Undergraduate Study / Programs / Honors & Combined DegreesMurphy Institute
The Murphy Institute enables a group of McCormick's best undergraduates to engage in self-directed activities of interest to them, with support from faculty advisers. These activities might include on-campus research, involvement with design projects, entrepreneurship, or engagement in off-campus scholarly work.
A Murphy Institute Scholar may follow an existing curriculum or design his or her own curriculum through McCormick’s Integrated Engineering Studies degree program.
Participation in the Murphy Institute is by invitation only.
Murphy Institute Scholars define and pursue a research or design project during their four years at Northwestern. Each Murphy Institute Scholar receives an award that is intended to cover supplemental expenses. Project possibilities include:
- laboratory research
- entrepreneurial activities
- public policy
Murphy Scholars are advised by an interdisciplinary team of Faculty Fellows, which is assembled with the interests of the students in mind.
Some members of the advising team may be from other Northwestern schools, from outside the University, or from Northwestern's alumni base.
Murphy Scholars take part in an interdisciplinary seminar series called Engineering Dialog, which is organized and presented by Murphy Institute Faculty Fellows and Scholars.
Presentations cover diverse topics and change with each quarter. For example:
- Professor David Kelso described fighting disease in Africa with engineering solutions.
- Professor Elizabeth Gerber, along with Murphy Scholar Nana Ohene Adu, discussed their roles in Design for America.
- Professor Hani Mahmassani talked about solutions for traffic gridlock.
Murphy Scholars follow the course curriculum of their chosen major or design a curriculum based on their interests.
To supplement their studies, some Murphy Scholars also pursue a second major or a certificate.
Murphy Scholars are involved in a wide variety of activities on campus and throughout the community, often taking leadership roles in their organizations.
Becoming a Murphy Scholar
Participation in the Murphy Institute is by invitation only. Students are invited to serve as Murphy Institute Scholars on the basis of their Northwestern applications.
Programming with a Purpose
Alex’s project teaches coding to students by matching their own particular level of skill with issues from real open-source projects.
Organic Photovoltaic Fabrication
In her project, Laura developed a way to increase the external quantum efficiency of an organic photovoltaic material—a solar cell that is made from organic materials rather than silicon.
Volunteer Engagement in the Age of Analytics: A Case Study with the American Red Cross Greater Chicago Region
Tessa's team analyzed the Red Cross Volunteer system to help them maximize the use of—and experience for—volunteers responding to local disasters, such as house fires.
Dynamic Display of Bioactivity for Regenerative Medicine
Ellen’s study advances the understanding of—and tools available for—regenerative medicine by providing a scaffold that has the dynamic nature of extracellular matrices.