Automotive Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Automotive designers are often regarded as a specific type of industrial or commercial designer. An automotive designer conceptualizes the appearance of a vehicle's exterior and interior. A bachelor's degree in industrial design or motor vehicle design is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level positions in the field.

How to Select an Automotive Design School

Bachelor's degree programs in industrial design or commercial design are unique fields of study, and those specific to vehicle design are even more difficult to find. There are approximately 300 art and design programs that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Consider the following when looking for automotive design schools:

  • In general, a bachelor's degree program in industrial design is broad in scope and prepares graduates to work in a number of different areas, and this fact alone may figure into a prospective choice.
  • An internship is important to aspiring automotive and industrial designers and should be one of the main considerations when choosing a design school.
  • Specific automotive design courses should cover areas such as technical creativity, design for manufacturing and assembly, vehicle packaging, design terminology and vehicle electronic systems.

10 Schools with Automotive Design Programs

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Arizona State University 4-year, Public
Ohio State University 4-year, Public
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, Public
University of Washington - Seattle Campus 4-year, Public
California State University - Long Beach 4-year, Public
University of Houston 4-year, Public
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 4-year, Public
San Jose State University 4-year, Public
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public

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