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Graduate School Question for a Mechanical Engineer

  1. Jun 29, 2009 #1
    Hi, I was wondering if a graduate program exists for product design and development? I have searched google, but haven't found the results I wanted. Would there be another name for a program like this or does it not exist at all?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2009 #2


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    I'm not a mechanical engineer, but you might want to look at an Industrial Design program. They're usually not directly in the engineering program, nor a masters program, but having an engineering degree (and especially a mechanical one) really gives you a legs up.

    My friend is putting his M.E. degree to good use by getting his B.F.A. (Bachelor's, Fine Arts) in Industrial Design, and he's rather enjoying it. I don't know if that's exactly what you're looking for (esthetics, styling, functional design), but it's probably worth looking into.
  4. Jul 6, 2009 #3
    matlabdude, did your friend recently graduate with a degree in mech e and than decide to go get his BFA? Do you know why he did it? Also, do you know if it is common for engineers to switch over to industrial design?

  5. Jul 7, 2009 #4


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    My friend graduated from MecE, worked for a year or so, didn't like what he was doing, and then decided to come back to the University (actually, I ran into him while he was killing the summer waiting for school to start up again, and working on campus!)

    I asked him why, and he replied that after doing CAD/CAM stuff for a year or so, he realized he wanted to do more with his artsie side, and get more into the product design / esthetics side of things (to merge form--ID--AND function--engineering). I'm not sure how common it is, but the majority of the class (at least at my university) consists of people who started in arts right from the get-go (I have two high school friends that did that as their undergraduate degrees).

    An EE / MecE / MatE degree would probably be quite handy for an ID-wannabe, but keep in mind that the only exposure I have to the Industrial Design field is through my friends who took it (well, that and the Macbook Pro I'm typing this on!)

    My advice: talk to an advisor / the profs in the industrial design program that you think you'd like to enroll in, and see if it's for you. And remember, my definition of design (esthetics, styling, etc.) may be different than your definition (identify market, make product that works, and then turn it over to the ID types to make it look nice). Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
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