Integrated Product Design
An interdisciplinary, collaborative program that builds technical, strategic and leadership skills. IPD brings together design, engineering and business perspectives to create new products and experiences. 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: Apple, Amazon, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Gensler, Google, Ideo, Miso Robotics, Smart Design, Rivian, SpaceX, and TikTok. Many have started their own companies.
The University of Pennsylvania offers two Integrated Product Design degrees: Master of Integrated Product Design (M:IPD) and the Master of Science in Engineering in Integrated Product Design (MSE:IPD).
Master of Integrated Product Design (M: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 human-centered design, design research, ideation, human-product interaction, aesthetics, manufacturing, marketing and business planning. M:IPD students will take courses in design, engineering and business.
Master of Science in Engineering in Integrated Product Design (MSE:IPD)
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.Department Website
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.
Personal statement of research and professional interests (2 page limit). IPD applicants should write a personal statement that addresses any or all of the questions below.
- Why are you applying to IPD? Why is it the right choice for you right now?
- What do you believe you can achieve with us personally or professionally that you can’t
anywhere else in the world?
- Tell us about a time when you identified a new, unusual or different approach for
addressing a problem or task?
- What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from a peer and how have you used that
lesson in your day-to-day life?
Applicants to the Integrated Product Design program must submit a visual portfolio of their work. The admissions committee is aware that students from different backgrounds will have different kinds of portfolios. The goal of the portfolio is to demonstrate your ability to think conceptually and analytically, showcase your ability to tell a story visually, and tell us about your work. We’re also very interested in your work process — how you do the work and why you made the decisions that you made. The admissions committee looks for a portfolio that shows experience in design, engineering, or business.
Portfolio submissions should adhere to the guidelines below and be submitted digitally as a PDF document. Applicants may choose to provide a web address for an online portfolio that follows the guidelines below, on the first page of the PDF.
- A PDF document of no more than twenty 8.5 x11″ pages should be submitted. No fewer than three projects (two of which should be individual projects) and no more than seven. The file size of the PDF should not exceed 10 MB. Please assume that the admissions team is reviewing your portfolios on a laptop.
- 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. Inclusion of independent work is encouraged.
- Labels and writing should clearly explain the work.
- The applicant’s full contact information should appear on the first page, and their name on each subsequent page of the submission.
The program looks for candidates that demonstrate through coursework and/ or immersive experiences a strong interest in product design or design thinking and a degree or background in at least one of the three program areas: engineering, design/art, and business. Successful applicants typically demonstrate experience creating, building, or making 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.