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Industrial Design Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Industrial design schools often include art, business, basic engineering, psychology and ergonomics courses. These programs have an accrediting body and offer significant hands-on training.

In industrial design programs, students explore the look and feel, function, maintenance and environmental impacts of designed products. Programs are commonly offered at the undergraduate level, though students can also pursue master's degrees in this field.

Schools with Industrial Design Programs

The following is a list of some universities that offer industrial design programs at both the bachelor's and master's level. Relevant information for prospective students, like location and tuition statistics, are included.

College or School Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $10,158 for residents, $25,458 for non-residents
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, public Bachelor's $10,037 for residents, $27,365 for non-residents
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $15,054 for residents, $30,214 for non-residents
Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $12,204 for residents, $32,396 for non-residents
University of Houston Houston, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $8,759 for residents, $20,519 for non-residents
Appalachian State University Boone, NC 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,852 for residents, $20,677 for non-residents
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA 4-year, public Bachelor's $8,256 for residents, $21,984 for non-residents
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $10,424 for residents, $28,040 for non-residents

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students should weigh their options when selecting a program in industrial design, depending on their career goals and past educational history.

  • A student's chosen school should be regionally accredited. The industrial design degree programs may also be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).
  • Look for programs that allow students access to a well-equipped lab, which may include state-of-the-art molding and fuse deposition modeling machines and advanced tools that students can use throughout the program.
  • Students may consider schools that have won awards from industrial design competitions, as these may offer guidance as to which schools are training students to impress design judges or their peers.
  • Students may wish to find a program that requires an internship experience, as it will help students make connections and gain real world experience in the field.

Bachelor's Degrees in Industrial Design

A bachelor's level degree in this field will provide students with a general overview of beginning courses in architecture and design. Students may have the opportunity to select some specialized electives and may be able to complete an internship in the field. These degrees prepare students for a number of positions in the design and architecture field.

Master's Degrees in Industrial Design

A master's degree in industrial design will focus on more advanced concepts and may be more specialized. Depending on the program, students may be able to choose a more theoretical or hands-on program.

Both undergraduate and graduate-level industrial design programs teach students about the different elements of the field. In addition to creative design topics, students learn about marketing, branding and cost analysis. The school might include internships as part of the course of study, which is a good opportunity to learn how business concerns affect real-world industrial design.

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