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Degree Options:

Master of Engineering Design (M.Eng.Design)

Engineering Design

Design pursues value-added solutions to the needs of industry, individuals and society at large. Through your Master’s degree, you will develop competencies to design solutions that consider users, customers, economies and ecosystems alike.

Current Student Inquiries:

+1 905.525.9140 x 20477
ETB 509
Future Student Information


Learn to design inspiring solutions that improve people’s lives and create value for society

Application Deadlines

September 2020 admissions
Online portal opens Nov. 15, 2019

Domestic applicants - Aug. 1, 2020
International applicants - July 5, 2020

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

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)
Canadian: $3,240.00 CAD each term
International: $11,000 CAD each term 

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2020-2021)
Canadian: $3,240.00 CAD each term
International: $11,550 CAD each term

Refer to the Apply section for more details.

Students enrolled in multiple academic years ( e.g. January admission) pay the fees corresponding to these years.

Become a human-centred designer by working collaboratively with fellow students, community/industry partners and instructors. You will use design thinking and engineering methodologies to identify and alleviate pain points experienced by individuals and companies alike.

We specialize in blending design thinking concepts with prototyping and testing – whether using physical objects or advanced technologies like virtual reality and smart systems.

Through coursework and applied design projects you will build your experience leading design projects from conception to completion while managing relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. You will graduate and launch the next stage of your career with a portfolio of design work.

This program is open to any applicants with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) degree.

The Coiner helps people with fine motor control challenges use shopping cars that require a coin to unlock.

The image above is "The Coiner"; a simple prototype design for people living with fine motor control challenges. It can be kept on a keychain and used to unlock grocery carts where they are chained together and require a coin to disconnect.

The M.Eng.Design program will enable you to:

  • Think like a designer and solve complex problems by applying human-centered design practices.
  • Gain experience by leveraging design thinking techniques as well as technologies, methods and tools in lab-based and studio-based environments.
  • Build a portfolio of design work that demonstrates your capabilities.
  • Establish your own network of contacts including practicing designers, design engineers, and firms that hire them.

"If you have a goal in mind, the program is flexible enough to be tailored to your objectives and interests. I tailored the program to my interest in data analytics and A.I. systems, incorporating them into my design project."

—Jingpeng Zhai, M.Eng.Design '19


September 2020 admission 
Online portal opened November 15, 2019

Deadlines for:
Domestic applicants - August 1, 2020
International applicants - July 5, 2020

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

Apply Online

Tuition & Fees

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)
Canadian: $3,240.00 CAD for each term*
International: $11,000 CAD for each term*

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2020-2021) 
Canadian: $3,240.00 CAD for each term*
International: $11,550 CAD for each term*

*The program requires 3 terms of full-time study.

Part-time Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)
Canadian: $1,800.00 CAD for each term
The option of part-time study is only open to domestic students

Part-time Tuition & Fees (2020-2021)
Canadian: $1,800.00 CAD for each term
The option of part-time study is only open to domestic students

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.

Admission Requirements

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.

As part of the application process, you are required to provide the following:

  1. An up-to-date resume or CV, including professional work experience (this includes prior co-op experience)
  2. Complete Contact information for 2 Academic References (to be included in the on-line application)
    Only institutional emails will be accepted as credible references.
  3. Strong letters of recommendation
  4. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended along with grading scale
  5. A clearly written Statement of Interest (Downloadable sample?)
  6. Online video interview using the Kira Talent software platform
  7. 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

* No additional documents should be uploaded *

**Please note that applications cannot be reviewed until all documents have been uploaded, the referees have responded and online interview has been completed. All applications must be completed before the international or domestic deadline to 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.

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 an 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.

Product Design

Product Design is a specialized stream within the M.Eng.Design program

Design, particularly Human-Centred Design, can transform the world in ways that satisfies unmet needs for people from all walks of life. Products can refer to a physical product or a service being offered, and designers can offer value to any industry.

By researching and analyzing the experiences of the end-user, designers aspire to offer a solution the user had never even dreamed they wanted.

Is this stream right for you?

In the product design stream, you will make impactful changes in the lives of your clients; designing products or service to alleviate real challenges they encounter. You may design solutions for healthcare and wellness, automotive, transportation and logistics, agriculture, or any number of other industries.

You will challenge your own assumptions, and your clients’. You will gather evidence supporting concepts, produce prototypes for user testing with fabrication techniques, software, and flow charts, and arrive at a desirable solution.

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

Mandatory courses

The following courses and components are required:

  • SEP 700 / M. Eng. Project in Engineering Design, Part I
  • SEP 700 / M. Eng. Project in Engineering Design, Part II 
  • SEP 760 / Design Thinking
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part I (Full-time only)
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part II (Full-time only)
  • SEP 772 / Innovation Studio
  • SEP 773 / Leadership for Innovation

Elective Courses

Students may select from a broad calendar of graduate-level courses in the Faculty of Engineering.

  • Any four (4) single-term courses selected from graduate courses offered by any department within the Faculty of Engineering.
  • We strongly recommend one or more of the following as electives:
    • SEP 761 / Human Centred Design
    • SEP 757 / Hardware Prototyping Tools and Methods
    • SEP 758 / Prototyping Tools (mobile applications)
    • SEP 759 / Prototyping Web and Mobile Applications

Candidates are required to have their elective course selection approved by the Associate Director of Graduate Studies, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology.  

Find all SEP course desciriptions on the Graduate Calendar.

Digital Reality

Digital Reality is a specialized stream within the M.Eng.Design program

Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) industries are projected to generate revenue over $200 billion by 2022. We will see it used in architecture, medicine, engineering design, manufacturing systems operations, education and entertainment. 

AR/VR are essential technologies used to develop self-driving cars (Google’s autonomous car has travelled 20 Million miles in the VR space as a part of its training), architecture, anatomy and surgery, training in operation of complex machinery (e.g. aircraft, industrial plants), games, movies, and many other fields.

Is this stream right for you?

This stream requires experience in developing software code. Suggested languages to be familiar with include C++, C#, Java or Python.

You will learn to use industry leading software for creating AR/VR systems and content, how to create special effects by customizing software at the code level, and how to integrate various digital assets into an AR/VR production. Develop advanced knowledge of these technologies by learning under the guidance of industry experts. 

Our collaboration with Pipeline Studios (winner of two Emmy awards for its animated films) provides an opportunity for hands-on learning and co-op placements with this industry leading company.  The program is supported by a new AR/VR laboratory equipped with specialized workstations and other virtual reality equipment.

The Digital Reality stream includes the following required courses common to all M.Eng.Design students:

  • SEP 700 / M. Eng. Project in Engineering Design, Part I
  • SEP 700 / M. Eng. Project in Engineering Design, Part II 
  • SEP 760 / Design Thinking
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part I (Full-time only)
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part II (Full-time only)

The following six courses constitute the specialization in Digital Reality:

  • SEP 6CG3: Fundamentals of computer graphics and animation development
  • SEP 6VE3: Visual effects and animation production technology
  • SEP 714: Workflow management for animated prototypes
  • SEP 715: Rendering techniques
  • SEP 791: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality
  • SEP 792: Interactive applications utilizing GPU's for real-time projects

Find all SEP course desciriptions on the Graduate Calendar.


As a student in the M.Engineering.Design program, you’ll gain experience working with a variety of rapid prototyping and design tools. Here are a few of the facilities you’ll work in:

Early design stages prototyping lab (ETB 539) – Here, you will find tools for 3D-conceptual prototyping with simple materials like cardboard, foamcore, paper, and modelling clay, and other similar materials.

Rapid Prototyping lab (ETB 122) – When you are ready to create a more resilient prototype, this room is equipped with 3D printers and machining equipment. You will develop your skills and comfort working with these tools to make your design vision into an operational prototype in metal or plastic.

3d Printers

Virtual Reality Lab (ETB 534) – When the best way to prototype something is virtual, this lab is equipped to craft and explore an idea in virtual reality.

CAD/CAM computing network – Supports virtual 3D prototyping via network connection to your laptop. This allows you to use your laptop as an interface, while outsourcing the "heavy lifting" of highly detailed design work to a mainframe server.

Prototyping lab for smart systems (ETB 537) –Work with a variety of hardware, software, sensors and other components to prototype and test smart system design.

Industry Partners & Projects


Project: Optimizing Food Growth Using Data Analytics and Machine Learning

Challenge: Finbyte, founded by an alumnus of the W Booth School, is a start-up company focused on optimizing the food output of plants grown using aquaponics. They engaged Master of Engineering Design students to assist in developing a system that can adjust the nutrient cycles within an Aquaponics facility in real time, raising fish and growing greens efficiently in an indoor closed loop system.

Graduate students in the Master of Engineering Design program with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and interests delivered a functioning prototype that used machine vision to monitor the growth of the plants and use multivariate data analysis to manage nutrient flow within the system.

Read about the project here>>


Westhill Innovation Inc.

Project: Powering transportation refrigeration systems using solar power collected from the top of trailers.

Challenge: Westhill Innovation identified an opportunity to reduce emissions produced while powering refrigeration units and they engaged a group of students to help design a solar panel solution for truck trailers. Truck drivers are mandated to take rest periods while on the road, and while resting they must power refrigeration units using the truck’s diesel engine.

By developing a system that allows solar panels to be mounted to the top of a transport trailer, the 425 square feet of space on the roof can charge a battery bank that will power the refrigeration unit and allow drivers to turn off their engines while parked. In the future, this technology could greatly extend the range of electric trucks and feed into the power grid when the trailers are parked for loading and unloading.

Read about the project here>>


YWCA and Business out of the Box initiative

Project: Designing a unique venue for local entrepreneurs to launch their retail businesses

Challenge: The YWCA of Hamilton approached McMaster’s Office of Community Engagement and W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology to design a solution that could provide flexible retail space for women entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses.

The project, funded through a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, has operated over the summer of 2019, helping 12 local women get their retail businesses off the ground. The project is located at 414 Barton St. E. The YWCA hopes to continue operating the project and is investigating options to move it beyond the grant that got it running.

Read about the project here>>

Other recent and notable partners include:

  • Saint Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
  • Stackpole
  • Hamilton Technology Centre
  • Exponet
  • Pretto's Pasta
  • Walterfedy

See our complete list of current and past partners.

Co-op and Experiential Learning

Co-op is an optional component of the M.Eng. Design program. McMaster established its graduate student co-op program in 2017, seeing it grow rapidly. Employers are quickly embracing it as a mechanism for recruiting talent and expertise.

There are several steps you must complete before you begin applying to co-op positions. Firstly, ensure you enrol in the Graduate Co-op Prep Course ENG 701 in September. You will also need approval from your program chairperson before accepting a co-op placement. Speak with Co-op and Career Services if you have any questions.

If you intend to find a co-op placement remember that it is competitive, much like any job search. Start early and put in consistent effort throughout the school year to make connections and grow your network.

Here are some tips for finding your co-op position:

  • Attend as many career events throughout the school year – and try to speak with the employers who attend. Events are posted in OSCAR plus and require you to register as an attendee.
  • Search OSCAR plus for posted co-op opportunities. Hundreds of openings are offered by employers in a year and some of them might be right for you. Apply to any that look like a good fit – make sure you keep your resume current so you can apply as they’re posted.
  • Find opportunities to network with professionals in your field. Look for networking events, become active on LinkedIn, make meaningful connections and schedule information interviews. Whenever you meet someone new, ask them if they can recommend anyone else you should speak with.
  • Reach out to your existing network. This could be family, friends from your time in undergraduate studies who are now employed, or really anyone you have an established relationship with who works for a company that operates in your field.


If you’re an employer interested in hiring graduate students for a co-op term connect with our co-op office to discuss listing your open opportunities.