Frequently Asked Questions About the Curriculum
What is a course unit worth?
One course unit represents one hour of work per week necessary to complete a course, including course lecture time. For example, a 12 unit semester-long course requires, on average, 12 hours of work per week, including class time. If this class meets for 6 hours each week, students are expected to spend an additional 6 hours outside of class engaging in class work. Likewise, a 6 unit mini course that runs for seven weeks requires, on average, 12 hours of work per week, including class time. If this class meets for 4 hours each week, students are expected to spend an additional 8 hours outside of class engaging in class work.
Three course units at CMU are equivalent to one traditional semester credit hour elsewhere.
Why are some MPD courses 6 units and others 12 units?
MPD courses come in two lengths; minis that are 7 weeks long and worth 6 units and full semester courses that are 14 weeks long and worth 9 or 12 units. Mini-1 courses take place the first-half of the Fall, Mini-2 courses take place the second-half of Fall, Mini-3 courses take place the first-half of Spring, and Mini-4 courses take place the second-half of Spring.
How do I know if a course is at the graduate level?
The level of a course is identified by the last three digits of the course number (XX-XXX). Graduate level course numbers are between 600 and 999. At least 60 units of the total 96 units a student is required to take in the MPD, must be used toward graduate level courses.
Do I need the approval of my advisor for all electives?
For your two required electives to count toward your degree, they must be related to product development and be approved by your advisor. Any additional electives you choose to take, that you don't intend to count toward your degree (i.e. fitness classes), do not require approval.
When can I take electives?
You are welcome to take your electives in either the Fall or the Spring. Many students take one 12 unit elective in the Fall and one in the Spring or both in the Spring. Students who can handle the work load are welcome to take an additional 6 or 9 unit elective with the approval of their advisor.
If I decide to take more than the required number of elective courses, do I have to pay extra?
The cost for additional elective courses is included in the per-semester tuition rate for full-time students only. Because the program workload is considered rigorous and challenging, it is not recommended that you overload yourself with supplemental elective courses. A meeting with your advisor is recommended to minimize the risk of work overload. Part-time students may be subject to additional tuition charges for taking more than the required number of elective courses.
Can I receive transfer credit?
The MPD program does not accept transfer credit for courses completed at CMU or at any other institutions.