Best Industrial Design Schools in the World

15 Best Industrial Design Schools in the World

For those who may not know what industrial design is about, it is a field that spans products, systems, and environments.

Before we dive right into the list of best industrial design schools in the world, it is important to know what industrial designers do.

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What Do Industrial Designers Do?

Industrial designers make use of their creative minds, problem-solving, and technical abilities to create products that are not just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

As of 2020, the global industrial design market was at an estimated 600 billion dollars. This market is still growing very rapidly and is expected to hit a whopping 800 billion dollars by the year 2025. 

If you are wondering if you should begin a career in industrial design, here are some reasons why you should.

First and foremost, the average salary for an industrial engineer is around 70,000 dollars and this increases and varies as you build more relevant experience and skills.

Secondly, as an industrial designer, you can effect changes in the world through the products that you design, which can provide improved efficiency and sustainability, and can also be user-friendly.

Thirdly, you are privileged to work on various projects ranging from transportation to consumer electronics, and even medical devices.

You will also work on these projects with several skilled professionals including product managers, marketers, and even engineers.

Finally, the industry is growing at a very fast pace as I said earlier. Those who can build relevant experience and skills will be able to reap a lot from this growth as they take on more advanced roles which will be more rewarding than the entry roles they began with.

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Admission Requirements for Industrial Design Schools

Although there might be some variation in requirements for each school, some of the common entry requirements you should expect include:

  • Your high school diploma or an equivalent.

  • Math, Science, and English grades.

  • A portfolio of your work.

  • A personal statement.

  • An interview.

Best Industrial Design Schools in the World

Below are some of the best industrial design schools in the world. I always advise readers to visit the official website of a school that they are interested in, to get more detailed information, as this article may only give you a preview of what each school offers.

ArtCenter College of Design

This master’s degree covers how to create extraordinary designs and teaches the steps necessary for creating new value for business and social innovation. Their teachings are based on the understanding of human needs and aspirations.

They provide you with internationally renowned lecturers and professionals, and a standard design studio environment where you will be encouraged to create designs that will have an impact.

The ArtCenter College of Design offers two tracks, and they are Master of Sin industrial design (MS) and Innovation systems design (MS/MBA). Find more information here.

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Carnegie Mellon University

This Bachelor of Design program runs for 4 years and offers 3 specialization tracks which are: Products (Industrial design), Communications (graphic design), and Environment (both physical and digital).

This program hammers on the role of design in connectivity between people.

You can collaborate with your colleagues in dedicated studio spaces, earn design theories, and sharpen your methods and processes skills.

You’ll be engaged in crafting objects, concepts, and development of systems that will aid interaction. Find more information here.

Cornell University

This is a 2-year master’s program that brings together students and faculties that have deep knowledge in the various fields of design including industrial, interior, graphic, architecture, interaction, design history, engineering, geography, management, etc. 

They are big on conducting research and most of them are carried out in the field.

However, they still have a computer-aided design and facility management lab, wood workshop, art gallery, human factors, and ergonomics research lab. Find more information here.

Eindhoven University of Technology

This school offers a great study and work environment that encourages designing and creating intelligent products, systems, and related services.

Upon completion of the industrial design course, you will be able to work with stakeholders while combining products and services to suit individual needs. Find more information here.

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Rhode Island School of Design

The master’s program at RISD teaches you how to use design as a driving force for touching on societal, environmental, cultural, and other issues that concerns humans. The course lasts for 2 years.

During your first year, you will carry out projects that will boost your approach to industrial design, you will also engage in discussions that help to refine your value system, methodologies, and how you dialogue. Find more information here.

Parsons School of Design

This is a 60-credit 2-year full-time course where you are awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree upon completion.

During your second year in this course, you will be exposed to limited run-making in New York, and during your third semester, you will investigate large-scale production through remote collaborations or studying abroad at selected sites. 

Upon completion of this course, there are several paths that you can follow, and they include toy design, service and humanitarian design, furniture design, product development, industrial design, and management. Find more information here.

Politecnico di Milano

This is a 2-year master course that costs 13500 Euros per year. The course is taught in English and there are just 35 seats available for each admission. 

This master’s in industrial design engineering and innovation was set up to create designers who can manage the development of a product starting from conceptualization to the manufacturing stage.

They combine the technical abilities that are involved in production technology, the artistic, and humanistic skills of design culture. Find more information here.

Purdue University

The purpose of this 4-year undergraduate degree is to create problem solvers who are creators of highly functional and aesthetically pleasing forms of product concepts that can be manufactured b industry. This program leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

You should note that you do not need a portfolio to apply to this program. However, you would need one if you are to advance to upper-level design and complete the major. Find more information here.

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Royal College of Art 

You will be engaged in design on multiple levels at this school. Ranging from conceptualization to carrying out practical, you will be taught to have a strong culture of innovation.

Your lecturers for this program are renowned in research, teaching, and practice. Find more information here.

Pratt Institute 

This program is aimed at building you to the level where you can make useful contributions to a sustainable future.

Whether it be in furniture or digital experiences, they seek to ensure you are able to turn ideas into products. They offer both a bachelor’s program and a master’s program. Find more information here.

University of Cincinnati

The bachelor’s degree in design offered by this institution gives you the chance to learn how to combine specialization, experimentation, and discovery.

You also can study abroad during your fourth year of this program. Find more information here.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

This Bachelor of Science degree is made up of 120 semester units and it prepares you for practicing professionally.

You will be equipped with technical know-how in aesthetics, rapid visualization, presentation techniques, materials and processes, product development, design methodology, financing principles, and product costing.

People who enroll for this course are exposed to a great internship with companies like Xeroz, Oakley, General Electric, Unisys, NCR, Apple, etc. Find more information here.

Aalto University

This Master of Arts degree focuses on the roles that design plays in society today. Students are trained to become expert designers and effect changes in businesses, education, communities, the public sector, etc. 

There are three majors under the master’s program, and they include collaborative and industrial design, fashion, clothing, textile design (FaCT), and contemporary design (CoDe).

This is a 2-year program taught in English. For non-EU/EEA students, it costs just 15,000 Euros. Find more information here.

University of Washington

This undergraduate program has been receiving students for the past 40 years.

This program’s primary purpose is to engage students in industrial design practice that will lead to the creation of new products, services, and services that is human-centric. Find more information here.

Virginia Tech

This accredited program helps to prepare students to be able to navigate the ever-changing field of industrial design by passing them through a rigorous curriculum filled with projects and interactions. Find more information here.

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