Tablet designed by Travis Baldwin's Frog Design team
A Design Career Shaped By Human Connections
Travis Baldwin (BID '98) has leveraged his relationships to pursue career opportunities that are out of this world —>
Industrial Design sketching at the Fish Market
Industrial Design Senior Show 2019
Photos from the 2019 ID Senior Show exhibition at the Fish Market Gallery —>
Industrial design pull toy project
Pull Toy Exhibition 2018
Photos from the ID 201 studio's pull-toy project exhibition —>
ID Studio Bassinet project
Design for Others
A graduate industrial design studio collaboration to design healthier beginnings with mothers and children —>

Industrial designers anticipate psychological, physiological, and sociological factors that influence users of products and services.

program or department head

Department Head

Tsai Lu Liu

Professor and Department Head of Graphic Design and Industrial Design

T: (919) 515-8340 E:

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The Industrial Design Program prepares students to be creative, practical, user-centered, aesthetics- focused, problem-solving, and opportunity-exploring designers, design strategists, or design leaders.

The NC State University Industrial Design Program is one of the top professional programs in this discipline in the country. The program offers Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) and Master of Industrial Design (MID) degrees, both accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The Industrial Design faculty have joined NC State University from prestigious institutions around the world, each bringing years of experience in design, research, innovation, and education. The graduates from the program are enhancing quality of life experiences with the creative design of products, services, branding, and communication systems for companies such as IDEO, Nike, Volvo, IBM, Toshiba, Dell, Pentagram, PepsiCo, RKS Design, Microsoft, The Smithsonian, Adidas, Hasbro, Target, and Bosch.

Students learn and practice design in a studio environment very similar to that of professional design offices. Students methodically study human physical and cognitive interaction with artifacts and services in order to discover user experience insights and then create innovative solutions to design problems. The dynamic and sophisticated balance of form, function, innovation, and practicality are constantly debated and articulated throughout the journey to better design.

Collaborative Sponsored Studios

The study of Industrial Design (ID) at NC State University is a four-year (eight-semester) program that wards a professional Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) degree after the fulfillment of all academic requirements.

In the first semester of freshman year, Industrial Design students learn the basic principles of design, design processes, design vocabulary, and disciplined work habits in mixed studio and lecture classes with all other majors in the College of Design. The second semester of freshman year is an Industrial Design major-specific mix of studio and lecture classes for the students continue their education in the design of physical artifacts in the natural and built environment. This first year design curriculum establishes a solid foundation for the creative, generative, and evaluative phases of design that are common to all design practices.

In the fall semester of sophomore year, Industrial Design students begin a studio sequence of practical project-based learning, similar to a professional design office, as well as exposure to more advanced theories and principles of design. The students learn the critical methodologies and skills specific to industrial design as they compile their projects and processes into a portfolio of work relevant to their career. Opportunities are provided for students to participate in collaborative studio projects with industry partners in order to conduct user-based research and engage in the design and development of professional level projects.

In addition to the 6 credit-hour studio classes, ID students are co-enrolled in sequential 3 credit-hour support classes which cover a broad array of topics essential to the profession of Industrial Design. These include: ideation and design sketching, digital visual communication, materials and processes of manufacturing, design methods, design history, and human-centered design/ergonomics. Students apply the skills and knowledge provided in these support classes to the studio work to create an interwoven, integrated method of learning that progressively prepares the students for the advanced challenges of the program.

The Master of Industrial Design degree is intended as preparation for students assuming responsible roles in the profession of Industrial Design. Currently within the profession and in industrial design education, this degree is considered the terminal industrial design degree. The program teaches from a generalist viewpoint and deals with all aspects of machine-made products and their relationship to people and the environment.

The Department of Graphic Design and Industrial Design at NC State University has a unique tradition of offering graduate design education to students whose undergraduate degrees and employment experiences may be either within or outside of the field of industrial design. This strategy allows us to admit two complementary profiles of students. One is a student experienced in design who is entering graduate school for the purpose of developing a specialized area of expertise or as a means of undertaking a career in design education. The other is a student with evident design ability, who is selecting design as a career choice after previous study and experience in another field. Together these two admission profiles result in a rich and diverse graduate program environment conducive to the exchange of accumulated knowledge and experiences. This approach has allowed us over the past 25 years to educate a number of graduates who have gone on to distinguish themselves as industrial design practitioners and educators. Though our program is relatively small, it has the benefit of close connections between the students and the faculty, and provides an environment where the students learn from each other as well as from the resources of the department, college and university.

The program offers the Master of Industrial Design, a terminal degree, accredited by NASAD, and ranked among the top graduate programs in the US. Of particular interest to the faculty is the contribution graduate students can make to an emerging design research culture. The curriculum builds skills for success in corporate, consulting and educational organizations. The program is focused on educating future leaders.

Director of Graduate Programs

Kelly Umstead

Kelly Umstead

Assistant Professor of Industrial Design + Director of Graduate Programs for ID
Phone: 919-515-8303

Track 2 - For students with an undergraduate degree in industrial design

This is a 48-hour program for a candidate with a four-year undergraduate degree in industrial design or a related design field.

Track 3 - For students with a non-industrial design undergraduate degree

This track is a program for a candidate with an undergraduate degree in a non-industrial design area. Track 3 students have a set of requirements that must be observed while pursuing studies:


  1. A minimum of 30 hours in undergraduate courses (as setout in your acceptance letter) and/or a graduate faculty review (see Review and Advancement section following) before moving into graduate level coursework.
  2. Following, a minimum of 48 hours of graduate level courses. Nine (9) hours of 400 level courses outside your major may be used, if you choose to have a Minor. The Minor is optional (there is some confusion on this; try to keep these two sets separate. Some of the ‘pre-grad’ classes may become part of your Minor on your graduate records).
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