About the Program
The M.S. in Industrial Design is a new graduate degree program based on interdisciplinary teamwork with other fields. Students in this program learn to apply design practices effectively to the collaborative and chaotic “front end” of the product-development process, and to work with product users, researchers, businesspeople, engineers and manufacturers to create products that are better at serving their users, societies and the world at large.
The program has four major areas of focus:
- Design for global societies and manufacturing
- Informing design through user-centered qualitative research
- Real, credible interdisciplinary work with business and engineering to design platforms and systems
- Recognition that design isn't just objects anymore, and designers must proactively propose hardware as part of intelligent software-based interactions
Our students are smart and diverse, with undergraduate backgrounds as disparate as economics, philosophy, commercial pottery, mechanical engineering and architecture, as well as some with undergraduate ID degrees. Those graduate students without ID undergraduate backgrounds take foundational skills courses so they can design and present their work at the same level as those with an undergraduate ID education.
Qualified students with interests outside ID may apply to take designated courses in the PhilaU Sustainable Design or Interactive Design programs, in addition to the MSID core.
PhilaU’s MSID program is quite different from studying ID in an isolated art-school context. The University's medical, engineering and business programs give us the collaborators we need to take on big real-world problems with an understanding of how to serve people better.
Demand for professionals with graduate degrees in this rapidly changing field is strong, with many employers indicating they are likely to hire designers with advanced skills over the next few years — assuming they can find them. The M.S. in Industrial Design degree will prepare you for entrepreneurial work in the field or for a position in a corporate design department or design consulting firm. If you’re currently working in design, this program can help you move from tactics to strategy, from working on problems you’re given to finding untapped new opportunities and new clients.
The program is ideal if you:
Are a design professional looking to update your skills, serve new
clients or take on entrepreneurial projects
- Have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, design, engineering or
architecture and wish to gain higher-level expertise in industrial design
- Want to pursue industrial design as a career but hold an
undergraduate degree in a different field
- Are a Philadelphia University undergraduate majoring in a different area who wants to earn a joint B.S./M.S. degree
Information for Applicants:
GRE test scores are not necessary for this program.
All applicants should submit a thoughtful essay, focused on the unique ways they anticipate contributing to this interdisciplinary program.
Although it is not required for those without degrees in design, students from all disciplines are strongly encouraged to submit a portfolio of personal or professional work, in order to demonstrate the applicant's ability to draw, build, and advance ideas through visualization and prototyping.
Competent English speaking, writing and comprehension are crucial to success in a graduate-level design program. For international applicants, MSID has determined that a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL IBT (with speaking and listening subscores above 20), or IELTS Overall Band 6.5, will allow students to function effectively. Students whose scores are slightly below these levels are still encouraged to apply; they may be offered admission, conditional on completion of a recommended foundational English program.
Click here to download an information sheet.