Section Photo

Master of Science, Engineering Design Innovation (EDI)


The Master of Science Program in Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) is a 15-month, full-time graduate program that teaches engineers how to address design problems using a human-centered approach. While solving the needs of real people, EDI students are introduced to design thinking — an innovative process of user observation, visualization, rapid prototyping, and iteration.

The master of science degree in engineering design and innovation is conferred by The Graduate School of Northwestern University.

We will begin accepting applications for the Fall 2017 cohort in September 2016.  If you'd like more information regarding the program, please contact us. 


Why EDI?

Corporations and design consultancies need engineers who understand the key elements of design and innovation. EDI graduates are prepared to collaborate on and lead cross-functional development teams to create innovative and effective products and services.

A wide range of innovative companies have hired EDI alumni, including:

Through coursework and projects, EDI students develop close relationships with innovation leaders in the industry and gain invaluable career mentorship. Students also receive formal support from Northwestern Career Advancement and the McCormick Office of Career Development in seeking internships and employment after graduation.

Who Should Apply?

The EDI program seeks engineers who thrive on creating new things, are comfortable with problems that are hard to pin down, and care about culture and contemporary context.

Students typically enter the EDI program shortly after finishing their undergraduate degree or another master’s degree or within a few years of starting their careers.

Although most students enter the program with a BS degree in engineering or a related field, students with other academic backgrounds and work experience in engineering design may be considered.

Learn more about EDI admissions

Program Duration and Requirements

Courses in the 15-month program are taught on a quarterly schedule. Students complete the program in four quarters: fall, winter, spring, and the following fall.

The program requires 16 course units, including:

  • the year-long studio course sequence, Human-Centered Design Studio
  • four additional core courses on design methodologies, product development process, and strategy
  • six elective courses
  • a three-unit thesis project
  • a three-week non-credit Design Boot Camp workshop

Learn more about the EDI curriculum and requirements

Most students also participate in a summer internship and are active in Northwestern’s design community.


Tuition and fees are subject to change. Please see The Graduate School website for more information about tuition and financial aid.

Contact Us

For more information about the EDI program, please fill out the form below. You may also contact Amy O'Keefe, associate director of the EDI program, at or 847-467-4275.

OR Download a PDF of more information about this program through the McCormick School of Engineering program guide.