Jun 13, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Engineering Design, M. Eng. Design (January 2021 requirements)

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Innovative new designs and the ability to improve performance of existing systems have become a basis for a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Innovativeness, performance, environmental sustainability, safety, usability, desirability, viability and efficiency are integral parts of the requirements in the design of industrial products, healthcare products, large-scale systems, or software solutions. Within this complex set of constraints, successful engineers and engineering managers must be able to lead transformation of an idea to a complete design by working in interdisciplinary teams and with stakeholders. The Master of Engineering Design program provides its participants with technical expertise and leadership capabilities required to innovate and to lead technically-oriented organizations. The M.Eng. Design program emphasizes development of competencies in Design Thinking and innovations methodologies, as well as leadership, collaboration, and management skills to lead diverse teams. These competencies are combined with advanced technologies to enable design and implementation of solutions which integrate digital reality with the physical world to deliver solutions for daily living or for complex IT or industrial systems.

The following streams are currently offered in the Program:

  • Product Design: Design Thinking approach to development of products and services.
  • Digital Reality: Design of augmented-, virtual-, and mixed-reality immersive experiences.


In addition to the general requirements for entry into a graduate program in Engineering, students must hold a four-year engineering undergraduate degree or equivalent, with at least a B- average (equivalent to a McMaster 7.0 GPA out of 12) in the final year in all courses in the discipline, or relating to the discipline, in which the applicant proposes to do graduate work. Students with a degree in Science, Technology or Mathematics will also be considered.

Strong letters of recommendation are also required. Applicants will be required to complete an online interview.

Professional work experience will be desirable, but not essential.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degree in 24 months with an accelerated path to complete in  twelve consecutive months. Students are admitted for September. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the program in three years and one term (40 months).

Prospective applicants who did not attain the required standing in their undergraduate degree, but who have at least four (4) years of relevant work experience, should discuss their situation with the Program Lead. If the experience is deemed sufficient, the Program Lead may then recommend a live interview. Evidence of ability to do graduate work will still be required. (See Sections 2.1.1 Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree  and 2.1.5 Admission of Students with Related Work Experience or Course Work beyond the Bachelor’s Degree  in the Graduate Calendar.)


McMaster Students may receive advanced standing for up to two courses (note that a maximum of two 600-level courses can count towards a SEPT graduate program) with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.


The curriculum has three main components:

1. Professional Development courses that will enable M.Eng. Design graduates to deal with complex situations in the work environment, to lead teams, and to manage projects.

2. Courses Relevant to the selected stream: some courses are mandatory for a given stream while others are elective.

3. An M.Eng. project that requires synthesis of knowledge from various disciplines.

Product Design Stream

Innovative and creative systems, solutions, and product designs are emphasized through design in a collaborative design studio environment. The interdisciplinary nature of the program enables its  participants to work on a variety of design work, such as industrial machinery, consumer products, automotive, etc.

The following course requirements need to be fulfilled by the candidates:

Mandatory Courses

Candidates are required to take the following five half courses (15 units):


Candidates are required to take five half courses (15 units) which should be selected from graduate courses offered by departments within the Faculty of Engineering. Candidates are required to have their elective course selection approved by the Associate Director of Graduate Studies in SEPT.

Strongly recommended:

Digital Reality Stream

Graduates from Digital Reality stream develop competencies required to work on MR/AR/VR applications in e.g. autonomous vehicles, games design, entertainment, architecture, medicine, etc.,. All candidates will complete a project and an optional co-op with an organization which develops products in the digital reality space.

Mandatory Courses

Candidates are required to take the following four half courses (12 units):


Five courses (15 units) from the following list must be completed by the candidates:

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