This innovative course has been featured on CNN and written in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Businessweek. The course is hosted by the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan and is taught jointly by faculty members Eric Svaan of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and Stephanie Tharp from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Hear former instructors Bill Lovejoy and John Marshall describe the IPD Course

In this course, each team acts as an independent firm in competition with other teams (firms). The instructors announce a product class, and each team must design and build a fully functional product within that class. The product class is broad enough to allow a wide variety of design solutions.

Given the product class, each team must work through market research, concept generation and selection, technical development, production process design, pricing, inventory stocking, and advertising. Teams must design, build and compete with a real, fully functional, customer-ready product. Teams compete with their products through two channels. The first is a web-based "trade show" where teams promote their products via student-designed websites, and people from around the world log into the IPD trade show to vote. A team's market share (and sales revenues) is computed from the share of total votes it gets nationally. The second, a physical trade show, will be held in April. Here, community members are invited to view the physical products, listen to teams' promotions, and vote for their favorites. Again, market shares and revenues are computed based on these votes.

IPD is an energy-intensive, 6-credit course (students get three credits in 2 of the following three disciplines: art & design, business, and engineering). The class typically meets on Wednesdays from 6–9 p.m. in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus, but most of the work is done outside of class to design and build products.


Enrollment Directions

If you are looking for Art & Design grad credit, then register for ARTDES 516, (IPD, three credits for Rackham and Non-Rackham Graduates)

Register for both ArtDes 416 and TO 548 for a total of 6 credit hours.

MBA Students register for TO 548 and IOE 548 for a total of 6 credit hours.

Graduate Engineering Students typically register for both TO 548 and IOE 548 but should consult with their Graduate Program Advisor to confirm how to register for this class (and how it will count). Note: Master of Engineering in Manufacturing (MEM) students may enroll and count IOE 548 at 3 credits toward their "Manufacturing/Design Integration" or "Engineering Core" degree requirement. MEM students may enroll in both IOE 548 and TO 548 (each 3 credits), but MEM students may count only the 3 IOE 548 credits toward their degree program and not TO 548-3 credits. This decision was reached by the MEM Council some years ago; please follow up with the program advisor if you have questions.

Dual MBA/MEng Students: Register for both TO 548 and IOE 548 for 6 credit hours (and use 3 credits toward your engineering requirements and 3 credits toward your business requirements), however, you cannot "double count" this class for your MEng degree (please talk to program advisor if you have questions).

View past IPD Trade shows here >

View photos from all events here >