Industrial Design

The industrial design major is a professional program with intensive course work to prepare students for professional design positions.  Purdue is unique in that is combines the professional degree with a liberal arts education.  This combination prepares students for strong leadership roles as industrial designers.  The major is a four-year degree with an emphasis in form giving for manufactured goods.  Students’ graduate with the ability to be innovative problem solvers and create aesthetically appropriate forms that can be manufactured by industry. 

Points of Pride

  • Industrial design is housed in the new Visual and Performing Arts Building, a state-of-the-art facility built specifically for the visual and performing arts at Purdue. The building includes a computer lab built specifically for the industrial design program, complete with a three-dimensional printer.
  • Purdue has a student chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America.
  • The industrial design program was ranked nationally by DesignIntelligence: The Almanac of Architecture and Design.
  • Courses in portfolio preparation and presentation techniques also guide students as they prepare to begin their professional careers.
  • Purdue industrial design students and faculty have been recognized both nationally and internationally in design competitions. 

Special note regarding portfolio review - An art portfolio is not required to begin this major. However, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year to advance to upper level design and complete this major. Selection is competitive and is based on the student’s work in Purdue art and design courses and development as a designer. Students not selected for upper level Industrial Design work with their academic advisor to change to their second choice major.


As part of the design team, industrial designers work closely with marketing, merchandising, graphics, R&D, and engineering on new product development from concept to product release. They create sketches, renderings, and models of new concepts both on software and by hand; communicate with vendors and internal staff; present concepts to design, engineering, and marketing groups; and research new materials, products, and innovations in other industries.

Upon graduation, Purdue students have worked for major corporations including: Nike, Hasbro, International Trucks, Whirlpool, Delta Faucet, General Electric, Sears, and Microsoft, to name a few.  Graduates have also worked for Industrial Design consultancies such as Teams, IDEO, Insight, Worrell Design, Ziba Design, and BMW Designworks.

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Plan of Study

2018-19 Plan of Study - BFA

2017-18 Plan of Study - BFA

2016-17 Plan of Study - BFA

2015-16 Plan of Study - BA

2014-15 Plan of Study - BA

Industrial Design

Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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