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Master of Science

Product Innovation

Product Design for the 21st Century

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View MS PRIN Curriculum
 
Master of Science - 2-Year Sample Plan
Progressive Degree - 5-Year Sample Plan

*Fall 2020 application is now closed. Fall 2021 application will open in August with the deadline January 15.*

The USC Iovine and Young Academy’s Master of Science in Product Innovation (MSPRIN) offers a revolutionary new degree for advanced students wishing to pursue product design for the 21st century. Reimagining the traditional concept of a product to encompass not just physical objects but also virtual, multi-dimensional and cross-platform devices, environments and experiences, this groundbreaking program provides students with an expertise in the development and launch of products that address the needs of a technology enhanced global society. In addition to developing proficiency in collaborative design methodologies, students also learn to work within existing product ecosystems to take ideas from concept through prototyping, funding, manufacturing, marketing and distribution, and to envision new models for product-driven businesses.

Unique to the Academy’s degree is the integration of four core disciplines, deemed “new literacies” for the 21st century. Interweaving design, technology, business and communication, Academy coursework prepares students to adapt quickly to changing work environments and consumer or user needs. Utilizing the Academy’s signature cohort model, students from diverse backgrounds and areas of practice including design, engineering, computer science, architecture, and visual and interactive media combine knowledge and experience to ideate bold solutions to society’s problems, and products that will define the next century of consumer- and user-based industries. As is standard with all Academy programs, students have unprecedented ability to tailor their degree path to specific career needs and outcomes, and to set their own course for inventing the future.

Progressive Master of Science Option

In addition to the traditional two-year course of study for applicants holding a qualified bachelor’s degree, the MS in Product Innovation also offers a progressive option for select USC undergraduates who wish to begin work on the master’s degree while simultaneously completing their USC bachelor’s degree (see requirements below).

Prospective Student Interest List

If you’re a prospective student and would like to receive more information as well as notification when the application becomes available, please fill out this form.

financial aid

A number of merit-based scholarships are available for qualified students as well as university financial aid.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15 FOR Fall admission


application requirements


MASTER OF SCIENCE admission

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in a design-related field, including: all areas of design, such as graphic, industrial, product (including fashion), and UI/UX or interaction design (including games); select areas of engineering; and architecture. Applicants who possess equivalent professional experience or who hold degrees in other fields, including business, are welcome to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

progressive MASTER OF SCIENCE ADMISSION

USC undergraduates who wish to apply for the Progressive Master of Science degree must have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of application and a major or minor course of study in the Iovine and Young Academy. All other majors are welcome to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who are pursuing majors in Design, Architecture, Interactive Media and Games, Engineering, or Business may have learned skills and abilities that may be most applicable to the Progressive Master of Science track.

In order to be eligible to apply, students must have successfully completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, but not have exceeded 96 total units excluding AP, IB, or transfer units earned prior to graduation from high school.  More information about USC Progressive Degree programs can be found here.


HOW TO APPLY

MASTER OF SCIENCE APPLICANTS: Applicants must submit the USC Graduate Application for Admission. To initiate the application process:

1. Create an account
2. Select program level as "Master"
3. Select school as "Iovine and Young Academy"
4. Select "Product Innovation (M.S.)"

In addition to the USC Graduate Application, applicants must also submit a proposal video, creative portfolio, writing sample and current resume (details provided below).

Applicants from outside the U.S. can find additional information here

TRANSFER APPLICANTS FOR THE MASTER OF SCIENCE: The Academy will consider graduate unit credit for courses taken at other institutions or other USC schools on a case-by-case basis only. It is important to note that the curriculum is cohort-based, and in most cases will require two years at full-time attendance to complete. While graduate coursework taken elsewhere may be taken into account for consideration of advanced standing, there is no guarantee it will be credited toward Academy graduation requirements.

PROGRESSIVE MASTER OF SCIENCE APPLICANTS FROM IOVINE AND YOUNG ACADEMY:

Applicants must complete the Application for Admission to a Progressive Master’s Program and upload the following materials to the Academy's application portal

  1. Application Form
  2. Proposed Course Plan - the course plan must include all remaining undergraduate course requirements and at least two-thirds of the graduate program requirements
  3. STARS Report
  4. Two letters of recommendation from USC faculty addressing the applicant's preparedness for graduate study and suitability for the degree. The process to request letters of recommendation is initiated through the Academy's application portal

In addition to the Application for Admission to a Progressive Master's Program, Academy majors must submit an up-to-date creative porfolio, writing sample and resume (details provided below).


PROGRESSIVE MASTER OF SCIENCE APPLICANTS FROM USC SCHOOLS OTHER THAN THE IOVINE AND YOUNG ACADEMY: Applicants must complete the Application for Admission to a Progressive Master’s Program and upload the following materials to the Academy's application portal

  1. Application Form
  2. Proposed Course Plan - the course plan must include all remaining undergraduate course requirements and at least two-thirds of the graduate program requirements
  3. STARS Report
  4. Two letters of recommendation from USC faculty addressing the applicant's preparedness for graduate study and suitability for the degree. The process to request letters of recommendation is initiated through the Academy's application portal

In addition to the Application for Admission to a Progressive Master's Program, applicants must also submit a proposal video, creative portfolio, writing sample and current resume (details provided below). 

Required Supplemental Materials

The following supplemental materials (proposal video, creative portfolio, writing sample and resume) must be uploaded here.

Proposal video

All applicants (excluding current Iovine and Young majors) are required to submit an original video of no more than one minute that illustrates an original idea for an innovative product (e.g. physical, digital, virtual or a combination); service; or system that solves a problem, addresses a need, or provides an opportunity. The selected focus may be local or global and the proposed idea need not have a market value or predictable consumer base. The idea should encompass considerations of desirability, feasibility, and viability. 

It is recommended that you submit more than just a “selfie video” discussing your pitch. The video should exemplify your ability to think creatively and illustrate both your personal style and facility with visual communication and storytelling.

Creative Portfolio

The Academy is looking for expressions of creativity and integrative thinking. In particular, we are looking for demonstrated ability in the integration of ideas toward the creation of things (e.g. physical, digital, virtual) that are bigger or more impactful than the sum of their parts. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio or collection of creative work completed within the last 3-5 years (max. five project submissions). In this context, “creative work” may also include creative solutions to problems in the realm of technology. In addition to visuals, you must include:

> a title and description for each project submission
> details of your role in the project, and the roles of any collaborators
> the inspiration or prompt for the idea
> an explanation of the process followed in its development

Select one or more of the following (up to five total submissions):

Visual arts and design: This may include images of 2D or 3D work produced in the fields of product or industrial design, architecture, graphic design, package design, fashion design, environmental design, web-based or mobile digital media design; or in fine or media arts disciplines such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textiles, etc.

Time-based media: This may include examples of narrative or art film and video, games, motion graphics, audio recordings, etc. Audio recordings can include performances of original music, etc. Audio or video recordings of non-original content (performances of others’ work, mashups, remixes, etc.) are discouraged as evidence of creativity.

Evidence of creative science or technology: This should cover technological projects that required ability in and integration of multiple disciplines or creative problem solving. Evidence may include photos, wireframes, schematics, video, etc.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL APPLICANTS: It is impossible to efficiently review lengthy or large submissions. If you wish for faculty to understand your creative output, we strongly urge careful selection and curation of submissions to show your best work in the most concise way possible. Excerpts, clip reels, and compilations are preferable to complete submissions. It is also important to select entries that will differentiate you from others, and highlight your individuality.

Writing Sample and Resume

Applicants must submit an excerpt of no more than three pages that shows your ability to write in an expository or analytical way. The excerpt may be selected from work you have done in a previous degree or in your capacity as a professional.

Applicants must also submit a current resume.

Admission Decisions

Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2020, and admissions decisions made on a rolling basis. Applicants may be requested to participate in a live video interview.

The University of Southern California admits students of any race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability or mental disability. The University’s full non-discrimination policy can be found on the Web at policies.usc.edu


REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

In addition to successful completion of all required coursework, students must complete and submit for review a capstone project. The capstone project will be reviewed by a faculty panel under the auspices of PRIN575b. Students must receive passing marks from the faculty on the quality, originality, and rigor employed in the capstone project in order to graduate. For detailed list of curricular requirements click here.


VISIT THE IOVINE AND YOUNG ACADEMY

If you would like to be added to our prospective student interest list, please add your information here .