The above chart provides an overview of the degree requirements for the MS-EDI degree. 16 units of credit are required in total, over 4 quarters of study: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Fall.
Core courses--7 units
Thesis project--3 units
More information can be found below about non-credit bearing elements of the program, such as the required design boot camp and the opportunity for a summer internship. Also below are grade and residency requirements for the degree.
6 units of elective coursework are required. All 6 units must be graduate-level, and 3 of the 6 must be at the 400-level. Students may choose from courses offered across the entire university, including Kellogg.
Course offerings and schedule information for the entire university can be browsed here.
Students may optionally choose to take 4 elective courses that relate thematically to each other, in order to focus their experience in EDI towards a specific career goal.
Some example theme topics and corresponding approved courses can be found at the link below. Independent study or university-sponsored research can be used for 1 of the 4 units of credit required, and may only be applied during the 1st or 2nd quarters of study.
Each student in EDI completes a 3-unit thesis project during their 3rd and 4th quarters. The topic of each project is chosen by the student and approved by the program directors.
The intent of the thesis project is to provide students with an opportunity to apply the methods learned through EDI coursework, on an extended timeline and on a project of their choosing.
During the course of the thesis project, each student will be paired with an industry mentor. Each mentor is a local design practictioner and expert in their given field, and will play the role of thesis advisor for a small group of students, as well as provide career mentorship to help those students prepare for getting jobs after graduation.
Beyond Course Work
Between the 3rd and 4th quarters of study, student may seek a summer internship related to their ultimate career goal. Several resources exist at Northwestern to help students find internships, and many EDIs make connections with potential employers through the EDI nework of faculty, mentors, and alumni. A summer intership is not required for the MS-EDI degree, nor are internships guaranteed to our students.
In addition to the above regular term course work, it is required that all incoming students attend a pre-term workshop called "Design Boot Camp". Boot Camp is a 3-week set of intensive training sessions that provides students the opportunity to strengthen their skills in selected design and prototyping tools, including 2D visualization and communication, 3D modeling, and mechatronics.
Over the course of the Boot Camp, students will work on a simple project which allows them to practice their newly acquired skills. The boot camp sessions are primarily devoted to instruction, and therefore students will be expected to work on their own time to complete the project within the timeframe given.
For the 2013-14 academic year, Design Boot Camp will be start on Tuesday, September 3 and will meet on weekdays until Monday, September 23. Admitted students will receive a letter from the administration with further information.
Design Community Involvement:
Students in the MS-EDI program are expected to be leaders in the design community at Northwestern. EDIs can, and shoud, organize events such as seminars and field trips, supervise undergraduate design teams, and get involved with extracurricular design activities on campus.
Students in EDI must make satisfactory academic progress, as defined by The Graduate School in order to qualify for degree completion.
Every unit of credit counted towards the MS-EDI degree must receive a grade of "C" or higher.
Every student must complete all degree requirements within 6 quarters of study in order to qualify for the MS-EDI degree.
Any student who does not meet satisfactory academic progress requirements will be placed on academic probation for one quarter. If after one quarter academic progress has not improved, the student is subject to exclusion from the degree.