Frequently Asked Questions
What makes this degree different?
MSIVD is a transdisciplinary degree, erasing traditional academic siloes. Venture development and leadership require a cross-section of knowledge and skill, and thus, the curriculum cuts across business, engineering and design, the three academic disciplines that are most often cited by innovators and leaders as the key to innovation.
Can you explain what experience-based learning means?
Students are expected to create and develop a start-up venture and defend it. They will go through each step of the process, so that by the time they graduate, they will have lived experience in innovation and venture development. Their work will be honed, tested and challenged by peers, faculty, mentors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurial leaders from within and outside ASU.
I work for a company and am going back to school. Is this program for me?
Absolutely. This program teaches not only entrepreneurship but also intrapreneurship. Your learning and experience will be valuable to an existing organization and its growth just as it would be valuable in a startup or early stage environment.
What are the admission requirements for this program?
In addition to the MSIVD program requirements, applicants must fulfill the Graduate College admission requirements. Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution. They will need to submit the online graduate application and application fee, official transcripts, professional resume, statement of intent, and proof of English proficiency (international students).
What undergraduate degree is required?
Anyone with an undergrad degree can apply. There is no requirement for a degree in one of the three main disciplines of the program.
What degree will I receive?
An MS in Innovation and Venture Development – from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, the W. P. Carey School of Business and Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
How much will this program cost?
In addition to ASU’s standard tuition cost per credit hour and mandatory student fees, there is a program fee of $4,000.00 per semester associated with the MSIVD program. This is a one year, 30 credit hour program during which students will enroll in 12 credits in the fall and spring semesters, following by 6 credits in the summer. The current cost per credit hour can be viewed by using ASU’s online Tuition Estimator tool.
Are scholarship opportunities available?
Competitive scholarships will be available through the program. Additionally, all students are encouraged to use the ASU Scholarship Search to locate scholarships available to students of The Design School. The MSIVD program also has a STEM designation, which activates expanded benefits for veterans, as well as scholarship programs structured to support students in STEM-related fields.
Can the program be completed on a part-time basis and/or while working?
The program is a full time one year graduate degree program and is very challenging. It is not possible to complete it on a part-time basis. However, we are actively recruiting for students who have had some work experience and now want to expand their horizons at the graduate level, but they will need to be able to work on the degree full time.
What is a typical day?
Because the program is venture-based, assignments and experiences will evolve throughout the year. It is a campus-based program, and the interaction between team members is a core experience and one of the most valuable elements.
What do we mean by “venture.”
We define venture in the broadest way possible: inside corporations, independent enterprises, for-profit, social ventures, systems, products and services.
Do I need to have an idea for a product or service before applying?
No. In fact, part of the learning is for students to choose a “pain point” and develop an idea that solves the problem they identify. Pain points may come from industry partners, from faculty and from students.
What if I already have an idea I want to work on?
Because it’s important to learn to identify needs, we are looking for students with a problem they want to solve, or an issue they care about more than an answer. MSIVD is not an incubator, where founders and teams who are already working on an idea come for guidance and support.
Is travel part of the program?
Does it have a global perspective and if so, how?
Yes, ASU has long had a strong global perspective and this program furthers that philosophy. Startups can be working on local, regional, national or international problems.
How does this program relate to the other ASU entrepreneurial activities such as Venture Devils etc?
ASU has many resources dedicated to helping develop successful entrepreneurs, as well as providing seed funding through competitions and other avenues. However, those are aimed at students of varying academic levels pursuing individual and/or team concepts. This is a formal multi-disciplinary MS degree that teaches critical thinking skills to make connections, synthesize different perspectives, and acquire new knowledge -- all toward supporting the development of invaluable new solutions to existing problems. In addition, this is a venture-based learning experience where students will also learn the nuts and bolts of starting and managing a real business.
What was the impetus for the creation of this program? Who determined that there was a need for such a program and how?
There is a growing recognition within the business community that transdisciplinary knowledge and experience are keys to success in a rapidly changing world. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders have been deeply involved in the development, implementation and funding of this unique program. ASU has long had a focus on transdisciplinary learning and MS Innovation and Venture Development is a major step in the University’s commitment to that concept.
What types of opportunities will there be throughout the program for students to make connections with potential employers/partners after graduation?
Deep interaction with the business community, whether for-profit or non-profit, is an integral part of this program. Validated marketplace pain points will be sourced and vetted from industry partners, internal and external entrepreneurial ecosystems, faculty, donors, and friends of the University. Student ventures will be formed to address these identified “pain points”. One of our donors commented that “for many students in the program this will be like an extended one year job interview”.
What types of jobs will graduates of the program likely do?
Graduates from transdisciplinary programs that provide experience in the innovation process frequently get jobs where the mandate is to lead change; launch new products or divisions, lead the ‘Innovation lab’ or other key roles in organizations that are disrupting the status quo.
Because MSIVD graduates define their own ventures, they tend to work at things they love, and bring additional ability to innovate in those fields, to actually enhance and expand them. MSIVD helps you think about your own potential in a fresh, bigger way, then go out into the world prepared to make big things happen.