Industrial Design


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    Iowa State's 60-credit Master of Industrial Design (MID) emphasizes a creative problem-solving based curriculum rooted in design thinking methodologies. Students will be able to explore their interests in the broad and expanding field integrating strategic and creative, as well as critical and systems thinking frameworks, exploring innovation solutions for the [wicked] problems of our times. Industrial Design is a human-centered discipline that questions existing boundaries and makes connections among diverse domains. Therefore, the program challenges students to develop the ability to recognize and define problems in new ways, and then find opportunities others might have missed or undervalued. Through a strategic and creative problem-solving process, Industrial Design tries to reimagine how we should go about developing innovative, sustainable and durable solutions for people and society at large that genuinely lead to better quality of life and better futures. The MID program actively connects with other knowledge domains and disciplines, to research how things are with the drive to propose how they ought to be. This is achieved through the challenging balance between critical and creative ways of thinking [and working] when devising novel, useful and meaningful artifacts, services, systems, and experiences.
Degrees Offered:
  • Masters of Industrial Design (M.I.D.)
Learning Goals:
  • Understand and analyze the impact of wicked problems challenging society, environments and eco-systems in the 21st century and its interdependencies at a local, regional and global levels.
  • Apply design thinking methods to analyze wicked problems, and evaluate the most powerful leverage points for design intervention.
  • Apply design processes as a means to manage the development of solution ideas from problem framing through to concept generation until prototyping and turn that into viable business opportunities.
  • Employ research (data collection) and analysis methods strategically to support the different phases of the design process, when recognizing/discovering, defining and representing problems to learn about users/stakeholders, products, contexts and experiences.
  • Assess and adapt models or applications of change theory, strategic management and design thinking tools to implement identified opportunities into pivoting actions of social innovation and civic entrepreneurship.
  • Create innovative and meaningful design solutions for short/mid/long-term contexts, at varying levels of scale, with a view to improve quality of life and foster sustainable and resilient future communities.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 2.2 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Melissa Stenstrom
Phone: 515-294-3366
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Iowa State University
    715 Bissell Road
    159 Design
    Ames, IA 50011

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements:
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Digital portfolio
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Program Requires GRE: No
  • Program Requires GMAT: No
  • Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No
International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    The priority application deadline is January 15. Submissions received after January 15 may be considered, although priority is given to timely submission. Spring and summer entry are not available.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

People who viewed this program also viewed: