Classes + Course Requirements

Once you declare your major, students in the Product Design program take the following core courses as they progress from sophomore to senior year. For additional electives and liberal arts courses, download the complete Course Catalog.

1st year

Your journey starts in the Foundation program where you will explore new techniques and find passions that you never knew you had.

2nd year

  • DesignSpace 1
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • DesignSpace 2
  • Model-Making

3rd year

  • DesignSpace 3
  • Materials & Manufacturing Processes
  • DesignSpace 4

4th year

  • DesignSpace 5
  • Professional Practice
  • DesignSpace 6
  • Design Entrepreneurship
"The strong entrepreneurial thread throughout the program and mentorships with innovative companies bridge studio work and real-world practice, empowering students to make their ideas a reality.”

Chris Chapin, Professor and Chair of Product Design


James Blake

Jessica De La Cruz

Deborah Glassberg


Junius B. Irving Building


DesignSpace is a studio for designers — a maker space for exploration and experimentation, and a space for innovative thinking, learning, and collaborating. The DesignSpace series is a unique approach to structuring major studios. Each DesignSpace is informed by three defining elements; product design concepts; exploration and experimentation of materials and production methods; and use of emerging technologies. DesignSpaces (1–6) is facilitated by faculty in the Product Design school and will engage interdisciplinary faculty and industry professionals as workshop mentors.


  • Beals Studio — 3D modeling 
  • Central Shop — prototyping
  • Product Design Model Shop — rapid prototyping, materials exploration and model making
  • 3D Modeling computers and product design software

Career Paths + Career Outcomes

KCAI's Professional Practice Center will help you prepare for your career.

Design Incubator Hub

Seniors and alumni from the product design program benefit from an accelerator lab that offers support, mentorship and facilities to further develop design ideas and prepare for real-world application. The launchpad and collaboration space provides resources to transform ideas into successful products and businesses.


Kansas City is home to internationally recognized, leading product design companies, such as Garmin, Cerner, Populous and Dimensional Innovations, that provide a variety of local internship and mentorship opportunities.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

A unique collaboration with UMKC’s Regnier Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides students with access to entrepreneurial business classes that teach industry insights and business acumen to advance their product ideas. Through this collaboration, students take these classes at no additional charge.

Product Design Alumni

In 2024, KCAI Product Design School will graduate its inaugural class. Be the first to be a featured alumnus!

FPO Tall Your Name ('XX Product Design)