Business Week Names Two Northwestern Design Programs As Among Best in World

The MMM program and the Master of Product Design and Development Management program at Northwestern University were recently named as two of the "World's Best Design Schools" by Business Week magazine.

The two programs were among 32 chosen worldwide, and Northwestern was the only institution to have two programs in the list. According to the magazine, "As the world's business landscape evolves, universities are attempting to keep up by fostering teaching that supports an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems. The following programs, offered at both business schools and design colleges (sometimes jointly by both), present a snapshot of the nascent movement to teach design thinking and innovation to a new generation of global corporate leaders."

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"We see design as a pathway to innovation," says Julio Ottino, dean of the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. "By combining design, engineering, and business, our programs provide students with the skills they need to solve the world's most pressing problems. We're extremely pleased to be recognized as having two of the best programs in the world."

The MMM Program combines the MBA and master of engineering management degrees and is offered jointly through McCormick and the Kellogg School of Management. In 2007, the two-year program introduced a design focus. MMM students are required to take courses in design, which is considered integral to every part of the business cycle. The program aims to produce managers, general managers, and CEOs who understand products from concept through execution.

The MMM Program has a flexible curriculum that allows students to take a wide array of courses in areas most suited to their career goals, including marketing, operations, finance and entrepreneurship. It takes a hands-on, team-based approach to learning that applies theory to real-world challenges and gives students access to world-class experts and facilities in nanotechnology, biotechnology and other technical disciplines with significant business implications.

The Master of Product Design and Development Management program (MPD), combines business and professional engineering courses devoted to product development, is targeted at working professionals. They meet one day per week to take 21 classes looking at product development. Class themes include the management of creativity and design, design strategy, customer-focused innovation, and financial issues.

The MPD curriculum is focused on leadership in product development. Students learn from faculty with broad backgrounds in academia and industry, and the convenient two-year, part-time program allows for a hands-on, team-based approach to learning. And it's the learning that continues: graduates are allowed to audit classes for the rest of their lives.