CMU's m.p.d program

hi everybody,

ok firstly, i should start by thanking core and the active ppl on this board.
i too was on the look out for good product design schools sometime back and had a lot of questions to ask which i did post on this board. and thankfully did get a lot of suggestions. after a lot of research i finally zeroed in on cmu, among my other good admits. i dint know a lot abt the program then…

and since then…i havnt been able to find time to browse this board again.
but today, i just thought that i should share in my experinces here abt cmu’s program so that it might help lot of eager students who r in the same stage i was in some time bak.

talking abt cmu’s masters of product development…

firtsly its not the program where u can sit and learn skecthing or if you want to do cad jobs. the focus here is not on rendering and creating fuzzy concepts.
this is lot more real world product development experience…they have courses on industrial design but the main aim of the program is to combine
the business, the design and the engineering expertise from the 3 schools of cmu which are all really good by themselves…so the students hav a great oppurtunity to choose whatevr courses they want from any of these schools.

the capstone course called the IPD is where teams get together and work with a company to design a product for them and most of the products have been patented and put into production evryyear. so again it gives a real world experience in which ppl always work in teams.
if you do want build or design products that you want to see in the market someday, then this is the process that you have to learn, only learning to sketch concepts wont help you do that…u got to hav the business and the engineerinng knowledge to pull it off. and thats exactly what u learn here.

so on the negative side…if you r the kind of designer who prefers to sit in c orner and create designs by yourself then probably this is not the most ideal place…
but if you like working in teams and learning the product design process the way it happens outside…there cudnt be a better place…

summing up , the program in my opinion ,with my research before apps was good, but after i came here…it was greater than i evr expected it to be…
its an ideal program for both engineers and designers to learn the other side. it gives you exposure to some ofthe best research and grt profs.
it has a beautiful campus and a very diverse crowd. and unfortunately, the program is not well publicised, becos they dont want it be…so u wont get a good idea abt the program from the website…they really want ppl who seek it out and it is really difficult to get an admit in the program…but allin all , i couldnt hav been happier abt my choice
i am not looking to compare schools here, becos i know they are alot of very good schools with their own specialities…but this has been my experience so far.
with that…my wishes and good luck to all the other aspiring product deisgners.

Thanks for a great review of the program.
It might help sort out some of the questions people have about grad school if you could provide some context.
if it exceeded your expectations - what were they to begin with: 1. What is your Bachelors in? 2. How long did you work? 3.Why did you want a Masters degree? 4.Where did you hope to end up after graduation?
Readers who answer these questions in a similar manner should give more consideration to CMU.

to begin with i am an engineer with some software work ex…but just like a lot of you, my passion was design. and i wanted to create products and solutions, not just form or aesthetics. i had good skills in sketching and i had created a portfolio with all the designs that i had done during my school days and later the design competitions that i participated during college… it helps to show that you have a passion from a very young age…

it did exceed my expectations in the sense that you have so much of an oppurtunity to interact with the industry…it almost gives you an experience of being a design firm yourself. and the fact that your classmates are grads from engineering, design and mba’s. so u learn a lot interacting with them too.
and also the flexibilty with which you can choose what evr courses u d like aprt from the requirements…as diverse as animation to product management, and design engineering to music.

I am currently a senior ID at CMU (which apparently doesn’t get a lot of love at this site, but that is expected…) taking the IPD class. As noted by sprk it is a truly unique and special experience, taught by instructors who have published books on creating products and pioneered new methods in which businesses innovate and create products from within.

One does not need any ID background because it is an interdisciplinary class creating a mixture of designers, mechanical engineers (both undergrad and grad) as well as MBA’s. I would highly recommend this to any graduate student interested in true product develpment, as the class is at the cutting edge of where industry and business are headed.

Likewise, CMU design is very different from almost any other design program. It takes a human centered approach to all projects and stresses real research as the basis for design. Students develop realistic concepts that reflect an understanding of the user and context of use, as well as visual and aesthetic appeal. Likewise, formal and functional decisions are reflections of thorough research and analysis.

Why is it to be expected?