Industrial Design college in midwest

Hello, I am currently in high school and I want to be an industrial designer. What colleges would you recomend for the midwest area of the states? Thanks


CCS in detroit
Cleveland institute of Art
Ohio state

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
University of Wisconsin Stout
University of Kansas
Notre Dame
Columbus College of Art & Design
Cleveland Institute of Art

Go here:

Does University of Michigan still have a program?

Kansas City Art Institute

Yes it does.

Does anyone have anything to say about Norther Michigan Universitys program They call it product design rather than industrial design but I figure it is the same thing. Oh yeah I couldnt find the tuition info on the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design website does anyone know about what it is? Thanks

Well… nothing doesn’t bad, but you want to be in a good school. There are so many good schools around Michigan-Ohio area. It shouldn’t be hard to make your choice.

From a quality perspective I would rank CCS as top in training designers for aesthetic development (drawing & beautiful renderings), but I highly suggest checking out U of Cincinnati’s program. It is based around internships which is a great way of learning.

For more information on schools I would call them up and ask them to send you more info. I did this when I was hunting for school and trust me, all of these places have full colour brochures with more info in them than you would ever think possible.

Thanks for the suggestions!


As you can see, there are a lot to pick from. However, I would like to specifically recommend only a few to you. This is from my first hand experience with people from each school. (No specific order, of course)

University of Cincinnati - like someone already said, you have about a year and a half of paid internships under your belt before you leave. Very practical, and a lot of ID grads come from this school.

Cleveland Institute of Art - I know they have a strong showing both in transportation design and also in product design. They also do some internships, I think, but its probably not as built in as UC.

CCS - Strong if you want to get into transportation. However, I don’t know if the school is as devoted to its product design side of ID, it being in Detroit and all.

I’m in CCS. I still have 2 more years to go and I am doing my second internship now.

I can tell you that CCS has the environment to give you skills that most other school can’t, provided that you work extremely hard. Trans is strong, but after meeting with students from other schools, I can say that Product design students from CCS are more capable than average. CCS is far from perfect, so is any other school. Each has their strength and weakness. It also depend s heavily on yourself to gain skills or knowledge that the school doesn’t provide.

Afterall, it’s 20% school, 80% on your own effort. But the 20% can be the critial catalyst to get your other 80%.

I work with a lot of industrial designers (about 150) and most of us that came from the midwest went to

CCS- detroit
CCAD- columbus
CIA- cleveland
UC- cicnci

All of them are great programs. I haven’t heard much or met many people from the other programs in my travels.

good luck

It sounds as if you are looking at the same region I was before I started college……

Although I can’t speak for what they do now, I looked into NMU’s program in 2000 and decided to look elsewhere. I got the impression that they were not structured in terms of projects; it was more like you would propose what you wanted to work on and they would let you do that. It gives you some creative leeway, but it doesn’t give you a disciplined approach that is offered by working with a sponsor or at least a particular industry to model the constraints of your project by. I found that working with a particular company on almost all of my projects at Kendall College of Art and Design helped to understand the particular needs and constraints of that said industry and product offering, more so then I could have understood if I had just chosen something to work on by my own initiative.

Personally, I just finished up with a degree in Industrial Design from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI. IMO, it offers a great “bang for the buck” in terms of getting an education from a private art institution. It has been my experience that although the state schools can have great ID programs, they tend to focus more on marketing and engineering in their projects. In some schools, such as Carnegie Mellon, you may even work on shorter projects with the involvement of marketing and engineering students. This gives you a better understanding of dynamics of the workplace, but at times it can leave you short in terns of spending time to establish a stronger formal training in drawing, aesthetics, and form language.

Overall I think I got a great education from Kendall, our department head is a practicing designer, and he has done an excellent job of utilizing the talent of former students and colleges within the local design community to teach courses at Kendall. We are a strongly process oriented school, and as a rule our students have turned out quality work that is realistic and feasible to manufacture. We have worked in conjunction on studio projects with locally based design companies including: Herman Miller, Bissell, Whirlpool, Izzy Design, Tiara Yachts, Rowe International, and others. In recent times, we have received a remodeled department, and the jewelry department of the college has acquired a small CNC machine, and a small Rapid Prototyping machine.

The only down side to Kendall is the fact that if you are expecting the normal “college life”, you will not find it there. In the past few years we have reached a peak enrollment figure of 1,000 students. Most people tend to be commuters, leaving the college lacking a sense of community. However, at roughly $10K a year for in state tuition, that places Kendall at a reasonable price and cheaper then other larger private art colleges in the area.

IMO if I had to pick the best program in the MI, OH, PA area, I would say it is University of Cincinnati. You simply can’t beat the experience of working directly with several companies during your education. I have spoken to some of the more successful students there who have even had the chance to work in the finalizing stages of products which in turn have made it to the shelf already.

Thanks for all the help! I just wish Lake Michigan wasn’t there :frowning: it would make everything so much closer.

I’m a student at Carnegie Mellon University and minor in Communication Design. I can tell you that the design school is pretty good but not worth the tuition lol

If it’s not worth the tuition, what are you doing there?
Some advise: Don’t throw dirt in the water you’ll be drinking. :wink:
FYI- the Design school is rated #3 among the best 10!

Depending on how talented you are. Design school can give up to Full scholarship. Combined with internships ( if you get in car company for summer, that’s one semester tuition…maybe not after tax :blush: )
Beside cost, if design is what you want. Tuition don’t mean much!? Right?

If you don’t think it’s worth the money, why are you there?
Advice: don’t throw dirt in the water you’ll be drinking :wink:
FYI- CMU is among the best 10 schools!

Sometimes you don’t know things about the school until you actually get in there and go through a couple of semesters.

School rankings can be very subjective. I just saw a link about the judging criteria for the top 3 grad school. Not sure I read it right but I believe it said something like the votes come in from the academia from their own schools. It sounded really weird.

They should do the rankings based on the percentage of students from different schools that hold/held design positions at various levels. I think that would be more accurate than rankings based on some combo of general votes, increases of student enrollment, most number of grads, most money spent on facilities, etc… Make it simple, which schools produce designers that get jobs and make progress in the actual workforce.

Hey, I am an ID student at KU, and its a good program. The teachers are good, and its quite inexpensive, maybe as little as anything other school you may find. Lawrence ks is a nice place to live too, lots of creative minds. The only thing is its a state U, so you never get the attention of a smaller, private “art school” and they wont help much with you career.