Industrial Design Degrees

The Industrial Design program at the San José State University offers two degrees:

  • a BS in Industrial Design
  • and a BA in Design Studies.

Note: The required sequence of courses for all industrial design majors begins fall semesters only. As such, spring semester admissions are very much not recommended. Instead students are strongly encouraged to apply for fall semester admissions only.

All new design majors are first admitted as BA Design Studies majors, including students intending to pursue a degree in industrial design. Acceptance into the BS Industrial Design major is through portfolio review only. Upon successful completion of the first year of study within BA Design Studies, students may elect to enroll in DSID32A and participate in the BS Industrial Design Portfolio Review. Students not accepted into the BS Industrial Design program may continue with the BA Design Studies major, or pursue another major.

Because of the highly competitive and specialized nature of industrial design, transfer students may require up to four years of study to complete the BS Industrial Design degree at SJSU.

BS Industrial Design (Professional Degree)

The Bachelor of Science Industrial Design (BSID) program prepares students for a career in industrial design. The curriculum provides courses on design theory, technology, business, science, the arts and humanities. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, creative design process management, aesthetic theory, communication skills and awareness of business as well as humanistic dimensions of product development.

The program stresses the importance of professional practice and draws upon extensive resources of local and internationally prominent design firms and alumni. Studio projects provide experience with a diverse spectrum of products, user scenarios, and industries, resulting in a comprehensive professional portfolio.

Students are required to successfully complete a second year portfolio review (DSID123A), and a design relevant professional internship (DSGN127) before the end of their third year.

BA Design Studies (Liberal Arts Degree)

Students who do not pass the review will remain in the BA-Design Studies Program. The program provides a basic understanding of the aesthetic and technical skills needed for interior design. Students are encouraged to combine their studies in design with electives in the arts and other fields.

Additionally, a minor from one of the following departments is recommended: Anthropology, Art and Art History, Business, Computer Science, English and Comparative Literature, Environmental Studies, General Engineering, Global Studies, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Interaction Design, Journalism and Mass Communications, Philosophy, Psychology, and Urban and Regional Planning.

Learning Outcomes

BS Industrial Design:

Upon completion of the program, students will

  • Demonstrate a functional knowledge of design aesthetics to create appropriate 2D and 3D artifacts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think visually to develop design concepts utilizing rapid 2D and 3D visualization tools and techniques. 
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate, present and evaluate design concepts and specifications.
  • Articulate a functional understanding of manufactured products. This includes being able to explain to others how products work, what constitutes their structural integrity, and what materials and manufacturing processes are required to produce them.
  • Apply their knowledge of end-user psychology, ergonomics, anthropometry, and user interaction to the design of manufactured products.
  • Investigate, analyze, synthesize, and make design decisions based on an ecological understanding of the impact of a design. This involves reconciling the priorities and concerns of end users with those of business, society, and the environment.
  • Describe Industrial Design to others and place it in the context of history, business, and professional practice.
  • Employ a design process that generates products that are useful, usable, and desirable to specific segments of the human population. This will involve understanding how designers define problems, research contextual issues, determine design requirements, conceptualize and evaluate alternatives; and test and refine solutions.

BA Design Studies:

Upon completion of the program, students will

  • utilize knowledge gained in classroom to develop discipline-based skills in materials and techniques;
  • demonstrate professional depth of knowledge within their field of study;
  • engage in global views and weigh design decisions within the parameters of ecological, socio-economic, and cultural contexts;
  • demonstrate all aspects of the design process to identify complex problems and generate solutions that optimize human experiences;
  • engage in multi-disciplinary collaborative work team structures;
  • demonstrate discipline-based design ideas verbally, visually and digitally.

Current Forms

Visit the Department's Forms page. For more information on course requirements in this major, visit the SJSU catalog's pages on BS Industrial Design and BA Design Studies.