Master of Product Design and Development Management


Program Description

The Master of Product Design & Development Management (mpd²) program is designed for professionals who want to master the concepts and tools of product design and development. You will learn about creativity, innovation, lean design, design strategy, product innovation, end-user research, marketing, and project and product management, as well as business and financial issues. The highly-focused curriculum, taught by senior faculty from academic and business, is designed to assure our graduates a pathway to senior management. You'll quickly understand why Business Week has endorsed this program as one of the top programs of its kind in the world.

Innovative Curriculum

Our coursework focuses on the following categories:

  • Framework for Product Design & Development Leaders
  • Management Essentials
  • Managing & Refining the Process
  • Refining the Process
  • Product Development Essentials

Premiere Faculty

The mpd² program features faculty from the following Northwestern schools:

  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • The Pritzker School of Law
  • Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Experts within the field

Student Body

The mpd² program has a unique and diverse student body. Our students typically enter the program with three to 30 years of experience in positions that range from engineer to designer to manager to CEO, in industries from food to medical devices to military equipment to consulting, and have come from companies including Microsoft, Baxter International, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, SC Johnson, Northrop Grumman, Brightstar, and Mars Wrigley, as well as a variety of smaller and/or private companies.


The curriculum consists of 24 required courses; each course is five weeks long. Courses are open only to mpd² students, and all students take the same classes in sequence.

The courses range from those typical of a professional design and development curriculum, including material selection, understanding through design, obtaining meaning from data, protecting intellectual property, creativity and innovation, human factors, lean design, and project management, to those typical of a business curriculum, such as marketing, finance, accounting, organizational behavior, global leadership, negotiation, and decision-making.

Fall 1

  • MPD 400-0: Introduction to Product Design and Development
  • MPD 450-0: Effective Communication
  • MPD 430-0: Materials Selection- Managing Choices
  • MPD 442-0: Team Building and Organizational Behavior

Winter 1

  • MPD 420-0: Accounting Issues for Product Development
  • MPD 410-0: Understanding through Design
  • MPD 424-0: Financial Issues for Product Development
  • MPD 444-0: Negotiation/Conflict Resolution

Spring 1

  • MPD 432-0: Data Analytics for New Product Development
  • MPD 445-0: Project Management
  • MPD 448-0: Decision Making Under Uncertainty
  • MPD 408-0: Global Product Design and Supply Chains

Fall 2

  • MPD 409-1 and MPD 415-0: Customer Driven Opportunities (10 weeks)
  • MPD 406-0: Human Factors
  • MPD 458-0: Intellectual Capital Strategy

Winter 2

  • MPD 405-0: Agile Management of Software Product Design & Development
  • MPD 404-0: Essentials of Design
  • MPD 403-0: Creativity and Innovation
  • MPD 402-0: The Management of Product Innovation

Spring 2

  • MPD 401-1: Principles of Marketing
  • MPD 411-0: Lean Design
  • MPD 449-0: Leadership and Management
  • MPD 409-2: Business Model Design

Study Options

Students can complete the mpd² program in nine months on a full-time basis or in two years on a part-time basis. Please note that over the duration of their respective programs, both groups have the same course curriculum.

Part-time Program (Two Years)

The part-time program is ideal for students who wish to earn a degree while continuing their current employment. For two years, classes are held on alternating Fridays and Saturdays in the fall, winter, and spring quarters.

Full-Time Program (Nine Months)

Students who are willing to leave their workplace in exchange for accelerating their studies and moving to their next professional step more quickly will prefer the full-time program. For nine months, classes for the above program will be held on both Fridays and Saturdays in the fall, winter, and spring quarters.

Northwestern's Evanston Campus

The mpd² program follows the Northwestern University academic schedule of ten-week quarters. New students begin classes in September of the fall quarter, with breaks in December, March, and the summer months. Classes meet on Northwestern’s Evanston campus on Fridays and Saturdays. Friday classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Saturday classes begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. Each day consists of two classes, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Our mission is to educate the next generation of synthetic thinkers and leaders — people who are able to move across domains and industries, identify convergences, and create impact through the lens o ... Read More

Our mission is to educate the next generation of synthetic thinkers and leaders — people who are able to move across domains and industries, identify convergences, and create impact through the lens of human-centered design. These thinkers are not generalists, but specialists of a different sort. They take a unified approach to solving problems, drawing on skills from engineering, social sciences, design, and management theory. Read less