MPD²Programs

MPD² Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to a Question about the Master of Product Design and Development Management program.

Admission

Program Structure

Student Life

Tuition

Admission

What are the requirements for admission into your program?

Applicants normally have an undergraduate degree in design, engineering, or related discipline. Applicants must have appropriate work experience and/or quantitatively based degrees. It is preferred that applicants have at least two years of work experience related to product development.  There is no GRE requirement.  English language proficiency exams (TOEFL, IELTS) may be required at the discretion of the program.

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When will I find out about my acceptance into the program?

After all parts of the application are submitted, a review committee evaluates each applicant. Once the review committee has made a decision, the applicant is contacted.

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When does the current application period close?

The application period typically closes in late spring or early summer for the September class.  We do accept applications past that time frame, although the likelihood of being placed on a wait list increases significantly.

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What should be included in a portfolio?

Your portfolio should be used to demonstrate projects you have worked on as well as to show other material you believe would be worthwhile to discuss in your interview. The portfolio should consist of any printed or documented work that will help make your application come alive when shown to a committee. In the past we have received the following types of materials: copies of patents, catalogue sheets, printed details from databases, product parts, work efforts to include QC reports, presentations to management, etc. We advise against electronic presentations during your interview. A hard copy of all material must be left behind for the admission committee to review. All portfolio material will be returned to you and is kept confidential.

Program Structure

How is this program different from an MBA?

The program takes the traditional MBA and combines it with professional courses that are devoted to product design and development. The faculty have modified the standard MBA courses and specially designed them so that they focus on product development.  The program is designed to allow you to "take a seat at the table".

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What type of master's degree will I receive?

The MPD² degree is a Master of Science in Product Design and Development Management from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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When does the academic school year start?

There is a program orientation in mid September and the first day of classes for new students is usually in the third week of September.

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How many classes are required for the degree?

The MPD² degree is a two-year program. Students take 24 courses over six quarters (three quarters a year) and all courses are worth 0.5 credits.

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What is the duration for a typical class?

Each course meets for five weeks. Students take two courses at a time for a total of four courses per quarter. The fall, winter, and spring quarters are all 10 weeks long.

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Are the classes lecture based?

Although the courses include some lecture time, the classes are very interactive. Student involvement and participation are the norm and break out sessions are frequently held.

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How are students graded?

The program is a rigorous Northwestern University master’s degree and grading is taken very seriously. Faculty expectations for master’s students are A’s or B’s. A “B” average is required for graduation from the program.

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Students Life

What companies do MPD² students come from?

  • 3-2-1 Launch!
  • 3Com Corporation
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Alcoa Inc.
  • Andrew Corporation
  • Apple Inc.
  • Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc.
  • Arecibo Observatory
  • Artisan Shop & Gallery
  • Bang & Olufsen

View the complete list of almost 150 companies

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Will we have a chance to meet our classmates before school starts?

There will be a social dinner in the summer where everyone will get a chance to meet for the first time.

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How many hours should I plan on studying each week?

Classes meet for a total of six hours every week. Students should plan on 10-12 hours of outside of class study time which includes weekly team meetings and personal study time.

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What is the typical schedule for a class day?

8:00am – 9:00am
Continental Breakfast

9:00am – 10:30am
Class 1

10:30am-10:45am
Break

10:45am – 12:00pm
Class 1 continued

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lunch

1:00pm – 2:15pm
Class 2

2:15pm – 2:30pm
Break

2:30pm – 4:00pm
Class 2 continued

Tuition

How much is tuition for the MPD² program?

Tuition for the class starting in September, 2016, is $62,250.  A quarter costs $10,375 for the two year program.  For the the one year program, tuition is $20,750 per quarter.

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Are there any additional fees?

Books, snacks, lunches, and parking passes are supplied for the students.  Students must pay for University approved insurance (if they do not already have approved coverage) and for a monthly transit card.

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