Milstein Courses


Milstein Program scholars take a series of Milstein Program courses and electives, including MStudio, First-year project, Sophomore Seminar, Junior Project and select from a curated list of approved courses and seminars. 

students raising their hand in class


The MStudio includes a speaker series of public talks and dynamic workshops (on public speaking, data visualization, design thinking, audio and video recording and editing, etc. 

The goal of the MStudio is:

  • To establish a structure for students to engage in serious academic pursuits together as a group
  • To support collaboration and team-building skill development
  • To learn to think conceptually across disciplines
  • To bring Milstein Program scholars into contact with a range of dynamic thinkers, artists, and community partners

First-Year Project

First-year Project is offered each spring. In this highly collaborative course, students work in small teams to research, design, produce, and revise interdisciplinary projects in a variety of fields (advocacy, education, arts, etc.) for a range of constituents – campus stakeholders, local non-profits, even the Milstein Program itself. The intention of this course is to draw the Milstein Program first year cohort together through shared effort and collective experience towards a common goal. 

The course emphasizes:

  • successful teamwork and effective communication
  • intersectional “design thinking” utilized in human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • graphic and industrial design
  • user research
  • rapid prototyping, and iteration

Sophomore Seminar

The Sophomore Seminar is offered each spring. This applied “methods” course focuses on iterative design, problem-seeking/problem finding, and innovation. Using the skills, tools and mindsets of design centered thinking to go beyond the obvious questions and answers and find the insights that lead to breakthroughs,  generate ideas, talk to people in context, derive meaning from customer insights, experiment, prototype, and iterate, as you design and redesign solutions.

This course emphasizes: 

  • improving skills leading and participating in innovative and effective teams
  • applying innovation tools, skills and mindsets to collaborative projects
  • understanding the ‘human’ in human centered design
  • practicing ethnographic research methods, including observations, interviews
  • putting your research to work in the form of insights and frameworks
  • developing, refining, and testing your ideas with other students

Junior Year Project

Students undertake an original, collaborative project focusing on the theme of innovation and change; partner with a local non-profit, institution, student or community group; work closely with another Milstein Program scholar; present their research at the end of their junior year. 

Current Junior Projects

Faculty Fellows Courses

Photography/Image Analysis/Graphic Design is a hands-on course devoted to the practical understanding of conception, production, and innovation in the photographic image world. Each unit of the course confronts a fundamental problem of contemporary photographic communication—quality of light, framing, series, post-production, publication design, to name a few example topics—from practical, theoretical, and historical perspectives. The goal of the course is to enrich students' understanding of how to make images that solve practical social and scholarly problems in an impactful, immediate, and public way.

  • ENGL 3615 Podcast, Radio, Gramophone: Literary Technologies of Sound with Jeremy Braddock, Associate Professor, English

    This class examines current aural technologies of writing: podcasts, audiobooks, site-specific headphones theater. This course will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the present - making recordings along the way - from the point of view of the technologies' long history. 

  • GOVT 3042 The Politics of Technology with Sarah Kreps, Professor, Government

    This course evaluates the politics of technology including topics such as drones, artificial intelligence, and cyber. 

  • STS 3440 Data Science and Society Lab with Malte Ziewitz, Assistant Professor, Science & Technology Studies

    The next generation of thinkers will need a firm grasp on the practices and values implicated in designing and using data science tools. The class will sensitize students from the social sciences, humanities, and STEM to the complexities of data science as both a social and a technical project.


Electives and Clubs

Scholars take two elective courses from among this approved list, including  Milstein Faculty Fellow seminars. These courses study the social, cultural, economic, environmental, physical and psychological impact of technology and/or explore concepts of design thinking, research methods, and community engaged project work and are organized in four tracks:

  • Ethics & Consequences
  • Design Thinking & Human/Computer Interaction
  • Code in Culture
  • Digital Arts


Electives may be taken at any time during the Milstein Program

Students may petition to include other courses outside the approved list

Suggested Extracurricular activities and Clubs

We encourage Milstein Program Scholars to participate in many extracurricular activities and clubs. This can often be where Milstein Program students will find projects they can join or adapt for their junior year projects.