What is Industrial Design?

Industrial Design is a professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both the user and the manufacturer. Launch your dream career and learn to design, model, manufacture, and package products used in everyday life. From utensils to furniture and appliances, discover how to create beautiful and practical products. View Western students’ work and projects in the Industrial Design Gallery.

Industrial Design Degree(s)

Industrial Design, BS

The Bachelor of Science Degree program in Industrial Design prepares graduates to begin work as practicing designers in corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial positions.


Lisa Ochs, Program Coordinator & Pre-Major Advisor
Lisa.Ochs@wwu.edu | 360-650-4132

Jason Morris, Industrial Design Program Director
Jason.Morris@wwu.edu | 360-650-2514

Industrial Design at Western

Western’s award-winning Industrial Design program prepares you to work as a practicing industrial designer in corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial positions. Beyond basic skills courses, you will learn a design process that encourages craftsmanship, original ideas, personal expression and aesthetics. Western’s industrial design degree teaches problem solving methodologies, marketing principles and usability research along with three dimensional model-making techniques. Additional subjects include manufacturing processes, ergonomics, materials and design principles. The depth of training will provide you with the skills necessary to carry projects from conception to working prototypes.

Faculty have professional experience as Industrial Designers and bring their experience and perspective to the classroom. In fact, 97% of Western’s graduates of the program are currently working in industrial design jobs or related design fields. Our alumni are employed by Nike, HP, Mountain Hardwear, Specialized Bicycles, Sonosite, Microsoft XBox, .Ziba, Burton, Dakine, Intel, Boeing, Pensar, GE, Transition, Intermec, 3M, Proteus, Gillette, Expedia, Valve, Tactile, MSR, TEAGUE, Cascade Designs, Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast, Astro, and more.

Western’s program has a strong reputation in the profession and is NASAD accredited - the only national accrediting association for Industrial Design. The program offers access to state-of-the-art wood and metal machinery machines and a walk-in paint booth. Additional facilities within the Engineering and Design Department are available for you to work in, as you enroll in respective support courses. These labs include CNC machining, rapid prototyping, FDM 3D printing, injection molding, composite materials, electronics, and soft-tooling areas.

Western’s Engineering and Design Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Explore courses

ID 130 – History of Industrial Design

ID 310 – Perspective and Rendering 1

ID 320 – Industrial Design CAD Skills

ID 380 – Materials for Design

ID 440 – Industrial Design Internship

Hands-on-Experience and Internships


Summer internships are strongly recommended as part of your plan of study. Students have recently interned at:

  • PreCor
  • IDEO
  • Specialized 
  • Fujifilm
  • Bose 
  • Intel 
  • Sonosite
  • Tabar
  • Tether, Inc.
  • General Electric

A study of Industrial Design graduates from 2007-2013 by the Industrial Designers Society of America found that 98% are working as professional designers in their field. 


Students in the program often join the Western chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). IDSA provides opportunities by putting on design events, inviting guest speakers, and arranging job shadows with different design firms around the country. 

I love this ability to make things—all things! Industrial Design teaches a combination of engineering and art—something that functions deserves to be beautiful.

Emily Bartlett

Industrial Design Student

What can you do with Industrial Design?

The Industrial Design major prepares graduates to begin work as practicing designers in corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial positions. Industrial Design is a highly competitive and professional service of creating and developing concepts that optimize function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both the user and the manufacturer. 

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Astro Studios (San Francisco, CA): Designer 
  • Blendtec (Provo, UT): Designer 
  • Boeing
  • Bose
  • Burn Design Lab 
  • Burton
  • Code and Theory (Manhattan, NY): Junior Industrial Designer 
  • Dakine
  • Fluke
  • Freerange PDX (Portland, OR): Designer 
  • Intel
  • Michael Courtney Design (Seattle, WA): Junior Designer 
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Oculus
  • Pensar
  • Specialized
  • Tabar
  • Tactile
  • Tether 

Industrial Design careers

  • Industrial Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Director of Product Development
  • Staff Designer
  • Design Consultant
  • Research and Strategy
  • Entrepreneur

Related Majors

Start Your Career at Western