To obtain a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree, you will need to accomplish several steps in a specific order. First, you will need to choose between earning the necessary lower division units at a community college or at a four-year college. Once you have made the choice, you will need to apply to the institution of your choice. Upon completion of the lower division units, you will need to complete roughly 60 to 70 credit hours of upper division industrial design courses. Depending upon the specific industrial design program, you may need to complete a culminating project in order to complete the degree.
A Bachelor of Industrial Design program begins with enrolling in an accredited community college or four-year college. If you enroll in a community college, you can earn the necessary lower division units in general education and introduction to design courses at a lower cost than you would find at a four-year institution. If you choose to enroll in a community college, you must apply for a transfer to a four-year institution that offers an industrial design program in order to complete the Bachelor of Industrial Design degree.
Generally, the lower division portion of the degree will involve taking a courses covering topics as diverse as psychology, philosophy, math, English, history and social science. Along with the general education courses, you will take courses that introduce you to the concepts and foundations of industrial design, such as art and computer-aided design. If you take these courses at a community college, it is important to achieve a high grade point average, as this will improve your prospects of transferring to a four-year college. Admission to some industrial design programs can be highly competitive.
Once you enter the upper division segment of a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree program, your courses will narrowly focus on concepts related to design. You will receive advanced instruction in various aspects of industrial design, including processes and best practices for the creation or treatment of products, equipment, and workspaces. In the final year of your upper division coursework, you may want to obtain an internship with a a local design firm or with a company that creates its own products and packaging.
If you wish to obtain a master's degree in industrial design, make sure that you perform as well as possible academically in your upper division coursework. It is also advisable to establish relationships with your instructors in order to build your professional network. Towards the end of your bachelor's degree program, you may want to ask your professors for letters of recommendation, even if you are not sure that you will continue your academic career.