Curriculum Overview

Product Development Curriculum Overview

Educational objective

To develop a leadership perspective and knowledge base of the total life cycle product development system, integrating management and (systems) engineering elements.  To establish the foundation for the systems approach needed to conceive, create, launch, and support products and platforms.  The program considers new product development in a larger framework: how a company’s business strategy, vision, and core capabilities coupled with the voice of the customer combine to determine product strategy and create best-in-class product portfolios.

Program competencies

  • Leadership expertise of the product development process and of high-performing product development teams and organizations. 
  • Improved leadership through structured systems thinking, design, and management.
  • A strategic, enterprise-wide and global perspective.
  • An innovative mindset receptive to changing markets, new technologies, and new opportunities.
  • Decision making in uncertain and fast-paced environments.
  • A market-oriented product development focus – i.e. the ability to transform customer problems, needs, and market opportunities into successful product portfolios.
  • Economic analysis and the application of sound business principles to effective management in the product development domain.
  • Project management: business and technical planning, relationship management and outsourcing, program control, structured decision making and risk management.
  • Enhanced ability to recognize barriers to success early, when corrective actions are less costly.
  • In-depth understanding and application of state-of-the-art tools for design, analysis, and management in the product development domain.

Embedded engineering competencies

The product development leader must apply “engineering” competencies to the development of strategic product architectures that relate to the business value chain of the corporation, to the integration of enabling technologies, and to the creation of realizable design concepts.

These capabilities are supported by:

  • The ability to assess the merits and risks associated with emerging technologies.
  • The ability to create products with acceptable product liability, life cycle cost, and environmental impact.
  • The ability to create products consistent with manufacturing and supply chain capabilities.
  • The ability to coordinate the product architecture with organizational structure.
  • The ability to select which competencies are core to the business and which can be outsourced.
  • The ability to create and implement an organization’s decision processes.
  • The ability to identify and implement enabling technologies and tools.


The 30-semester-credit MPD program consists of 9 business and engineering courses, including one elective, plus a Capstone project (3 credits):

  • Excellence in New Product Development (ISEE-781)
  • Engineering of Systems I, II (ISEE-771, ISEE-772)
  • Systems and Project Management (ISEE-750) or Project Management (BUSI-710)
  • Marketing Concepts and Commercialization (MKTG-761)
  • Accounting for Decision Makers (ACCT-603)
  • Decision and Risk-Benefit Analysis (ISEE-751)
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management (DESC-743)
  • Product Development Capstone (ISEE-798)
  • Elective

Elective courses

An elective course offers students the opportunity to better meet personal and organizational needs.  Students may select from a long list of courses. Recommended electives include such offerings as Managing Research and Innovation, Lean Six Sigma Fundamentals, Advanced or International Project Management, Breakthrough Thinking and Creativity, Customer Centricity, and others.

Capstone project

Students complete a project during the final academic year of the program, based on a real problem often identified in the companies where they work. The corporate-oriented Capstone project (3 credits) encompasses the broad integrative aspects of new product development – it synthesizes, increases, and demonstrates the student’s understanding of previous program material and underscores the behaviors essential to product development leadership. The Capstone project generates immediate benefits to sponsoring organizations.