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​Industrial and Interaction Design

Ranked third in the nation by DesignIntelligence, Syracuse University’s five-year industrial and interaction design program combines theory with studio practice in a process-oriented approach to design development.

With a focus on environmental and social responsibility, you’ll develop design solutions that meet current needs and future demands. Hands-on learning coupled with courses in design theory and practice—as well as support courses in the humanities, physical and natural sciences, and behavioral and social sciences—will prepare you to become a leader in the field.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Core coursework involves industrial design, design concepts, and social science. Sample courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Industrial & Interaction Design
  • Production Processes: Metals
  • Human Factors For Designers
  • Symbology and Semiotics in Industrial Design
  • History of Modern Design: 1850–Present
  • Design, Cultural Traditions and the Environment

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

The industrial and interaction design program offers opportunities outside the classroom for students to develop of their skills.

  • Enjoy the professional studio facilities, shared computer labs, printing lab, and fabrication lab at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse in downtown Syracuse.
  • Engage with fellow design students and industry professionals as a member of the active student chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
  • Network with an impressive array of nationally and internationally known visiting designers who come to the Warehouse to lecture and critique work.
  • Bring an industrial design perspective and develop an entrepreneurial perspective through work with the Syracuse Student Sandbox on an entrepreneurial venture.

Study Abroad

Add to your resume and challenge your perspective with a study abroad experience during your time at Syracuse. Consistently ranked among the top 25 international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries. 

Industrial and interaction design majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence and London. Learn more about study abroad opportunities for the School of Design.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in industrial and interaction design, you can pursue careers including:

  • Industrial designer
  • Architect
  • Industrial engineer
  • Drafter
  • Exhibition designer

Or earn a graduate degree in business, collaborative design, or museum studies. Past graduates have continued their education at many of the most prestigious graduate schools in the U.S.