Program mission and objectives

Integrating arts, business and engineering principles, students in the Master of Product Innovation learn advanced product innovation topics pertaining to conceptualization, development and commercialization of new products/services. Through unique instruction and experiential learning that culminates with a yearlong master’s project, students have a real product innovation experience. The program emphasizes product innovation and teamwork skills so that graduates can take on key leadership roles that stimulate the creation, development and management of new products and services.

Student learning outcomes

The M.P.I. program hones competency in the area of product innovation. Students will:

  1. Gain an in-depth understanding of and appreciation for cross-disciplinary innovation
  2. Develop advanced product innovation skills
  3. Hone teamwork and team management skills

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.P.I.FallMay 31GRE, GMAT or portfolio depending on area of specialization
International students: TOEFL required

Special requirements

  • At the time of application, an applicant declares an area of specialization: arts, business or engineering. The arts specialization requires the submission of a portfolio comprising 20 to 30 examples of representative work; the business specialization requires either the GMAT or GRE; and the engineering specialization requires the GRE. A personal interview may be requested.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university
  2. Except in very unusual cases approved by the graduate dean, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for at least the last two years of undergraduate work
  3. For applicants whose native language is not English, satisfactory scores from a standardized test commonly used and deemed appropriate for evaluation of English language proficiency, such as the TOEFL
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Applicant’s written statement of intent for pursuing graduate study in the product innovation discipline

Degree requirements

The Master of Product Innovation requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours for completion. In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students must:

  1. Complete the boot camp experience prior to the first semester of study in the program
  2. Complete the required core curriculum courses (12 or 15 credit hours of specified course work depending on undergraduate degree)
  3. Complete two elective courses (six credit hours) with one of these courses at the 600 level
  4. Complete the master’s project courses (12 credit hours) (The master’s project is mandatory for all students.)

The program can be taken either on a full-time or part-time basis.

Curriculum requirements

Core requirements
Select two or three of the following: 16-9
Arts Principles for Product Innovation
Business Principles for Product Innovation
Technology Principles for Product Innovation
INNO   590da Vinci Project3
INNO   600Integrative Design Studio3
Technical electives
Select two of the following: 26
Topics in Product Innovation
Guided Study in Product Innovation
Other approved graduate-level course 3
Master's project
INNO   651Master's Project in Product Innovation I6
INNO   652Master's Project in Product Innovation II6
Total Hours30-33
1

Select depending on which courses do not correspond to the undergraduate degree. If the student does not have an undergraduate degree in an arts, business or engineering discipline, all three courses must be taken. Note: Students are strongly encouraged to take all three courses regardless of undergraduate degree. 

2

All technical electives must be at the graduate level, with at least three credit hours at the 600 level. 

3

Specific courses will be determined by the student with approval by the M.P.I. faculty committee.

Total number of graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Sample full-time enrollment plan of study

Year one
Fall semesterHours
INNO   501 Arts Principles for Product Innovation 1 3
INNO   502 Business Principles for Product Innovation 1 3
INNO   503 Technology Principles for Product Innovation 1 3
INNO   600 Integrative Design Studio 3
 Term Hours: 12
Spring semester
INNO   590 da Vinci Project 3
Technical electives 6
 Term Hours: 9
Year two
Fall semester
INNO   651 Master's Project in Product Innovation I 6
Optional elective  
 Term Hours: 6
Spring semester
INNO   652 Master's Project in Product Innovation II 6
Optional elective  
 Term Hours: 6
 Total Hours: 33
1

Select depending on which courses do not correspond to the undergraduate degree. If the student does not have an undergraduate degree in an arts, business or engineering discipline, all three courses must be taken. Note: Students are strongly encouraged to take all three courses regardless of undergraduate degree. 

 Total number of graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Graduate program director
Garret Westlake 
Executive director, da Vinci Center for Innovation
Email: gmwestlake@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-3477

Program website: davincicenter.vcu.edu/programs/master-product-innovation