Skip to main content

Graduate Programs

There are two Master of Fine Arts graduate programs offered by the major of Industrial Design at Purdue University.

Industrial Design MFA

Purdue University Industrial Design program offers a Master curriculum combining the pursuit of extraordinary design and making skills with the knowledge, theories, and methods essential to developing innovation for products and creating new business opportunities.

Our faculty of internationally renowned educators and professionals work with students in a design studio environment where they're encouraged to design with a consciousness that innovation must exist in a larger context. Our methodology takes a systems-level view and strives to balance the business, technological, and human aspects of any challenge. This creative process produces empathetic solutions to essential human needs and encourages growth and resilience among designers and enterprise alike.

IXD grad discussion

Interaction Design MFA

Faculty and students at Purdue Interaction Design program are boundary crossers, developing new approaches to explore the interaction possibilities in the context of industrial design. We are interested in studying cognitive and social systems that influence our knowledge, employing research methodologies to improve designs, and adopting innovative technologies to better accommodate human experience.

Based on our experience on design education and collaboration with the industry, we notice and understand the urgent needs of interaction design in the domain to shape everyday life. We look for creating the harmonious integration of both physical and virtual interactions in the product design. User experience design (UX) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving its usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product. Our program emphasizes on investigating the problems taking place in the interaction and innovating the user experience through both the physical and virtual interactions.

We seek to understand human interaction as a cognitive process and to use design to complement the users’ capabilities in creative and flexible ways. In order to do that, we assist students in gaining a deeper understanding of multi-model human cognition, perception, embodied cognition, and spatial cognition in the context of industrial design. A range of evaluation approaches are introduced so that industrial design students can explore mixed methods of inquiry to gather feedback from product users. Modern parametric CAD software opens the gate of interactive design exploration. Designers can link dimensions and variables to geometry and quickly explore the infinite variations of design. Through applying sophisticated research methods to understand users and adopting innovative technology to explore design, we believe that the needs of interaction can be well read, understood, addressed, and supported.

The past eight years marks a big success for our Interaction Design / User Experience Design program. Most of our alumni are currently professional user experience designers working for a variety of companies with big brands, including e-commence companies such as Amazon and Walmart, appliances companies such as GE Appliances and Whirlpool, electronics companies such as Samsung and Dji, and GIS companies such as Esri. Other alumni who chose the academic paths have become university professors.

IXD grad exhibition

ID graduate teaching

Teaching Assistantship Opportunity

The department offers Teaching Assistantships for qualified applicants admitted in the Industrial Design or Interaction Design Master of Fine Arts Programs. The Teaching Assistantship includes generous benefits and valued art and design teaching experience:

  • Full-tuition waiver
  • Competitive stipend
  • Medical benefits package (if half-time)
  • Spouse eligibility for in-state tuition

Teaching Assistants teach two classes each semester and work closely with a faculty coordinator. They must register for designated Teaching Assistantship courses. For additional information and qualification click here.