As the importance of quality in function and aesthetics has come to the forefront of design, many industrial design schools have been formed to help meet the increasing need of contributors in this field. Identifying the schools noted as the best in various disciplines has become easier through the use of various publications, but determining why an institution is rated well is only one step in establishing the best placement for a student.  Three primary factors shared by the best industrial design schools in the country are also important in helping to determine the best fit for a potential student, they are: Accreditation, Atmosphere, and Vision.

The best industrial design schools the United States share in common an accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).   While there are many kinds of accreditation, that which is afforded through NASAD is a widely accepted standard industry.  Accredited institutions are reviewed based on “educational quality, institutional integrity, and educational improvements.”   It is also easier for the student to transfer credits between institutions and to build toward further education when attending an accredited school.  In short, accreditation means an outside agency has determined an institution is offering focused education of a high quality.  A list of schools noted with their NASAD accreditation can be found at, the website of the Industrial Design Society of America. 

Another factor the best schools share in common is the passion with which staff and faculty approach their field.  It’s important for the potential student to get a feel for the atmosphere of the campus and the rapport between teachers and students.  When a student is able to be mentored and believes those educating him or her have the best interests of the student at heart, they tend to perform at a higher level and retain a greater amount of what has been taught.  Other issues of atmosphere include the size of the school and its location—all things to be considered when pursuing an environment most conducive for individual success.

The best schools are also noted for their vision of the future—pursuing innovation and understanding the need for flexibility in understanding the needs of tomorrow, all while applying principles understood and accepted today.  The best school for an individual can also be determined by what goals the potential student has: are they hoping to work for a large, multinational firm or something much smaller?  An institution which has existing relationships with the kind of career center desired would be best.  If the student is hoping to serve the industry as an educator, institutions known for research and a balance of study with practical experience are most ideal. 

Determining the best industrial design school for an individual begins with self-study and personal knowledge of how they will best learn and function, what their personal vision is, and how they hope to serve in their field.  By fusing accreditation, atmosphere, and vision, the potential student is more likely to find success and enjoyment as they prepare for a rewarding career as a designer, architect, educator, or other contributor to the industry.

Did you know:

According to US News and World Reports the following are the top 2010 National Schools offering Art majors

1.      Yale University – New Haven, CT
2.      University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
3.      Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
4.      Brown University – Providence, RI
5.      Rice University – Houston, TX

If you are interested in the Best Industrial Design Schools, you may also be interested in finding more information on the Best Interior Design Schools, Good Graphic Design Schools, Good Fashion Design Schools and the Best Photography Schools. Feel free to browse these art school profiles and securely submit your information to request information.


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