Product design influences our lives through the products we use every day. Because of their job’s impact on many people, product designers must have the proper knowledge and skills to create and innovate products. So if you’re an aspiring product designer, the first great step you can take is to find the best product design bachelor’s degree that will prepare you for excellence.
In this guide, we compile the best Bachelor’s Degrees in Product Design you can get from some of the best schools in the country. You’ll also learn about each product design bachelor’s degree program’s admission requirements and process. We include information too on the product design bachelor’s degree jobs you can have after graduation. Let’s begin.
Where Can I Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design?
The best schools to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design include Arizona State University, Drexel University, and Southern New Hampshire University. Syracuse University and the University of Minnesota are also some of the best schools to explore product design degrees.
What Schools Offer the Best Product Design Bachelor Degrees?
- Arizona State University
- Drexel University
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Syracuse University
- University of Minnesota
What Are the Admission Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design?
The admission requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design program include a high school diploma and official school transcripts, and some schools require standardized test scores such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Test (ACT). The same goes for a grade point average (GPA), only select schools require a minimum GPA.
Additionally, you’ll need to submit an extensive portfolio of your original work, a letter of recommendation, and a college essay. Student applicants whose first language isn’t English need to submit proof of English proficiency.
Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Admission Requirements
- High school diploma
- Official transcripts
- A minimum GPA of 2.0
- Standardized test scores
- Portfolio of original work
- College essay
- Letter of Recommendation
- Proof of English language proficiency for international students
How to Get a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree
You get a product design bachelor’s degree by fulfilling all of the graduation requirements, such as earning the required credits for the program or completing a capstone project or internship. These credits encompass core, general, and elective courses, internships, and final project credits.
How Many Credits Do You Need for a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design?
You need at least 120 credits for a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design, although the total credit hours can be as high as 180 credits, depending on the institution. Your coursework should include about 30 credits in core courses, nine to 12 credits in elective courses, and around nine credits in general education courses.
Product Design Degree Requirements
- A minimum of 180 credits
- A satisfactory GPA throughout the program
- Completion of coursework including general education, core, and elective courses
- Capstone project or internship
Best Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Arizona State University||Bachelor of Science in Design—Industrial Design||Higher Learning Commission|
|Drexel University||Bachelor of Science in Product Design||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Iowa State University||Bachelor of Industrial Design||Higher Learning Commission|
|Pratt Institute||Bachelor of Industrial Design||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts||New England Commission of Higher Education|
||Bachelor of Industrial Design in Industrial and Interaction Design||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Minnesota||Bachelor of Science in Product Design||Higher Learning Commission|
Best Schools for Product Design: Top Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Programs
We’ve compiled a list of the best schools with the top product design bachelor’s degree programs. Product design bachelor’s programs are available in many institutions, but we highlight 10 of the best programs in this section. Below is an in-depth description of each program.
What Is a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
A product design bachelor’s degree is a degree earned after completing a four-year program that introduces you to product design fundamentals and advanced learning and equips you with the skills to pursue a product design career. The degree develops your creative skills in conceptualizing ideas and technical skills in bringing them to fruition.
In a bachelor’s degree program, you’ll have four years to perfect your craft and gain marketable skills like visual design, UX and UI design, communication skills, commercial awareness, and CAD skills.
How Important Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design
A Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design is very important, as it’s the minimum education requirement for a product design career in any industry. You can apply to well-paying engineering, manufacturing, or graphic design jobs. A bachelor’s degree lets you pursue advanced education, such as a master’s degree or doctorate in a field like product design or a related field.
What Types of Bachelor’s Degrees Can You Get in Product Design?
There are a few types of bachelor’s degrees you can get in product design, including a Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Product Design. A BS degree has more or less an equal weight between the science and art aspects of product design. BA and BFA degrees are more inclined to the arts. Their difference is that a BA degree tackles more on the liberal arts, while a BFA focuses deeper on design studies.
Is It Better to Get a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design?
A Bachelor of Science degree is better if you’re into both the aspects of technology and design in creating products. In contrast, a Bachelor of Fine Arts would be your best choice if you want to exercise more of your visionary and creative approaches. Don’t forget to ensure that your chosen bachelor’s degree aligns well with your career goals.
What Is the Difference Between a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree and a Product Design Certificate?
The main difference between a product design bachelor’s degree and a product design certificate is that a product design bachelor’s degree takes longer and is more expensive than a product design certificate. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree is comprised of a set of courses, including core, general, and electives. With a product design certificate, you’re required to complete fewer courses, thus earning fewer credits than a bachelor’s degree.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), it costs approximately $25,487 to get a bachelor’s degree from a public university. This tuition rate might increase, depending on if you’ll choose to enroll in a private university that’s either a nonprofit or for-profit institution. Consider additional costs as well for books, supplies, and other miscellaneous fees.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
It takes four years to get a product design bachelor’s degree. Students need at least 120 credits to graduate, which translates to eight semesters at about 15 credits per semester. You’ll need approximately five courses per semester, as each course in a bachelor’s degree program usually has three credits.
Other product design bachelor’s degree credit requirements can go up to 180, depending on the institution. In this case, you’ll need to increase the courses you’ll take in some semesters to graduate within four years.
How Hard Is It to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design
It’s not hard to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design, and as long as you have strong aspirations to be a product designer, you can easily complete the coursework required. Should you feel the need to learn more beyond the program, you can also always explore additional resources like books, online courses, and online professional communities.
Why Should You Get a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
You should get a product design bachelor’s degree because it gives you access to plenty of employment opportunities. Product design professionals are eligible for jobs in a wide variety of companies and industries that require their creative skills. You can work in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, finance, or tech industry.
The best part of learning product design is acquiring artistic, technical, and marketable skills. You can apply for well-paying jobs or set up a successful freelance career as a product design graduate.
What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Product Design
The courses you need to take in a bachelor’s degree program in product design include Concept Sketching, Design and Visual Presentation, Design Tools, Human Factors, and Principles of Product Design. Below are descriptions of each product design course.
Concept sketching in product design involves creating ideas and delivering technical drawings with aesthetic features. In this course, you will learn visualization, idea generation, and drawing processes. You’ll also gain skills in speed, creativity, precision, and iteration.
Design and Visual Presentation
Visual presentation is central to product design. Professional designers spend a lot of time engaging with clients and presenting ideas to department heads and team members. Thus, apart from design and visual skills, this course hones your public speaking and interpersonal skills for presenting your designs.
Design Tools in Product Design
This course focuses on all the tools you can use in product design. Common tools and design software include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Figma, and Adobe XD. You’ll learn how to maximize these tools in designing product concepts that influence production and innovations.
Human Factors in Design
Human factors in design refer to the aesthetic, environmental, and organizational factors that influence product design processes. This course delves deep into how the human factors must be considered in the product and industrial design profession. For instance, you’ll understand how ethics, employee attitude, work patterns, policies, environment, and leadership influence and shape products.
Principles of Product Design
In this course, you’ll learn about user interactions, balance usability, and delivery outcomes. You’ll also learn about the principles and thinking behind every aspect of product design. It’s an essential course because it helps you understand the steps of successful production processes.
Continuing Education Paths for Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
Some of the continuing education paths for product design bachelor’s degree graduates include pursuing a graduate program in product design or pursuing a wide range of licensing courses, short-term online classes, and certification courses for different industries.
Related Product Design Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Programs
The things to look for in the best product design bachelor’s degree programs are accreditation, curricular content, faculty credentials, flexibility, and student services. We’ll take a closer look at each of them in the descriptions below.
In your research for the best schools and where to get your product design bachelor’s degree, always ensure that the university is accredited. An accreditation proves that the institution provides high-quality education and maintains approved standards. It also assures you that the education you’ll get is on par with, if not better than, other top universities.
As mentioned above, product design bachelor’s degree programs focus on technical, creative, and entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, the best product design curriculum should include a course covering all these key skills. Course examples of good curricular content include user research, design thinking, user experience, model making, visual studies, leadership, and management.
Faculty credentials are essential because you want to ensure that you learn from experienced and top-notch product design experts. You can go through the school website to find detailed information on faculty credentials. You can also talk to the admissions teams and find out these credentials.
As you select the best program, ensure the program meets your flexibility requirements. Higher learning institutions offer online, in-person, and hybrid classes to accommodate students from all walks of life. In addition, you can also apply for part-time or full-time studies, depending on your availability and study plan.
A good Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design program must have services that promote student welfare. These services include academic advising, counseling, career services, and financial aid. Student services contribute to your academic success and enhance your learning experience.
What Is the Most Affordable Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
The most affordable product design bachelor’s degree is currently offered by Arizona State University and its lowest tuition cost for in-state students is $159 per credit. This means that an in-state student only needs to pay around $19,000 for the full 120-credit program.
Salary and Job Outlook for Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Graduates
Generally, the salary and job outlook for product design bachelor’s degree graduates are pretty high and graduates are employable across several industries. So, it’s easy to find full-time jobs and negotiate higher salaries because a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design provides you with technical, business, and creative knowledge that apply to any industry. Below, we detail the potential salaries and the highest-paying jobs in product design.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
It’s not hard to get a job with a product design bachelor’s degree because product design professionals are highly in demand as organizations diversify business strategies and compete for customer appeal using product design. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also projects a four percent job growth rate for art and design occupations between 2020 and 2030.
There are also product design-related professions that have a higher demand compared to others. For example, BLS projects a six percent job growth rate for an industrial designer, whereas special effects artists and animators have a 16 percent job growth rate.
What’s the Average Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Salary?
The average salary for someone with a product design bachelor’s degree is $68,000 annually, according to PayScale. Product design graduates also enjoy excellent benefits and perks, including medical insurance, paid time off, a 401(k) plan, and flexible saving accounts. Salary and other benefits may vary, depending on the level of experience, type of role, and industry.
What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Product Design Bachelor’s Degree?
The jobs you can get with a product design bachelor’s degree include graphic designer, user experience designer, and consumer product designer. You can also be a manufacturing engineer or software product designer. You can work in several fields, including the transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, and tech industries.
Product Design Degree Jobs
- Consumer product designer
- Graphics designer
- Manufacturing engineer
- User experience designer
- Software product designer
Potential Careers With a Product Design Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design
You can make between $77,000 and $95,000 a year with a product design bachelor’s degree. The salary can be higher depending on the nature of the job you’ll take. Our list below highlights the average salaries for five high-paying jobs in product design.
Highest-Paying Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries Overview
|Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Special Effects Artist||$78,790|
|User Experience Designer||$77,301|
Best Jobs for Product Design Bachelor’s Degree Grads
The best jobs for product design bachelor’s degree grads are fashion designer, user experience designer, industrial designer, special effects artist, and industrial engineer. Below is an in-depth description of these jobs, including their salaries and job growth outlooks.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design Worth It?
Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design is worth it. The skills you gain from the four-year degree are applicable in a wide variety of industries, thus guaranteeing job security. Product designers are also in high demand both globally and here in the US. So, pursuing this degree can be your key to a comfortable lifestyle as you apply for lucrative jobs with outstanding benefits.
Additional Reading About Product Design
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Product Design Bachelor’s Degree FAQ
Yes, product designing is a good career. It’s an exciting career path, as you can showcase your creativity and develop both entrepreneurial and technical skills. Additionally, product designers can work in various industries, thus expanding your options for a career in product design.
Yes, you can get senior roles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design. You can apply for these roles directly or pursue continuing education paths to increase your chances. For instance, you can get certifications, attend bootcamps, and enroll in online courses to boost your credentials.
No, you can’t get a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design for free. However, higher learning institutions offer financial aid through scholarships, student loans, or other flexible payment options. You can take advantage of these options to reduce your immediate out-of-pocket expenses.
Yes, you can get a product design bachelor’s degree in under four years. An accelerated degree program ensures you complete your degree sooner. Alternatively, if you already have an associate degree, you can transfer your credits and finish the bachelor’s degree within two or three years.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.