Department of Engineering Technology, College of Sciences and Technology
The Bachelor of Science degree program in industrial design prepares graduates to work as practicing designers in a corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial position in virtually any industry. Industrial design is a highly competitive, professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.
Admission and Declaration Process
Declaration of Major
Entrance Portfolio Requirement
Declaration of a major in the industrial design program at Western Washington University requires the submission of a portfolio which, in the judgment of the faculty, offers evidence of a candidate’s potential for success within the program.
A portfolio is a collection of an applicant’s best work, revealing the applicant’s interests and presented as professionally as possible. Applicants should submit work from high school/university courses, professional work, or self-initiated projects. For more information on design portfolios and what makes a good portfolio, please refer to links on the industrial design website, www.wwu.edu/id/links.html.
The applicant’s entrance portfolio may provide examples in the following five areas:
- Sketching (examples of sketches that express ideas and creative problem solving, show a variety of concepts, or demonstrate an ability to draw)
- 2-D design (examples of page layout, composition, color, et cetera, as demonstrated in an illustration, advertisement, painting, or other 2-dimensional work
- 3-D design (examples of form development, construction, craftsmanship, et cetera, as demonstrated in a 3-dimensional piece such as a model, sculpture, clothing, et cetera)
- Computer skills (examples of computer-aided drafting (CAD), and/or evidence of aptitude in drawing/image editing software programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, et cetera)
- Communication (examples of written or visual communication through papers, reports, or presentations)
Portfolios are reviewed by an industrial design committee three times per year prior to the quarter of acceptance into the major. Submission deadlines are October 22 for winter quarter, February 14 for spring quarter, and June 10 for fall quarter. If applicants do not qualify for acceptance one quarter, they may apply for a following quarter after improving the content of their portfolio.
Since the sophomore series of design courses begins in the fall and the courses are sequential, it is highly recommended that transfer students begin studies in the fall quarter. Most industrial design courses are only offered one quarter per year and serve as prerequisites for the subsequent courses, so it is important to begin the sequence in September.
Entrance Portfolio Submission Format
To apply for admission to the major, an individual must submit a physical portfolio containing a maximum of 12 pieces of their work. (No CDs, slides, or digital files accepted.) Each piece should be clearly marked with the applicant’s name, title of the project, medium (or software/materials) used, size, and date of completion. In the case of professional or group projects, applicants should indicate their personal responsibilities. Neatness of presentation is important; it reflects your attitude toward your work. Application materials will not be returned unless a self-addressed, stamped envelope is provided.
Sophomore Portfolio Review
The sophomore portfolio review is held once a year during the first week in June and takes place after the first two years of studies (freshman and sophomore courses) have been successfully completed. Through this second review, 12 students are accepted into the third year of studies (junior professional practice series).
The requirements for this second portfolio review include completion of the following classes: Math 115 or 118; Phys 115; ETEC 112, 214, 215, 216, 231, 311, 312, 315; a minimum of four studio art courses (Art 110, 120, 130 or 140, and 203 recommended); one art history course (Art 109 recommended); a maximum of 90 credits remaining to graduate; a portfolio consisting of seven pieces or projects. Early advisement is essential.
More information on the second portfolio review is available on the Western Washington University Industrial Design Website and is discussed in depth throughout the sophomore industrial design courses.
The industrial design program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190, phone 703-437-0700.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.