Virginia Tech® home

Industrial Design Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Design encourages prospective Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture students to visit us to discover our approach to design education, to find out about the curricula of our academic programs, to meet faculty and current students, and to tour the School's facilities. During the academic year, tours normally meet at 10:30am on Fridays in 201 Cowgill Hall. 

Contact Martha Sullivan with any questions about the program or scheduling a tour.

As described by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA):

"Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer."

"Industrial designers develop these concepts and specifications through collection, analysis and synthesis of data guided by the special requirements of the users, client and manufacturer. They are trained to prepare clear and concise recommendations through drawings, models and verbal descriptions."

"The industrial designer’s unique contribution places emphasis on those aspects of the product or system that relate most directly to human characteristics, needs and interests. This contribution requires specialized understanding of visual, tactile, safety and convenience criteria, with concern for the user. Education and experience in anticipating psychological, physiological and sociological factors that influence and are perceived by the user are essential industrial design resources.”

Roadmap for BS-IDS degree.pdf
Professional Electives for IDS.pdf
  • Robert Reuter Scholarship
    Traditionally given to a Sophomore and/or Junior recognizing a project or body of work that holds promise for commercial production.

  • Werner Graeff Memorial Book Award
    Traditionally the gift of a Bauhaus book is given to a Senior or Graduate student who has excelled in the development of a collection of built objects.

  • Industrial Design Society Of America Student Merit Award
    Seniors apply for the award through a program-wide presentation and jury of faculty and guests. The winning student then competes at the regional conference level for acknowledgement at the national IDSA conference.

  • Industrial Design Book Awards
    2nd Year Book Awards for studio achievement (two awards)\ 3rd Year Book Awards for studio achievement (two awards)\ 4th Year Book Awards for studio achievement (two awards)

  • Industrial Design Excellence In Thesis Award
    An award given to a senior, acknowledging a thesis with exceptional depth, iteration, and innovation.

  • Outstanding Service To The Industrial Design Program
    Awarded to a student who has been an outstanding studio citizen, providing civic service to the students and faculty within the program.

  • Industrial Design Advisory Board Travel Award
    Financial Award for a student because scholastic achievement enrolled in a travel program.

The study abroad programs available to industrial design students range from two week trips to semester long exchanges. The program-specific trip rotates locations, offering students options to study in countries in South America, Asia, the Middle East, or Europe. The small cohort of 6-18 students are led by VTID faculty into an immersive educational experience in design research and professional practice. ID students also have the opportunity to spend a semester at TU Delft in the Netherlands, one of the world’s most prestigious research universities and a global leader in design and engineering fields.


The industrial design students prepare for professional practice through multiple channels. We offer portfolio classes, opportunities to engage with practicing designers, and a robust internship database that  allows students to access a wide variety of options. These internship opportunities span the country and  range from small companies to corporate environments. Internships that are full time and last for 15 weeks  may satisfy the course requirements for one studio in the third or fourth year. Each level of engagement, from portfolios to internships, prepares students to flourish in their design career.

Students from other disciplines may pursue a minor in Industrial Design. The concentration requires the completion of 18 hours, with no less than 6 hours at the 3000 or 4000 level, including a studio offered during summer school. We also offer advising for the interdisciplinary Design + Technology + Creative Expression Pathways Minor.


The advisory board is a collection of alumni and friends working together to help shape and support the Virginia Tech Industrial Design program. You can find out how to get involved with our board here.

Ways to Give

There are many different ways to support the program. Please use the links below for more information on how to make your gift, or to learn about our donor recognition societies.


If you are ready to support AAD, making a gift online is easy and convenient.

  1. Go to the online form.
  2. Select or enter your gift amount.
  3. Select the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design as the area you would like to give to.
  4. You may also then select a department or student organization, or give to the annual fund. Giving to the annual fund means your gift will be used to support our most pressing needs. 
  5. Fill in your personal information.
  6. Click the “Give now” button.



  • To give by phone with your credit card, please call 800-533-1144 and ask for the Office of Gift Accounting.
  • Our 800 number is answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.



  • Please make check payable to "Virginia Tech Foundation Inc."
  • Mail check to:

ATTN: Advancement

College of Architecture, Arts, and Design

202 Cowgill Hall (0205)

1325 Perry Street

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA 24061 

Employer match

Your company may have a matching gifts program. If you are affiliated with a company that matches contributions to higher education, your gift to Virginia Tech may be matched, doubled, or — in some instances — more than doubled. Some companies also match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please search for your employer's name here.

LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH offers a full continuum of services to the Virginia Tech community and industry to help partnerships grow and flourish and ensure the discoveries made at the university deliver economic and human impact. Our three complementary centers help companies increase talent and research capabilities, commercialize ideas and discoveries, and create cycles of growth and opportunity to serve the VT community, commonwealth and beyond. 

Smart planning can ensure the gift you make accomplishes both your personal and charitable goals.

Please scroll down for links to explore frequently used and highly effective giving strategies. To discuss any of these options in more detail, contact our assitant dean of advancement, Julia Allen, at or (540) 231-5607.

Details that your advisors may need to complete a gift — such as sample language or the Virginia Tech Foundation taxpayer identification number — are available at our advisor resources page.

For information on how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act affects charitable giving opportunities, please visit this page about the new law.


Contact our assistant dean of advancement, Julia Allen, at or (540) 231-5607.


Industrial Design Program Contact Information

Cowgill Hall, RM 201
1325 Perry Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061

(540) 231-5383