SCHEV Approves VCU's Master of Product Innovation Program

Virginia Commonwealth University has received approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to offer a master’s degree program in product innovation, making VCU the first university in the United States to offer such a program.

The VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation will launch the new program, which is designed to build on a student’s undergraduate degree to advance understanding and competence in the product innovation area, in the 2011-2012 academic year. The program emphasizes how to function as an effective team member and be a team leader for cross-functional teams.

“The introduction of this program is timely as much attention has focused on the importance of innovation to future economic prosperity, said Kenneth Kahn, Ph.D., director of the da Vinci Center. “There is a particular interest in having universities instill the spirit of innovation among students and faculty. The comprehensive program prides itself on delivering a practical, hands-on experience so that students upon graduation can immediately fill positions as leading product innovators.”

The da Vinci Center is a collaboration of VCU’s schools of the Arts, Business and Engineering and serves as a hub for interdisciplinary innovation to prepare students for a career in product creation. The master of product innovation program embraces and equally covers subjects across these three schools via a comprehensive and integrative curriculum.

The curriculum consists of a minimum 30 credit hours and a two-week boot camp prior to the start of the first class. The program culminates with a hands-on, yearlong master project to synthesize learning in the program and give students a real product innovation experience by having them develop a real product. The program defines product broadly to encompass many types of offering, including service and idea offerings.

“We are very excited to offer this unique program,” said Kahn. “Students enrolling in this program will receive a very enthralling educational experience that when completed will provide graduates with clearer purpose and ability to deliver on product innovation.”

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see