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MSTI Curriculum

Learn how to:

IDENTIFY USER NEEDS
UNDERSTAND AND NAVIGATE DESIGN CHALLENGES
PROTOTYPE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
PITCH AN IDEA TO POTENTIAL FUNDERS
LAUNCH A STARTUP

Coursework and Schedule

To earn your Master of Science in Technology Innovation from the University of Washington, you need to complete 60 graduate credits over 5 quarters of study.

All courses are required and must be taken sequentially, but in certain limited cases you may be able to exchange courses for electives.

The culmination of the MSTI is the Launch Project, where student teams work on projects proposed in partnership with industry and academic experts.

The Launch Projects provide students an excellent opportunity to apply the skills they have learned to a real-world problem and to build close connections with other professionals and innovators in the field.

  • Q1 (Autumn)

    Courses

    Design Thinking Studio

    Credits: 3

    Working in teams, students run through an entire design process several times, executing methods to design, prototype and evaluate ideas for technology innovations.

    Essentials of Entrepreneurship

    Credits: 3

    Students learn how to identify new business opportunities and build a venture to exploit those opportunities – whether as part of a new business or an existing one.

    Fabrication & Physical Prototyping

    Credits: 3

    Students learn the concepts and skills required to design, prototype and fabricate physical artifacts, including 2-D and 3-D CAD modeling, high-fidelity prototyping (laser cutting, CNC milling, 3-D printing) and low-fidelity prototyping (paper, foam, media). Industry standards for manufacturing are also covered.

    Programming for Digital & Physical User Interfaces

    Credits: 4

    Students build fundamental programming skills, with a focus on sensor-based signals (including audio and images) and useful tools for prototyping software and hardware user interfaces.

  • Q2 (Winter)

    Courses

    Hardware/Software Lab 1 ( Connected Devices track)

    Credits: 4

    This is the required winter quarter Lab 1 course for the Connected Devices track. Students execute a series of projects to integrate software and hardware concepts learned in the Prepare phase of the program.

    History & Future of Technology

    Credits: 2

    Students gain an understanding and appreciation of past trends in hardware and software technology, in order to think about future technology trends and develop prototypes for futuristic ideas.

    Introduction to Sensors & Circuits

    Credits: 3

    Students develop the background and techniques needed to connect digital systems to the physical world.

    Managing Data and Signal Processing

    Credits: 3

    Students learn the basics of digital signal processing and machine learning, as well as simple methods for storing, managing and retrieving data in the cloud.

    Robotics Lab 1 (Robotics track)

    Credits: 4

    This is the required winter quarter Lab 1 course for the Robotics track. Students learn and apply fundamental principles for robotics applications including basic manipulation and motion planning.

  • Q3 (Spring)

    Courses

    Design Thinking for Technology Innovation

    Credits: 2

    This course introduces students to the core concepts of design thinking as applied to the design of innovations in hardware and software technology.

    Hardware/Software Lab 2 (Connected Devices track)

    Credits: 4

    This the required spring quarter Lab course for the Connected Devices track. Students continue prototyping hardware/software systems, with the added complexity ­­of signal processing, networking, cloud interfaces and web-based user interfaces.

    Introduction to Finance & Accounting for Entrepreneurs

    Credits: 2

    Students learn the basics of finance and accounting for start-up businesses, including reading and understanding a profit-and-loss statement, managing cash flow and margins, and making investments in high-growth businesses.

    Robotics Lab 2 (Robotics track)

    Credits: 4

    This is the required spring quarter Lab course for the Robotics track. Students build on foundational knowledge from Lab 1: Robotics to continue to learn increasingly complex principles for robotics application including mobility and navigation.

    User Research & Evaluation Studio

    Credits: 3

    This project-based course focuses on the user research components of the design process. Students learn methods to engage stakeholders and elicit their needs to provide insight for defining requirements for ethically grounded designs. It also covers aspects of evaluation of technology designs with potential users, including usability and user experience evaluation techniques.

  • Q4 (Summer)

    Courses

    Building Effective Teams

    Credits: 3

    Students learn concepts and principles that are fundamental to developing teams capable of extraordinary performance, helping lay the foundation for high performance in their teams during the launch project.

    Integrated Launch Studio 1

    Credits: 4

    In this first course of a two-quarter course sequence, students work in teams with guidance from industry sponsors to plan and execute the front-end phases of a comprehensive MSTI Launch Project, including problem framing and scoping, exploration of needs and business constraints, and exploration of technology platforms with early prototyping.

    Planning and Managing Hardware/Software Development

    Credits: 2

    Students gain experience in creating a software/hardware product roadmap and an engineering/development plan.

    Visual, Interaction, & Industrial Design Studio

    Credits: 3

    This course immerses students in the theory and practice of basic design concepts for the design of interactive products that are functionally, emotionally and aesthetically appealing.

  • Q5 (Autumn)

    Courses

    Corporate & IP Law for Technology Innovators

    Credits: 2

    This course introduces key areas of business law, including common organizational structures such as corporations, LLCs, and nonprofit/low-profit entities. It also covers the roles of founders, directors and shareholders in each structure, as well as the basics of intellectual property and copyright law.

    Integrated Launch Studio 2

    Credits: 8

    Working in teams, students finalize their launch projects with a focus on proof-of-concept prototyping, business case, and final solution in connected devices or robotics innovation.

    Launch Seminar

    Credits: 2

    This seminar focuses on design and software/hardware industry trends and career outlook. Students develop a personal career vision and plan based on their experience, interests and skills.

2020-2021 MSTI Curriculum

Program Options

Connected Devices Track: Develop smart IoT devices to solve real world problems

The Connected Devices track prepares you to analyze a market for potential business needs, identify the problem space, design and build a series of working prototypes, and propose a business model with go-to-market strategies. You will learn about data management, signal processing, sensors, to develop the hardware and software fueling the growth of the Internet of Things. This holistic approach to technology design and launch will prepare you to work effectively on interdisciplinary development teams across wide variety of organizations, from nimble startups to the world’s largest tech companies.

The program prepares students for roles in rapidly growing fields including:

  • Software development with expertise in AI, machine learning, and cloud computing
  • User experience and human/computer interaction
  • Product design and product development
  • Program management for technology products

Robotics Track: Develop robotic applications that improve how people work, play, and learn

The robotics degree track will help you bridge business principles, human-centered design, and robotics fundamentals like navigation, manipulation, and mobility.

Graduates of the MSTI Robotics Track will be well-equipped to pursue emerging opportunities in product management, design, validation, and testing roles in robotics related industries including:

  • Autonomous vehicle and drone applications
  • Assistive robotics applications in healthcare
  • Collaborative robotics applications for manufacturing and warehouse settings

Admissions

Career Outcomes

Launch Projects