Industrial Design BFA

Portfolio Guidelines and Special Notes

Program Admission Contact:

Dr.Denis Feigler, 973-655-2091

University Admission Contact:

Erin Samples, 973-655-4331


 Application  I  Portfolio Interview Transfers  I  Resources

How to Apply

General Guidelines for How to Apply to a BFA art and design program, including applying and submitting a portfolio online, are also applicable to Industrial Design.  Below are instructions regarding the ID Portfolio and Interview.



What to Include in an Industrial Design Portfolio

The Portfolio Interview is an opportunity to present your creative work and learn more about the Industrial Design program. The portfolio itself mirrors who you are as a designer; your interests, aptitude  and enthusiasm for the profession; and your readiness to start your industrial design studies.  In evaluating your portfolio, therefore,the faculty seeks evidence of your understanding of proportion, aesthetics, and structure, as well as an applied knowledge of two-point and three-point perspective.  

Your portfolio should consist of the following:

  • Twelve (12) free-hand line drawings/studies of three-dimensional objects in space, employing three-point perspective and including three examples of each of the following product design categories:
    • Furniture design (home, office, public places)
    • Lighting design, (show resourcefulness with your selection)
    • Transportation design (bicycle, car, scooter, baby stroller, wheelbarrow, etc.)
    • Consumer products (Toaster, coffee maker, sporting goods, power tools, communications devices, etc.) 
  • Three (3) or more of your best, and recent, projects which demonstrate creative exploration, concept development, as well as some awareness of human activity. Please include exploratory drawings that show a variety of solutions and ideas for each project idea presented. Inclusion of photos of 3D models is optional.

The portfolio’s emphasis should be on the representation of form and geometric correctness of the products as well as the originality of their design. The portfolio, ideally, should be presented in a 17” X 11” format, with the applicant’s name and BFA in INDUSTRIAL DESIGN inscripted on the cover. Attention to detail and quality of presentation is important.  

  • Sketchbook – We also want to see examples from your sketchbook.  Tips: Be curious, observe, think objectively, make notes, sketch and draw your ideas.  Take things apart and put them together to learn about how they were made and how they work.  Draw everything you can.  Sketch design ideas, things you’ve observed, things you just like, forms found in nature, how you see the future…

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The Portfolio Interview

Portfolio interviews are held between the applicant and one or more members of the industrial design faculty. Interviews generally run for thirty minutes and provide an opportunity to discuss your work, see the ID facilities and ask questions about the program. You should also be prepared to discuss your reasons for choosing to study Industrial Design. (note: While family members and/or friends are not allowed to be present during the interview, they may ask questions after the interview has been completed.)

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Special Notes for Transfer Applicants

  • Transfer applicants who provide a copy of their transcript will be advised as to where they can start in the Industrial Design program.

  • As a transfer, you may be considered to start at the sophomore level if you’ve completed the first year studies in an accredited  BSc, B.ID or BFA Industrial Design program and you achieved at least a C+ or higher in each of the major subjects. It is expected that the majority of your presented work directly applies to the Industrial Design area and demonstrates adequate knowledge of related subjects.

  • If you are transferring from a community college, you will need to complete the four-year sequence of major studio studies of the BFA in Industrial Design major, unless you can  demonstrate excellence in visualization, model making, problem solving, digital sketching and human factors, and completed courses that focus on these subject areas.  (Note: The above-described portfolio requirements apply to those transferring from community colleges.)

  • If you believe you are eligible for placement at the third-year level of study, you must have completed the equivalent of two years of study at an accredited Industrial Design program.  It is critical that the work in your portfolio indicate specific competencies in industrial design.  The work should reveal a maturity in ideas and development as well as skillful presentation.  An in-depth knowledge of relevant media, materials and processes is expected.

  • Because this is not a BA Fine Arts, but rather a BFA in Industrial Design program, no more than a maximum of nine credits of 100- or 200-level Industrial Design coursework taken at another institution may be accepted as Major Studio courses in the BFA in Industrial Design major, depending on the presented competence level.  Equivalent transfer courses for New Jersey community colleges can be found on the NJ Transfer Web page w hich can be applied to foundation and general education courses at MSU.  The NJ Transfer's Plan Academic Program (RTP) feature allows you to choose the institution at which you are currently enrolled and the Montclair State program into which you wish to transfer; and lists the best courses for you to take while at your current institution.

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Helpful Resources

Information about the Montclair State University Industrial Design program, including an overview, applicable careers, and curriculum may be found here: Industrial Design (BFA)

General Art and Design Portfolio Guidelines may be found here: Portfolio Preparation Guidelines
(Pay special attention to “Things to Avoid in the Portfolio” paragraph)

Additional Portfolio Help:

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