Virginia Tech Summer Qualifying Design Lab

Does anyone have any information on the Summer Qualifying Design Lab at Virginia Tech that all transfer students are required to take?


I didn’t take it myself but when I was there the summer studio was kind of just a bunch of traditional first year type of design projects to make sure it was something you wanted to do and that you could handle the type of work. I know there used to be a lot of woodworking/arts and crafts type projects, not so much any deep industrial design.

Thanks Cyberdemon, I understand the ID program at VT is very competitive. Any advice you could give me as to how to increase my chances of getting in?


Work hard and make sure it’s something you want to do. All too many ID students get in to it without ever really “getting in to it”. It’s a very competitive area so you need to work to make it into the ~30 or so ID students per class.

Hey Lane,

I am a 4th year ID student at VT. I would like to reiterate what Cyber said, work hard and make sure this is what you want to do. Every Tuesday night I lead a sketching group down in Burchard where the ID quad is. You are more than welcome to come out to it and get an early start and also meet ID students/get any questions answered. You can also join our IDSA Chapter, which will allow you to get more involved and start to understand what ID is all about.

If you have any questions or anything shoot me an email at

Thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the business program at the University of Tennessee right now so I wouldn’t be able to attend your sketching group. I’m currently working on my transfer application for 2011. Do you have any idea what exactly admissions looks at to decide whether I get in or not? Is the personal statement a big thing? Is it more based on gpa? Should I submit a portfolio? If you could answer any of these questions I would appreciate it. Lastly, I really don’t know much about industrial design, and I’m not the best at drawing. I do however know that industrial design is definitely what I want to major in. Is it normal for a student to apply to the ID program at VT with minimal knowledge of industrial design?

Thanks for your time,


Hey Lane,

I went through the summer program at VT in 2007, and it’s definitely hard to get into, especially for external transfer students like yourself. Although the School of Architecture + Design requires a certain GPA for you to even be considered (I can’t remember the exact number, but it should be in the info on the school’s site), you do get to interview/talk with the ID course director before any decisions are made.

When I applied I was majoring in biology and I didn’t know too much about ID, but I was interested in it and I read up on it (like here on Core77 as well as other design sites) so that I would know what I was getting myself into. I think the person I interviewed with was impressed that I took the time to research the field more - because I was directly asked why I wanted to do ID and what interested me about it during my interview. Also, I took along my art portfolio from high school and some independent projects I’d worked on just to show that I had some sort of artistic/design capabilities - even though it wasn’t the ID sketching style.

I would contact the school to ask more specific questions since you don’t have the advantage of being able to hang around in studio to meet all the professors and other students.

Good luck!

Well said.

Thanks a lot for all your input! really helpful stuff.