Industrial Design, MSD

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The MSD in industrial design is meant for individuals interested in advanced studies in:

  • criticism and methodology
  • design processes
  • history
  • human factors
  • technology
  • theory

This program helps students develop an understanding of contemporary industrial design issues through specialized research and design skills. It also prepares the graduate student for a career in industrial design education.

This is a research-based degree. Students interested in a studio-based program should refer to the Master of Industrial Design.

Program offered

Industrial Design, MSD

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study


Application Procedures and Requirements

Application period

Online applications are open through September 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019 for the following programs: MArch 2-year; MArch 3+; MIA 2-year; MIA 3+; MID 2-year; MID 3+; MLA 2-year; MLA 3+; MS.Arch; MSD; MUD; MVCD 2-year; and MVCD 3+.

Fall Admission: MSD programs only admit students for the fall semester.

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Paying for College

Teaching and Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are appointed each term to a select number of graduate students who are excelling in The Design School. Learn more about teaching assistantships including eligibility and application details.

Financial Aid

Learn more about your financial aid options.

Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

Students who live outside of Arizona may be eligible for in-state tuition, find out if you qualify.

Program requirements

Students may choose to complete their graduate work by way of a thesis or an applied project. A master's degree thesis is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the author to do supervised research and intellectual writing. The applied project is somewhat different. It includes a project and a written document and is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the designer to do supervised research and present substantial evidence of the ability to apply research creatively to a design situation.

Concurrent Degree Options / Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Students in their first year of the two-year program or second year of the 3+ program may apply to study two graduate programs concurrently.  The curricula has been designed to allow for most of our programs to be taken simultaneously.  Please note that MArch students have the opportunity to apply to the W.P. Carey School of Business to study for a Master of Business Administration concurrently with their MArch degree.  We work to try to reduce the length of time for both degrees to save students a year of time and tuition fees. Students with two Master degrees have increased professional opportunities and great marketability.  If the concurrent option is taken, this will extend the graduate program by a minimum of one year.  

Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Design (MSD)

Applicants to the MSD program must hold a baccalaureate degree in graphic design, industrial design, interior design or a related design discipline.

When applying for admission, applicants must declare one of three concentrations: Industrial Design, Interior Design, Visual Communication Design.

The following are additional requirements for admission into the program:

  • A baccalaureate grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is required for application. The last two years of applicant’s undergraduate GPA records will be reviewed.
  • There is no GRE score requirement for the MSD program.
  • A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting or 480-965-3536.
  • Applicants to The Design School graduate programs are required to complete a two-step application process. Applicants must submit the Graduate College application as well as The Design School SlideRoom application.  For complete information on how to apply, please view the steps to apply on the admissions page.

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The undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Industrial Design at Arizona State University have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 2001.  

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is composed of schools and individuals representing the highest traditions and aims in the education of the artist and designer. These members have proven, by the fact of their membership and activity in the organization, their deep interest in fostering high standards for art and design education. 

For more information, visit the NASAD website

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations serve as the public face for their respective professions, providing information to the general public about disciplinary practice and its role in improving the well-being of communities, promoting design excellence through the recognition of notable professional achievements, supporting the exchange of ideas and information about best practices between professional members through the development of conferences and through the support of opportunities for continuing education.

Learn more about professional organizations.

Student Organizations

Joining a discipline-specific student organization is a great way to help your long-term career plans and goals. Membership can add to your academic experience by building a portfolio, making important connections, networking and engaging with local and national professional communities.

Learn more about student organizations.



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