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About the OPDD Degree

Outdoor Product Design & Development provides students passionate about creating products with the knowledge of design principles and aesthetics and technical skills in order to make them come to life. Over the course of the program, students will learn the process of product creation, how to communicate design through sketching and digital tools, and how to translate designs into protoypes and final products through hands on projects that result in innovative and impactful products.

Student needs are addressed through hands-on educational and studio-based experiences that integrate developmentally appropriate theory and research-based teaching strategies to facilitate learning for the future professional.

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What Students Learn

Students will have the opportunity to learn the following skills and knowledge to prepare them for a career in the product design and development industry.

  • Understanding of the product design and development process from market and product research, to ideation, to prototyping and developing finished products.
  • Development of skills in order to communicate design whether through sketching or digital tools (Adobe / Solidworks).
  • Commitment to sustainability and an understanding of the effect of product design and development and product lifecycles on people, societies, and environment.
  • Proficiency in various technical skills in order to prototype products whether, hard product, apparel, or gear.
  • Understanding of team dynamics, project management, and professionalism within the workplace.

Career Paths

The sports and outdoor industry provides students with a variety of exciting, highly skilled career opportunities including:

  • Technical Apparel Designer / Developer
  • Product Designer / Developer
  • Footwear Designer / Developer
  • Product Line Manager
  • Merchandiser

Why Utah?


Outdoor Industry Association Why Utah

Utah is home to over numerous sports and outdoor brands including Black Diamond, Amer Sports, Browning, Petzl, Camp Chef, Lifetime Products, Cotopaxi, Vista Outdoor, Skullcandy, Backcountry, NordicTrack, and more (GOED). Over 110,000 people work in the sports or outdoor recreation industry in Utah with consumers spending over $12 billion on recreation and outdoor products annually (OIA).

Utah is home to five national parks and forty three state parks as well as fourteen ski resorts (Ski Utah) including two within 40 minutes of USU campus.

Download the OIA State Report

Class and Course Catalog

View the four year plan for the program and see the classes and course catalog.