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Innovation Minor

The Innovation minor provides a core sequence of classes with opportunities to practice innovative problem-solving skills, as well as elective credits for students to pursue their personal interests. This minor also fills a unique niche by helping students expand their entrepreneurial ideas through customer discovery and business model activities. At the end of the minor, students will have a capstone opportunity to unite their skills in innovation with what they have learned in their major.

Why do it?

The complex issues facing our world today require innovative problem definition and problem-solving skills, as well as working with people from different backgrounds and experiences. Employers are looking for graduates who can think creatively and bring new perspectives to their projects, making this minor an important career-building opportunity for both students seeking to start their own companies and those who wish to pursue jobs at existing organizations.


The 18-credit hour Innovation minor includes 9 hours of required courses and 9 hours from a list of electives (3 credits each).

Pathways diagram of minor

STS 2254: Innovation in Context
ENGE 2094: Create! Ideation for Innovation
MGT/ENGE/IDS 4094: Commercialization of Innovation

Students complete the elective courses by selecting a minimum of 9 hours from an approved list of courses. Some of these courses are Pathways courses that can help students earn general education credit beyond the minor’s required courses. For a complete list of elective courses, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow this link, click on 'checksheets', scroll down to Minors, and find the minor checksheet you're interested in).

Who is it for?

The Innovation Minor is for STEM majors and non-STEM majors alike who want to develop their innovative thinking skills in an interdisciplinary context.

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This minor is hosted by the Department of Engineering Education in collaboration with numerous departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
1a - Advanced/Applied Discourse
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
5f - Foundational Quantitative and Computational Thinking
6d - Critique and Practice in Design 
6a - Critique and Practice in the Arts
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the U.S.
*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed

Integrative Concepts
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural and Global Awareness