Industrial Design Major, B.S.
Imagine creating things that help people work more efficiently, save money and live better. You can make this possible with a well-balanced creative and technical degree in Industrial Design from MSU Denver.
Get involved with every step of the design process for manufacturing products, from sketching concepts to building models and prototypes to sourcing materials. The bachelor’s degree program in Industrial Design at MSU Denver encourages and supports critical thinking and innovative problem-solving in human-centered product design.
Combining art, business and engineering into one undergraduate degree program, the bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design offers an experiential learning environment with hands-on projects, passionate professors and state-of-the-art facilities. At MSU Denver, you can develop marketable graphic design, technical and verbal presentation skills for an imaginative career in Industrial Design.
Also available as a minor, Industrial Design complements bachelor’s degree programs at MSU Denver in related creative fields such as these:
- Advanced Manufacturing Sciences
- Art Education
- Art History, Theory and Criticism
- Communication Design
- Construction Project Management
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
Connect and work with other MSU Denver undergraduate programs, product manufacturing industry partners and international Industrial Design institutions. With strong and active relationships in the local and global communities, MSU Denver provides amazing opportunities to collaborate on projects in the Industrial Design studio and abroad.
Broaden your global perspective in a short-term, two-week design workshop or a full academic year study abroad program. The bachelor’s degree program in Industrial Design at MSU Denver partners with Industrial Design programs in Germany and South Korea to provide students with opportunities to learn the design cultures of other countries.
Get involved with the oldest and largest organization for Industrial Design students and professionals in the world, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). MSU Denver’s IDSA student group is one of the country’s most active IDSA student chapters, hosting events and programs such as weekend workshops with well-known Industrial Design experts, financial support for student travel, professional design contracts and volunteer projects. Every year, the professional organization selects an Industrial Design major from MSU Denver to receive the Student Merit award for a free, one-year membership to IDSA and the opportunity to present at the Western Regional IDSA Conference.
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
The median annual salary for Industrial Designers was almost $68,000 in 2016. Jobs in Industrial Design vary but typically fall under one of these categories:
- Product design and development
- Computer-based design and drafting
- Exhibit design
- Entrepreneurial product design
- Model making and rapid prototyping
These are some examples of products you could develop new or different designs for while working independently or directly with manufacturers:
- Consumer electronics products such as computers and smart phones
- Home appliances and housewares
- Medical equipment
- Snowboards and other outdoor adventure equipment
- Children’s toys
MSU Denver’s undergraduate program in Industrial Design ranks 43rd among the Top 50 best valued bachelor’s in Industrial Design degree programs in the world, according to ValueColleges.com. This distinction places MSU Denver above some of the best internationally renowned design schools such as the Art Center College of Design and Parsons School of Design.
Dedicated, experienced and highly qualified, MSU Denver’s Industrial Design faculty are industry professionals who share their real-world expertise and experiences with students. Their specialty areas include cultural design, prototype fabrication, composites manufacturing and applications, marketing small business entrepreneurship, furniture and lighting design, bicycle design, outdoor soft goods, human factors and usability design, 2-D and 3-D visualization, conventional and advanced materials and manufacturing process, and history of design—just to name a few.
With a bachelor’s degree in Product Design and master’s degree in Industrial Design, Professor David Klein has designed everything from children’s riding toys and adult fitness equipment to decorative designs and consumer electronics. In addition to presenting at IDSA and NCIIA national conferences, Klein completed a Fulbright-Hayes Seminar in the Czech and Slovak Republics and was a visiting scholar at the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology.
Currently writing a book on Globalization and Craft Cultures, Assistant Professor Amy Kern specializes in furniture and lighting design including work with factories around the world, major corporate retailers and custom design consultancies. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies with an East Asian emphasis and a master’s degree in Industrial Design from University of California, Kern has completed various international programs including Scandinavian Furniture Design from Danish School of Design in Copenhagen.
Alumni at Work
From outdoor gear suppliers to computer manufacturers to medical device companies, these are just a few of the employers who have hired MSU Denver graduates of the bachelor’s degree program in Industrial Design:
- 3D Systems
- Mountain Smith
- Kid Robot
- Charter Communications
- HEXHED Design
- Samson Design Associates
- NOA Brands
- Allegro Coffee Company
- Atelier Interior Design
- VP Components
The curriculum for Industrial Design balances traditional hands-on technical skills with advanced technology-driven knowledge to help students understand the function, aesthetics, materials, costs and usability of product design and manufacturing. These are some of the classes you will take as an Industrial Design major at MSU Denver:
- History of Industrial Design
- Industrial Design Model Making
- Concept and Portfolio Development
- Professional Internship
- Technical Drawing and CAD
- Manufacturing Materials and Processes
- Human Factors Engineering
- Digital Composition
- Materials and Fabrication
- Technology and Design: Global Perspectives
- Public Furniture Design
In addition to foundational classes, Industrial Design majors can specialize in areas such as textiles, bicycle design, furniture design, prototyping and additive manufacturing. And every student completes a practical internship in a professional setting during senior year to gain experience in an area that interests them while working with an Industrial Design professional.
Facilities and Resources
The Department of Industrial Design moved in Fall 2017 to the new MSU Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building, which was funded in part by a $1M gift from Lockheed Martin. Featuring 90,000 square feet of experiential and collaborative learning space, the state-of-the-art building integrates programs in Industrial Design; Computer Science; and Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology.
The Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building houses professionally staffed Industrial Design labs with cutting-edge technology and equipment for working with woods, metals, composites and plastics. Fully equipped with advanced tools, machinery and software, the shops feature 3-D printers, Cintiq and Intuous tablets, industrial sewing machines, a wind tunnel and a photo studio.
MSU Denver’s Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). It is the only NASAD-accredited Industrial Design program in Colorado.