This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

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. Demonstrate successful collaboration skills
  2. Demonstrate the ability to conceive and develop product concepts and related business plans
  3. Demonstrate the ability to think across multiple disciplines
  4. Demonstrate the ability to create and deliver effective presentations and other communication media such as reports and portfolios

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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.P.I.
Domestic applicants (no visa required) Summer March 15
Fall June 15
International applicants (student visa required)* Summer Dec 15
Fall March 15
*If applying after the listed deadlines, international applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Special requirements

  • Applicants from any specialization/background are encouraged to submit five to 15 examples of past project work. No test scores are required to apply. 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. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for at least the last two years of undergraduate work — unless approved by the director of academic programs
  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 an orientation experience prior to the first full 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

Course Title Hours
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
or INNO 610 Innovation, Design Thinking and Change Management
Technical electives
Select two of the following: 26
Topics in Product Innovation
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.

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.

Sample full-time enrollment plan of study for summer start

Year one
Summer semesterHours
INNO 600
Integrative Design Studio
or Innovation, Design Thinking and Change Management
3
INNO 691 Topics in Product Innovation 3
 Term Hours: 6
Fall semester
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 590 da Vinci Project 3
 Term Hours: 9-12
Spring semester
INNO 651 Master's Project in Product Innovation I 6
INNO 697 Guided Study in Product Innovation 3
 Term Hours: 9
Year two
Summer semester
INNO 652 Master's Project in Product Innovation II 6
 Term Hours: 6
 Total Hours: 30-33
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. 

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.

Sample full-time enrollment plan of study for fall start

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 590 da Vinci Project 1 3
 Term Hours: 9-12
Spring semester
INNO 651 Master's Project in Product Innovation I 6
INNO 697 Guided Study in Product Innovation 3
 Term Hours: 9
Summer semester
INNO 600
Integrative Design Studio
or Innovation, Design Thinking and Change Management
3
INNO 691 Topics in Product Innovation 3
 Term Hours: 6
Year two
Fall semester
INNO 652 Master's Project in Product Innovation II 6
 Term Hours: 6
 Total Hours: 30-33
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. 

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 30.

Contact
Garret Westlake 
Executive director, da Vinci Center for Innovation, and graduate program director
gmwestlake@vcu.edu
(804) 828-3477

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