Just on face value, which of these Grad programs have the best rep?

  • IIT Institute of Design
  • Pratt
  • Carnegie-Mellon

0 voters


Howdy. I am looking into Graduate Programs for Industrial Design; definitely interested in schools offering a MDes or MID (not so much MFA)… I’m thinking of Product Design or Design Management as a focus…

Of these schools, which do you think has the best reputation?

  • IIT Institute of Design (Chicago)
  • Pratt (Brooklyn)
  • Carnegie-Mellon (Pittsburgh… very new Masters in Product Development Program )

I’m sure all of these have good and bad things about them… I’d appreciate any info or experience anyone has regarding the above…

Also, what would be among the best schools for the above study in the San Francisco area?

I know that the talent/skills/portfolio of an IDer is the most important, but if I’m going to invest the time and money (oh, so much money!), I’m looking for it to open some doors, knowwhatimean?



I can’t be truly objective, since I go to pratt as an MID student. I looked at schools all around, including the academy of art in san fran, even took a night school class there, but New York pulled me in. I wanted a school that was in the thick of the design world and also not in a rural community, which ruled out Risd and Cranbrook among others. I didn’t really appreciate how pratt’s curriculum was put together until after about a year or so, it has a good balance of aesthetics, business, strategy, and making contacts in the apple. Their is not much of an ivory tower mentality at all, rather a very nuts and bolts approach without forsaking the conceptual, that was my problem with academy of art college, too vo-tech. All students at their school like to think its the best one, just like all mothers think their kid is innocent in court, but on the other side of that, for what it sounds like you’re looking for, it might be a good fit. Art center’s good too if your into living in california, but I know very little about how they teach management, they seem more stylist oriented. Pick carefully, ask alot of questions, decide on what direction you think you want to head as a designer and then really evaluate which school is the right fit for you.

jkkoplin- thanks for the info, much appreciated. Yeah, Pratt is a real draw for me for all the reasons you mentioned. I’m definitely looking for a pretty holistic approach, not overly focused on “styling”…

What would you say is the greatest skill to have in preparation for going to Pratt?

Take as many 3D classes as possible. Transportation design classes will teach you discipline and drawing like no other.
Embrace the “Big Apple” and have fun! :smiley:

For anyone out there who doesn’t know, neither Cranbrooknor RISD is in a rural area! Cranbrook is approximately 20 minutes northwest of Detroit, which may not be the ideal city, but it certainly has a lot of interesting things going on, including some solid professional design opportunities. RISD is in Providence, which is a small city with a pretty good, though perhaps saturated design scene, but it’s only about an hour from Boston, where there’s a lot going on. The one downside to Cranbrook is that it’s hard to get around without a car, although some students don’t have cars and just rely on their friends or the internet. Providence has decent public transportation.

I just looked at the CMU 1 yr Masters, it has a single design course (ID fundamentals) and a selection of other undergrad classes. Someone explain to me how this justifies a graduate degree?

Hey IIT id
Just take a look at the alumni salary, and the networking

i choose iit since i like theory