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Market-Driven Academic Program Ventures

February 11, 2016

Market-Driven Academic Program Ventures (MPVs) are intended to function akin to venture capital funding. The Office of the Provost, in partnership with the Graduate College, will provide "start-up" resources for new, innovative academic programs that align with current market opportunities and that have the potential to provide key professional opportunities for future students. Although the primary focus will be on innovative master's degree programs, cutting-edge, reputation-enhancing, sustainable undergraduate programs will also be considered.

MPV proposals should focus on new degree programs, or significant redesigns of existing degree programs, that have significant market appeal and that are highly distinctive with respect to competitor programs. These programs can be on-campus, online, hybrid, or remote programs in collaboration with other universities or colleges at satellite locations or within the facilities of corporate partners. Successful MPV teams will receive resources for support for a formal market study and upon analysis and approval, release time for the first year of instruction, partial support for directing the new programs, and discretionary funds to foster and advance partnerships when applicable. Assessment of the quality and number of applicants, course outcomes, student progression, professional outcomes of graduates, and finances will be directed at assuring the success, quality, and sustainability of each MPV.

Application. MPV teams should submit a white paper (limited to 5 pages) that includes:

  • Title and description of the program
  • Rationale and high level learning outcomes
  • Innovation (what approaches and attributes make this proposed program distinctive to Drexel and uniquely valuable to prospective students and industries, including analysis of potential overlapping and/or competitor programs both within and outside of Drexel)
  • Timeline and approach
  • A definition of the degree program(s)
    • Departments and academic/research programs involved
    • Faculty expertise
    • Degree requirements and plan of study
  • A business plan
    • Preliminary market study
    • Anticipated enrollments
    • Anticipated outcomes and assessment plan
    • Budget justification and sustainability

Application Process. Submission should be made electronically, via the Drexel University Funding Portal. We will send reminders as the deadline approaches. Please look for updates to the program which we will explicitly highlight.

Deadline for applications: Monday, April 4, 2016 by 5pm
MPV Initiation Ceremony and Funding: September 2016

For more information please visit the MPV page on our website. Feel free to contact James Herbert, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate College (, or Brian Blake, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (, if you have specific questions.