Innovation Sprints | Gordon Institute at Tufts University
Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

Designed for people

who want to make things happen.

The real magic happens outside the classroom.

The MSIM program is built around three Innovation Sprints, made up of 33 total course credits.

So, what does that involve? Fast-paced, intensive team projects that immerse students into the entire innovation cycle: Engaging with customers and testing solutions to real-world problems. Developing in-demand skillsets and inspiring your creativity. Building expertise in marketing, product management, data science and operations.

Fall Semester: Innovation Sprint #1

Get Ready to Run... with Your Ideas

Work with a team to develop a meaningful new product or service idea. Tap into Tufts faculty's cutting-edge research to create innovative solutions and get world-class mentorship. Let your passion drive your work: Use infrared light to detect breast cancer, develop wearable tech to give independence to the visually-impaired community, treat wastewater via nanofiltration membrane technology. 

To fuel this Sprint, you will participate in 13 credits:

EM 221 – New Product Innovation (3 credits)
Students learn what questions to ask and actions to take at various phases of new product evolution. Emphasis is placed on customer input and cross-functional team roles and responsibilities. The central focus of this course is the development of a new product concept by cross-functional student teams that integrates learning from other first-semester courses. The student teams formally present their concepts at the end of the semester and develop effective techniques to present to senior management and/or prospective investors.
EM 242 – Marketing: Branding and Digital Communications (3 credits)

Developing the marketing strategy, positioning, messaging, branding, and driving implementation of marketing programs for technology ventures will be covered in this course, along with the essentials of concise, compelling, and clear business communications in a digital age. Students learn and apply principles of effective written and oral communication for different purposes and different audiences in the workplace and on digital platforms.

EM 255 – Finance for High-Tech Ventures (3 credits)
Finance for High-Tech Ventures is strategically designed to give you the ability to analyze the financial aspects of a company’s product or service offerings, to evaluate the bottom-line impact of systems and processes, and communicate this information effectively—skills that are essential for anyone launching a startup or leading a company’s new business development efforts. This hands-on course includes business case analysis and a capstone project that entails the creation of a fully vetted financial plan for a new product or service.
EM 263 – Leading for Impact (3 credits)
Students learn the basic concepts of leadership, management and teamwork. The uniqueness of this course is within the teaching methodology, which has been developed to accelerate the advancement of self-awareness and interpersonal competencies. Specific topics include: personality types (Myers-Briggs type indicator assessment), best practices in forming and maintaining team performance, giving and receiving feedback, individual and team creativity, communicating to inspire and influencing without authority. The course builds toward systems thinking, team decision making, communication across cultures, shared visions and organizational change.
EM 292 – Sprint Lab (1 credit)

The Sprint Lab is a collaborative update session where student teams each share the progress they’ve made on the Sprint projects, discuss challenges, brainstorm new ideas and solutions, and get feedback and coaching along the way from faculty and each other.

Seminars
  • Innovators Mindset Series (Periodic Events/Lectures): Designed to expose you to stimulating and interesting people, places, and experiences.
    • Unbounded Perspectives Seminars (3 sessions/3 hours each for the semester)
    • Other Events/Lecturers/Company Visits as scheduled to inspire your creativity & learn from local, cutting-edge leaders
  • Career and Personal Development: Year-long comprehensive program supports your professional development and prepares you for your future. Learn how to market yourself and navigate the job search through seminars on topics like resume writing, interviewing and networking. (1.5 hours/week)

Spring Semester: Innovation Sprint #2

The innovation cycle continues, but even cooler this time.

Whether you continue your venture or take on a fresh challenge next semester, you’ll dive deeper into the innovation process. Prove the real world viability of your new product or services by further developing your pitch and building out your strategy using data and testing the idea in the market or venture competitions (like the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition).

During this semester, you'll participate in 17 credits:

EM 212 – Applied Data Science (4 credits)
Foundational skills for data science practice in business. Using data and systematic methods to generate business value. Shaping data practices within organizations.
EM 253 – Technology & Innovation Strategy (3 credits)
Students gain the knowledge and skills to lead and manage innovation initiatives in technology based companies. Topics include understanding technology strategy and its role in the overall business strategy of commercial firms, the role of innovation in entrepreneurial ventures as well as in established firms, and developing skills to present new product development proposals to senior management and/or prospective investors
EM 294 - Innovation & Management Special Topics (3 credits)

This course is a special topics course which varies each year based on current trends. Prior topics have included, Conflict and Negotiation, Organizational Design of the 21st century, Managing Operations, Economic Strategies for the 21st century, and Designing for Inclusion

Electives 1 and 2 (Combined 6 credits)

Choose two elective classes within the Tufts School of Engineering, School of Arts & Sciences or the Fletcher School of International Law & Diplomacy. Whatever best matches your interests and career goals.

If you're participating in the Dual Degree program, your electives must be from your selected discipline within the School of Engineering. 

EM 292 – Sprint Lab (1 credit)

The Sprint Lab is a collaborative update session where student teams each share the progress they’ve made on the Sprint projects, discuss challenges, brainstorm new ideas and solutions, and get feedback and coaching along the way from faculty and each other.

Seminars
  • Innovators Mindset Series (Periodic Events/Lectures): Designed to expose you to stimulating and interesting people, places, and experiences.
    • Unbounded Perspectives Seminars (3 sessions/3 hours each for the semester)
    • Other Events/Lecturers/Company Visits as scheduled to inspire your creativity & learn from local, cutting-edge leaders
  • Career and Personal Development: Year-long comprehensive program supports your professional development and prepares you for your future. Learn how to market yourself and navigate the job search through seminars on topics like resume writing, interviewing and networking. (1.5 hours/week)

Summer Semester: Innovation Sprint #3

The most real-world experience yet.

Choose from a variety of hands-on industry experiences to build your resume & your real-world connections, all within the EM281 Capstone Innovation & Leadership Project (3 credits).

Options include:

  • Internship or full-time job: Gain valuable industry experience through an internship or launch your innovation career as a full-time employee at a company anywhere in the world.
  • Entrepreneur: Continue working on your previous Sprint projects(s) with the goal of turning it into a stand-alone venture.
  • Consulting experience: Join a Tufts Gordon Institute student consulting team to solve a company’s innovation challenge.

Options to Extend the MSIM Program

Stay another semester to extend your internship, work on your venture, or slow down the pace by taking your electives in a second fall semester. Or deepen your technical expertise with our Dual Degree program that combines your MSIM with a technical engineering master’s.

Dual Degree Program – MSIM + MS in Engineering

Develop your innovation, leadership and management skills while also building your technical depth. Earn two degrees - an M.S. Innovation & Management (MSIM) and an M.S. offered by one the six academic departments within the School of Engineering - in an accelerated timeframe and at a reduced cost. 

Learn about more about the Dual Master’s Degree Program.