Wayne State University

I’ve been accepted into the Industrial Design program at Wayne State, it’s a good school in general, but unlike most of the other schools I applied to, it doesn’t seem to have much of a reputation for Industrial Design. I can’t find much information about their program online, I’m planning to visit the campus in a few weeks but I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about it.

I really don’t know much about it either. I’d ask to get a list of alumni working in the field that you can talk to.

My wife is an alum of Wayne State (I went to CCS 3 blocks away) and while it’s a great school for some programs you’d need to already be a rock star designer entering the program, just using it as a piece-of-paper-degree if you really want to be impressive when you graduate. I had wonderful instructors at CCS but I’ve seen amazing designers from little-known school programs and crap designers from the well-known schools. In my opinion it’s all about your natural talent and ability to absorb knowledge from all around you, not just from the quality of classroom time.

Hello, Janna.
Welcome to Wayne State! I am halfway through my third year as an Adjunct Instructor in WSU’s ID department. In my experience having relationships with (and having attended) a number of universities I can offer you this, you can get as much out of the program at WSU as you put in to it. For my students who “get it”, and put in the work, they will (and some have) go on to be successful. I definitely agree with Scott (above), as a hiring manager in my day job I’ve seen amazing designers from a variety of the lesser known programs (like WSU), and I’ve seen some brutal portfolios coming out of CCS. I will be honest and tell you that I did see some trends coming out of WSU that were unfortunate. It’s a big part of why I (and a colleague of mine) became instructors there. We made it our goal to help the students be better prepared post graduation. To help them get jobs. But, as a student you need to want it. You need to be passionate about what you do. Sadly, I don’t see that passion in a majority of my students.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

Thanks for the update on WSU’s program - I enjoyed walking around the campus with my wife all those years ago. I’m glad you could give the poster some first hand info! A friend of mine started teaching at Georgia Tech a few years ago for the same reason you did. He sends me portfolios-in-progress for feedback/review and since he started I’ve seen a drastic uptick in quality.

ID departments in Michigan’s colleges have come and gone over the years, you can track their rise and fall by the number of student IDSA awards,often as new professors work towards tenure their zeal is eventually crushed by academia’s BS (design departments aren’t big money makers, fewer students but needing lots of expensive shop equipment).
As mentioned before, you can’t depend on a universities overall reputation either (just look at whatever’s happening at UM).

It’s vital to appreciate that a faculty member is here and responding and how exceptional that is! for that reason alone I’d recommend attending.
Plus, the usual piece of golden advice that what you get out of the program is what you put into it, find the brightest students in your class to befriend they will push your limits and vice versa.

good luck in school!



+1 to that!

Thanks JGabry for caring!

This is great advice, but I would take it step further. Students need to remember that when they graduate, they will competing for a job. In the case of Wayne State, they will be in competition with the students attending the other school across the street (CCS), the other schools in the state, country, et cetera. If the best student in your class is showing up with a dozen sketches every week, remember there are students across the country at other programs showing up with fifty really well thought out and beautifully rendered sketches for every class. With resources like coroflot, behance and lemanoosh students can now see what the competition is doing globally not just in their department.