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Industrial Design

Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
School of Art and Design (MC 036)
929 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7038

Campus Location: 106 JH
Program Code: 20FS0152MDES
Telephone: (312) 996-3337
Web Site:
Director, School of Art and Design: Marcia Lausen
Director of Graduate Studies: Dianna Frid
Academic Advisor: Chevonne Totten-Garner

The Master of Design (MDes) in Industrial Design is a two-year degree program focused on
an independent master's research project that offers students the opportunity to identify and explore a topic of inquiry with the potential to contribute to broader disciplinary knowledge.

The program is equally concerned with making and thinking. Its curriculum seeks a bold re-imagining of the role and capacity of industrial design, and provides a forum for the critical questioning of design theories and methods. Students explore, research, conceptualize, develop, and prototype a product/service/system that breaks new ground within context of industrial design practice. The MDes in Industrial Design engages in four fundamental fields of practice: commercial design, responsible design, experimental design, and discursive design. The program culminates in a public exhibition of the master's research project.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements for the School of Design:

Master of Design

    1. Office of Graduate Admissions online application portal via
      • Graduate Application
      • Graduate Application Fee $60
      • Unofficial Transcript
      • TOEFL/IELTS (for international students only)
    2. School of Design Slideroom via:
      • Personal Statement Required. This statement of purpose should outline the applicant’s current or previous work as relevant to plans and objectives for advanced study; describe professional goals and how these goals were developed; and state why the applicant would like to study in a research-oriented design program.
      • Portfolio Applicants must submit a portfolio of no more than 20 images of current work demonstrating proficiency in the area of industrial design. Students who lack competence in computer-aided design will be required to take remedial work. Prerequisites and/or technical experience specific to this field of study may be required prior to entrance.
      • CV/Resume Required.
      • Letters of Recommendation Three required.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Design