Engineering Design Degree Program Overviews

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in engineering design and product development design specifically emphasize the processes through which engineers design new products, solve problems, and construct prototypes. These programs combine elements of engineering, design, and business through labs, lectures, and studios.

Additionally, most programs afford students the opportunity to concentrate in a particular type of design, such as sustainable or manufacturing design. To earn the master's degree, most programs require students to produce a master's thesis or a capstone project.

Admission to a master's degree in engineering design or product development generally requires applicants to have a bachelor's degree in mechanical, industrial, or a related engineering field and have experience with design. Some programs may admit applicants without experience but require them to complete a 1-year foundational program prior to enrollment. Students will also need satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores, previous design experience, and at least two letters of recommendation.

Typically, a master's program in engineering design can be completed in two years, but part-time and accelerated programs are also available for working professionals.

Master's Degree in Engineering Design

The core curriculum of an engineering design master's degree program offers students experience with product and service interaction, design technologies, and leadership. Some courses include:

  • Design theory and history
  • Statistics for design
  • Mechanical and manufacturing engineering
  • Interactive design studio
  • Building and design strategies
  • Human and social factors

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, industrial designers were projected to experience a job decline of 4% between 2019 and 2029. The annual median salary for a commercial and industrial designer in 2019 was $68,890.

Continuing Education Information

A master's degree in engineering design or product development qualifies graduates for high-level designer and managerial positions. An engineering design master's degree is the terminal professional degree in the field, though students interested in teaching or conducting research in product design and development may go on to earn a doctoral degree.

Engineering design master's degree programs provide comprehensive instruction in engineering design strategies, human-centered design, and product development. With many job options already, students have the option of earning a doctoral degree for more specialized career opportunities, like teaching.

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