doesn’t have to be this way. Any product can be more successful when developed through a process that identifies how it will be used, elicits input from potential users, and watches how it functions in real time with real users. This course is designed to equip you with the hands-on knowledge and skills necessary for evaluating and testing the usability of products – website, mobile device, or some form of electronically mediated service. Throughout the term, we will be working on individual, pair and group projects that apply usability techniques to real products of your choice.
Theories and Practice for Community Action and Social Change
This foundations course for the Community Action and Social Change Minor is designed to prepare students to be informed and active participants in the process of community building and social change. The course uses a multidisciplinary framework to develop competencies that will help students envision what community action and social change look like, identify and implement steps towards social change, build on positive sources of power, indigenous knowledge and experiences of individuals, groups, and communities who are engaged in social change efforts. The course is co-taught by a team representing different disciplinary perspectives who will work with student to integrate different ways of thinking based on the various disciplinary perspectives to achieve social change.
The course material covers theories and practices of community action and social change through an interdisciplinary examination of examples in research and practice. The course focuses on individuals, groups and institutions and how they interact. The course examines empirical quantitative and qualitative studies that test social change methods and provides exposure to and experience with qualitative research methods such as ethnographic observation and interviewing and qualitative data-gathering. Students are engaged in a critical and contrasting assessment of community organizing and other social change methods.
Introduction to Stage Management
Principles and practices of stage management, including rehearsal coordination, prompt book preparation, and director/cast/crew relationships during rehearsal for theatre, opera, and musical theatre. Combines classroom instruction with practicum experience. Students assistant-stage manage a University Productions show during the semester; participate in rehearsals and performances.
Global Community Practicum
Engages students in research and development of performance projects at a local, community organization or at an international site. The class participates in fieldwork experiences and each individual submits a final project report or thesis at the end of their fieldwork. The Capstone course is collaborative and interdisciplinary and multiple faculty members can supervise and approve student work.
Performing Arts Management
An overall look at the administrative aspects of the performing arts, using a Theatre company as the standard model, but with a look at orchestras, dance, and opera. Exploration of theatre development, profit vs. non-profit companies, role of board of directors, unions, budgeting, marketing, public relations, and fundraising. Instructor permission required.
Introduction to Creative Process
*must be in the Living Arts living/learning community
*fulfills a First-Year Writing Requirement
UARTS 150 is designed to promote exploration of one’s own creative abilities through cross-disciplinary activities. The course work is organized around introductory lectures followed by related workshops with the aim to illuminate past and current creative minds and to provide a studio-like setting for related hands-on experimentation.
A team of four faculty members from four different U-M schools will work together with students to illustrate how thinking and working creatively produces greater productivity, accomplishment, meaning and richness to one’s academic, professional and personal life.
In particular, the course aims to:
- Demystify creativity and demonstrate it to be an inherent potential of all humans.
- Challenge common misconceptions of creativity: that it is only available to a select few “geniuses”.
- Assist students in developing a conceptual foundation for identifying creative approaches to arrive at their own creative process.
- Foster the ability to recognize creative potential in unexpected contexts and understand that creative expression in any filed is a process that can take many different forms.
- Provide a framework for students to reflect on the course work and then write about their reflections, thoughts and own conclusions.
Creative Process is a four-credit course that immerses students — first- year through fourth-year, from all units — in the creative process. Team-taught by faculty from each of the North Campus units, CP provides students the opportunity to pursue intensive, hands-on creative work in four modalities — sound, motion, visual images and objects, and language — any or all of which come into play in their final course project.
The objective of Creative Process is to de-mystify creativity for students in all U-M units and years: to teach students that creativity is not a character trait or an event, but a process — one that will challenge their sense of competence and mastery, but that they can understand and eventually master, transforming both themselves and their work.
Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement and Feminist Practice
This course aims to address the gaps and misconceptions that often exist between feminism as an academic discourse and feminism in practice. Through classroom engagement and community involvement, students will explore the intersection of academia and activism as it pertains to working to improve the lives of women and their communities. Students will learn nonprofit management basics, think critically about community engagement, and explore the applicability of feminist practice to each. WOMENSTD 350 students commit to volunteering in an area community based organization, as well as to active participation in the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to dialogue with nonprofit organization founders and leaders from diverse backgrounds and learn about nonprofit management and community engagement from a variety of perspectives. Through readings, written assignments, classroom participation, and service experiences, this course endeavors to nurture and facilitate: critical thinking about community service, non-profit organizations, feminisms, and their relationships to social change; consideration of how feminist thought can be applied to work in communities and how communities can inform feminist thought; and the development of skills for working effectively within community based organizations and with communities around issues that affect women’s lives.
Pedagogy of Empowerment: Activism in Race, Gender and Health
The Pedagogy of Empowerment will explore empowerment through race, gender, health and activism in the context of HIV/AIDS in United States Black communities. Through this two tiered course, students will cultivate strong background knowledge of HIV in Black communities, and explore issues of accountability, apathy, and activism as they pertain to HIV prevention. The course has three main objectives.The epidemiology of HIV as it affects African Americans and its many complexities — African Americans and homophobia, gender, racialism and health, and the persistence of HIV as an African American crisis. Students will use what they learn about the context of the epidemic to critically analyze chosen HIV prevention interventions, and explore the intersection of academia and activism.As a consequence of this analysis, everyone in this class must learn an oral HIV prevention module developed by Professor Haniff which must be taught to community groups outside of Ann Arbor. This activist component is the praxis of this class which requires students to not just read and study empowerment but to actually be engaged in an effort to empower. Students will also study innovative ideas that will generate insights in creating change and making a difference.
Current Practicum Opportunities
“What tools do I have in my toolbox and how can I use them to make an impact?” This is the central question of The Innovator’s Toolkit. By the end of this course, you will have worked in a team to implement an innovative approach to a complex social problem related to a preselected topic.
Creating Innovative Environments
This course will enable students to create contexts to support the formation of multidisciplinary teams who have the opportunity (and expectation) to produce deliverables that create real-world outcomes. Our frame for these outcomes will be organizations, a topic which is broad enough to allow for creative action but focused enough to create a sense of shared direction. Student teams will work together under the guidance of mentors to research gaps and needs related to our chosen domain, identifying opportunities to generate an outcome. Students will research and analyze the barriers to innovation in organizations, interviewing stakeholders and practicing journalistic techniques required to extract valuable information from varied perspectives in order to gain initial user validation of their self-directed project proposals that consist of original ideas from student teams. By the end of the course, student teams will have applied tools in interesting combinations to generate deliverables that aim to create sustainable impact, having iteratively improved their solutions to opportunities they identify in the world around them.
Change by Design
In this project-based class, students will respond to pressing social needs through design thinking processes, including visioning, concept generation, sketching ideas, everyday ethnography, creative experimentation, and extensive prototyping and validation. Students will form interdisciplinary teams to work on actual entrepreneurial design projects focused on food, education, health care and income issues facing our community partners. As part of the course, students acquire the theoretical frameworks and skills necessary for undertaking a social enterprise. They will then use those tools to design and develop their own ideas for aThe Entrepreneurship Practicum is an innovative, action-based learning lab led by the Center for Entrepreneurship that brings entrepreneurs across disciplines at the University to work on entrepreneurial endeavors. In this class, entrepreneurs form interdisciplinary teams and take steps to launch their own entrepreneurial ventures through a hands-on framework. You will learn to develop your entrepreneurial ideas and apply them into meaningful business models.
In this class, you will experience entrepreneurship firsthand though three progressive team projects. This framework teaches important skills of entrepreneurship, such as ideation, validation, and business models and culminate in the selection of a student-selected venture to validate and launch. You will understand and experience the mindset of an entrepreneur, develop the ability to share the story of your entrepreneurial pursuits, understand customer needs, make real sales to real customers, and validate business models. venture that creates possibilities, products and systems in response to real world problems.
Music Industry Workshop: Starting Music Businesses
The music industry has undergone enormous changes fueled by both social and technological shifts. Still, entrepreneurs find brilliant new ways for users to interact with, experience, hear, and even see music. In this course led by a working music industry leader, participants will work in teams to learn about the business of the music industry today by working with other students to start and test music-oriented or related businesses. The course is structured in three phases:
1) music industry knowledge and case studies,
2) ideation and iteration, and
3) Heading to Market: Go or No Go?
By the end of the semester, student teams will be able to launch a minimum-viable product of a music oriented business, that is making sales, is testing market fit, and can look for further funding to grow. Supported by faculty mentoring, teams will assess opportunities, research potential customers, explore legal barriers, formulate and validate a business plan, and begin executing their plan to spread their business to the world.
LBLE Living Business Leadership Experience
This course offers students the opportunity to establish and lead a functional team in an actual, operational business unit, working directly with executives of a sponsoring company, and learning under the supervision of faculty advisors. Students accepted into this course will work as team members in one of several Ross enterprises that have been created for the purpose of experiential learning and the practical application of foundational knowledge in a real business setting.
Finding Genuine Design Opportunities
Students will work with community partners to identify and refine needs, define opportunities, and prioritize needs to work on. They also may identify and document existing solutions and available community-based assets, generate user requirements and specifications related to community needs, and begin to generate initial concepts. The final deliverables for the course are a fieldwork plan presented at winter 2019 Design Expo and customized report for the partner organization that identifies priority design opportunities in their work.
TechLab at MCity
*Students can take this course in both Fall and Winter terms for 6 practicum credits total.
In this course, you’ll be responsible for completing an open-ended autonomous vehicle or mobility project (assigned by a company in the autonomous vehicle/mobility space), and as such gain experience in developing cutting edge technology for an early stage startup.
Learning Objectives: Students will know how to recognize ambiguity, become comfortable with it, and use project management techniques to plan for the unexpected; utilize project management tools, techniques, and skills; understand assigned company’s technology and how it creates value for a customer segment; gain exposure to entrepreneurship and its role in solving big problems; align resources for effective project implementation; appreciate organizational dynamics, communication strategies and stakeholder motivations; Identify and utilize key performance metrics for project success; learn to assume responsibility for matters of great importance to assigned company; begin to make transition from student to professional engineer; engage in collaborative learning; immerse themselves in a startup that is developing cutting edge technology for the transportation industry; lead technical and strategic discussion on steps required to achieve technical milestones; discuss a Tech Lab company’s work during class discussion and how it relates in the context of class.
*students may not do both ENTR 411 and ES 414
The Entrepreneurship Practicum is an innovative, action-based learning lab led by the Center for Entrepreneurship that brings entrepreneurs across disciplines at the University to work on entrepreneurial endeavors. In this class, entrepreneurs form interdisciplinary teams and take steps to launch them through a hands-on entrepreneurial framework.
In this class, you will experience entrepreneurship firsthand though three progressive team projects. This framework teaches important skills of entrepreneurship, such as ideation, validation, and business models and culminate in the selection of a student-selected venture to validate and launch. You will understand and experience the mindset of an entrepreneur, develop the ability to share the story of your entrepreneurial pursuits, understand customer needs, make real sales to real customers, and validate business models.
Advanced Entrepreneurship Practicum
The Advanced Entrepreneurship Practicum is the second part of the entrepreneurship practicum experience led by the Center for Entrepreneurship. Students develop their own ventures by building upon the the customer discovery and and business model validation developed in ENTR 411. Modeled off real-world startup incubator and accelerator programs, students will learn a variety of entrepreneurship principles and apply them to their ventures as the class progresses. While principles learned elsewhere – such as problem validation and customer discovery – will be briefly reviewed, new principles such as solution testing and financial modeling will be introduced.
As the class progresses, students will continually build upon their venture’s story and pitch-deck, which culminates in a full pitch-deck presentation by the end of the semester. The most successful students in this class will either concurrently be taking their venture through a local startup accelerator/incubator program or be positioned to apply to such programs by the end of the semester.
This course is by application AND instructor consent only
The Urban Entrepreneurship course is designed for students who want to learn how to make lasting improvements in urban quality-of-life throguh the creation of for-profit businesses. Urban communities can be vibrant, exciting, and highly productive places, but residents and visitors are often faced with an array of unique challenges. Governments, foundations, and not-for-profit companies have long been associated with efforts to make improvements, but in spite of those efforts, significant urban needs persist. Students in Urban Entrepreneurship course will explore the creation of sustainable, scalable, for-profit companies that address the needs of urban communities. Entrepreneurs have a long history of service to urban communities, and rapidly accelerating technology and knowledge in a variety of fields give rise to new business models for solving previously intractable problems.
**Entrepreneurial Leadership is only available for students in the Entrepreneurs Leadership Program** For more information on ELP please click here.
Entrepreneurial Action and Vision
Entrepreneurial Action and Vision is only available for students in the Entrepreneurs Leadership Program** For more information on ELP please click here
ENTR 490.262 & ENTR 490.263
TechLab: Climate Change
*Students can take this course in both Fall and Winter terms for 6 practicum credits total.
*These courses are 2 semesters of a 1-year fellowship program by application only.
Climate change is a complex problem with decades of background research. This class will engage a multidisciplinary group of students from engineering, chemistry, business, policy, and beyond to understand and evaluate the opportunities for developing high-value products from captured CO2. You will apply the basics of identifying near-term entrepreneurial opportunities, evaluating technology for commercial readiness, and assessing the viability of various business models. This class will reach out to existing startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs in the Carbon Dioxide Utilization (CO2U) space to find the state-of-the-art technologies and what is on the horizon in the next 3-5 years. Opportunities will be sorted based on technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and environmental impact. By the end of the class, you will be well-positioned to understand the ecosystem of industrial uses of CO2, market trends in CO2, policy implications and emerging technologies. For students looking to make a near-term impact in climate change through the CO2 economy, this is the class for you.
Sustainability and the Campus
This course will cover the concepts and practices of environmental sustainability as they pertain to the campus of this university. Students will design and conduct projects about managing this campus more sustainably than is currently practiced.
***students may not do both ENTR 411 and ES 414
The Practicum enables students to gain first-hand entrepreneurial experience within a structured, supportive context. In addition to applying the knowledge you have acquired during previous courses, you will also learn – and put into practice – valuable new tools and techniques that can help you to successfully identify, assess, and pursue attractive business opportunities. During multiple team-based projects you will gain hands-on experience in a broad range of important entrepreneurial activities, including: Customer discovery, Solution ideation, Business model generation, Product development, Running “lean experiments,” Marketing & selling, and Entrepreneurial decision-making, among many others.
Financing Technology Commercialization
Financing Technology Commercialization (FTC) is a four-month accelerator practicum that matches students to real-world Ann Arbor startups in software/mobile/cloud services, physical science, and life science innovation. FTC students work with startup founders, local mentors and national subject matter experts to develop a business model, business plan, financials, pitch to VCs.
FTC is an immersive, experiential learning opportunity for students to embed with a startup, and work alongside scientists, coders, and commercialization professionals. Since 2005, 600+ students have participated in the practicum, accelerating 130+ companies, 30+ of which have gone on to achieve venture financing and/or exit.
Succeeding at Failing: The Art of Entrepreneurship in the Information Age
Behind every entrepreneurial success story lie the untold stories of numerous failures. Those with visions that were too early, too late, or unable to capitalize on a prospective opportunity for any number of reasons. For the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs, pursuing a dream is far more likely to result in failure than success.
Entrepreneurship is a mindset characterized by risk-taking, seeing problems from multiple perspectives, experimentation, and continually challenging oneself to produce meaningful results. However, it is also about learning from failure – and ultimately finding a way to succeed by overcoming the odds.
Succeeding at failing is more humanistic than mechanical, it is built on lived experience more than replicable formulas, it is more art than science. It is an essential ingredient in developing an entrepreneurial mindset, and like any other
form of art, it can be taught, practiced, and experienced – and that is the objective
of this course.
Modeling Success: The Science of Entrepreneurship in the Information Age
*SI 360 is a prerequisite
Discussions about technology-driven change typically focuses on enabler, instead of the forces impacting the way we work, play, learn, buy, and communicate with each other. We will apply relevant entrepreneurial theory and practice – and in particular, the principles of business model generation – to learn how to search for, respond to, and exploit the recurrent waves of technological change as entrepreneurial of opportunities.
TO 448/ARTDES 416
Integrated Product Development
*Students are required to enroll in both TO 448 (Ross) and ARTDES 416 (STAMPS).
This course is a 6-credit, experiential, cross-disciplinary course for teams of Junior and Senior undergraduates from across the University. Market entry testing culminates their Human Centered Product Design project.