Upenn (IPD) vs. CMU (MPD)

Your Pick?

  • Upenn (Integrated Product Design)
  • CMU (Masters in Product Development)

0 voters

Which one is better and WHY?

University of Pennsylvania (Integrated Product Design)


Carnegie Mellon University (Masters in Product Development)

Hey Vasu,
You’re probably not going to get any decent answers posing your question in this way, or if you do get any answers they probably won’t help your figure out which school to go to any better than a flip of the coin will.

Phrasing your question as “Which one is better and WHY?” without giving us any background on yourself, or why you’re looking at these schools in the first place will probably warrant an empty response.

You gotta give to get. Why are You looking at these schools? What do you know about the programs so far? Have you visited the schools? What do you want to get out of your design education? Everyone’s different, a school that works for you may not work for me, so give us some context.

Also try not to use the giant bolded text, makes it seem like you are shouting at us.

Hey Choto,

I completely agree with you. I have done exactly what you say, before, but did not receive the desired response. So, I thought it would be better to pose a general question and just read the different opinions and select what applies to me.

Check the following links:

NCSU vs. Stevens vs. CMU...Please Help! (see resume attached)
CMU vs. IIT vs. NCSU vs. Stevens (this was better)

These do not mention Upenn in their subject directly as I did not have a reply from Upenn then. Now I have been waitlisted by Upenn. But, I agree that I should have given details here. So, here it goes…

I am an international student (undergrad degree in Biomedical Engineering). I have 2yrs of work-ex in design and development of Medical Devices. My Goal is to create a career in development programs for new product lines, product expansions and optimizations in multiple engineering disciplines including but not limited to biomedical engineering. Bringing concepts from paper to life is what I want to do.

I like both the courses, MPD and IPD, but IPD is very new (1yr old i guess). MPD has companies (like Respironics, BodyMedia, etc) sponsoring projects, so you get to do live projects…its good exposure. Now, Upenn is highly ranked, but since its new…which one to go for, is the confusion (tuition for both is approx the same $37,000 and both are 1yr courses). Further any comments on the follwoing would be helpful indeed. Please do mention the source of your info.

  1. Job prospects/profiles/avg salaries
  2. CMU does not offer any financial aid for this course. What are the chances of getting some form of aid @ Upenn? (generally what is the scenario for new courses?)
  3. On-campus job opportunities. Is it possible to manage your own living expenses? [Living expenses/month (min - max)?..consider no alcohol, partying, & smoking].
  4. I plan to find an intern in a local medical device design company in summer (hopefully I should get one with my work-ex) and if required extend the course beyond 1yr (as i believe you have classes in summer also). Is this a feasible idea?

    Please help and excuse me for the bold text. Thank you for your concern, Choto. I appreciate it. Do let me know what are you doing?

    @ All

Let me know your thoughts on the above concerns and lets discuss more. Hoping to get a some response. Thank you.

I have a friend who is currently finishing his last year at Wharton school of business at Penn, and also working simultaneously on their IPD program. He doesn’t have too much trouble with getting course work done so doing the IPD alone should leave you some free time I would imagine.

Pittsburgh is very cheap. I’m currently paying (with 4 roommates) 1900/mo for a 5 bedroom, 2 bath house around 2800 sq/ft. You can find 1 bedroom places for under 400/mo easily.

There are three design firms in Pittsburgh, that I know of, that do work on medical devices, as well as big name companies that have offices here or near here (like Bayer). The medical industry here is a big part of the local economy (thats right, its not steel anymore). UPMC has its gigantic research, headquarters, and hospital building downtown, CMU and PITT both graduate a lot of BME students who end up working here.

Hope this was helpful.

Hi Spizzy,

Your comments were helpful and encouraging. Thank you. Let me know what are you doing at CMU?

It would be great if you can find out anything specific about job opportunities after MPD and IPD (is it easy for international students to get jobs these days) and about on-campus jobs. What is the procedure to apply and stuff like that. I need to manage my living expenses.

Any other suggestion are welcome.

Well, in about 4 weeks I’ll be graduating from their ID undergrad program.

As far as campus jobs go, I’ve only done work within the design department so I don’t know how general employment goes. Look around here: http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/campus_employment/

We are on holiday for the rest of the week, so I doubt I’ll run into any grad students soon, but I’ll keep your questions in mind when next week rolls around.

I’ve done some research into Penn’s IPD program. It seems to be well staffed. Mark Yim the director of the program is a big name in robotics. I’ve also taken a class with Karl Ulrich and he’s a very good professor. The only downside I see to Penn is that the program is very young. I talked to an admin over there and I think she said the program is only ~3 years old and there are no graduates yet. Only a dozen or so students are admitted each year.

I also went to undergrad at Penn, personally I like the campus a lot. I had a good time in philly. I dont think there’s a lot going on in Pittsburg :slight_smile: . But look into the CMU program it may be more established.

Hey gooeykabloui…i saw your comment on toots topic. Thanks for posting it here too. thanks! I think you should check out the Stanford - Joint Product Design and the ID program @ CMU.

Hey Spizzy…Thanks a ton! The link looks very informative. And, yes do share with me the other details.

All the best to you!

I don’t know much about U Penn, but I know CMU has one of the best ID programs out there. It has a really nice campus, and the ID building there is really nice. The teachers are really cool too. I went there on a campus visit a few weeks ago, so I got to go around and stuff. It’s definitely one of my favorite colleges, just really expensive…