Product Design Schools

Product design is a multidisciplinary field that draws upon concepts in business, art and engineering. Find out about degree programs and classes in this field, along with career options. Read about some important considerations for choosing a product design school. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Study product design at the bachelor's degree level. Coursework in these programs will include drawing, visual communications, and computer-aided design (CAD).

What Is Product Design?

Product design involves creating innovative new products for consumers to buy and use. Product designers have a hand in the production of all types of products, from toys to electronics to appliances. As a product designer, you'll be responsible for ensuring that these items are functional, stylish, safe and of high quality. An important consideration when designing new products may be to ensure that are socially responsible, meaning that they are sustainable and environmentally friendly. You may specialize in one type of product, such as cars, furniture, housewares, toys or medical equipment.

What Should I Look for in a School?

A bachelor's degree is generally required to obtain entry-level work as a product designer. The most important factor to consider when deciding where to apply is whether the school has a major in product design or a related area, such as commercial or industrial design. If you want to attend a highly regarded program, rankings available from U.S. News & World Report and Businessweek can help you determine which design schools are the best. The next thing to consider is the focus of a school's program. Some schools tend to focus more on the engineering aspects of product design, while others are more artistic in nature.

It is a good idea to tour any schools of interest to you and have a look at the facilities available to their students. Do they provide their students with computer workstations? Do they have a photography studio with a darkroom? How about a digital imaging lab capable of producing 3-dimensional images? The more experience you can gain using state-of-the-art equipment, the more prepared you'll be to use this equipment after you graduate.

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Product Design?

Select from these bachelor's degrees in product design and engineering design technology:

  • Ferris State University offers Bachelor Degree program in product design
  • The New School offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program in Product Design
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Engineering Design Technology

What Will I Learn?

As a student in a product design program, you may learn how to design a wide variety of products, such as furniture, fashion accessories, office products, consumer electronics and medical products. During your course of study, you'll spend much of your time in design studios working on projects. Some of the courses you may take include:

  • Drawing
  • 3-D design
  • Materials and methods
  • Computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Art history
  • Product design
  • Visual communications

Some programs also require that you participate in internships or gain professional experience.

What Happens After I Graduate?

After earning your bachelor's degree, you'll probably be qualified to apply for entry-level product design jobs; however, you'll likely have to work for a few years to acquire the experience necessary to be promoted to a higher position, such as chief designer. As part of your job application, you'll typically have to submit a portfolio of some of your best designs. During school, you should take care to make your portfolio as strong as possible because it'll factor heavily in whether or not you obtain a job. In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that commercial and industrial designers earned an average annual salary of $61,890.

Product design programs are widely available through 4-year colleges. A variety of pathways do exist, and online options are available.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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