Online MBA in Product ManagementCurriculum

Two Curriculum Cores

By blending MBA and product management core courses, Weatherhead School of Management’s Online MBA in Product Management has a curriculum designed to create future leaders in the growing field of product management. The graduate degree consists of a core MBA suite of courses (28.5 credits) and product management specialization suite of courses (19.5 credits).  

The core MBA courses provide a strong foundation in the basics of business management. The product management courses are structured around four pillars:

  1. Foundations of Product Management
  2. Product Discovery
  3. Product Design and Development
  4. Product Marketing and Growth

MBA Core (28.5 credit hours)

MBA Courses



Product Management Core (19.5 credit hours)



MBAP 450P - Foundations of Product Management

1.50 credit hours

This course will serve as the introduction to the Product Management track in the Online MBA degree. As such, the focus will be on providing a broad overview of the product management function as well as the roles and responsibilities of a product manager.  We will examine some of the key concepts and frameworks that underlie product visioning and product strategy, product road mapping, product design and development, product marketing, and product growth management, and product ecosystem leadership. We will also consider leadership, communication, negotiation, problem-solving and decision-making skills that product managers need to be effective in their role. Artificial intelligence has become an important tool in product management. We will consider some of the emerging applications of AI in product management and the associated risks and benefits. In discussing the different topics in this course, we will draw on examples and case studies from a wide range of industries and markets—for example, digital and non-digital products, B2C and B2B products, and regional/national and global markets. 


MBAP 451P - Product Strategy & Leadership

1.50 credit hours

A critical job of any product manager is to provide leadership to the extended product team. This involves crafting a product vision, developing an associated product strategy, and aligning the product team to execute on that strategy. This course will focus on these key elements of a product manager’s role. We will also emphasize the need for product managers to establish and lead empowered product teams. They need to bring together diverse functional experts (engineering, design, marketing, etc.) and resolve conflicts that may emerge from their differing perspectives and roles in the organization. Increasingly, product managers’ leadership also needs to extend to external partners and the broader ecosystem that is critical for product success. 


MBAP 452P - Product Discovery, Analytics & Customer Insights

1.50 credit hours

In the product development journey, the first (and the most important) step is product discovery, i.e., acquiring a clear understanding of a product opportunity. This requires product managers to not just identify the potential customer (market) but also derive non-obvious insights on customer needs or the ‘job-to-be-done’. Such insights could then be used to build a first-level product concept that matches with the market opportunity. This course will focus on key frameworks and techniques that product managers (and product development teams) can employ to (a) analyze and define the broad market problem, (b) conduct an in-depth customer needs analysis, and (c) formulate and test an initial product concept. The course will emphasize a diverse range of data sources to study customer needs – from qualitative techniques to quantitative techniques. For example, social media and other digital platforms form an important venue to gather and analyze data on customer desires, behaviors, and needs. Similarly, analysis of user behaviors on existing products (product analytics) forms another important vehicle to acquire insights on future customer needs. Thus, in this course, we will consider how different data analytic techniques (relating to both small data and big data) afford deriving rich insights on customer behaviors and needs and how such insights could be converted into an effective product concept. 


MBAP 453P - Business Model Design

1.50 credit hours

Designing and articulating a unique value proposition (VP) forms a critical task for the product team. In this course, we will use a business model framework to examine the key elements of a product’s value proposition and their interrelationships – and the implications for both value creation and value capture. While Product Discovery provides the product team with a deeper understanding of the customers’ problem (or pain points), to address it they have to come up with a unique value proposition as well as the resources, activities, and relationships needed to realize it in the marketplace. Using tools such as business model canvas, we will examine how a product team can answer the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ questions related to addressing a market opportunity. We will also examine how the product team can validate the VP and the associated business model. The course will emphasize digital platforms and digital components as key parts of the business model. We will identify and discuss different types of digital business models and the important underlying concepts such as disintermediation, network effects, and data-based learning that shape their success. We will also discuss how the adaptability, malleability and portability of a digital business model allows a firm to be more responsive to market dynamics as well as pursue faster internationalization of the underlying business. 


MBAP 454P - Product Management and Venturing

1.50 credit hours

Often, the context for product management is a new venture or startup. As such, product managers need to have a foundational understanding of their role in the venturing context and the product management processes therein. This course will focus on providing such an understanding. Specifically, we will consider the key activities that comprise the entrepreneurial journey—from how entrepreneurial opportunities are formed/shaped to how a business model is crafted and executed. We will also consider some of the key issues and challenges that product managers working in a startup will face and the skill set they will need to address those challenges. The first residency of the Online MBA in Product Management program will be part of this course. The 3-day residency will be the first opportunity for the students to meet with each other and tour the Case campus. In addition to networking events and guest speaker talks, the residency will also include site visit to startups and other entrepreneurial entities (e.g., incubators) in the Greater Cleveland area. 


MBAP 455P - Product Architecture & UX Design

1.50 credit hours

The success of a product is critically shaped by its ability to attract users by its features that address visible and latent user needs and how effective the users’ interactions are with the product. A product needs to address cognitively the tasks it is supposed to support, be easy to use and learn, be intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. This course will serve as the introduction to product architecture and user interface design and discuss related design principles and techniques. We will draw on ideas and concepts from a wide range of contexts including industrial design, software design, and service design. The focus will be on providing a broad overview of the product design functions and related interfaces as well as the roles and responsibilities of a product manager in this. We will examine key frameworks and principles that underlie product architecture design, product interaction design, cognitive aspects of design, user experience design and approaches that help develop and evaluate user’s interactions with the products as part of the design process. 


MBAP 456P - Product Development & Delivery

1.50 credit hours

The success of product development depends on product manager’s ability to engage with and learn from diverse types of stakeholders (including customers and end users) during the development process and to integrate that knowledge in converting evolving product ideas into tangible features and capabilities. At the same time, the PM needs to execute the product development process efficiently so that the product is delivered in time, cost, and quality. These two are in many situations in tension and product manager’s role is to successfully manage this tension so as to deliver a viable product. This course will serve as the introduction to contemporary product development processes called commonly as agile development. We will discuss the idea and motivation for agile development, key agile development principles, and associated techniques. We will focus on providing a broad overview of the roles and responsibilities of different developer and user categories as part of the agile development to cater for how such features can be developed as part of the product design process.  We will also examine the principles of agile organization and management, project management principles, and approaches that help product managers evaluate development processes and related outcomes.


MBAP 457P - Building AI Products

1.50 credit hours

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies become more ubiquitous in products and services across industries—in both industrial and consumer settings—product teams will be required to understand the unique aspects of the design and development of AI-based products including the fundamentals of machine/deep learning algorithms and Large Language Models (LLMs). This course will start with an overview of AI technologies (including Generative AI) and their varied applications in different industries. The course will then focus on the different stages of the building of AI-based products including the selection of appropriate AI technologies and the technical and operational requirements to build AI models. We will also consider the design of intelligent human-machine interfaces in different organizational settings including customer service. The course will also focus on the varied risks associated with AI products—at individual, organizational, and societal levels—and the strategies that product teams can adopt to mitigate such risks.


MBAP 458P - Sustainable Product Management

1.50 credit hours

This course will focus on the strategies and practices of Sustainable Product Management (SPM) – why it is becoming a priority for businesses in every sector, what leading companies are doing about it, and how they are doing it. Global issues such as climate change and inequality to concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity are introducing greater levels of complexity into business strategy and operations, with far-reaching implications for how products are designed, developed, produced, and scaled. Effective handling of these issues can lead to new sources of revenue generation and resource productivity, as well as reputational value, while failure to do so can lead to financial and competitive risk. The course will consider a wide range of frameworks and tools that can assist in pursuing sustainable product management as well as the requisite leadership mindset and organizational culture.


MBAP 459P - Digital Marketing & Customer Analytics

1.50 credit hours

Digital marketing and customer analytics are foundational to marketing insight in the digital era because it is the language used to optimize and connect results across all digital marketing tactics (search, social media, email, display, video, etc.). An effective digital marketing analyst is a vital data translator for a business. The cultivation of both technical and soft skills is important in product management and, these skills are taught through this course. Various aspects of digital marketing analytics will be covered with clear examples. Students will develop skills in translating strategic questions of firms into actionable data analysis using different kinds of data.  


MBAP 460P - Managing Product Growth

1.50 credit hours

It is critical for a product manager to ensure that the product (a) scales and grows profitably (in terms of volume and market reach) and (b) evolves to address changing market needs/conditions. This course will focus on the post-launch activities in product lifecycle management – scaling, growth, evolution, and sunsetting. It will start with a focus on product scaling and consider how product scaling strategies may vary for digital and non-digital products. We will also examine platform-based strategies for product scaling. Following that we will focus on diverse types of strategies for driving product growth – for example, from the niche to the masses, from domestic to international, and from product to platform. We will then consider product evolution strategies – how to ‘read’ changing market trends and develop plans to transform existing products to stay relevant for the future. In some instances, such assessments may reveal the need for sunsetting the product. The broader focus of the course will be on imparting a deep understanding of the product manager’s role in ensuring product growth and profitability as well as its continued relevance vis-à-vis changing markets.


MBAP 461P & MBAP 462P - Experiential Project in Project Management I & II

3.0 credit hours

These two project-based courses (scheduled on consecutive semesters) will involve student teams pursuing a sponsored product management project. The projects will be sponsored by a wide range of companies (from across industries and geographies). Instructors will help student teams pick projects that fit with their career goals so as to enhance the long-term value they derive from the project work. Note that the nature of the projects would vary – for example, while some projects may involve identifying and assessing new product opportunities or designing and developing new products, others may involve developing feasible pathways to enhance the growth of existing products. It is expected that student teams will require 14 weeks to complete a project (i.e., they will continue their work across the two courses). However, at the end of each course, students will get an opportunity to present their work and engage with the sponsors. Also, there will be a residency associated with the second course. Specifically, toward the end of the second course, students will visit the campus for a 3-day residency. They will present their final project recommendations to the sponsors and engage with them on broader range of PM-related topics. Additionally, the residency will also include a networking event involving all sponsor companies, guest speakers, and other senior executives from regional companies

19.50    Total Credits


In addition to a 50/50 blend of self-paced coursework and live virtual classes, students will participate in experiential education through two in-person residencies. The first residency occurs in the second year as part of the Product Management and Venturing course. This offers students the opportunity to interact with startup firms to gain a first-hand understanding of the unique issues facing new enterprises. The second residency takes place in the third year as part of the Experiential Project in PM II course. This residency provides students the opportunity to present their completed project findings to the sponsor companies and to engage in intensive discussions with senior executives on the product management challenges today.