Individuals entering the product design field typically need a bachelor's degree. Degree programs in this field are available in a variety of disciplines through many 4-year colleges and universities.
10 Schools with Product Design Programs
The following schools all offer programs that prepare students for a career in product design.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Types||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$48,791|
|Parsons The New School for Design||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$43,813|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||Williamsport, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$15,810 (in-state), $22,470 (out-of-state)|
|California College of the Arts||San Francisco, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$43,708|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$50,665|
|Cranbrook Academy of Art||Bloomfield Hills, MI||4-year, Private||Master's||$35,886|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,037 (in-state), $27,365 (out-of-state)|
|Pratt Institute||Brooklyn, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$46,586|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$37,124|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$45,840|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
How to Select a Product Design School
Students looking into product design schools should take into consideration the following:
- Students can choose which type of program fits them best: either a Bachelor of Arts focusing on aesthetic elements of design, or a Bachelor of Science with more technical design and engineering coursework.
- Students should look for schools with state-of-the-art, on-site facilities that allow them to design the products of their interests, such as housewares or medical technology equipment.
- Independent studies or project opportunities permit students to work on career-specific projects and engage in creative or experimental design concepts outside of the standard curriculum.
- Internship or co-op work experiences in an area of specialization allow students to focus on a particular area of the profession, such as marketing, design or production.
Bachelor's Degree in Product Design
Students can earn a 4-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, both of which may segue into continuing graduate studies, though general education requirements and core courses may differ between the two. A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design is commonly offered as a terminal, professional degree, preparing students for entry into the field. Students may engage in independent projects, internships, co-op work experiences in a chosen area of product design and may be required to complete a senior presentation for successful completion.
When looking into product design programs, students should weigh available specializations, a school's design facilities and project opportunities in order to make an informed academic decision.