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Design Thinking & Communication (DTC) Course


Design Thinking and Communication (DTC), is a required two-quarter course for all freshmen at McCormick. It is also available to any Northwestern undergraduate student interested in design.

Part of the Engineering First® curriculum, the course immediately puts students to work on real design problems submitted by individuals, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and industry members. In DTC, all students design for real people and communicate to real audiences.

DTC student teams integrate communication skills and design thinking while they:

  • study a problem from multiple perspectives
  • learn how to frame the design challenge properly
  • ideate, prototype, and iterate solutions
  • communicate their ideas clearly in design reviews, reports, and presentations
  • learn from the overall design process how to create value, prepare for their careers, and participate more fully in society

Co-taught by faculty throughout the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program, DTC teaches the writing and presentation skills needed to thrive in a competitive marketplace.

Learn more about the DTC curriculum

Contact Us

If you have additional questions about DTC, please fill out the form below. You may also contact the Segal office at or 847-467-1604.