The Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Venture Innovation in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas has launched a Master of Science in product innovation to provide participants with an in-demand business skill set and to address a training and talent gap felt by companies of all sizes across the Northwest Arkansas region.
The degree targets recent graduates and mid-career professionals who want to develop the skills to create, launch and manage products in the context of a startup venture or innovative industry environment. The curriculum, housed in Walton College and overseen by Taryn Mead, a teaching assistant professor in the SEVI department, highlights needs-based product design, prototype development and testing, business model development and validation, and project and product management.
|Taryn Mead, teaching assistant professor for the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Venture Innovation, is the program director for the Master of Science in Product Innovation degree.|
“Taking a new product from the spark of an idea through to the details of production and launch is an exciting path for both entrepreneurs and innovators within existing companies,” Mead said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to support a diverse group of professionals through this process and to expand inclusivity, equity and sustainability as influences in the product development process.”
Alongside the coursework for the Master of Science in product innovation, each student will participate in one of two experiential tracks overseen by the University of Arkansas’ Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation:
- A new venture development track, in which students will work alongside graduate students from other degree programs, on interdisciplinary teams, to advance existing product ideas in the context of a startup company.
- A practicum track, in which students will participate in a business incubation program such as the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program or the Greenhouse BioDesign Program.
The one-year, full-time graduate program begins in the summer of 2023. Students may apply now. As part of their application, students may express interest in an experiential track, but each accepted candidate will receive individual advising to determine the most appropriate path.
Within the program, students choose a practicum to develop a new product or product-focused business, participate in a product incubator program or a new venture development and test product concepts and prototypes.
The Master of Science in product innovation requires 30 hours of coursework, which takes place over a 12-month period. The application deadline is Feb. 15. A waiver of the GMAT or GRE may be available for qualified students.
To apply to the program or to learn more, visit Master of Science in Product Innovation.