What will I learn?

Engineering is the combination of timeless knowledge, such as the ability to think in terms of systems and analysis, and frontier knowledge driven by inexorable technological innovation. While the interests and aspirations of most undergraduate students in McCormick are well-supported by our departmental degree programs, some students have visions that motivate them to explore new, emerging connections between fields.

The McCormick Integrated Engineering Studies (MIES) program enables undergraduates to develop an individualized engineering degree program to explore new connections between existing academic fields.

Why integrated engineering studies?

Engineering has traditionally been divided into sub-disciplines and organized within academic departments such as civil, mechanical, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and others.

As organizational structures and names evolve to reflect new ideas and disciplines, the boundaries between sub-disciplines in engineering, and between engineering and other fields of studies (e.g., medicine, chemistry, physics, economics, earth science, and others) become less rigid.

Many career opportunities and advanced research efforts cross these boundaries and thus define new areas of application and study. Increasingly, key advances in both engineering science and its applications occur at or beyond traditional boundaries, at the intersections between engineering fields, and between engineering and other areas of expertise.

Explore New Territory

MIES students put themselves on a mission to explore new territories, to address new and important problems, and to travel high-impact career paths. They are purposeful explorers with real targets, defined collaboratively with faculty and even outside guides.

Some recent areas of study created by MIES students include:

Mechatronics and User Interaction in Design Engineering - combining work in mechanical, biomedical, and design engineering
Technology and Design for the Arts - based on a program of courses that developed depth in graphic arts, communication, and elements of several engineering disciplines
Entrepreneurial Design - emphasizing the ways designed items can be carried into practice through the business world.

The possibilities for tomorrow’s MIES degrees are virtually limitless.

About the MIES Program

The Integrated Engineering Studies program serves McCormick students who want to learn different things in different ways. It allows well-prepared undergraduate engineers to work with faculty mentors to craft customized engineering studies programs that take them into new, perhaps uncharted, areas of study and career preparation.

These programs must meet the basic McCormick requirements for an accredited engineering degree, but they can depart from the pre-defined tracks specified for degrees in a particular department.

Program Requirements

Students must complete the application for and be accepted into the MIES program to pursue this degree.
A customized course of study must match, or exceed, the challenge level of any established McCormick engineering curriculum, in terms of its breadth and depth. MIES students, like all McCormick students, are expected to build substantial skills in the core disciplines of engineering, including mathematics, the sciences, analysis, and design.

Which department am I in?

McCormick School of Engineering

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$56,232.00 per year
Start date

22 September 2020


McCormick School of Engineering

Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road,



60208, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

International applicants whose primary language is not English or whose secondary school curriculum has not been in English must submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For international students

Secondary school record

Northwestern accepts results from both the TOEFL and the IELTS.

There is no minimum score required by Northwestern. Competitive applicants demonstrate a high level of English proficiency and often score in the high range on all four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing) of the TOEFL iBT, or receive IELTS band scores in highest three bands on the overall and individual scores (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.