The EMDC program offers customized curriculum and an intense focus on the design and construction industry.The EMDC program offers customized curriculum and an intense focus on the design and construction industry.


Starting in the fall of 2024, the EMDC program can be completed in 15 months of part-time learning and is offered in a hybrid fashion (part online, part in-person learning). Students benefit from the real-life examples and case studies that inform teaching contexts and project assignments, which are brought to them by the program's seasoned faculty who are active in and well-connected within their fields of expertise. The program ushers a student cohort comprised of experienced design and construction professionals through a learning environment with curriculum that is designed to augment their technical expertise and build their business acumen relevant to the built environment sector.

Jump to a Section

Program Structure

The EMDC curriculum is offered in a hybrid fashion between online coursework and lectures, and in-person programming via a quarterly weekend gathering on campus.

A small cohort of 15-20 students progress through the program together, thus allowing them to learn from each other's professional experience as well as to form strong professional bonds that can last a lifetime.

See our Program Format

Return to Top

Program Duration

The Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction degree is earned across four academic quarters. The program begins in the fall academic quarter and graduates students at the conclusion of the fall quarter of the following year. No official programming is conducted in the summer quarter, however, ample opportunities to network and connect with faculty, staff, and industry will be available.

See our Program Format

Return to Top


To earn the Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction degree, students must successfully complete 12.0 units of a combined schedule of on-line coursework and lectures, and in-person programming. The EMDC curriculum builds upon the students' 8+ years of professional experience to supplement their technical skills and improve their business and management acumen.

Learn more about the curriculum

Return to Top

Who Should Apply

Northwestern Engineering's EMDC program is uniquely designed for senior-level professionals with 8+ years of progressive experience in various roles within the built environment sector.

See more about our typical student

Return to Top 


The EMDC faculty draws on extensive real-world experience in combination with scholarly expertise from a wide range of disciplines across the built environment sector. Typically with 20 or more years of experience, these faculty members are leaders in their field and instruct based on the unique needs a professional will require to succeed in this sector's organizational leadership roles.

EMDC's program director, Shelley Finnigan, is a Northwestern Engineering faculty member and an engaged contributor to the built environment sector, where she holds leadership positions in several industry organizations, mentors early- and mid-career professionals, and can often be found speaking or moderating at conferences across the globe.

Meet our faculty

Return to Top

Industry Collaboration

Staying connected to industry is one of EMDC's highest priorities. Our faculty and staff hold leadership positions, serve as members of multiple organizations, and maintain extensive networks. This kind of engagement enables us to stay connected with industry trends, demonstrate thought leadership through speaking engagements and publications, and maintain professional relationships.

Connecting with those at the forefront of our sector broadens the exposure of our program - and its students - to industry leaders. It also reinforces the value that EMDC instills on its students by developing the unique skillset of an executive-level leader - which thus supports both our graduates as they navigate their careers and the entities in which they thrive.

See our industry partners

Return to Top

Continuing Education Credits

The EMDC program offers two options to help satisfy the industry's continuing education requirements for maintaining professional licensure.

• EMDC students can apply qualifying coursework toward continuing education units (CEUs) / professional development hours (PDHs).
• Non-EMDC students can earn CEUs/PDHs through ancillary programming events delivered by the EMDC program.

In either case, upon request, the EMDC program can provide the appropriate documentation that validates your participation in the educational activities. Check back here for updates on our upcoming Frameworks continuing education events, which will be open for registration by all interested members of the built environment sector.

Return to Top

Industry Advisory Board

The EMDC program's Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is comprised of a small group of key thought leaders from across diverse areas of the built environment sector. These individuals volunteer their time to share insights and recommendations that enable us to stay attuned to industry needs and ensure our curriculum stays on the cutting-edge in order to meet the industry's evolving needs.

Return to Top