The USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy were founded in 2013 with a visionary gift from entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (Dr. Dre), to establish a new school to nurture critical thinking and unbridled creativity at the intersection of four essential areas: arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication.
In Fall 2014, the Academy enrolled its inaugural class of freshmen who graduated in May 2018. Soon after, the Academy was named USC’s 20th professional school and remains under the leadership of Erica Muhl as the school’s former founding executive director and inaugural dean.
Conceived as an educational startup, the Academy is not just a home for disruptors but a disruptor itself. Its model is unique among higher education institutions, and in only a few years it is already achieving student outcomes that are garnering notice from higher education, research, big tech, and the creative industries. Academy students possess significant abilities as leaders, creatives, and cross-disciplinary team members that focus on high-level problem-solving in areas as diverse as information systems, product development, human-centered design, e-commerce, health innovation, social change, and the future of the arts, media, and entertainment ecosystems. As innovators who are well prepared for an ever-changing global landscape, they are already capturing highly competitive internships, fellowships, and full-time positions at a roster of organizations that includes Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, IDEO, Dreamworks, Sony, Imagine Entertainment, Sundance, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Hulu, NVIDIA, DEKA Research Labs, and Verizon. Academy startups have garnered more than $26 million in funding to date, and a product designed and developed exclusively by Academy students, the Mira Augmented Reality Headset, received the prestigious 2018 Red Dot Product Design Award.