Integrated Product Design
The University of Pennsylvania offers two Integrated Product Design degrees: Master of Integrated Product Design (M:IPD) and the Master of Engineering in Integrated Product Design (MSE:IPD).
The M:IPD is intended for students with a non-engineering background or students with an engineering background who wish to build their skills in other disciplines. The curriculum is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary perspective of product design. Students build skills in conceptualization, ideation, human-product interaction, aesthetics, manufacturing, marketing and business planning. M:IPD students will take courses in The School of Design, The School of Engineering, and The Wharton School.
The MSE:IPD is intended for students who possess an undergraduate degree in engineering. The degree emphasizes technology and manufacturing processes, including coursework in advanced CAD/CAM and mechatronics. MSE:IPD students will take the majority of their courses within The School of Engineering and pursue engineering-oriented Final Projects.
The graduate courses that make up the program create an interdisciplinary point of view, and are taught by professors from all three schools. Studio classes accompany classroom studies, providing creative and analytical approaches, and shifting students between rigorous, technical and explorative processes in the development of both experiential and theoretical knowledge. Collaborative team projects and student-driven independent projects complement the core courses to give students both a solid grasp of the fundamentals and a deep understanding of the nuances of these fields.
Recent graduates have gone on to work for companies such as: Airclic, Definitive Design, Design Science, Gensler, HDP & SALCO Maroc (Kingdom of Morocco), Jump, Medici Creativity (Hsinchu, Taiwan), Smart Design, TechniPozo, Tegrant, ThermoSafe
Prior to the matriculation in the M:IPD or MSE:IPD degree programs, candidates should have a background in one of the three areas: business, design arts, or engineering. Students applying to the MSE:IPD program must have a background in engineering.
The application deadline is February 1. Applications are NOT reviewed on a rolling basis. The Admission Committee will begin reviewing applications promptly after February 1. First round admission decisions will be released after March 1. Applicants interested in applying to the program after the above dates are encouraged to contact the Program Directors or Program Coordinator.
Applicants to the Integrated Product Design program must submit a visual portfolio of 15 to 25 images of their work highlighting artistic, aesthetic, and creative explorations. Portfolios must be submitted digitally. A PDF document of no more than twenty 8.5 x11" pages and screen resolution (72 dpi) ONLY should be submitted. No fewer than four projects (two of which should be individual projects). The document should be saved as Program_LastnameFirstname_Portfolio (e.g.: IPD_SteveJones_Portfolio). All work should be identified as academic, professional, or personal. If professional or team projects are included in the portfolio, the specific role and responsibility of the applicant in the production of the project must be clearly identified. Labels and writing should be kept to a minimum and clearly explain the work. Number each image for reference in accompanying text within the PDF, noting the size of the object in the image, the date created, the medium used, and if the work was collaborative, the nature of the applicant's contribution. Applicants should provide a form of locating reference for all articles, patents, etc if referred to in your application, such as bibliographical data, patent number etc. The applicant's full contact information should appear on the first page, and their name on each subsequent page of the submission. The applicant may also provide a web address for an online portfolio on the first page of the PDF. The method for submission is one PDF file, using Submit Portfolio. The submitted file size may be no larger than 10M. If you need to upload a larger document or have questions please contact Maryeileen B. Griffith.
The program looks for candidates that demonstrate through coursework and/ or immersive experiences not only a strong interest in product design and design thinking, but a degree of background in at least two of the three program areas: engineering, design/ art, and business, along with hands on experience making/ building/ creating in some way or form, demonstrated through a submitted visual portfolio. We look for solid references from individuals with insight about the candidate, along with applicant strengths in both leadership and teamwork. University grades and standardized testing scores are important elements in the decision process, but are not a final determinant of eligibility.