Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

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Product Design Innovation Online Certificate

What’s next? What problem does your innovation seek to solve? Our Product Design Innovation certificate is where you’ll learn to turn your ideas into something real.

You’ll learn insights from industrial, software, product and UX/UI design, giving you a fuller understanding of the creative thinking it takes to make ‘next’ happen now. You'll learn to navigate the complex ecosystem of design, business, and engineering, thinking about how existing products could be improved and what future game-changing products could look like.

The certificate may be completed conveniently online in as little as one semester.


Online Applications are always open, with rolling admission cycles

Complete your application in minutes and receive your admissions decision in days.

Current Admission Cycle: Deadline for Spring 2025
Applications Open: Now   
Application Deadline: December 15, 2024

Learn How To Apply

Spring 2025

application deadline: December 1st
enrolled deadline: December 15th
class start: mid-January

Certificates being offered:

Summer 2025

application deadline: April 1st
enrolled deadline: April 15th
class start: mid-May

Certificates being offered:

Fall 2025

application deadline: July 15th
enrolled deadline: August 1st
class start: late-August

Certificates being offered:

What Will You Gain?

The Product Design Innovation certificate introduces design techniques that challenge students’ comfort zones and encourage innovative thinking in product design. The result is a more thorough understanding of the end user’s needs and likes. Students also gain knowledge of the techniques required to deploy a design that exceeds user expectations — while building product loyalty.

You'll gain:

  • Exposure to foundational design skills including free-form sketching, UX feature analysis, concept modeling.
  • The application of these skills to design challenges.
  • Effective prototyping and testing.
  • Design skills for services and experiences.

Curriculum Details

Across both courses in the Product Design Innovation certificate, students will learn design principles and techniques for product development that can be applied to tangible products, services, experiences, and related systems. The coursework challenges students to apply their learning in the context of research, sketching, model making, user testing, and presentation. Students will use traditional design skills as they visualize and represent design concepts and solutions. They'll consider holistic "product" offerings that span UI/UX, physical products, and human activity as they move through the coursework.


  • Learn methods to understand a breadth of user needs
  • Gain skills in techniques and applications to create tangible products and product features
  • Hone skills needed to visualize and represent concepts efficiently
  • Generate a range of solutions via methods of early prototyping and testing


This course is an introduction to design principles for product development and also instructs students in techniques and applications for tangible products. During the course, students will learn about the design process and the steps designers take from an understanding of user needs to the creation of a fully considered solution that meets those needs and delights the user. Building on the general principles introduced in the course, the course will give students the opportunity to apply their learning in the context of tangible products (research, sketching, model making, user testing and presentation). Students experience the use of traditional design skills (drawing, mockups and model making) in the visualization and representation of design concepts and solutions. This course not only introduces design innovation, but also provides training in a physical product context so that students can hone skills and techniques needed to visualize and represent product concepts efficiently and accurately.

The relationship among design, product development, and business is explored with class projects, readings, discussions, and the analysis of artifacts and process. Through case histories, lectures and a variety of hands-on exercises, students are exposed to design thinking and practice.


  • Learn techniques to design services and experiences, easily distinguishing and shifting between different perspectives on the same design problem space
  • Leverage service and experience innovation frameworks to explain how an offering unfolds for people
  • Design holistic "product" offerings that span UI/UX, physical products, and human activity
  • Gain fluency to articulate offerings that are made up of systems of products, services and other components


This course will define and study services, experiences, and related systems. Students will also learn the basics of designing services and experiences. Innovators who focus on these areas create new offerings for businesses with a primary focus on the quality of the human interactions and experiences that are often engrained in the heart of functional and/or tangible products. Essentially, this course will push students to consider holistic "product" offerings that span UI/UX, physical products, and human activity. In this course, students will first study the nature of services and experiences and then work in small project teams to analyze leading design solutions as well as to create new ones. Service and experience design frameworks will also be used both for the analysis of existing offerings as well as to propose innovative solutions.

The learning will take place via lectures, studio projects, and verbal and written exposition. Students will be working in familiar and unfamiliar forms including concepts for products, documents, events, spaces, activities, scripts, and software. Classwork will be done individually and in teams. By the end of this course, students should be able to do the following: Easily distinguish and shift between different perspectives on the same design problem space, leverage service, and experience innovation frameworks to explain how an offering unfolds for people, speak articulately about offerings that are made up of systems of products, services, and other components.

Am I a Good Fit?

The iii's online coursework attracts career-minded individuals who are looking for a flexible learning structure that allows them to go to school and continue working full time.

Highly qualified candidates demonstrate a passion for product & service development, innovation, and/or entrepreneurship and have the following background. Sound like you? Learn more about the admissions process.