Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Industrial Design
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, USA
Distance Learning, On-Campus
Full time, Part time
USD 1,276 *
Earliest start date
* per unit for international students | $1,218 per unit for domestic students. Additional fees apply
The School of Industrial Design's MFA program provides advanced study within focused fields of physical design. In addition to classroom and collaborative coursework, each student works toward producing a final thesis project.
Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:
MFA Thesis Project
- Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
- Demonstrate the feasibility of their thesis project
- Explain the relevance of their project to their professional goals
- Complete an approved body of work that represents an advanced level of achievement in their area of focus
Research & Analysis
- Clearly define the problem/opportunity, hypothesis, main objectives, and product requirements in their project brief
- Conduct adequate research and communicate findings using appropriate supporting materials
- Produce work that demonstrates proficiency in branding, graphics, drawing, rendering, 3D modeling, and model making
- Explore materials, color, form, manufacturing, ergonomics/human factors, and sustainability
- Incorporate an understanding of costs, bill of materials, and specifications into the design planning process
- Use innovative processes and design methodologies to develop conceptually strong projects (including brainstorming, mapping, sketches, and synthesis/testing of many ideas)
- Explore secondary designs: packaging, engineering, user interface, and/or user experience
- Give clear and concise professional presentations (verbal and visual)
- Accurately present their ideas in writing
- Produce a professional portfolio of work demonstrating their skills to a potential employer
- Organize a final, stand-alone gallery exhibit of their completed thesis project
Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:
- Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
- Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
- Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
- Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
- Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
- Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
- Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
As a graduate of the Academy of Art University’s Industrial Design program, you will have a range of career opportunities from which to choose. Our facilities, faculty, and hands-on learning provide the tools you need to succeed in your chosen career.
Sketch tangible examples of what the future might hold to develop detailed 3D physical clay models based on the design direction and physical properties of an object such as a vase, car, or even a ship.
Create a digital 3D model based on design direction as a digital modeler. You'll take 2D and visual concepts and bring them to life in 3D software to help visualize the final transportation and product design piece.
Work for designer labels, sportswear, or specialist footwear companies. Produce mood boards and design sketches to develop ideas. Create the patterns which are made into shoes.
Create initial designs for the senior design team as a junior designer in a design studio. You'll be responsible for professional concept mockups, study models, and sketches.
Design most things we use in our day-to-day lives, from cutlery to clocks and computers, as well as specialist products like medical, electronics or telecommunications equipment. Improve the way that existing products work and look and/or produce them at a lower cost.
Research the preferences of particular age groups. Create sketches and prototypes to produce products that are attractive and functional. Ensure that products are appropriate and safe for specific age groups.
Create designs for vehicles and transportation-related products. Areas of specialty include automotive concept design, public transportation, and automobile and aircraft interiors. Must have a strong background in design and significant knowledge of computer software and computer-aided design programs.
Develop scenario-based digital and physical user interaction designs. Craft every touch point in a digital or physical product to ensure brand consistency and emotional appeal.
- IND 610: Industrial Design Processes
- IND 612: Industrial Design Drawing 1: Perspective
- IND 621: Model Making
- GLA 632: The Science of Design: Ethnographic Methods
- GLA 672: Professional Practices & Communication for Industrial Designers
- IND 630: Design Project 1
- IND 651: Materials and Processes
- IND 662: Design Drawing 2
- IND 680: Design Project 2
- IND 712: Design Drawing 3
- IND 780: Thesis Preparation
- IND 725: Introduction to Digital 3D Modeling
- IND 762: Industrial Design Drawing 4
- IND 773: Digital Solid Modeling
- IND 810: Research
- IND 800: Directed Study
- IND 830: Design
- GLA 627: The Global Design Studio: Past, Present, & Future
- IND 800: Directed Study
- IND 850: Implementation