Top Industrial Design Schools



If you are bursting with creativity and a passion for inventing new useful objects, you may want to consider pursuing an industrial design degree to help foster your natural talents in a rewarding career path. With a major in industrial design, students are able to build the essential skills that are needed to design, manufacture, test, and package products for mass production, including everything from televisions and laptops to airplanes and furniture pieces.

In order to ensure you have chosen one of the top industrial design schools, it is important to look for a degree that has been given accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Since selecting a major in industrial design can be rigorous on the pathway to becoming a materials expert, it is recommended that students take prerequisite high school courses in geometry, studio art, business, computer science, physics, and pre-calculus.

Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID)

As a four-year program that is open to students with a high school diploma and an interest in industrial design, the Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) will build the skills that are needed to create products that are both aesthetically pleasing to the public’s eye as well as functional in our everyday lives. Along with extensive time spent in the studio sketching and making models, industrial design majors will take courses in:

  • Introduction to Industrial Design
  • Materials and Processes
  • Marketing
  • Model Making
  • Visual Communications
  • Art History of Industrial Design
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Advanced Industrial Design Studio

In most cases, a Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) is required for individuals who are interested in obtaining entry-level positions as industrial designers in today’s job market. The majority of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design will work full-time in the manufacturing, specialized design services, wholesale trade, architectural, and engineering industries. Some of the most common career titles are:

  • Industrial Designer
  • Architect
  • Interior Designer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Drafter
  • Metal Worker/Jeweler
Master of Industrial Design (MID)

For working design professionals and designers entering the field who have already received a related bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, the Master of Industrial Design (MID) can be a great opportunity for advancing career experiences in art, engineering, and business. At the best industrial design schools, the master’s degree provides a seamless blend between design theory and practical hands-on learning for designing useful products. Graduate students can expect to take advanced coursework related to:

  • Digital 3D Modeling Software
  • Manufacturing/Production Processes
  • Conceptual Sketching
  • Prototyping
  • Observational Research
  • Digital Design Drafting
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Building Energy Performance

After completing the more focused studio experiences associated with this typically two-year full-time program, graduates with the Master of Industrial Design in hand will be well-qualified for fulfilling in-demand positions in a wide variety of sectors with their excellent eye for design. Depending on individual career interests at the mid to senior-level, graduates may wish to become a(n):

  • Industrial Designer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Product Designer
  • Project Engineer/Manager
  • Technical Design Consultant
  • Marketing Researcher
  • Art Director
  • Industrial Engineer

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Top Industrial Design Schools According to US News and World Report

Rank

1

Total 2086 Enrollment

Rhode Island School of Design

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

2

Total 1459 Enrollment

Art Center College of Design

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

3

Total 8514 Enrollment

Carnegie Mellon University

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

4

Total 141 Enrollment

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

5

Total 1180 Enrollment

California College of the Arts

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

6

Total 4272 Enrollment

Pratt Institute - Main

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

7

Total 47952 Enrollment

Ohio State University - Main Campus

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

8

Total 14106 Enrollment

Rochester Institute of Technology

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

9

Total 5286 Enrollment

School of Visual Arts

Institute Type

4-year private, for-profit

Rank

10

Total 2578 Enrollment

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

View All Schools Offering Industrial Design Programs

Title City State Type Enrollment Total
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus OH 4-year public 47952
Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus Tempe AZ 4-year public 44126
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign IL 4-year public 38465
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 4-year public 38103
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle WA 4-year public 36139
Brigham Young University Provo UT 4-year private, not-for-profit 32554
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach CA 4-year public 30918
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo MI 4-year public 28657
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh NC 4-year public 28619
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA 4-year public 27869
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati OH 4-year public 27327
San Jose State University San Jose CA 4-year public 26698
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago IL 4-year public 24942
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills Campus Bloomfield Hills MI 2-year public 23188
Auburn University Main Campus Auburn University AL 4-year public 21860
Metropolitan State College of Denver Denver CO 4-year public 17688
Clemson University Clemson SC 4-year public 17465
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette LA 4-year public 15742
Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta GA 4-year public 14805
Appalachian State University Boone NC 4-year public 13227
Western Washington University Bellingham WA 4-year public 12307
Fashion Institute of Technology New York NY 4-year public 10813
Middlesex County College Edison NJ 2-year public 10398
Wayne County Community College District Detroit MI 2-year public 9008
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 8514
Northern Michigan University Marquette MI 4-year public 8427
Highline Community College Des Moines WA 2-year public 6327
Campbell University Inc Buies Creek NC 4-year private, not-for-profit 5880
Jackson Community College Jackson MI 2-year public 5069
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah GA 4-year private, not-for-profit 4923
Northwest Technical College Bemidji MN 2-year public 4638
Pratt Institute - Main Brooklyn NY 4-year private, not-for-profit 4272
Philadelphia University Philadelphia PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 3316
Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston MA 4-year private, not-for-profit 3187
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Inc Fort Lauderdale FL 4-year private, for-profit 3145
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport CT 4-year private, not-for-profit 2973
Art Institute of Seattle Seattle WA 2-year private, for-profit 2561
Art Institute of Philadelphia Philadelphia PA 4-year private, for-profit 2516
Art Institute Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PA 4-year private, for-profit 2497
Massachusetts College of Art Boston MA 4-year public 2328
Art Institute of Colorado Denver CO 4-year private, for-profit 2090
Rhode Island School of Design Providence RI 4-year private, not-for-profit 2086
The University of the Arts Philadelphia PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 2037
Siena Heights University Adrian MI 4-year private, not-for-profit 1972
Art Center College of Design Pasadena CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 1459
Oakland City University Oakland City IN 4-year private, not-for-profit 1418
Columbus College of Art and Design Columbus OH 4-year private, not-for-profit 1416
California College of the Arts Oakland CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 1180
College for Creative Studies Detroit MI 4-year private, not-for-profit 1086
ITT Technical Institute San Bernardino CA 4-year private, for-profit 817
David Wolcott Kendall Memorial School Grand Rapids MI 4-year private, not-for-profit 744
The Art Institute of Portland Portland OR 4-year private, for-profit 666
Milwaukee Institute of Art Design Milwaukee WI 4-year private, not-for-profit 646
Cleveland Institute of Art Cleveland OH 4-year private, not-for-profit 553
ITT Technical Institute Fort Wayne IN 4-year private, for-profit 510
ITT Technical Institute Murray UT 4-year private, for-profit 503