Stanford University or IIT ?? big dilemma!

Hi People, Aparna here from India.
I have gotten into Stanford Univrsity, Joint Program in Design and Illinois Institute of Technolgy for Master in Design Program.
Now i am not able to make a well informed decision as to which University to acccept.
I know that eventually I want to start something on my own and be an entrepreneur.
IIt is known for its design methods and Stanford for the design itself( atleast thts what i think).

Siting in India i am not able to gather first hand information.
Could u guys post ur thoughts so that i can make a well informed decision.


Hello Aparna
Did you received financial aid from any of these schools?
Is your background in design? engineering?
Your objective (as a designer) is…?
These answers could help us to inform you better.
Both are great schools, depends on what you want and need.

my impression is that stanford is selling more the program that it hopes to become, whereas iit is selling an established program.

but if you want to go on your own and be an entrepreneur, then maybe the openness of stanford (the potential ability to co-create and then define/sell your educational experience) combined with the broad (business, technology, california perception etc.) international recognition of the stanford name (vs. the narrower design world, illinois perception recognition of iit) may be a good route for you?

Hi Martal,
In the hurry to get answers i skipped a few details. for your questions:

  1. I did receive financial aid from Stanford none from IIT, but the entire amount is working out to be same since Stanford is more expensive.

  2. My background is in Design, Product design to be specific. (from National Institutte of Design, India)

  3. My final goal is to start a design cosmos of my own.

Go with Stanford then. IIT does not have much scope for hands on form giving, its focus is on the earlier stages before the final product is designed. Prototypes are simplified for observing user’s behaviour with them. The emphasis is understanding user’s needs, the market environment and the business objectives before defining a new product (Chris Conley’s New product definition class). You’ll find yourself using design tools to develop a new service or transaction model.

Stanford’s program looks at the design of the product itself, not the issues leading up to the choice of product designed. There are also extensive links to the San Francisco design community and IDEO, of course.

I think you’ll find your cosmos there.

Stanford has a long reputation of entrepreneurship, so your goal “create my own bussines” and where to get is very obvious…I don’t even understand why you ask…doesn’t seems like a big dilemma (or you just wanted to tell us how happy you are of being accepted in both schools? :slight_smile: :sunglasses:)
You should just bear in mind that Stanford is more an engineering oriented program than IIT, so get ready to get a little bored sometimes.
Good luck in California.

If you look at Stanford’s D-School classes, they definitely focus on ‘experience design’. They do employ and study various research and product definition methods within these classes.

I haven’t seen anything regarding an overall curriculum for the Design Master’s program, though. You may have more flexibility, as stated previously, to follow your entrepreneurship dreams. Also look at the class sizes, I’ve heard they are large at IIT, and I imagine Stanford lets in less students. Can anyone confirm?

[quote=“martal”]Stanford has a long reputation of entrepreneurship, so your goal “create my own bussines” and where to get is very obvious…I don’t even understand why you ask…doesn’t seems like a big dilemma (or you just wanted to tell us how happy you are of being accepted in both schools? :slight_smile: :sunglasses:)

HAHA!!! yeah right…from what i hear both schools are good in their own way…i just have to decide what i want to do. I want to start something on my own for sure…the thing i not sure is whether i will do that the minute i step out of the school.
Then comes all the confusion, to pay back all the fees i am paying (keep in mind the currncy desparity between rupees and dollars), i initially need to get into a good great job!

that leads me to my next question…are Stanford placements in design wing great…havent read raving reviews abt it…any ideas in regards to tht??

I can’t help you with the placement issue. What I am sure of is that if you present a project to some investors and your degree is from Stanford you’ll be considered more seriously. IIT is surely a great school, but its fame is more reduced to the designers environment.
If you’re sure you want your own bussines, but not sure what you want to produce, and plan to work for a while before starting your project, then I think you can choose any of both schools. Take a look at the courses and professors and choose based on it.
Good luck with your decission


I am a Chinese student. I also got the admission from Stanford and IIT. But Stanford only gave me the admission in 2009, because they require me to work for one year after graduation. I hope to discuss with you about that.


I also was admitted into both schools… and chose Stanford. Both programs are awesome… but different.
IIT has a great systematic way to understand design and I like the faculty and students that I met.
Stanford is more independent…much of the program involves developing your own point of view. The second year is thesis and is totally self driven. Stanford also is a great environment, you get your own space in the loft to build and design.
There are a few inaccuracies that should be corrected… the program is not new… we have been around for 50yrs… the is new and is an effort to bring design thinking to a larger group. Also we are not at all an engineering program… we take one class on manufacturing and everything else is design and electives.
Stanford is loaded with entrepreneurial opportunities… Entrepreneurs and VC’s are always stopping by the Loft