UW vs SF State

I’m torn between studying ID at University of Washington vs. San Francisco State University. Does anyone have thoughts on the program, faculty, notable alumni, or reputation at either?

Speedy replies much appreciated.


UW is rebuilding. I’m the first graduating class since they shut down the program in 2005 and brought it back 2006. I don’t know much about SF so this all I can tell you about is UW. We just got a new professor which brings us to a grand total of… two ID professors. Magnus Feil and Ahn Sang-Gyeun. George McCain from Fluke has been guest lecturing as well. The program is getting a lot more intense since my roommate is in the Junior class. Funding for the program is weak but hopefully it will pick up when you get into it. PM me with some specific questions if you want.

Have you looked at Western Washington Uni. They are about an hour and half or so from UW.

That was my first choice before I chose to go out of state.

yeah Western is in Bellingham, WA, a short drive from the border to Canadia. so until you are 21 you have an easy drive to get twisted legally. If you could I would visit both.

I’d like to speak for SF state, since I am a ID (we refer to it as DAI. . Design and Industry) student here.
Personally I like it here at SFSU. The Department is a nice size, but pretty compacted. Our department is an Interdisciplinary set up. We are a mix of Industrial Design majors, Graphic Design Majors, and Industrial Technology Majors. The faculty here as SFSU are respectable. There are a few hotshot professors you do want to get every bit of knowledge out of, But you must take it upon yourself to do so.

We’ve got a decent wood lab which includes a CNC machine. There’s also a metals lab, which is pretty dated, but I feel is a good learning process to know how to work manual machines.

The community here is the best! I’m never afraid to ask a “noob” question. Everyone’s really helpful and friendly. If you do decide to come to SFSU, i’d highly suggest being a part of our IDSA student chapter. We are even a tighter-knit community. I’ve been at SFSU for 3 years now and the IDSA has been getting better and bigger every year.

To conclude my little rant, I’d suggest you take a look into SFSU if you are very independent and motivated with your studies. The classes here are mainly theory. Technical classes are very basic and not so indepth…therefore the technical sides(modeling and rendering software…CAD…) are more on your part to learn. The labs are open pretty late… and the people here are awesome!

I think you should also consider Academy of Art and San Jose State if you are looking to do more “studio” industrial design and are coming to the Bay Area. There’s also CCA.

Steve Kaneko of MIcrosoft is one prominent UW alum.
SF State, I don’t really know of any super famous ones.
SJSU has a lot of prominent design alums, too many to name. Many are founders of leading firms like Lunar, Astro, Ziba, and a lot are working in the industry at places like HP, Apple, etc.