Industrial Design MFA

Graduate Admissions Counselor

David Wivell

Department Contact

Alex Lobos

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15th Priority Deadline, rolling after
Admit Term Fall Term Only
Entrance Exam None
Other Portfolio
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 90
PTE Academic 58


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MFA in industrial design is for career enhancement or redirection. The educational experience is project-oriented, requiring research into design methods and technologies. Cross-disciplinary collaboratives provide an experiential dimension.

The first year of study includes seminar courses in design history and research, which are common to all graduate students in the School of Design. In addition, studio courses involve extensive design work with respect to sustainability, design process, the meaning of artifacts, and critical analysis. Additional course work using three-dimensional software for modeling and fabrication fills out the program.

In the second year students conduct research and develop a thesis project, which is presented in a graduate thesis exhibition or presentation, and is documented in a written thesis report.


Industrial design, MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IDDE-701 Design Laboratory I 6
IDDE-703 Function of Form 3
IDDE-705 2D Ideation and Visualization 3
VCDE-701 Design History Seminar 3
IDDE-702 Design Laboratory II 6
IDDE-704 Form of Function 3
IDDE-706 Integrated Design Visualization 3
IDDE-711 Design Research and Proposal 3
Second Year
  Free Electives 15
  Art History Elective 3
IDDE-790 Thesis: Research and Planning 6
IDDE-890 Thesis: Implementation and Evaluation 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 60


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MFA program in industrial design, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college. 
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates strong design skills, visual sophistication, and aesthetic awareness. (Refer to Portfolio Guidelines for more information.)
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives detailing the professional goals the candidate wishes to achieve, and the attributes the candidate brings to graduate study.  
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • Submit an artist’s statement explaining the intention behind the portfolio.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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