Art Institutes


I'm ready to make a real impact.

You’re all about how things work. And how to make them work better. It’ll take more than just curiosity to make a career out of blending form and function. But if you’re determined, passionate, and can't imagine doing anything else, our Industrial Design degree program can help you start a career where you turn your ideas into tangible objects that fit the way we work, play and live. Whether it’s a re-designed cell phone or self-service fuel pump, a user-friendly workstation or a wafer-thin TV screen, you’ll build the skills to create, design, and manufacture products that meet the world’s demand for the next-generation everything. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’s not easy. But if the goal is doing what you love, it’s well worth it.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment


Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will have the opportunity to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to implement design principles that can be practically applied to current industry standards.
  • Demonstrate how to conduct design research, how products work, and how they are manufactured. Design products that accommodate the capabilities and the needs of the intended user population.
  • Select and use appropriate industrial design tools, software, materials and techniques.
  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate the vision behind their creative work and explain and promote their solutions, model the interdependence of content and visual expression and evaluate and critique their ideas.
  • Exhibit professionalism through their behavior, comprehension, and application of intellectual property law, product safety, social responsibility, sustainability, marketing strategies, project management and the team dynamic.

See for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Classroom Experience

You say it's a demanding field? Bring it on.

Industrial designers create the products we use every day. But there’s nothing everyday about the hard work and commitment it takes to succeed in this profession. Here, you’ll start with basics like drafting, design, drawing, and perspective, so you can express your ideas on paper. We’ll show you how to fabricate materials and build models. You can study anatomy and ergonomics to learn how people and products interact. Working with modeling software and hardware ranging from 3D printers to a computer-controlled vertical mill, you’ll explore areas including 3D design, prototyping, human factors, and materials & processes. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

What Will I Study?

Study Section

I've got what it takes. Just give me the tools.

The Industrial Design curriculum is rigorous, all-encompassing, and designed by experienced industry and education innovators. As you have the opportunity to learn to think in terms of how people will use your product as you take it from idea to prototype to presentation, you'll study:

  • Drawing and Perspective
  • Digital Modeling and Rendering
  • Design Thinking
  • Fabricating
  • Materials & Processes
  • Product Design
  • Model Building
  • Three Dimensional Design
  • Prototyping
  • Human Factors
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Design

I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Industrial Design degree program is built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we’ll support you along every step of your journey. That’s why we provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.


Meet Our Faculty

  • Truman Pollard

    Truman Pollard

    Industrial Design

    "Make yourself invaluable to your employer."

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    Truman Pollard
    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    I’ve always been inquisitive, always taking things apart or putting them together. My first real spark, "I can make this better," was as a teenager working on a NASCAR race team my father and sponsored while he managed a Ford dealership. I learned the basics about tools, fabrication, and welding. In high school I enjoyed drafting, but especially an architecture course. My first life goal was to be an architect, building race cars between projects.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I run the class the same way I run a project. There are requirements and schedules to meet, along with the challenges of communicating a successful solution to management. Every project may also require developing new skills in drawing styles, 3D CAD, and digital presentations to adapt to a new solution. When students complain about having to narrow the almost endless design directions down to one solution, I simply say, “Yes, isn’t this fun!”

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I love the first brainstorming session. Industrial Design has taught me that all successful products have an exciting story to tell. Brainstorming gives us an outstanding opportunity to explore these stories and make new ones. It’s through these new discoveries, mixed with technology and culture, that students can make their own impression on the future.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?

    Companies are looking for people whose skills in listening, negotiating, and verbal communication are just as strong as their technical skills. So we’ve created an atmosphere where we team students up from other programs—like creating a full-size clay model motorcycle with Kawasaki that debuted at the Fashion department-sponsored Rock the Runway event. I’ve developed joint projects between Ai Industrial Design students and engineers at the University of California Irvine, including creating the body for UCI’s Formula 1 race car that was used in actual competition. Right now we’re testing electric technology.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    I always pass along to the best advice I ever got: “Make yourself invaluable to your employer.” As creative people, it’s easy to forget we get hired to make money for the company first, and for ourselves second. Working on improving your skills is the best long-term plan I know. It’ll always make you valuable to yourself and your employer.

    Anything else you’d like to share?

    I’m constantly challenging myself to make each course project stimulating and relevant—and always with an eye toward building future graduates’ portfolios. Read More...
  • Interior_Product_Design

    Ron Peters

    Industrial Design

    "Finish your work on deadline."

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    Ron Peters

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I sold my first piece of artwork.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I make sure that the projects and processes are as real-world as possible...and that includes honest critiques of work.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    Here’s an example: For my bicycle design project, I invited a bike designer to come in and talk about the form and function, as well as the components. Inspired by that, the students worked on concept development and created full-size tape drawings.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Students work individually on their own concepts and development, but they collaborate through providing critiques and feedback. Students learn a great deal from each other.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Finish your work on deadline.

Jane Hallinan I play an active role in design kick-off meetings with each new client. I then collaborate with my architect co-workers on the solution from schematic design, through design development and construction drawings into final construction. I am involved in the entire process from A to Z. Jane Hallinan
Interior Design, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 2012