What is Industry Sponsored MDP?
A row of MDP Project Fair posters in the Chemistry Building.

25 – 30 industry sponsored teams of 5 – 7 students from varied majors each year

Graphic of five characters looking up at symbols.

Solve real industry problems and gain design experience while you earn credit toward your degree

Group of 11 students, faculty, and sponsor mentors.

Dedicated mentoring from the sponsor company and UofM engineering faculty

A cartoon character's drone sketch comes to life.

Complete a full design cycle and hand your final project over to the sponsor company

A Week in the Life of an Industry MDP Student

There are no formal lectures for MDP.* Work is completed in meetings as a team and on an individual basis. Per the CoE Policy for the Assignment of Credit Hours, students should expect to spend about 4 hours of work (including meetings) per credit hour per week. Explore below how this time will be spent each week.

*Exception: CS majors earning Capstone or MDE credit must attend an additional lecture. See below.

Weekly Meeting With Faculty (1 hr/week)
Meet with your team of 5-7 students and your dedicated engineering faculty mentor to discuss the project, including updates from the prior week and challenges encountered. Prepare for the second hour of your weekly meeting with your sponsor mentor. Students take turns preparing the agenda, leading the meeting, and taking notes.
Weekly Meeting With Sponsor and Faculty (1 hr/week)
One hour a week, your team will meet with the technical mentor from your sponsor to update project status, and receive information and ask questions from the sponsor. Students take turns preparing the agenda, leading the meeting, and taking notes. After meeting with your mentors, the team will document the planned work for the upcoming week.
Student Work Together (2-4 hrs/week)
Students on successful MDP teams work together for 4 or more hours a week. Work together sessions can include formal organization and planning, but mostly just include working together in the same physical location. Sitting at tables/white boards discussing the project and making decisions in real time keeps teams aligned and drives increased team cohesion and productivity.

Tasks may include:

  • Project Work
  • Meeting Prep
  • Completing MDP Assignments
  • Sponsor Visits
Independent Work (Undergrad 8-10 hrs/week, Graduate 2-4 hrs/week)
Students can expect to spend the bulk of their remaining time working independently on the project. The specific tasks will vary from project to project.

Undergraduates earning 3-4 credits per semester will spend a total of 12-16 hours per week on the project. (This includes additional lectures for CS students earning Capstone or MDE credit)
Graduate students earning 2 credits per semester will spend a total of 8 hours per week on the project.

CS Student MDE/Capstone (4 hrs/week)

For CS students earning Capstone or MDE credit only:

CS undergraduate students approved to earn MDE or Capstone credit will spend 4 hours a week in EECS 497 lectures. (CS-MDP students enroll in a special CS section of ENGR 455, which is a meet-together course with EECS 497.)

See relevant link below for more information:

CS LSA Students

Typical MDP Industry Student Syllabus
Maize and blue pie chart that displays how MDP Industry Sponsored Projects are graded. 40% is individual grades and 60% is team grades.

NOTE: MDP projects can only be taken for a letter grade. P/F registration is not allowed.

Check out our projects!

Check out our current list of industry projects. Projects start in January and new projects are loaded on our website every fall. Use the search bar at the top to find projects in your major or area of interest. You can meet the sponsors in person during our on campus project fair at the end of September every year.

Attention International Students on F1 Visas: All industry sponsored teams require the use of part time CPT. In order to be eligible to use CPT, a student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis while physically present in the US for one academic year (i.e. two full consecutive terms). These measures are in place to protect your visa status.

Industry Sponsored Student Highlights

Members of the 2021 Subaru Team with their first place poster at the 2022 Capstone Design Conference in Dallas, TX

Northrop Grumman Corporation sent their 2021 team to present their findings to NASA at the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research in Baltimore, MD


The 2020 Eaton team working safely on their prototype during the early parts of the Covid pandemic