Engineering to Industrial Design

Hey guys, I’m a 17 year old high school senior, who is rather over stressed about college. I’m currently enrolled in my high schools ‘Engineering Academy’ which is run by RIT’s ‘Project Lead The Way’ that offers college credits for passing the college final. In these classes, I do great, and I like them.

However, in math class, I struggle, and standardized tests clearly state math is not my strong point. This fact is making me rethink my engineering plans, considering just how heavy math is in engineering programs.

My fall backs are engineering technologies, which are less math intense, more hands on, engineering programs. or, as I have rather recently looked into as an option: Industrial Design.

My worry with Industrial Design is the fact that I have no art credits, and no portfolio, which I assume will make getting into Art School basically impossible.

Right now I’m located in suburban Philly, so I was interested in UArts and Tyler…but again, I’m hesitant about my chances of being accepted.

So, I need advice…follow engineering, and work through the math, fall back to tech, or follow industrial design? What should I do right now to help get into an industrial design school? Should I start building a portfolio?

Another slightly off topic question: are there any large state schools that offer industrial design? Personally, I don’t want to be cooped up with all art students for 4 years.

PS: My long term goal is to enroll in Tisch’s ITP program…it looks like everything I want to do in one program. (


Sounds like you need to be cooped up with art students for 4 years.

As far as the engineering goes, math was not my strong point going into college. Yet I managed to get through the six math courses that were required. If you are willing to work hard enough, the math won’t hold you back. If you are considering an engineering technology program, I recommend that you just go for the full degree if at all possible. In most engineering firms/companies, technologists fall somewhere between CAD operators/drafters (typically an associate degree) and a full engineer ( A B.S. in an engineering discipline from an ABET accredited program). The difference is in level of responsibility and pay scale. Those with technology degrees typically report to those who have an engineering degree. Engineering is DOABLE. You just have to want it bad enough. The main difference between those who graduate as engineers and those that typically don’t finish is not intelligence, it’s the willingness to put forth the time and effort required. ID is the same way. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to get where you need to be. There are no shortcuts on either path.

you suposta struggle in match. Try harder and spend more time on algebra. Its really easy once you do your homework. It gets easier.

there happen to be lots of Universitys teaching ID.
Look at for a list. not in Penn however,
the Big 10 schools would be a start for places with strong engineering and ID.

forgot to mention that the University of Cincinnati takes no portfolios - not used for thier admissions.