Engineering Design - MEng – Faculty of Engineering
Two students drawing out their engineering design

Engineering Design – MEng

The MEng Design degree is a project-based program that develops your skills in designing value-added solutions for industry and society, considering users, customers, economies, and ecosystems.

Full-time and part-time options
Master of Engineering (Co-op Available)



Design thinking and engineering methodologies are embedded throughout the curriculum. You will learn to apply a prototyping mindset used by successful designers and engineers.


Recommended 16 months full-time (minimum 12 months and maximum 24 months) or 40 months part-time (domestic only).

Exceptional faculty

The program is led by Robert Fleisig, an award-winning educator, engineering designer and expert in health technology. He is passionate about teaching an empathetic and user-centred approach to design to identify the root of a problem and design an elegant and effective solution to problems.

Admission requirements

Academic Prerequisites

University Degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math).

Anticipated Admission Range
B- (70-72% or 7.0/12) average in last 10 technical courses
Supplementary Application
Student in Design Thinking class

How to apply

Step 1: Click on the link above to open your application with McMaster University. Alternatively, please click here.

Step 2: Answer all application-related questions.

  • When you reach the question in the application relating to “Research Interests,” please keep this in mind:
    • Design thinking can be applied in any field/industry/sector and our students have addressed many diverse challenges. Please provide up to three areas of design in which you are interested.
    • There are three spaces where you can enter the “research interest” in the Research Interest question. Please use the following convention to enter your interests in Engineering Design):
      Topic Area – Field/Industry/Sector – Technologies applied.
    • Example:
      Virtual Care – The health and wellness of hospital patients – Smart technologies, AI/ML, IoT, virtual reality, etc.

Step 3: Register for your online interview (Kira) and ensure that you complete the $60 payment. Note that the $60 is in addition to your $110 application fee. They are separate charges.

  • The registration and payment link are embedded in your application questions.

Step 4: Gather, and upload all required documents.

  • Your current resume or CV, including academic and professional experience
  • Your clearly written Statement of Interest (This is a letter explaining your interest in the program, at a maximum of 2 pages).
  • Recent IELTS or TOEFL scores (within the last 2 years) required for international students. Minimum IELTS score 6.5 overall (minimum requirement 5.5 in reading and writing and 6 in listening and speaking). Minimum TOEFL score is 88. Note that if your medium of instruction was English and this is documented on your transcripts, you do not need to submit an ELP test.
  • Transcripts from all post secondary institutions you have attended.
  • Please note that all documents must be uploaded before application submission. CV, SOI, IELTS/TOEFL and Transcripts are uploaded in the same section of the application.

Step 5: Add Academic Referee contact information.

  • Contact information for 2 Academic References must be entered in online application. Referees will be contacted via our electronic referencing system
    • Academic references are to come from instructors most familiar with your academic work.
    • In cases where an applicant has been away from academic study for 5 or more years, we will consider one professional reference.
    • Please note that we do not accept reference letters uploaded by the applicant.

Step 6: Pay $110 application fee, and submit application.

  • Only submit your application once all the above documents have been uploaded, you have entered contact information for both academic references, and you have paid your Kira fee.
  • *Applications will not be reviewed unless all items noted above are submitted at the time of application*.

Step 7: Complete your Kira interview.

  • Applicants will be sent a link to complete their Kira interview within one week of application submission and Kira fee payment.
  • Applicants will not receive a link unless they have fully submitted their application, and have submitted the $60 Kira fee payment.

Step 8: You will be contacted if there are any issues with your application. Please do not email about the status of your application. Applicants will be contacted once a decision regarding the application has been made.

  • Please note that if you are accepted to one of our programs, you will be required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit. This deposit is non-refundable if you withdraw your acceptance.

Important Notes:

  • Applications will not be reviewed until all required documents are uploaded, the referees have responded, and the Kira online interview has been completed. All applications must be completed in full in advance of the application deadlines in order to be considered.
  • Official transcripts are not required unless an applicant is granted an offer of admission. Documentation sent via post will not be considered for your application.
  • Applications will not be considered until we receive copies of transcripts noting grades up to at least Term 7 of your undergraduate studies.

30 credit units are required to complete this degree and tuition is paid per credit unit. Please view the per-unit fees here.

Students enrolled in multiple academic years ( e.g. January admission) pay the fees corresponding for the academic year the term is within. The University reserves the right to correct typographical errors or to adjust the Tuition and Fees schedule at any time it deems necessary.

Other Fees:

  • Application Fee: $110.00
  • Online Interview Fee (Kira Talent): $60.00
  • Non-refundable deposit upon acceptance: $500.00

IELTS/TOEFL: International students are required to present a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall (minimum requirements 5.5 in reading and writing and 6 in listening and speaking). Minimum TOEFL score is 88.

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.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degree in twelve consecutive months of study. Students are admitted for September. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the program in 28 months.

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.

September 2024 admission
Online portal opens November 1, 2023
March 1, 2024 – now extended to April 10, 2024 – International applicants. 
June 30, 2024 – Domestic applicants.

International applicants are encouraged to apply early as the visa application process may take 3 months.

Students taking notes in Design Thinking class

Academics and experience

The Master of Engineering Design is a practice-based program rooted in design fundamentals.

The Master of Engineering Design program requires completion of 30 units in courses including a major design project equivalent to six units. You will complete the design project over several months as part of a team. You will work closely with a community partner under the mentorship of faculty members to guide you through the design process and incorporate technology and engineering practice to solve real-world design challenges. A two-part seminar series is also required to complete the program.

Full-time students are expected to complete the program in 16 months. The actual duration of studies may be shorter (not less than 12 months) or longer (not more than 24 months), for students who work faster or slower.

Domestic students (Canadian citizens or permanent residents) may complete their MEng Design degree on a part-time basis and establish their schedule according to time they can devote to their studies. It is recommended that part-time students complete the program in 32 to 40 months.

You will have the support of professors and mentors throughout the journey as you develop your skills as a human-centered designer.

Design, particularly Human-Centred Design, can transform the world in ways that satisfies people’s unmet needs. Product design can refer to a physical product or a service or experience. By researching and analyzing the experiences of the end-user, designers aspire to offer a solution that goes above and beyond the end-users imagining.

A total of 8 courses and a design project (30 units) must be completed.

Required courses

  • SEP 760 / Design Thinking (3 units)
  • SEP 761 / Design Thinking II (3 units)
  • SEP 772 / Innovation Studio (3 units)
  • SEP 773 / Leadership for Innovation (3 units) OR SEP 6EL3 / Leading Innovation
  • SEP 700 / MEng Project in Engineering Design, Part I (3 units)
  • SEP 700 / MEng Project in Engineering Design, Part II (3 units)

All full-time students in W Booth School programs are required to attend the following 0-unit components:

  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner’s Forum, Part I (Seminar series)
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner’s Forum, Part II (Seminar series)

Elective Courses

Electives may be selected from a calendar of graduate-level courses in the Faculty of Engineering.

We strongly recommend the following elective:

  • SEP 757 / Rapid Prototyping (3 units) OR SEP 758 / Prototyping Tools (mobile applications) (3 units)

By the beginning of your second semester in the program you will have joined a project with one of our industry/community partners. You will choose a number of projects to which you will apply and interview for the team.

Here are some examples of ongoing industry/community partners.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Canadian Emergency Responders Robotics Association (CERRA)

See our complete list of current and past partners.

The Project

The major project is your opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have brought with you to the program and developed during your course work, seminars and workshops. You will grow your capabilities with the guidance and mentorship of faculty members and other subject matter experts. During your work with the community partner, you will gain a deep understanding of the contexts in which they operate and the challenges they work to overcome.

Develop empathy for your users and stakeholders

An important part of developing your abilities as a human-centred designer is developing empathy for your users and stakeholders. You will interview clients and end-users while completing your projects. Through these conversations, you will strive to understand their experiences and needs, and develop solutions that are simple and elegant to improve their lives.

Rapid prototyping to test designs

Another important piece of becoming a human-centred designer is rapid prototyping. Design fast, fail fast, redesign, repeat. You will gain experience in rapid prototyping to test design ideas with users and stakeholders to determine whether you’re following the right path toward an experience your users will love.

If you’re looking for opportunities to engage with the McMaster community beyond your program, you will find a wealth of clubs and co-curricular activities to capture your interests.

SEPTS – School of Engineering Practice & Technology Society

This student-run club plans social and professional development events for students in W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology students.

MES – McMaster Engineering Society

While the MES is primarily undergraduate focussed, there are opportunities for graduate students to get involved as well. Through the MES you can also connect with a multitude of professional association chapters, clubs, conferences, design competitions, hack-a-thons, and more.


This interdisciplinary, co-curricular program brings together students from across every faculty and program to address challenges in the Hamilton area. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students and a great way to connect with other students, faculty and subject matter experts from different organizations across the region.

Intramural Athletics

For those who like to stay active and social, join one of the many recreational sports leagues that you run through McMaster Athletics & Recreation

Student talking to professor in design thinking class

Student projects

Avani Mehta and Yaseen Syed

Program: Masters in Engineering Design | Process & Production Systems Stream. Class of 2020

Project name: Industrial Waste Heat Recovery in the Bayfront Industrial Area

Project impact:

Roughly half of the industrial sector’s energy consumption is rejected as waste heat- dormant heat discharged with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hamilton, Ontario is an energy-hungry heavy manufacturing hub, and a key contributor to industrial GHG emissions in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Avani Mehta understands the economic and environmental benefits of recovering and reusing waste heat. Her master’s project uses thermal energy maps to identify the quality and quantity of industrial waste heat in the Hamilton Bayfront area, and offers economically viable technology solutions to manufacturers. These solutions help optimize processes, improve capital efficiency, and inform new policies and programs for sharing waste heat and reducing GHG emissions.

Project partner: Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Preparing for success: Entering the MEng Design program with a traditional engineering mindset, Avani began to understand that problems faced by engineers often have multiple solutions.

Reflecting on the design thinking approach underpinning the MEng Design program, Avani says,

“The MEng Design program’s pivotal courses – Design Thinking, Human Centered Design – have taught me the design ideologies of inspiration, ideation and implementation.”

Of her experience in the MEng Design program, Avani says, “One of the most important takeaways from this degree is the learning that the core of Design Thinking lies in giving the stakeholders not just what they wanted, but the thing they never knew they wanted.”

Avani currently works with Digital Main Street as an e-Commerce Coordinator, and part-time as a Design Thinking Fellow at McMaster University. Her Master’s project was spearheaded by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and received funding from The Atmospheric Fund and Mitacs Canada.

Amina Benmessaoud and Shim Patel

Program: Masters in Engineering Design | Process & Production Systems Stream

Project name: RENovate

Project impact: 

RENovate is an innovative digital training platform for renal education and home hemodialysis support. The project represents a design concept that combines training for home hemodialysis patients with continued treatment trackers for a frictionless at-home experience. 

Many hemodialysis patients opt out of home treatment because of the intimidating machinery and the time and cognitive effort required. These factors guided their design of a platform that offers an effective, human-focused information presentation. The research from this project contributed to the advancement of telemedicine in the real world.

Project partner: St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Preparing for success: “The courses I took in this program helped me to build a portfolio that showcases the prototypes I designed, as well as highlight my design process, including journey maps, bubble diagrams, wireframes, needs assessments, interview preparation and conducting, and insight analysis,” says Amina.

Amina currently works as a research coordinator at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Jonathan Pusic, Namrata Jain, and Abdulrahman Daoudieh

Program: Masters in Engineering Design. Class of 2021

Project Name: Smart Response to Traffic Colissions

Project Impact:

The project aims at exploring the application of virtual care technologies for improving patient care at the scene of traffic collisions. Project stakeholders include Hamilton Police and Fire departments, Hamilton Paramedics, CERRA (Canadian Emergency Responders Robotics Association), Transport Canada, Global Medic, and social workers. 

The patient journey was mapped at the scene of collisions to identify challenges that can be overcome using virtual care. A design charrette was organized to engage stakeholders and co-design future scenarios. As an outcome of the charrette, McMaster formed community partnership with CERRA for future project work.

Community partner: St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Preparing for Success:

Jonathan Pusic
For Jonathan, the MEng Design program allows him to combine his passion for creativity and design with his background in biomedical engineering. Jonathan’s work includes a project for the Human-Centred Design course, where he’s developing an app for patients with terminal and progressive lung disease that helps with lung health management in a positive, community-building way.

Namrata Jain
Namrata has a background in Integrated Engineering and diverse work experience in engineering consulting and design. She used this opportunity to apply design thinking and her creativity to health care related challenges. Her human-centered design projects include reimagining physical fitness for older adults and reimagining toddler experience at medical clinics.

Abdulrahman Daoudieh
For Abdulrahman, with a background in Civil Engineering and technology solutions, the MEng Design program will empower him to integrate his experience with creative design thinking and the problem-solving process to contribute to challenges related to healthcare. His work includes reimagining the doctor/patient experience when it comes to communication barriers, reimagining the homeless experience in shelters and reimagining the home workout experience.

Co-op and Student Life

  • Graduate Co-op

    Master’s and PhD students may complete 4 to 12 months of co-op experience in various types of organizations, including corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, startups and research institutions.

    Explore Co-op
  • Engineering Graduate Society

    The EGS actively supports engineering graduate students through events, workshops, bursaries, and collaboration with various campus organizations, focusing on representation, community building, and academic and professional development.

    Visit the EGS site
  • Life in Hamilton

    Hamilton, also known as The Hammer or Steeltown, is a thriving city close to the U.S. border and Toronto, with easy access for students commuting from the Greater Toronto Area via the on-campus GO Bus Terminal.

    Discover Hamilton, ON

How to apply

Understand every step, from applying, to accepting your offer and joining us on campus!

Request more information

Thank you for your interest in our Graduate Studies. Please fill out the form below, and we will connect with you to answer all of your questions.