This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

VCU Innovate

Grace and Broad Residence Center 2
1010 West Grace Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220
(804) 827-1859

Somiah Lattimore

Garret Westlake
Executive director, da Vinci Center


The mission of the da Vinci Center Innovate Living-Learning Program is to equip innovative student entrepreneurs with a human-centered design foundation to launch new ventures or products through academic course work and co-curricular activities.

Curriculum standards

The da Vinci Center Innovate living-learning program curriculum is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a wide range of industries valuing human-centered design. Topics of study include design thinking, problem solving, user experience and interface design, rapid prototyping, innovation, and an entrepreneurial mindset. This knowledge and and these skills are coupled with VCU degrees from the schools of the Arts, Business and Engineering, as well as the College of Humanities and Sciences.

  • Course work: Students receive a Certificate of Completion in Human-centered Design comprising a minimum of nine undergraduate da Vinci credits and engage in experiential client interaction during their two-year residency.
  • Co-curricular hours: Students fulfill 60 hours of activities ranging from trips to guest lectures and workshops.
  • Service hours: Students complete 20 hours of service through a nonprofit client interaction built into their academic course work.
  • Residency: Students live in the Grace and Broad Resident Center 2 for a two-year term.

Learning outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the da Vinci Center Innovate living-learning program, students will be able to:

  • Discover innovative and appropriate ideas using a human-centered design process

    • Head (eager, creative, analytic)

  • Communicate ideas through visual and verbal stories told with passion and empathy

    • Heart (passionate, empathetic, brave)

  • Execute ideas using the right tools and technologies\

    • Hands (relevant, maker, inventive)

Certificate of completion

Students completing the da Vinci Center Innovate living-learning program receive a nine-credit Certificate of Completion in Human-centered Design, which requires a sequence of the following three tailored one-credit hour courses over a two-year required residency coupled with five credits of da Vinci Center approved electives.

Course Title Hours
Required courses
HCDN 351Introduction to Human-centered Design1
HCDN 352Human-centered Design Methods1
HCDN 353Human-centered Design Through Service Learning2
Approved electives
Select five credits from the following:5
Interaction Design and Prototyping
Professional Practices
Special Topics in Human-centered Design
Independent Study in Human-centered Design
Internship in Human-centered Design
Introduction to Innovation and Venture Creation
Introduction to Arts and Design Principles
Introduction to Business Principles
Introduction to Engineering and Technology Principles
Special Topics in Product Innovation
Independent Study in Product Innovation
Venture Creation Skills
Special Topics in Venture Creation
Independent Study in Venture Creation
Total Hours9

HCDN 351 is taken in the first semester and HCDN 352 is taken in the second semester during the first year of residency. Students take HCDN 353 in the first semester of the second year, with the remaining five credits of da Vinci approved electives completed throughout the two-year residency, as mapped out and approved between the da Vinci adviser, Innovate director and the student resident. 

Certificate of completion process

All VCU Innovate scholars must complete the curricular, co-curricular and residential requirements for the Certificate of Completion in Human-centered Design on schedule in the intended progression.

  • Commit to a two-year residency in the Grace and Broad Residence Center 2.

  • Complete the nine-credit Certificate of Completion in Human-Centered Design.

  • Complete 60 hours of co-curricular activities and 20 hours of service.

Students who fail to satisfy the program requirements, including living in VCU Innovate on-campus housing, will be removed from the program. Students failing to meet program requirements also may be removed from VCU Innovate housing and relocated to another residence hall. Students are expected to uphold VCU, VCU Innovate and community partner expectations for personal and professional conduct at all times. Any behavior that violates standards of conduct may result in removal from the program and VCU Innovate.

Application process

Students with professional or personal interest, commitment and a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship are sought as residents in the VCU Innovate living-learning program. Full-time VCU students from all majors may apply for the program during their freshman or sophomore years. Rising juniors and seniors with two more years of undergraduate studies remaining may petition the director for entry.

The application deadline is posted on the VCU Innovate website, In addition to completing the admissions application, students must complete a housing contract for the Grace and Broad Residence Center 2 over two consecutive years.

For more information email or call the VCU Innovate living-learning program office at or (804) 827-1859.