Appalachian State University ID vs Auburn University ID

Hi, I’m going into senior year and the two main schools that I’m looking at to study Industrial Design with a focus in Product Design (Appalachian also offers a focus in Furniture) are Appalachian State University in North Carolina and Auburn University in Alabama. Since I’m not sure if i will be able to visit both schools i wanted to know:

Has anyone visited both schools? If so, what are your thoughts?

Do any of the administrators know about both of these school’s programs? Your thoughts comparatively?

(And for students from either of these schools) Could tell me about your experience at the school? What you liked or didn’t like? How did you find the teachers/classes/resources? Etc

Any help would be much appreciated, Please and Thank You.

Iv’e no direct experience of either, but have worked with Auburn grads.
you should really try to look at the schools in person if at all possible, (you have fall semester to explore before applications are due) and also look at NC State, a very good program and perhaps SCAD just to have an art school to compare against.

Why those two schools and why only two?

I’m in New York city so these are the schools that are far away for me to visit. The other schools that I’m looking at are in the northeast are just weekend trips for me. I can look into them myself.

I just visited Appalachian state university and loved that it was away from the big city but still had places to go to. It wasn’t in the middle of no where and goodolboys. The people where diverse and there was a kindness that you just can’t find in places like manhattan where everyone is self-concerned and rude (most of the time because they have to be). Other towns were within biking distance and there were bike routes laid out. Also the drivers showed courtesy to the joggers/bikers (something also lacking in the city).

I know that both of these schools are supposed to have great ID programs. From what I’ve heard, Auburn is supposeed to be a similar but a larger scale college town. The other upside that auburn has is not being too far away from engineering focused cities like huntsville for internships and jobs.

Ill go ahead and chime in for Appalachian State I did 5 years there and graduated this past May in ID. I am currently working in Charlotte, NC for Irwin Tools… which I landed through a sponsored studio which turned into an internship and now a full-time job.

Since you’re coming from NY you will have no problem adjusting to the winters, which is the hardest thing to get used to coming from anywhere else…

One of the best parts about the school/location was exactly what you pointed out… A lot of outdoor stuff to do, tons of trails to hike, bike and places to swim and just enjoy it. Living back in a city now, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. But dont expect it to have a “Night Life” like the city because it definitely does not.

As for the ID Program is concerned it has made phenomenal leaps forward since I started there 5 years ago. The professors have done a great job developing relationships with several companies for sponsored studio projects, which really do help with building a portfolio and a better understanding about how the real world works.

One thing you should know about App is it is a very hands on school. Sure you will have some conceptual projects and blue sky stuff but you will always be pushed to ask yourself “How can this be made?”. There will be a lot of model making and material science which have proved to be extremely beneficial. Rather than sending your 3D Model off to get “grown” you will be pushed to make it yourself.

The shops are nice, they may not have a bunch of brand new equipment but there is a ton of room to work in the shops with extremely knowledgeable professors and lab techs. The school teaches you a lot of old school skills that seem to be forgotten now-a-days with modern technology such as blacksmithing, woodworking, and ceramics. Don’t get me wrong, App does have some brand new equipment as well…The usual CNC, SLA Machine, and a soon to be Z-Corp Machine…

The Professors are great and really go above and beyond to get you ready for the next step, but remember it is really up to you in the end to put forth the extra effort and be the best. The Studios are like family and the professors really take the time to not only get to know you but to really help you excel. They push the students to enter competitions, display work at shows and do extra outside projects.

Appstate has had a prescience for the past 4 years at ICFF up at the Javits Center and the students who want to go are pushed to put up top notch work to go on display. Several outside things have stemmed from extra projects outside of studio both student and teacher led… I can give you more info later if you want.

Oh and like any school you will spend your fair share of sleepless nights…


There is tons of more stuff I can tell you about give you about it both good and bad… so if you want to know more about the area, school, program free to give me a shout.


Thanks kershaw

I guess the other question I had would be about dorm life there.

How were the dorms, students there. Was it expensive? Could you find jobs there? I heard that not to many people past sophomore year get dorms so how was finding apartments? Also, I have a car so how does parking work for the school?

I’m an Auburn ID grad of 2005 and currently work at Black and Decker. Auburn is great school and has very good facilities including a dedicated desk for each student all semester and 24 hour access to the studio at all times. Some things that a lot of schools do not have. I feel I had a very good education there and learned a great deal about ID principles.

I stayed in Justice an all male dorm which happens to be the largest rooms on campus (All male is NOT as bad as you think)…The dorms are not bad there are certain ones you would want more than others but I would recommend if you do choose App to stay on campus more than a year. I had several friends that stayed on campus for 4+ years. Apartments/Houses off campus are plentiful just like anywhere you have to apply early (February-March) and compared to prices in NYC they are cheap.

I had a job all 5 years I was there… Like any college town, jobs can become pretty competitive so more than likely a restaurant is your best bet. A car is smart especially if you want a good job off campus…I worked in a fine dining restaurant for 3.5 years up there and made great money. As for a car, if you go with parking on campus the most expensive you get is about $550/year but as a freshman I think it will run $250 to park off campus IF you go through the school… there are a lot tips and tricks and places that rent out space for cheap ($50/semester) I could clue you in on later if you do decide to go there.

Like Auburn our studio and Tech building was 24/7 which helps if you do work in a restaurant, and want to go work on stuff after your shift… you will just have to sacrifice sleep :slight_smile:

I believe 2 professors are from SCAD, 1 is from Auburn, 1 from NC State, and another is from Black+Blum (ID only professors)

Again if you have anymore questions just shoot