Online Master's Degree in Industrial Design

Although very few online master's degree programs are available in industrial design, many on-campus options are available. Learn about programs in industrial design, program requirements and jobs in the field. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Industrial Design?

Industrial design is the process of creating the final form of a manufactured product. Industrial designers work to understand the needs of consumers who use a product, how to develop a product that meets those needs and what manufacturing processes are necessary to produce it. Industrial designers work in many industries, such as transportation, farm equipment, electronics, medical instruments and computer interfaces. This field combines skills in technology and mechanics with an understanding of aesthetics and visual arts.

Career IndustriesElectronics, computer interfaces, farm equipment, transportation
Common CoursesProfessional design practices, digital modeling, advanced drawing methods, computer-aided design
Career OptionsMultimedia designer, exhibit designer, product developer

What Can I Expect From the Curriculum?

You can usually complete an online or on-campus master's degree program in industrial design in 2-3 years. Although online graduate programs in industrial design can be difficult to find, they are widely available in on-campus formats from a number of accredited colleges and universities. Coursework for both online and on-campus programs combine training in manufacturing processes, product design, mechanical engineering and aesthetics. Programs commonly culminate in a thesis or comprehensive exam, and some schools facilitate internships to help you gain professional experience. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Drawing for industrial design
  • Computer-aided design
  • Digital modeling in 3D
  • Professional design practices
  • Manufacturing processes and materials
  • Advanced drawing methods
  • Project management

What Jobs Could I Get?

With a master's degree in industrial design, you could be eligible for a number of careers in a variety of industries. Possible job titles include industrial designer, multimedia designer, interface developer or exhibit designer. You could also find work as a product designer or product developer. Possible employers include museums, software developers, automotive companies, entertainment agencies or design firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), commercial and industrial designers earned a median annual salary of $64,620 as of May 2014; top-paid professionals in this field took home upwards of $100,070 (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • The University of the Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Rhode Island School of Design

    Campus Locations:

    • Rhode Island: Providence
  • Philadelphia University

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Raleigh
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Bloomfield Hills
  • College for Creative Studies

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Detroit
  • Auburn University

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Auburn University
  • University of Illinois at Chicago

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • Art Center College of Design

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Pasadena