Product Development (MSPD)


The Master of Science in Product Development (MPD) has been in existence for over 20 years.  It was initially developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and five major U.S. corporations, focused largely on the automobile industry.  The program has evolved and now prepares anyone involved in the development of complex engineered products and systems. The program targets experienced engineers who will lead product development/manufacturing activities into the future. The curriculum is designed to be challenging and rigorous. The program is beneficial for both product and manufacturing personnel involved in product development, manufacturing, research, quality, or supply chain management among others.

Target Outcomes for the Product Development Program
The Product Development Program is a comprehensive and highly integrated set of learning experiences which develop the engineering professional into a future leader of product development/manufacturing activities. It achieves this mission to advance the theory and practice of product development and manufacturing by combining the best ideas and experiences of academia and industry.

The program develops the engineer's ability to use new and innovative approaches to design and deliver products and services. Teamwork and cross-disciplinary work skills are cultivated in this program. The cross-disciplinary nature of the program involves not only various technical disciplines, but it also teaches students the latest business and economic theories and techniques as they apply to the product development process.

Competitiveness in the global market depends on capabilities to bring to market innovative products in the most cost-effective and timely manner and ahead of the competition. The MPD Program was designed to develop such expertise in U.S. engineers. Systemic impact on product development/manufacturing teams can be achieved by aggressive infusion of advanced product development/manufacturing methods and strategies that are taught to the MPD students. The program requires approximately two years to complete and is well suited to support employers that may desire to enroll multiple students on a cohort basis. Each class meets one evening per week. A typical student is employed full time and takes one or two classes per semester. Students may participate either on campus or via synchronous distance technology. The two-week, full-time, January kickoff experience requires in-person participation.

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    Program Learning Outcomes

    Graduates of the Master of Science in Product Development program will have the ability to:

    1. apply systems thinking/engineering with customer focus and total enterprise perspective.
    2. understand and apply current and advanced tools and techniques for design, analysis and management in product development and manufacturing.
    3. develop innovative and robust solutions to system design problems.
    4. develop and execute complex system architectures.
    5. function in a high-performing, multidisciplinary team.
    6. transform customer/market requirements into competitive product portfolios and product functions and features.

    Admission Requirements

    Applicants will be considered if they have excellent academic records with a minimum GPA of 3.0, a bachelor's degree or higher in engineering or a closely related field, and five or more years of work experience in industry, government or academia. Alternate qualifications include an M.S. in Engineering with three or more years of work experience in industry, government or academia.

    Transfer credit is processed by the Office of the Registrar.  Students may transfer up to 12 credits for a master's degree program greater than or equal to 36 credit hours, such as MPD.  Courses only transfer if taken for graduate credit with a grade earned of B (3.0) or higher. The approval of the program chairperson/director is also required. Other restrictions may apply.


    Master of Science in Product Development Degree Requirements (36 credits)

    The Master of Science in Product Development requires 36 credit hours consisting of 33 credit hours of course work and a three-credit hour capstone project/thesis. An employer may wish to create a cohort of employees to complete in two calendar-years (six semesters).  Students may also enroll on a non-cohort basis, and typically complete the program in three years.  

    The program requires on-site participation in an intensive full-time, two week boot-camp style experience as part of the course MPD 5350 Organizational Processes.  The boot-camp takes place during the first two weeks of the Winter semester.  Students must plan to be full-time participants during those two weeks. The program is a two calendar-year (six semester) experience beginning with an intensive full-time two week launch experience, followed by two courses per semester for six semesters.

    Nine Required Courses (27 credit hours)

    • MPD 5050 (or AEV 5060) Systems Architecture (3 credits)
    • MPD 5100 (or AEV 5070) Systems Engineering (3 credits)
    • MPD 5200 System and Project Management (3 credits)
    • MPD 5350 Organizational Processes (3 credits)
    • MPD 5400 Finance and Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
    • MPD 5450 Marketing Management (3 credits)
    • MPD 5600 Product Planning & Development (3 credits)
    • MPD 5990 Capstone Thesis and Project (3 credits)
    • MENG 5925 Modeling of Complex Systems via SysML Programming (3 credits)

    Three Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

    • EMGT 5040 Administration of Technical Businesses (3 credits)
    • EMGT 5450 Total Quality Management (3 credits)
    • ENGR 5790 Mechatronics: Modeling and Simulation (3 credits)
    • MPD 5300 System Optimization (3 credits)
    • MPD 5460 or EMGT 5460 Product and Process Improvement: Lean Six Sigma I (3 credits)
    • MPD 5470 or EMGT 5470 Product and Process Improvement: Lean Six Sigma II (3 credits)
    • MPD 5500 Operations Management (3 credits)
    • MPD 5750 Design for X (3 credits)
    • MPD 5960 Advanced Topics in Product Development (3 credits)

Program Contact Information

University of Detroit Mercy
College of Engineering & Science
4001 West McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221

Dr. David Pistrui
Graduate Recruiter and Coordinator
Telephone: 313-993-3378

Valarie Steppes-Glisson, Administrator
Engineering Graduate Professional Programs Office - Engineering 270
Telephone: 313-993-1128
Fax: 313-993-1955

Dr. Darrell Kleinke
Director, Engineering Graduate Programs
Telephone: 313-993-1140

For more information: MPD Program website