Colleges that offer both engineering and industrial design?

I am currently doing research for my 16 year daughter who is a Pre-Engineering major student here in NJ at a “magna” rated high school. Apart from the general advice and opinions I’m soliciting here I’d love to hear from anyone here who has gone to a college that offers both engineering and industrial design or ones listed below.

And, in addition and more specifically, I’d like to know whether these schools offer a dual program or an interdisciplinary approach to design and engineering as it relates to product and industrial design. I am not ruling out great design schools like Art Center and RISD though they don’t offer engineering programs.

Here’s a short list of schools under consideration:

Carnegie Mellon (my current top choice)
University of Illinois
Rochester Institute of Technology
Syracuse University (my alma mater)
Art Center
Pratt Institute

NC State
Georgie Tech

Not sure if they have a formal dual degree program but I have a friend who got degrees in both at NC State.

Thanks for chiming in! I’m putting Georgia Tech on the list: “The industrial design program at Georgia Tech is the only industrial design program in the University System of Georgia.”

University of Cincinnati has an engineering program as well.

Although the two weren’t highly intertwined.

I studied ID at Georgia Tech (undergrad) and can lend some thoughts on that. It’s pretty well known as an engineering school, and thats certainly true–their ME, BME, Aero, and Civil are all in the top 5, and if you do well, you’ll have no issue getting a job as an engineer. Their ID program is okay, it’s not the best by any means and you won’t find a ton of ID grads actually employed within design, but there’s still a small group (10-20% of each class) that are actually working as industrial designers.

In the professional world, the overlap between ME and ID is huge. Strangely, thats not tremendously true in the academic world since it’s a different base set of skills. With ID, you learn design in school and pick up engineering in the world place. For a lot of ME’s, they learn the technical abilities in school and pick up a design focus later on. I knew a few folks who studied both ID + ME (they were miserable), and a lot more who studied one and showed an active participation in both (they were happier and more successful).

To be honest though, the more important question would be for your daughter and what does she really want to do. Besides seeing engineering and design on the same admissions page, all of these schools and programs are vastly unique for a thousand other reasons (location, community, style, coursework, structure, etc).

Myself and several others on the forums are Va Tech Alum which has a substantial engineering program.

Thanks for sharing your experience, observations and offering thoughts to consider with my daughter!

Good to know that V.Tech has an industrial design program. At the least, if my daughter decides to study engineering I want her to be exposed to the industrial design program and participate in any interdisciplinary projects with engineering and design schools.

Probably a better design school (and reputation) than engineering? Either way, your point about the two schools not being intertwined is important. Thanks for the input!

Drexel offers both ME and ID. I graduated with an ME degree, but I took some ID classes my last year, which are what sparked my interest in design.

Your experience is what I’m hoping my daughter will experience with a school that offers both.

Cool wallet project by the way!

Western Washington (WWU) has their design school offered through the engineering program. It is relatively rigorous (there are ‘cuts’ after one year) and the engineering students are usually building a car or something else big. The actual ID program isn’t as well rounded as Cincy or some of those others you listed. When I graduated from Syracuse there wasn’t much overlap with engineering as I.D. is part of VPA and I think the current admin is more after the IxD and experience connection more than engineering. But it could be done.

Great to hear from a fellow Syracuse Alum, though I have a few years on you! :slight_smile: When I was at Syracuse I minored in marketing at the business school to make the ID program even more interdisciplinary. I subsequently also got a law degree from Syracuse years later. I guess IxD is a hot field, but too bad the professors don’t have a vision to integrate engineering with ID.

Check out Iowa State. It’s a young program from the Design side, but the engineering school is massive with a great reputation. There’s a lot of collaboration between the two schools, too. It’s a great place to live, too.

Thanks! Will check it out.

Wentworth Institute of Technology has various engineering majors and ID. I was in the ID program, which overall had more of an engineering, vs. art, angle to it. I can’t tell you more than that as I went there almost 2 decades ago so don’t know if/how things have changed.

For what it’s worth I liked the 1-1/2, sophomore/junior, yrs I was in the ID program. I left perusing BS in ID, a second degree (already had BS in Electrical Engineering Technology from a university), because I landed a job that mixed engineering and many aspects of ID in an interesting environment. Also getting a salary rather than going after more student loans was an additional perk.

Good luck hunting.

I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology and was very happy with how the ID department worked with the Mechanical Engineering Technology department (ME Tech is a more practical, less theoretical version of ME. RIT has ME, but I think ME Tech is more relevant to an IDer). While I was there they were putting together an ID minor for ME or ME Tech majors (and others, I suppose) and an ME Tech minor for ID (or others). The departments actually worked together on it. When I graduated they hadn’t fully finished the accreditation process, but I’m sure they have by now. In my role now I spend half my time being a mechanical engineer so I guess they taught me something :wink:. Overall I was very happy with how open RIT was to taking classes in other departments/schools.

Current industrial design engineering student here (such as offered at TUDelft or Polytechnic University of Milan, not sure about The States). Although the program is heavily interdisciplinary, one night you’re sketching the next you’re study thermodynamics, a vast majority of the alumni work as mechanical engineers or project managers with a vast understanding of the design proces. This is partially because the local job market is more in favor of engineers, and the few real, fulltime, product design opportunities going to “hardcore” product designers who have a more detailed portfolio and experience.

I guess it’s the case of you win some, you lose some, but if she plans to become a full fledged product designer this would not be the route I personally would take.

You can also see this influence in graduation projects I’ll see if i can find examples to show.

Thanks for introducing WIT here. It appears you definitely benefitted from the best of both worlds.

Definitely looking into RIT and I appreciate a school that has an interdisciplinary approach to education.