Industrial (Consumer Product) Design

College of Liberal Arts

The industrial design major is a professional program with intensive course work to prepare students for professional design positions.  Purdue is unique in that is combines the professional degree with a liberal arts education.  This combination prepares students for strong leadership roles as industrial designers.  The major is a four-year degree with an emphasis in form giving for manufactured goods.  Students’ graduate with the ability to be innovative problem solvers and create aesthetically appropriate forms that can be manufactured by industry.

Special note regarding portfolio review - An art portfolio is not required to begin this major. However, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year to advance to upper level design and complete this major. Selection is competitive and is based on the student’s work in Purdue art and design courses and development as a designer. Students not selected for upper level Industrial Design work with their academic advisor to change to their second choice major, usually without adding time to their four-year degree plan.

Industrial (Consumer Product) Design Website

Plan of Study


Related Career Interests


Visual or Performing Arts

Careers in Industrial (Consumer Product) Design

As part of the design team, industrial designers work closely with marketing, merchandising, graphics, R&D, and engineering on new product development from concept to product release. They create sketches, renderings, and models of new concepts both on software and by hand; communicate with vendors and internal staff; present concepts to design, engineering, and marketing groups; and research new materials, products, and innovations in other industries.

Upon graduation, Purdue students have worked for major corporations including: Nike, Hasbro, International Trucks, Whirlpool, Delta Faucet, General Electric, Sears, and Microsoft, to name a few.  Graduates have also worked for Industrial Design consultancies such as Teams, IDEO, Insight, Worrell Design, Ziba Design, and BMW Designworks.

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