Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

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October 26, 2021

iii Offers Engineering, Design, and Business Education Online

By Lynn Shea

For 18 years, engineers, designers, and business professionals who are passionate about developing, designing, and launching new products and services have come to Carnegie Mellon University’s Integrated Innovation Institute to earn a master’s degree in product and service innovation. The distinctive program cross-trains students in engineering, design, and business at a university that has a world class reputation in all three disciplines.

The growing demand for the Institute’s innovation training, as well as a dramatic uptick in the popularity of online education, compelled Integrated Innovation leadership to create a flexible and accessible alternative for professionals who want to expand their technical, creative, and organizational skill set—without disrupting their life.

Four online certificates, composed of the core elements of the residential master’s degree, will be offered next year. They can be taken individually or stacked and combined with a final capstone course to attain the Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services (MIIPS) degree.

Until now, the tried-and-true methodologies developed at the Integrated Innovation Institute were only available to those students who were able to attend classes in Pittsburgh for nine months or more.

“By stacking these certificates, working professionals who live anywhere can advance their education and career by gaining these highly-sought after skills,” said Peter Boatwright, director and co-founder of the institute and a professor of marketing and new product development.

“It’s a very attractive option for those who may not have the flexibility in their work or family lives to commit to a full time, on-campus program."

The certificates were carefully developed to ensure that individually they would give students an option to expand a specific skill set and provide a credential that could lead to a job, raise, or promotion. And, when combined with the capstone course, the stacked certificates deliver the same high-quality training that has enabled past MIIPS graduates to have advanced their careers.

Two certificates, New Product Management and Technology for Product Management, will be offered in the spring of 2022; courses for the remaining two certificates, Methods & Tools for Product Innovation and Product Design Innovation, will come online in the summer of 2022.

Athena Huether, associate director of admissions for the Integrated Innovation Institute, reports that there has been great interest in the program. She has been holding informational webinars since early summer, and she regularly fields calls from prospective students who want to know more.

Many are enticed by the option to stack the certificates to earn a master’s degree, but there are also those who recognize the value in the individual certificates.

Chinmay Bhagat, who has been admitted to the program, exemplifies the type of professional who can benefit from either option. He has an undergraduate degree in engineering and five years’ work experience in a job that has recently thrust him into a stronger business management role.

“I choose the certificate option because of the flexibility it offers. It’s been a while since I graduated, and I wanted to ramp up slowly into a regular coursework routine. This online certificate option would also allow me to possibly earn a master’s degree at my own pace while managing my professional commitments,” said Bhagat.

Huether said many students want the flexibility the new online certificates and degree offer.

“Not only will Chinmay have the opportunity to quickly gain the knowledge he is most interested in, but by working through the online certificate curriculum, he can also stay in his current location, keep his job, and have a longer period of time in which to pay for his graduate education,” explained Huether.

“It’s very exciting to now be able to offer online options so that students can acquire specialized knowledge that will help their careers,” said Boatwright, who is confident that students will receive the same quality of knowledge and experience as students who attend campus in-person.

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