First Year Student: Product Design

Product Design is an interdisciplinary subject that blends elements of engineering, business, and humanities with industrial design. Each course aids students in developing innovative products that are functional and marketable. While there is some flexibility in scheduling, some major courses must be taken in sequence and during the semester indicated on the four-year plan in order for to complete the degree in four years.

Portfolio Review

Design professions are competitive and demanding. Future professionals need to gain experience in presenting their work to others and in having their work reviewed. Portfolio review is a way to evaluate students’ design ability and knowledge of design concepts based on work from the foundation-level courses.

Portfolio review assures that students have acquired an understanding of essential design knowledge and are prepared to move on to more advanced coursework. Passing portfolio review is required to change your status from pre-major to full major and, thus, continue in the program. You will have only two opportunities to participate in portfolio review.

Portfolio Review is typically offered at the end of your first year in the program, usually during March.


You will complete two required internships in two different work environments that will provide you with an opportunity for hands-on experience and the development of portfolio content to prepare you to enter the field of product design. Your internship instructor and Career & Internship Serviceswill help you as you formulate your learning goals and find an internship site.

Summer Courses

Most of the major-specific courses are only offered during the academic year, so we recommend that you do not depend on using summers to move ahead in your major program. However, you may take your liberal education requirements, as well as a few electives, in the summer.

Review of Transfer Work

Students who wish to submit transfer studio work for review in lieu of requirements must do so after admission to the program and prior to their orientation session. Please note that approved work from studio courses taken at other universities rarely shortens the four-year length of the program.