About the Program
Industrial design is a strategic problem-solving process applicable to products, systems, services, and experiences that results in innovation, business success, and a better quality of life. Students build their skills of form giving, sketching, ideation, prototyping, modeling, and research during the learning process.
The undergraduate program 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. The first year is focused on learning basic design skills through a series of design problems that the student must solve. These abstract problems focus the students’ attention on traditional visual form and shape development; additionally they learn both by hand and computer skills. The second year includes courses and projects that emphasis learning to give form to products within a variety of manufacturing techniques. Students experience hands on in the shop, as well as, virtually with the computer and rapid prototyping. In the third year, students are introduced to a variety of corporate sponsored projects as well as design competitions. In these projects, students must solve functional and technical requirements of the company along with aesthetic and psychological need/wants of the intended users. The senior year is a combination of corporate sponsored projects, learning design leadership skills, and a personally selected thesis project. Students also apply research methodologies, introduced the year before, into their design projects.
Purdue Industrial Design students and faculty have been recognized both nationally and internationally in design competitions.
Industrial design is housed in the Yue-Kong Pao Hall, Purdue’s state-of-the-art facility for the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The building includes a computer lab built specifically for the industrial design program, complete with a three-dimensional printer.
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.
Please visit Industrial Design for more information.
126 Credits Required
Liberal Arts Curriculum
Each liberal arts major is designed as a four-year plan of study and includes three types of courses: Major, Core, and Elective. Most students take five courses per semester, with some of each type.
Professional academic advisors meet individually with each of our students on a regular basis to help with course selection, academic planning, and career development, as well as to help students find additional resources on campus.
Departmental/Program Major Course Requirements (75-76 credits)
- Mandatory portfolio reviews are required during the spring semester of the second year.
- Students must pass this review in order to advance to the next level of Industrial Design courses.
A. Art & Design Core (12 credits)
B. Industrial Design Core (36 credits)
C. Industrial Design Supportive Requirements (18-19 credits)
D. Industrial Design Selectives - Choose Three (9 credits)
Other Departmental - Liberal Arts Core For BFA, Professional, & Education (25-34 credits)
The College of Liberal Arts Other Departmental area is designed to be experiential, informative, and relevant to life in a rapidly changing universe. It combines courses that fulfill University Core foundational outcomes, discipline diversity, social diversity, and other languages to produce a well-rounded background for students. Coursework is integrative and collaborative and fosters insight, understanding, independence, initiative, and the desire to reach across divides and redefine our relationship to the peoples and the worlds that surround us.
LA Core III: Linguistic Diversity (3-4 credits)
Proficiency through level IV in one world language
Foundational Requirements (21-30 credits)
Students must complete approved coursework that meet the following foundational outcomes.
- Humanities - all approved courses accepted.
- Behavioral/Social Science - all approved courses accepted.
- Information Literacy - all approved courses accepted.
- Science #1 - all approved courses accepted.
- Science #2 - all approved courses accepted.
- Science, Technology, and Society - all approved courses accepted.
- Written Communication - all approved courses accepted.
- Oral Communication - all approved courses accepted.
- Quantitative Reasoning - all approved courses accepted.
- Double counting of courses is allowed across the various categories.
- All accredited programs whose accreditation is threatened by CLA Core requirement, both professional BAs and BFAs, are exempt from Liberal Arts Core I & II in order to meet accreditation standards and requirements. Liberal Arts Core III: Linguistic Diversity is still required for such programs.
- “Degree +” students (students with a second major outside of Liberal Arts) are exempt from the CLA Core.
Electives (16-27 credits)
University Core Requirements
For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
- Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
- Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
- Information Literacy (IL)
- Oral Communication (OC)
- Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
- Science #1 (SCI)
- Science #2 (SCI)
- Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
- Written Communication (WC)
For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.
- 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
- 32 credit hours of Purdue coursework at the 30000 level or higher required for graduation.
- Liberal Arts offers a streamlined plan of study for students pursuing a second degree outside CLA. Contact the CLA Advising Office for more information.
World Language Courses
World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor.
ASL-American Sign Language
The ♦ course is considered critical.
In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major. Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful. These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”.
The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.
The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.