Industrial Design (Product Design) BFA
Department of Art and Design
Your industrial design career starts here.
From the first sketch to the final prototype, from studio to marketplace . . . fast track your creative ideas in product development into a dynamic career in industrial design. Learn from experienced faculty and established professionals, intern at trailblazing companies, then be off to becoming an industry innovator.
Montclair State’s BFA in Industrial Design is a focused, practical, studio-based degree program, taught in an atmosphere that is emersive and multi-disciplinary. We place emphasis on human-centered design as a product of strategic thinking and research, that reflects the dynamics of the actual industry. Projects include collaboration with major manufacturing firms, based on real-life design scenarios and project deliverables.
What makes our program unique?
Design Studio courses begin in freshman year.
There is so much to learn and we have so much to teach you. For those reasons, your entire four years of study will be dedicated to the principals and application of design, beginning in freshman year. By the end of your sophomore year, you will be equipped with meaningful 2D and 3D visual communication skills and proficiencies with free-hand sketching and digital techniques. You will become familiar with manufacturing technology and experienced with Computer Aided Design (CAD.) Your semester-long projects will explore identifying problems, examining users' needs, and developing technically sound design solutions. You will be pushed towards your potential so that when you transition to your profesional career, you will be fully ready. And you will have fun in the process.
Industry sponsored design projects.
As an industrial design major, you will work on real-life projects sponsored by manufacturing companies and design firms like Movado Group, Kaz Design and Ingersoll Rand, our esteemed industry partners. You will then present your projects to senior designers, design directors, project managers and Brand VPs. Their invaluable feedback, based on professional expectations, will boost your awareness of industry-standards and, ultimately, your career preparation.
Design Studio-like atmosphere and sense of community.
The ability to collaborate is critical to the success of an industrial designer. Listening to the client, working with the engineer . . . For that reason we foster a team-minded atmosphere bolstered by customized, small study groups and a dedicated and supportive faculty.
National Accreditation/Stamp of Approval
Montclair State University’s Industrial Design program is among the most competitive of the region and meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD.) The program also hosts an active student chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA.)
As a student in the Industrial Design program, you will learn to how to identify and solve problems, develop social responsibility, and become conversant with the principles of human-centered design as they are reflected in professional practice. You will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the design process; develop research methodologies; learn business principles; explore materials, technologies and manufacturing processes; as well as understand global trends and sustainability issues. You will also develop practical skills such as model making, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and rapid prototyping. In short, you will learn to become a well-rounded designer.
In your senior year, you will propose and develop a 6-month project in collaboration with a company mentor or external consultant and exhibit your project in the “Senior Thesis Exhibition.”
Students interested in the connection between design and business may enroll into the Business Minor program, or take elective courses in an array of subjects relevant to the profession of Industrial Design.
The BFA in Industrial Design curriculum consists of 120 credits which include core course requirements plus department supported electives.
- Industrial Design Four-Year Course Sequence
- Industrial Design Major (B.F.A.) - Curriculum
- General Education Requirements (B.F.A.)
Internships provide invaluable learning opportunities and are a required component of the Industrial Design curriculum. We encourage students to pursue opportunities at dominant consumer product and design companies to gain hands-on professional experience that reinforces skill development. Several of our students completed internships that, in fact, jumpstarted their careers and resulted in their designs being made available on the market.
Companies where our students have interned include:
Knowing the customs and expectations of other cultures has a critical importance in the design practice. Designers must be able to function in a global setting, collaborate on a global scale and design products for global markets. Students gain invaluable insights by spending a semester abroad and the knowledge they gain makes them more marketable than their peers.
Montclair State's articulation agreement with Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest allows our students to study in Hungary for a semester at the renowned Mercedes-Benz AG-sponsored Transportation Design program. Those who are not car enthusiasts have the opportunity to participate in other design projects, including with European companies engaged in design research and development.
This unique possibility to learn about design abroad exposes students to global perspectives while providing international networking opportunities.
For more information on study abroad opportunities, visit:
Good design is about merging visual and emotional appeal with functionality, relevance and commercial viability. Society demands products that minimize environmental impact-- from their production to disposal.
You will graduate from our program prepared to face these challenges on a local and global scale, having developed tools to visualize the future and the skills to become a socially responsible designer.
Companies where graduates have begun their design careers:
Industrial Design career areas include:
The College of the Arts has a College Career Services office, dedicated to helping students find internships, develop resumes and explore career opportunities as they approach graduation.
The Industrial Design program offers opportunity to learn from recognized and accomplished designers. Our full- and part-time faculty as well as industry experts and visiting professionals have designed breakthrough products for markets worldwide. Together they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and cultural sensitivity to the classroom.
Moreover, guest speakers from various design and sciences fields provide additional expert insights to deepen our students’ knowledge about the design profession.
To apply to the Industrial Design BFA program, go to: Industrial Design BFA Applicants. Applicants to the program are expected to begin the sequence of Industrial Design course work in the Fall semester.