Master of Science in Innovation and Management

Program Director
Ara Megerdichian

The Master of Science in Innovation and Management (MSIM) program is designed to build on the foundation of strong technical and analytical skills developed in your undergraduate program. The managerial, organizational, and entrepreneurial characteristics of successful executive teams align with six key pillars: Business, Innovation, Management, and Entrepreneurship; Critical Thinking and Project Management; Emotional Intelligence and Cross-Functional Team Alignment; Decision Making and Leadership;  Effective Communication; and Personal and Professional Development.


Most students enroll immediately following their undergraduate degree and others with 1-3 years of work experience post-undergraduate degree completion.

To apply, see Application Process below. Applicants must be formally admitted by The Graduate School after the preliminary recommendation for admission is reached by the MSIM Director. Refer to The Graduate School's Admission Policies webpage for additional information at:

Dates & Deadlines

Priority Scholarship Deadline: December 20; Early Application Deadline: March 15. Applications received after these dates will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Applicants to the MSIM program must complete an online Application for Graduate Admission, which can be accessed at:

The following documents are required in order for your application to be considered complete and eligible for review:

  • Application and the non-refundable $70 application fee
  • Official transcripts from each university attended (MSU transcripts past 1988 need not be submitted)
  • Two letters of recommendation. Please do not ask for letters of recommendation from family members, friends, roommates, etc.
  • 500-1,000 word essay on your motivations for entering the program
  • International students must also submit official minimum test scores from acceptable testing agencies (TOEFL: 80-internet-based [iBT], IELTS: 6.5, or 120 Duolingo), a financial certificate with supporting documents, and degree certificates.

The MSIM program is highly selective, with a limited number of openings available to qualified students. The MSIM Director will admit those students whose previous academic performance and/or work experience indicate a desire and ability to excel. Test scores and records of academic performance are evaluated individually in the admissions process. Of equal importance, however, are the applicant's personal qualifications, accomplishments, and letters of recommendation. The applicant's entire file is reviewed in order to ensure the admission of those with the highest aptitude, motivation, and qualifications.

More details about MSIM requirements can be found at:

Financial Assistance

The Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (Jabs) offers scholarship assistance for graduate students. A scholarship application is made available by the MSIM Director after acceptance into the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

For a list of frequently asked questions, please see the MSIM webpage within the Jabs website at:

Program Requirements

The MSIM is a 30-credit, non-thesis one-year graduate program with no electives. The students will complete the program in one year (two consecutive semesters) with 15 credits in each semester. Students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 semester grade point average and at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at all times while in the MSIM program.

The MSIM program is a 30-credit, non-thesis master’s degree taught in a cohort model. Jabs will dedicate one of its collaborative learning spaces (Jabs 207) to the program. The students will work out of this space for the duration of their program at MSU.  Each class will be taught in the Jabs 207, and the students will be allocated space within the room for their break-out teamwork.

As a result of the cohort model and the strong experiential learning aspect of the program, most of the classes for the degree will be required, leaving 6 credits available to the students as electives. Students will have the option of completing the degree in 2-semesters, 2-semesters plus a summer capstone or in 3 semesters. We believe our international students will elect to extend their course of study for the full 3 semesters, whereas many of our MSU students will elect to complete the degree in a single academic year. MSU students will be allowed to reserve up to 6 credits of graduate-level classes from their undergraduate degree into the program.

New required courses that will be part of the MSIM program include:

Fall Semester:                 13 Credits taught within the cohort model

51XX     Innovation and Product Introduction:                                 3- Credits

  • Students begin the course by learning market research, customer input, and consumer behavior. Interdisciplinary teams will integrate with learning from other first-semester courses for the development of a new product concept, identification of target markets, assessment of competing products, and identifying distribution channels. 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.

51XX     Finance for Entrepreneurs:                                                   3-Credits

  • Finance for Entrepreneurs is focused on analyzing the financial aspects of a new venture. Emphasis is on financial forecasting and access to funding. Topics include strategic financing, financing alternatives, financial contracting, venture valuation, cash flow projection, capital budgeting, capital structure, and risk-sharing. The course revolves around cases and culminates in a capstone project consisting of a complete business plan for an innovative new product or service.

51XX     Marketing, Branding, and Communications:                      3-Credits

  • This course is focused on developing marketing strategy, branding, positioning, messaging, and driving implementation of marketing programs for a variety of ventures. Students define successful branding strategies and make and implement action plans based on strategic marketing. The course will emphasize communicating through dynamic oral presentations and clear and concise writing for a variety of audiences.

51XX     Leadership in Business:                                                                      3-Credits

  • Students learn the basic concepts of leadership, management, and teamwork. The course will introduce concepts such as motivation, leadership, teamwork, organizational design, and diversity. Students will learn the impact of personality styles, the essentials of emotional competence, and the value of self-awareness. Leadership and cognitive styles will be covered, and cognitive biases will be introduced, demonstrated, and discussed. Practical skills will be developed in giving and receiving feedback, fostering individual and team creativity, and communicating to inspire and influence without authority.

51XX     Innovation Sprint One:                                                          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.

Spring Semester:         11-Credits taught within the cohort model

51XX     Business Data Analytics                                                        3-Credits

  • This course emphasizes the practical application of information technology to improve business efficiency and effectiveness. The course emphasizes both analyses of raw data and introduction to common business data analysis platforms. Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics will be covered, along with practical exercises.

51XX     Innovation in the Technology Sector and Beyond                      3-Credits

  • Students gain the skills to lead technological innovation both within the technology sector and in a wide variety of other industries. The focus will be on Montana-based industries, ranging from photonics to software development to recreation to energy to land resources. Topics include understanding intellectual property and the role of technological innovation in entrepreneurial ventures as well as in established firms. Emphasis on presenting new product proposals to senior management and/or prospective investors.

51XX     Business, Government, and Society                                     3-Credits

  • This interdisciplinary course deals with the relationship between business and government, as well as the importance of corporate social responsibility and the role of ethical decision making. The course introduces basic business law but also emphasizes ethical behavior above and beyond legal requirements. The course will address a business' impact on a variety of stakeholder groups, including shareholders, customers, employees, and communities. The role of government regulation will be addressed, as well as the associated trade-offs in a market-based economy.

51XX     Innovation Sprint Two:                                                          2-Credits

  • During the spring semester, the students will continue to advance their business plan from the fall courses and sprint. 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.  As a continuation of the Fall Sprint, the central focus of this course continues to be the advancement of a new product concept by cross-functional student teams.

Electives: Students can elect to complete their degree requirements with 6 additional credits via electives.  Electives can be taken in the Fall, Spring, Summer or students can elect to extend their residency at MSU into the following fall to complete their degree. We believe that many of our international students will elect to extend their stay.

  • Electives must be approved by the Director of the MSIM program. Electives must be relevant to the students career objectives.  

For students who do not complete their degree with electives, will have the option of completing their degree with a Capstone Leadership and Innovation Project:

Capstone Leadership and Innovation Project:                                  6-Credits

There are several options for how a student will be able to conduct their Capstone Leadership and Innovation Project. These include:

  • Internship or full-time job: Either through an internship or full-time job, students will propose a specific capstone project. Projects will be approved by the Director.
  • Entrepreneur: Students may consider pursuing their sprint project or alternative idea as an entrepreneurial endeavor. Students will define a specific capstone project as a deliverable. Projects will be approved by the Director.

Note:  The overall program has been modeled after a similar program that Dean Ranalli created while he was at Tufts University. In creating the program at Tufts, the Gordon Institute Dean conducted extensive research of MEM programs at Dartmouth, MIT, and Duke. Elements of the proposed program at MSU have been inspired by these and other programs.

Refer to The Graduate School's Policies and Procedures webpage for additional degree requirements at: Students are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of both the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship (Jabs) and The Graduate School.