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Northwestern University

Segal Design Certificate

Solve real design problems for real people.

Segal Design Certificate

Learn to apply the design process in multiple contexts and gain visual communication skills in the Segal Design Certificate program. Students in the certificate program take a set of experiential courses and work on projects that build their understanding of the human-centered design process, including concept ideation and sketching, research and data visualization, problem framing and prototyping, and communication to diverse audiences. The certificate program is available to any undergraduate at Northwestern interested in applying creative problem-solving skills and design thinking to their professional career. 

Why Pursue a Design Certificate?

Certificate students work in team-based, transdisciplinary settings that challenge them to apply design thinking skills to a diverse set of real problems and people. By the end of the program, every student possesses a design portfolio that serves as a valuable and practical resource for showcasing their work to prospective employers and project collaborators.


Certificate students work on projects that expose them to key components of the design process, including brainstorming, prototyping, storytelling, user testing, rapid iteration, and giving and receiving feedback. In two-quarter capstone courses, students extend their learning and dive even deeper into their projects.  
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All certificate students develop personal portfolios that demonstrate effective use of the design process, prototypes, software and analytical tools, and visual communication of their work. 
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Who Should Enroll?

Any Northwestern undergraduate interested in augmenting their education with a strong understanding of innovative design processes can pursue the Segal Design Certificate. 

Curriculum & Requirements

Students must be enrolled in a Northwestern bachelor's degree program to receive the Segal Design Certificate. Certificate students must take one prerequisite, three approved electives, one required design sequence, and the required design portfolio course.  

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The certificate is highly customizable, and we advise students on an individual basis. Advising is by appointment. McCormick students should contact Stacy Benjamin. Non-McCormick Northwestern students should contact John Anderson.

How to Enroll

During their second or third year, students can use the McCormick Advising System (MAS) to declare the Segal Design Certificate. Northwestern students can log in to MAS with their NetID and password.

Receiving the Certificate

Progress towards the certificate is managed in MAS as part of a graduation audit. Students can monitor their progress online. Students receiving a non-McCormick Northwestern degree may still need a petition form for their degree program.

Contact Us

For more information about the Segal Design Certificate program, please email Stacy Benjamin (for students within McCormick) and email John Anderson (for students outside McCormick).

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