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Top Schools for Industrial Design

Learn about programs in industrial design, which can be found at design schools and universities. Learn about the program options at four top-notch schools, and find a list of other universities that provide training for industrial designers.

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Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

School Overview

Three of the top schools for industrial design include the Art Center College of Design, Carnegie Mellon University and Rhode Island School of Design, with the latter offering programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In general, the programs teach students learn how to design and develop appliances, furniture, office equipment and other manufactured products.

1. Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA

School Highlight: The Art Center helps artists and designers find the necessary skills for them to make an impact with their art and ingenuity.

The college offers a Master of Science in Industrial Design with a program emphasis on practice and theory for the production of research and development of business opportunities. Also available is a dual MS/MBA degree in Innovation Systems Design, and a dual degree program for an MS in Industrial Design from the Art Center and an MBA from Drucker School of Management.

2. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, RI

School Highlight: The school was founded in tandem with the RISD Museum of Art.

The school's Division of Architecture and Design offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in industrial design. In the Bachelor's in Fine Art program, students have the opportunity to work on projects of sustainability for countries like Argentina and Costa Rica. The Master of Industrial Design is housed in the department's six-floor building and studio, shop and gallery spaces. Also offered are noncredit certificate programs.

3. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

School Highlight: The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon is one of the few design programs in America to offer all levels of degrees at a research institution.

At the university's School of Design, students can pursue an undergraduate program in industrial design while learning how to create products that enhance everyday life and human interaction. Coursework includes topics in environmental design, electronics and prototyping. Students can also enroll in Masters Degrees, like the Master of Design and Master of Arts in Design, and a Doctoral degree as a Ph.D. in Design.

Top Industrial Design Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Bachelor's in Industrial Design Blacksburg, VA
University of Houston Bachelor's degrees in Industrial and Product Design Houston, TX
Montclair State University Bachelor's degrees offered Montclair, NY
Massachusetts College of Art and Design Bachelor's degrees in Industrial and Product Design, Associate's degrees in Graphic Design Boston, MA
Ferris State University Bachelor's degrees in Industrial and Product Design Big Rapids, MI
Clemson University Bachelor's and master's degrees available in industrial design Clemson, SC
Auburn University Bachelor's and Master's degrees Auburn, AL
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