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Northwestern University

Bay Area Immersion Program

Design Innovation in San Francisco.

Bay Area Immersion Program

Dive into the vibrant heart of San Francisco with the Bay Area Immersion Program, where you'll embark on a journey of discovery, pushing the boundaries of what's possible at the crossroads of design, technology, and digital media.

Students learning in San Francisco classroom

Explore the intersection of design, technology, and digital media

Take two design courses and two journalism courses that focus on experiential learning in, and critical thinking about, areas such as design innovation, digital communication, and the intersection of technology and culture.  

Experience learning in San Francisco

With classes in Northwestern's San Francisco educational space, you’ll experience learning at the epicenter of the Bay Area’s vibrant tech, media, and startup scene. Prepare to immerse yourself in and actively engage with the creative culture that defines this region through relevant, timely projects, and meeting Northwestern’s robust alumni network. 

Students at 44 Montgomery
Students eating at a restaurant

Get out and have fun with Bay Days 

Discover the heart and soul of the Bay Area through Bay Days. Each Friday, you’ll participate in field trips to local companies, workshops, and cultural programming with your cohort. These co-curricular excursions are designed to expand your perspective, compliment your coursework, and give you an inside look at life in San Francisco. 


Together as a cohort, students take four courses that focus on experiential learning in design innovation, digital communication, and the intersection of technology and culture. The courses have been uniquely designed for students in both journalism and engineering, with a focus on media innovation that bridges the fields.


  • DSGN 365: Bay Area Design Practicum – This hands-on, project-based course is a chance to dive deep in a critical area of need and engage with a project that relates to the Bay Area. In this class, you'll rapidly engage in the design process, working with multidisciplinary teams on uncovering opportunities, exploring ideas, prototyping solutions (whether physical, digital or interpersonal), and interacting with users.
  • JOUR 390: Intro to Data Journalism – Data journalism is everywhere today, but what is it? Data journalism is about using numbers to tell the best story possible. This course will introduce you to the practice of data journalism in a busy newsroom, showcasing the importance of telling a story and how tools can help you do it.
  • DSGN 306: User Experience Design – Learn to apply the design innovation process to create compelling user experiences, both individually and as a team.
  • JOUR 390: Visual Storytelling for the Web - Discover how to use web technologies to tell good journalistic stories, while studying and critiquing work that showcases the possibilities and limitations of the web. 

Who Should Apply?

The Bay Area Immersion Program is open to all Northwestern undergraduate students.

All Northwestern undergraduates are encouraged to apply to the Bay Area Immersion Program. However, preference may be given to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the McCormick School of Engineering and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. 

Applications for Winter 2025

The application for the Winter 2025 Bay Area Immersion Program will close on May 6, 2024. 



If you have questions that are not answered on our FAQ page, please contact Casey Russell at 


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