Board of Regents approves new Master of Industrial Design degree at ISU

AMES, Iowa - The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, today approved a new Master of Industrial Design degree program to be offered by the Iowa State University College of Design.

This two-year, studio-based graduate program will consist of three different tracks. The research track will focus on the creation and application of new knowledge through research and culminate in a thesis. The business track will specialize in commercial issues of management and product development and culminate in a final project.

Mid-career professionals will be able to apply for advanced standing in the program and follow a condensed track with special emphasis on a final project that builds on their existing experience and helps them move into a design management career.

The program is designed to offer a relevant mix of skills and experience, including directed research programs, internships, international travel and industry-sponsored coursework, said Program Director David Ringholz.

Ringholz and Assistant Professor Seda Yilmaz will teach courses in design thinking, innovation, product development, project management, interaction, eco-design, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. They bring extensive experience from the commercial and academic sectors into the classroom.

"Our goal is to create an agile program that addresses current and emerging issues in design and culture," Ringholz said. "Our position in one of the most comprehensive design colleges in the country gives us the ability to integrate design thinking from multiple disciplines. But it is our relationship with the colleges of Business and Engineering that allows us to create some truly unique degree specializations."

Students will be able to explore advanced concepts in such areas as extended manufacturer responsibility, supply chain and logistics, international vendor relations, advanced materials and biopolymers, and alternative business models.

Those who do not have an undergraduate degree or background in industrial design may need to complete additional graduate-level courses to earn the Master of Industrial Design, Ringholz said. Specific requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The Master of Industrial Design program will begin accepting graduate applications Jan. 15 for consideration for Fall 2011 admission. Contact Ringholz, (515) 294-0454,, for more information.

Iowa State's Bachelor of Industrial Design program was approved in August and the first 20 students were admitted to the program for fall semester. (See