Bachelor's ID in less than 4 years

So I’m looking at applying to Georgia Tech’s ID undergrad program. Since this will be my second degree, I emailed them asking if I would be able to transfer credits to skip over the core classes (calculus, physics, etc.). I was told that they would transfer, but I will still have to go for 4 years because the ID classes must be taken in sequence.

Has anyone here completed an ID undergrad in less than 4 years? Anyone familiar with the program sequence at Georgia Tech and if there are ways to complete it faster? Thanks!

I can’t speak for georgia tech, only my own experience

Most ID programs are 3-4 years (plus 1 year of general education) Most ID classes are studio-type classes that require hours in and out of class. A 3 credit class at my school was 6 hours a week in class and at least 6 hours a week out of class. 12 studio credits means 48 hours of time commitment minimum. Add a couple non-studio class and your week is more than full. There just isn’t more time in a day to stack more classes. I think that it would be hard to do it in less than 6 semesters and come out on top.

In addition, the “classes in a certain order” may refer also to spring and fall classes only offered in spring and fall, such as “ID class 1” in the fall and “ID class 2” in the spring. “ID class 2” isn’t offered in the fall and therefore you can’t take it early.

I’m pretty comfortable with a 4 year design education - I’ll barely be “ready” for the real world as it is… You really have to work overtime to accelerate your learning as a design student, so you can compete with the pace of professional designers when you graduate.

sequential - walk before you run - curricula are the norm for every discipline.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I know that a design degree isn’t something you want to rush through and I definitely wouldn’t want to do anything to hinder my design education.

that’s good to hear,
you’re going to have those core credit hours available to maximize during the 4 years. Start thinking about some of the adjacent feilds we draw upon that you could take classes in.

(there are some threads with lots of opinions to offer but for starters:
Engineering, anthropology, marketing, psychology, Entrepreneurship).

I’m 3rd year student currently at Georgia Tech for ID. Unfortunately, the ID@Gatech program does take 4 full years.

The actual ID program itself is only 3 years, but you have to take a Common First Year (CFY) where you are lumped together with the other majors of the College of Architecture before you can actually can pursue ID. The CFY is really kind of useless (and infuriating) and it barely even touches upon what Industrial Design is, but then again it is a freshman weed-out course so you can’t except much. You pretty much waste a year sitting through it wondering why you have to do so many Architecture related projects.

Like someone said earlier, the studios have to be taken in order. Spring semesters build upon the fall semesters before them, and then each year building on the previous year. I don’t know if there is any truth to this but supposedly if you have to withdraw or fail (*) from a spring studio, you have to retake the preceding fall studio again the next year before taking that spring studio.

  • Failing is virtually impossible. You activity have to try to fail. I’d go as far to say failing is harder than getting an A.

The Art Institutes offer a degree in 3 years but you have to go year-round. Most credits transfer there. The downfall is they don’t have the greatest reputation.


I had all foundation type stuff out of the way from prior education and was able to get through undergrad ID at Pratt in 2.5 years. That was with a decent bit of filler too because of the sequential ID stuff I couldn’t get around. No non-ID repetition required. I imagine GT would be different though.

i think you can go to art center for 2.5 years, but have to be in school for all 4 semesters, or whatever system they are on- hardly anyone does it because its so intense…

Do you know if they offer studios during the summer? Or is it so set that you have to do fall/spring/fall/spring…?

Do you have personal experience or someone you know who has been able to successfully work in the industrial design industry with just a master’s in ID? Just curious.

No studios in the summer. I totally over looked the fact that you already have a degree, you should look into going straight for the graduate program. I know of one person that doesn’t have their undergraduate in ID and they are completing the graduate program soon. There are probably more who I just don’t plain know.

I actually have a classmate that was into his third year of another degree and decided to switch to ID. He was told to just to finish and apply as a graduate seeing as it would take the same amount of time. So I’m guessing it very doable.

The only problem I could see if just the technical aspect that Yo brought up in that topic.

Pfft… color theory is only a one semester elective. :slight_smile:

That’s what I’m most worried about. I really don’t want to be set up just for design research or design management. I know that without an ID degree they make you take several undergrad courses, but comparatively a bachelor’s student would have a lot more studio time than a grad student.