Transportation & Logistics Minor


Passenger and freight transportation represents nearly one–fifth of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, and influences every aspect of our lives—where we live, how we work, and what we purchase. The study of transportation and logistics is inherently interdisciplinary, reaching across schools and departments.

The Minor in Transportation & Logistics offers undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the exciting world of transportation and logistics through an interdisciplinary sampling of courses geared to complement their major program of study. The curriculum equips students with a broad understanding of the economics, engineering, and operations of transportation and logistics systems and the role of public policy.

The T&L Minor is administered by the Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC), an interdisciplinary research center founded in 1954. NUTC has been recognized as a leader in graduate education for decades, with affiliated faculty from departments campus-wide. NUTC’s dynamic expertise is made available to  the undergraduate student population through the T&L MInor.

VIEW/DOWNLOAD T&L Minor PROGRAM for additional details, including program requirements.


Students are required to complete 7 of the courses listed below (at a grade of C- or better), of which:

  • Trans 310 (seminar course taken in the senior year) is required
  • At least 3 courses must be from the list of core courses, or which 2 must be from Departments other than that in which they are majoring
  • The remainder may be additional core courses or from the list of approved elective courses. Courses offered by Northwestern University that are not listed here will be considered for credit towards the Minor if the course is appropriate to the student's program of study.

At least 2 courses of the core or elective courses must be outside the school in which the student is registered.

  • Students in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science may double count a maximum of 2 courses from their major program toward the Minor.
  • However, students registered in other schools are not allowed to "double count" courses which are part of their major, but can count courses that form "related courses," or "distribution" requirements.
  • The McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science has approved TRANS 310 as acceptable for the "social science/humanities" requirement. In addition TRANS 310 and other WCAS courses taken as part of the Minor will be considered as "thematically related" for purposes of the "social science/humanities" requirement.

It is assumed that students will already have taken courses in calculus and in probability and statistics as part of their Major.


TRANS 310: Seminar in Transportation & Logistics
Course will meet weekly for a whole academic year. Enrolled students will obtain one credit based on formal enrollment in the spring quarter. Students should take this course during their senior year. Students must have taken at least 5 of the courses that count toward the minor by the time they formally enroll for spring quarter.

Syllabus: (The seminar will consist of 4 parts)

  1. traditional lecture style formats by an NU faculty member concentrating on transportation policy
  2. invited outside speakers from industry and government
  3. field trips to transportation and logistics installations
  4. student presentations of their own work completed as part of the two papers required for the course

It is anticipated that the first and fourth parts will comprise the bulk of the class time. Appropriate journal and newspaper articles dealing with policy and policy analysis will be used as readings.

Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on two extended papers.  The first will be a descriptive case study of a particular transportation or logistics firm or industry.  The second will be a more analytical piece evaluating a specific public policy initiative.  Students will also be graded on class participation.


Students must select at least three core courses, of which at least two are from departments other than that in which they are majoring.  No substitutions will be allowed for the core courses. See below for a key to abbreviations.

WCAS-ECON-310-1 Intermediate Microeconomics I
WCAS-ECON-355 Transportation Economics and Public Policy
McC-CIV_ENG-371  Transportation Systems Planning and Management
McC-CIV_ENG-376 Transportation Systems Operations
Either McC-IEMS-310
or McC-IEMS-313
Operations Research

Deterministic Models and Optimization

McC-IEMS-381 Supply Chain Modeling and Analysis
McC-IEMS-383 Service Operations Management


The remainder of the program must be selected from additional core courses and the following list of approved elective courses. Courses offered by Northwestern University that are not listed here will be considered for credit towards the minor if the course is appropriate to the student's program of study. Approval for substitutions will be made by the Transportation Center's Program Committee based on a written submission made by the student.

WCAS-ECON-309 Elements of Public Finance
WCAS-ECON-337 Economics of State and Local Governments
WCAS-ECON-349 Industrial Economics
WCAS-ECON-350 Monopoly, Competition and Public Policy
WCAS-ECON-354 Issues in Urban Economics
WCAS-ECON-361 International Trade
WCAS-ECON-370 Environmental and Resource Economics
WCAS-ECON-381-1,2 Econometrics
WCAS-GEOG-312 Chicago and its Region
WCAS-GEOG-341 Principles of Cartography
WCAS-GEOG-343 Geographic Information Systems
WCAS-HISTORY-322-2 Development of the Modern American City 1870 - Present
WCAS-POLI_SCI-221 Urban Politics and Policies
Either  WCAS-POLI_SCI-329
U.S. Environmental Politics or
Politics and Nature in a Comparative Perspective
WCAS-SOCIOL-301 The City: Urbanization and Urbanism
WCAS-SOCIOL-312 Social Basis of Environmental Change
McC-CIV_ENG-304 Civil and Environmental Engineering Systems Analysis
McC-CIV_ENG-338 Public Infrastructure Management
McC-CIV_ENG-360  Environmental Impact Evaluation
McC-IEMS-315   Stochastic Models and Simulation
McC-IEMS-317   Discrete-Event Systems Simulation (was IEMS 335)
Either McC-IEMS-326

 or WCAS-ECON-360

Economics and Finance for Engineers

Foundations of Corporate Finance Theory

McC-IEMS-382 Production Planning and Scheduling (was IEMS 329)


Qualified advanced students may take the following courses upon petition to the instructor


Transportation Systems Analysis I


Transportation Systems Analysis I


Travel Demand Analysis and Forecasting I


Travel Demand Analysis and Forecasting II


Evaluation and Decision making for Infrastructure Systems


Production and Logistics I


Production and Logistics II