B.F.A. Industrial Design

Do you like to create products to solve problems?
Degree Type Bachelor of Fine Arts
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design is a unique major if you like to draw, build things, tinker, and solve problems. In true polytechnic fashion, it is a combination of art and engineering and leads to careers as product and device designers.

As an industrial design major, you’ll learn what it takes to design, manufacture, and package the products we use every day, from sports cars to cellphones. / UW-Stout

Industrial designers work to optimize the function, value, and appearance of products and systems for both users and manufacturers. In our courses, you will study:

  • Design research and problem-solving
  • Concept development
  • Aesthetics and form
  • How to foster a creative mindset and present your ideas
  • Design methodology
  • 2D and 3D visualization
  • Ergonomics
  • Interface and interaction
  • Design for manufacture

Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


The Industrial Design program will provide you with a comprehensive applied learning environment. After graduation, you will be ready for a successful career in the field of contemporary product design.

Student Gallery

Our students gain experience working on real-world projects with a unique combination of art and technology.

The Industrial Design program builds upon the foundation skills you'll learn in the first year with courses that cover design methodology, aesthetics and form, ergonomics, interface and interaction, design for manufacture, sustainability, and contemporary design issues.

Industrial designers create and develop concepts and designs that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer. Through theory, practice and history you will gain creative and critical thinking skills to successfully problem-solve in their field.

"Stout has been a great school to grow as a designer and creative. Being here has challenged me to always strive for larger goals and gave me the skills necessary to succeed."

-- Alexander Mayhew
B.F.A Industrial Design

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design.

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Objectives & Outcomes
  1. Understand the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of design through exposure to faculty and students from multiple design disciplines. 
  2. Define, understand, and identify the elements and principles of art and design and apply them to a variety of design solutions. 
  3. Understand, analyze, and integrate the history of art and design within a cultural and aesthetic context. 
  4. Communicate successfully using various means including speaking, writing, and visual communication, including the disciplinespecific communication of technical information. 
  5. Apply methods and theory and research to design solutions in relationship to various social, behavioral, psychological, and cultural factors. 
  6. Apply concepts and issues related to safe, ethical, socially responsible design and sustainable design practice to include an understanding of safety and accessibility. 
  7. Understand, identify, and apply universal design theory and practice, ergonomics, and user interface systems. 
  8. Apply standards of practice for the industrial design profession including ethics, collaboration, professional development, and various business models. 
Industrial Design Careers


  • Product Designer
  • Bicycle Designer
  • Medical Device Designer
  • Footwear Technical Designer
  • Sunglasses Designer


  • 3M
  • Andersen Windows
  • Harley Davidson
  • Hasbro
  • Kohler
  • Leapfrog
  • Masterlock
  • Michael’s Crafts
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Rave Sports
  • Target
  • Trek Bicycles
B.F.A. Admissions Requirements

New First-Year Students

Students will be admitted as a Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) student. As a Pre-BFA participant, you will join an exciting community of first-year art and design students with classes and events geared towards preparing you for a successful application to the intended BFA program. 

As a student accepted into one of the six BFA programs, please be aware of the following:

  • You will be required to submit a portfolio in the spring semester of your freshmen year to apply for acceptance into the intended BFA program. Portfolios will be evaluated by School of Art and Design faculty. Through your first-year experience, you will be given the tools and skills required to prepare and submit the portfolio, and the necessary support to navigate the application process.

Transfer Students

  • All transfer students will be admitted as a Pre-Bachelor of Fine Arts (Pre-BFA) student.  Upon acceptance information will be provided on how to submit a portfolio and essay to be reviewed by a committee of School of Art & Design faculty, who will determine direct admissions into the BFA major of your choice. The priority deadline is no later than 9:00 a.m. on October 1st for spring admission and 9:00 a.m. on March 1st for fall admission. 
  • Submissions may be made after the priority date; however, there is no guarantee when it will be reviewed for a decision nor what art-specific coursework you may be able to get into after the review is completed and whether or not registration for the next semester has begun.  There is a $10 application fee assessed at the time you electronically submit your portfolio.

Transfer students are considered both fall and spring. This includes portfolio and essay submission priority dates. Students applying for one of the BFA programs will remain admitted as a "Pre-BFA" student if you: 

  • do not submit a portfolio/essay
  • apply after the BFA program has closed
  • are not approved for the BFA program after submission of a portfolio/essay. 

You may then apply for a change of major in subsequent semesters, depending upon available openings in the program. If needed, BFA Foundations courses will be available to "Pre-BFA" students pending seat availability. 

IND Advisory Board

2018 IND Advisory Board

  • Jennifer Astwood, Program Director & Associate Professor, Department of Design
  • Matt Bently, Vice-President, IDSA Student Chapter
  • Devin Berg, PhD, Associate Professor, CSTEMM, Department of Engineering and Technology; Program Director, Mechanical Engineering
  • Logan Ernster *15, Designer, P-Soup
  • Erik Evensen, MFA, Assistant Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design; Interim Program Director, Industrial Design
  • Michael Hammond *00, Design Manager, Trek
  • Amelia Kennedy, MFA, Design Manager, 3D Design Studio - Target
  • Michael Leighton *02, Senior Design Manager, 3M
  • Sheri Marnell, Program Director + Lecturer, CSTEMM, Apparel Design + development and Business Programs
  • Noah Norton '00, MFA, Associate Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design (in absentia)
  • Ben Pratt, MID, Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design
  • Dave Richer-O'Connell, MFA, Visiting Assistant Professor, CACHSS, Department of Design
  • Katie Thompson *07, Design Manager, QBP
  • Caleb Toft, President, IDSA Student Chapter
Industrial Design senior Natalie Huertas talks about her experience at UW-Stout as a first generation student. / Hannah Sweet, Miranda Morrell and Lindsey Zakrzewski

Industrial Design

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