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Since the mid-1980's, the most successful VLSI design courses have implemented a rigorous ldquohands onrdquo approach. While such methods are amenable to semester programs (over 15 weeks), they are incredibly challenging to implement in a quarter system (10 weeks or less). This paper describes the approach that has been successfully used for 3 years at UCSC. The course is a self-contained single quarter with a significant project. This is made possible by meticulous scheduling and a challenging pace.