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Several creations by MSU Denver industrial design students were unveiled in Larimer Square at a joint event marking the 50th anniversaries of MSU Denver and Larimer Square, the city’s oldest downtown shopping, dining and entertainment district.


Industrial Design majors are assigned a specific faculty advisor from within the department to help guide students during their studies. If you have not been assigned a department advisor, or are unsure who your advisor is, please contact Academic Department Coordinator Veronica Sanchez Jones at for more information.

You may also visit a general studies advisor if you have questions regarding general studies requirements. Please visit MSU Denver's College of Health and Applied Sciences Advising department to learn more.


Curriculum Advising Map by Catalog year

For a complete list of required courses for the B.S. degree in Industrial Design, please choose the appropriate advising map listed below:

To access older catalog years, please contact our Department Coordinator.


Portfolio Review

Fall 2021 Semester Deadline: Date & Time tbd

Students majoring in Industrial Design are required to submit a portfolio upon completion of Beginning ID Studio (IND 2450). Click below to view more information regarding the screening requirements.

Department Policies

Advising: Department policy requires all Industial Design majors to meet with a faculty advisor each semester, prior to registration, until IND 2450 - Beginning Industrial Design class is completed. A department (IND Adv/Portfolio) hold will be placed on a student's account, preventing them from registering for classes, until advising has been completed.

Declared Industrial Design majors are assigned a full time faculty advisor within the department when they start our program. Each faculty advisor is available to assist students with advising issues related to the IND major during their posted office hours or by appointment. A master list of assigned advisees is kept in the department office in the Aerospace & Engineering Sciences Building, room 200A. We strongly encourage you to speak with your faculty advisor before taking courses as well as throughout your studies! Feel free to visit our office, call 303-615-0599, or contact your faculty advisor directly for an appointment.


Attendance: (Effective Spring 2020) Punctual attendance is required and will be taken at the start of each class session. Every two unexcused absences may result in a letter grade reduction in your final grade. More than FOUR unexcused absences may result in failure from the class. An excused absence requires a written explanation letter and/or official documentation from a responsible party (i.e. doctor’s note, health service form, etc.). Arriving to class on time is required. Every three unexcused tardies (arriving more than 15 minutes late) will be considered as one unexcused absent. Individual faculty attendance policy will override department policy.


Material and Computer Labs, Design Studio, and Photo Studio: The labs are essential components of the Industrial Design department and because of liability issues and lab support costs, laboratory equipment is for the use of students currently enrolled in and paying tuition and student fees for IND classes for which labs are a requirement. Students not currently enrolled in IND courses or alumni who have graduated with an IND degree wanting to use IND labs must get prior approval from the Chairperson to work in the labs. Under no circumstances are non-active IND students, non-IND majors, or alumni allowed to use IND power tools even if access is approved.  Click IND Lab Policies and Procedures to view the full list of department lab and studio policies.


Portfolio review: All students majoring in Industrial Design are required to submit a portfolio, for review by the faculty, after completion of IND 2450 - Beginning Industrial Design Studio and all prerequisite courses. Passing the portfolio review allows access to the upper division studio courses. These courses are definitive to Industrial Design graduates and require a passing portfolio before they can be taken. This process is required for NASAD accreditation and helps control the quantity and quality of the program’s graduates for the benefit of the profession. Click the 'Portfolio Review Guide' button above for more information regarding the screening requirements and process.


Test challenge of courses: Only IND 1450 - Industrial Drawing and CAD is open to test challenge. Contact the instructor of this course if you wish to test challenge the course. Copies of the University policies relevant to test challenge are available online or at the department office in the Aerospace & Engineering Sciences Building, room 200A.


University Academic Policies

Students are responsible for full knowledge of the provisions and regulations pertaining to their program contained in the University catalog and elsewhere. Students have final responsibility for completing the requirements for a degree and are urged to seek advising. Students should never assume that they have approval to deviate from a stated requirement without a properly signed statement to that effect.

For information regarding MSU Denver’s academic policies, please visit University Policies.


Campus Policies

MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus, which is also home to the University of Colorado Denver and the Community College of Denver. The Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) oversees the shared services of the Auraria Campus. For information on campus policies, visit the AHEC policy website.

Student Learning Outcomes for all Industrial Design Majors

To the standard of an entry level professional designer, graduating students should be able to:

  1. Perform design research that contributes to the definition and solution of design problems.
  2. Formulate multiple creative design solutions for a given problem, assess those concepts and select the most appropriate final design.
  3. Demonstrate proficient skills in; sketching and rendering with appropriate media, technical drawing, 3-D physical and computer modeling and prototyping.
  4. Develop final design solutions to optimize appropriate use of materials, manufacturing processes, user safety and marketability.
  5. Prepare presentations that demonstrate quality visual organization, verbal skills, writing proficiency and professionalism.
  6. Produce designs that address human-centered design and demonstrate an understanding of diverse cultural and global contexts.

Course Descriptions

Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

This course defines, describes, and explains opportunities in the field of Industrial Design. It identifies and allows for the discussion of career options, evaluates employment trends in the field, and reviews academic and professional requirements for entry into the field. Instruction and background in the use of the design process for Industrial Design is also provided.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Completion of General Studies requirements in Quantitative Literacy and Written Communication or permission of instructor.

An introductory course designed to give students information about wood material properties, species selection criteria, practical design applications, and ordering and specifying protocol. The design process is presented and applied in the development of a furniture design and a fabrication plan, which is utilized to construct the design. The course also provides instruction for basic skill development in the use of woodworking tools, machines and processes. Wood finishing materials and processes are also studied and utilized in student projects.

Credit will be granted  for only one prefix: IND 1010 or ART

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course is an introduction to working safely and efficiently with tools in the woods, metals, and plastics labs. Students will study basic information about material properties and learn fundamental fabrication and finishing techniques through various simple design projects incorporating wood, metal, and plastic materials. Lectures will also cover shop tools and considerations, along with safety and emergency procedures.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 1000

This course is an introduction to the basic manufacturing processes and techniques used in the plastics industries. A variety of forming, casting, and reinforced plastic processes will be examined.

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course covers the manipulation of sheet metal, machining of metals, welding of metals, fasteners, and bench metal working. Finishing of metals is also covered, including mechanical processes, sandblasting, polishing, and painting techniques. Emphasis is placed factors necessary to create products that involve metals and metal components. The design process is introduced and applied in the development of short-term design projects.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: IND 1100

This studio and lecture course helps students apply advanced woods, metals, and plastics fabrication techniques to create original products. Students design and manufacture items in response to an assigned design brief through appropriate design considerations and material selection. The design process is documented throughout the semester to generate a detailed set of construction drawings and presentation materials.

Offered: Fall, Spring

An introductory course designed to give students information about production drawings. The technical drawing process is presented and applied to a variety of products using both manual drafting tools and computer software. Additional topics include hand lettering, orthographic projections, dimensioning, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD & T), and creating Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) data for part production. The design process is taught with the aid of a short-term design project with accompanying technical drawings and CNC production.

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and skills used in industry to communicate ideas through a hand-drawn, two dimensional format. Students will develop drawing skills which represent objects as the eye sees them using perspective, shading, and a variety of graphic techniques. Instruction and practice incorporates the study of visual reality, graphic form, visual impact, and the logic and proof of what we see.

Offered: Fall, Spring

ELECTIVE - Prerequisites: IND 1000

Students will investigate and practice the basic visual elements and principles of design through both 2D and 3D approaches. Emphasis will be placed on form development and visualization techniques.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 1000

This lecture/lab course prepares students to capture their original works digitally with various documenting equipment and to edit them with computer software. Studio and location photographic projects require students to use the camera for documentation, research and communication. Visual compositions that include digital and non-digital elements and presentation page layout principals will be introduced and practiced for students’ department portfolio review preparation.

Offered: Fall, Spring

REQUIRED (with a catalog year 2012-2020) - Prerequisites: ART 1101, ART 1141, IND 1010, IND 1130, IND 1250, IND 1450, IND 1470, and IND 2100
Pre or Corequisite: ART 1501

REQUIRED (with a catalog year 2020-2021 and later) - Prerequisites: ART 1101, ART 1141, IND 1100, IND 1250, IND 1300, IND 1450, IND 1470, and IND 2100
Pre or Corequisite: ART 1501

In laboratory and studio environments, the design process is introduced and practiced as students apply learned fundamental skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and aesthetic refinement to assigned design projects. Students are required to address the historical context of their designs as they research technological evolution, market trends, aesthetic preferences, and consumer behavior. Students are required to document their work and create page layouts that depict and describe their projects according to the Department portfolio screening criteria. 

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: IND 1010, IND 1450, IND 1470 

Corequisites: IND 1130, IND 2830, IND 3950

This course is for non-majors. In laboratory and studio environments, the design process is introduced and practiced as students apply fundamental principles to three-dimensional forms, structures, and products. Students address the historical context of their designs as they practice critical thinking, research, problem solving, and aesthetic refinement. Students create sketches, drawings, models, research reports, and presentations of their design concepts. 

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: ENG 1010
Prerequisite or Corequisite: ENG 1020

This course teaches students about the relationship between technology, design, and global cultures. Historical perspectives provide a foundation for discussion about how technology and design have affected, and continue to affect, the daily lives of people throughout the world. Emphasis is placed on relevant technologies developed in societies outside the U.S., and on the effects that those technologies have had on global societies, including the U.S. Particular attention is paid to communications, product design, food production, work and jobs, transportation, the military, sustainability, and ethical issues.

Offered: Fall, Spring

This lecture course provides an overview of the mass-production manufacturing methods and materials most commonly utilized by industrial designers. It provides students with knowledge that will enable them to make appropriate material, manufacturing, and finishing selections for their own designed products.


Design thinking methodology teaches a holistic approach of innovative way of solving problems. Multiple design projects will be utilized to help students develop creative thinking skills, to gain knowledge of design thinking, and to practice a wide range of innovative problem-solving methods for business and manufacturing applications.

Offered: Fall, Spring

ELECTIVE (with a catalog year 2012-2020) - Prerequisite: IND 1470

REQUIRED (with a catalog year 2020-2021 and later) - Prerequisite: IND 1470

In this course students will develop rapid visual communication skills through traditional sketching techniques and gain experience with various media. This course will develop students’ abilities to quickly capture their design ideas by depicting 3D volumes on a 2D plane. Various rendering techniques in mixed media will also be explored to develop skill in representing color, texture, and material.

ELECTIVE (with a catalog year 2012-2020) - Prerequisite: IND 1130

ELECTIVE (with a catalog year 2020-2021 and later) - Prerequisite: IND 1300

This course is a combination lecture/studio course that employs hands-on exercises and project fabrication to address various aspects for designing objects made of advanced composites, assessing the constraints of composites-related designs, and apply these topics through construction of a self-directed final project.

ELECTIVE (with a catalog year 2012-2020) - Prerequisites: IND 1010, IND 1130, IND 1250, IND 1450, IND 1470

REQUIRED (with a catalog year 2020-2021 and later) - Prerequisite: IND 1300, IND 1450, IND 1470

A lecture and laboratory course providing instruction in the history of the bicycle, requiring research into appropriate building materials for bicycles, and that will provide students an opportunity to design and fabricate a working prototype based on that research. The course will also provide instruction and practice of the basic metal fitting skills and subsidiary tooling required to fabricate a working bicycle prototype and selection of material appropriate finishes.

ELECTIVE – Prerequisite: MET 1210 or IND 3660 with a grade of “C” or better

In this combination lab lecture course, students explore the latest applications of digital 3D scanning and direct digital manufacturing. Through this course, students are introduced to current developments and the critical challenges of digital 3D technologies. Emphasis is placed on practical experience in utilizing departmental equipment to produce digital 3D tiles and output them to appropriate direct digital manufacturing equipment. Students will apply knowledge of 3D scanners for reverse engineering and direct digital manufacturing purposes.

Credit will be granted for only one prefix: IND 3660 or MET 1210.

Offered: Spring

ELECTIVE - Prerequisite: IND 1010 or ART 1300, IND 1450

This lecture/lab course employs furniture fabrication projects to address the furniture design process, aesthetic design issues, structure, ergonomics, functionality, materials technology and manufacturability. Students utilize the design process to formulate concepts, communicate those design concepts, and fabricate a quality furniture piece based on their research and design solutions.

Offered: Fall


This combination lecture and laboratory course stresses the importance of user interaction with products as a measure of product market viability and manufacturability. User interface components, anthropometries and psychologically intuitive design solutions for manufacture are addressed in the course.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 2450

Students will produce functional, aesthetic designs for mass-market consumer products. Students will also learn and adapt the design developmental process used in industry. This includes finding and analyzing problems, conducting and documenting research, generating and proposing concepts, and presenting solutions in public. Projects emphasize materials, manufacturing methods, concept visualization, market relevance, and historical context

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisites: IND 1010, IND 1130 or permission of instructor

In a studio and laboratory environment, students will gain experience with a variety of model making techniques and materials. Students will learn to construct different levels of design models, from form study mockups in various scales to presentation-quality models. Students will also learn how to use them to evaluate and communicate product design concepts. 

Offered: Spring

ELECTIVE - Prerequisites: IND 1450, IND 1470

In this course, students are provided with instruction in textile material characteristics, selection criteria, and appropriate textile design applications. The course will also provide an opportunity for basic skill development in fabrication techniques, including the use of sewing machines and pattern design.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 2450

The objective of this studio course is to develop 2D digital concept visualization skills using computer programs and equipment. Instruction emphasizes professional level presentation techniques with various 2D computer programs, including vector and bitmap-based programs.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 1450

In a computer laboratory environment, students use software to model/render objects and designs in virtual three-dimensional space

ELECTIVE – Prerequisite: IND 3660

This combination lecture and laboratory course serves as an advanced, computer-aided modeling course in sequence with IND 3660. The course focuses on the material and assembly testing tools within appropriate solid modeling software to create products for manufacture. Appropriate software for analysis of a product’s readiness for manufacturing is also introduced. Emphasis is placed on developing models that facilitate direct digital manufacturing and advanced manufacturing methods.

Offered: Fall

ELECTIVE - Prerequisite: IND 2450

This is a combination lecture and laboratory course in which students investigate and apply the key considerations for the design of public furniture. Instruction will be provided in the preparation of presentation materials for public use furniture competitions and furniture fabrication techniques. The application of these topics will be employed in the design and fabrication of a piece of furniture for public use. 

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 3450 

In this course, students gain knowledge of design for production criteria by developing a product and optimizing its design for specific mass manufacturing technologies. Students gain experience through the design development process, including market feasibility research, brainstorming new concepts, refining concepts, and constructing alpha and beta prototypes that are designed for mass manufacturing. Projects are based upon real-world, new product development principles. Students learn fundamentals of industrial production, ecological design, consumer safety, and entrepreneurship.

Offered: Summer

Prerequisite: Instructor approval

This course is designed to provide the student with a fundamental understanding of global design culture that must be considered in order to design products for the global market. In this course, the student will participate in a multidisciplinary and multicultural design workshop that also includes pre and post-workshop lectures at MSU Denver.

Note: This course may be repeated up to 4 times under different areas of travel.

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course provides an overview of the major personalities, organizations, styles, and evolutionary events that shaped the course of industrial design, from the Industrial Revolution to the present. There is a focus on the refinement of industrial design in Europe, the congruence of American design and industry, and the emergence of Asian design and manufacturing. 

Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite: IND 2450

This internship is designed to allow students to acquire additional work experience in the design profession. The experience must be supervised by a design professional in conjunction with an Industrial Design faculty member.

(Students may take this course twice for a total of 6 credits) 

ELECTIVE - Prerequisite: IND 3100

In this combination lecture and laboratory course, students build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in IND 3100 - Composites: Materials and Fabrication utilizing design and fabrication projects to inform how they can use composite materials for advanced manufacture. The course will provide instruction in advanced composite fabrication techniques and relevant equipment for composite-based manufacture. 

Offered: Spring

ELECTIVE – Prerequisite: IND 1450 or permission of instructor

This lecture/lab provides instruction upon the skillset acquired in IND 1450 - Technical Drawing and CAD. Students will learn the principles of a NURBS (Non-uniform Rational B-Spline) based 3D modeling and visual rendering program. The modeling program will be used to produce digitally generated, realistic, visual imagery to maximize the effectiveness of design presentations and the design decision-making process.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 3450

This course is a continuation of IND 3450, extending industrial design to user-centered research, conceptualization, and presentation. In this course, students learn advanced product conceptualization techniques, use additional product development tools, and produce professional quality product presentation materials. Special emphasis is given to human factors in product design.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 4450

Students develop a semester-long design project under the guidance of a primary instructor and specialized mentor. Students compliment knowledge and skills from previous coursework with in-depth, qualitative research to create design solutions.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: IND 3450, IND 3800

In this course, students develop futuristic 'blue sky' concepts that are based on new technologies and user-centered research. Students also develop a professional design portfolio of their best work. The portfolio showcases students' skills as aligned with program and student learning outcomes. Evaluation of portfolios provides data for ongoing assessment of the Industrial Design program.

Offered: Fall, Spring


This course will provide students all the required information to create manufacturing drawings for softgoods. The final product will include sketches, finished orthographic renderings, and a multi-page techpack. The finished techpack will include all details required to make the finished good. The students will also make finished models of their chosen design. This course will cover how to produce manufacturing drawings for packaging, including how to pattern typical packaging materials and create finished art. Finished art means graphics and die lines are set up in an industry specific way.

Prerequisite: Senior standing; IND Major

This course provides in-depth research, laboratory experimentation, and/or development of a student-selected and faculty-approved topic in one technical system. The areas of research are: communications, manufacturing, and transportation/power. The course allows the student the opportunity to further develop problem-solving abilities. At the same time, the process enhances the student’s knowledge and skills in a technical concentration. 

Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

A study and investigation of a selected topic in the field of industrial design. Student may repeat this course in alternate concentrations. 

Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisites: Completion of General Studies requirements; senior standing; and IND 4450

The internship provides an opportunity for senior students to gain experience under the guidance of an industry professional. Students must complete a total of 150 hours during the semester in a placement relevant to the practice of Industrial Design. (Senior Experience)

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course introduces the fundamental principles and elements of two-dimensional art and design through a survey of concepts, techniques, and material practices. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and creative problem solving through investigations of compositional arrangement, visual perception, studio practice, and the intersections of form and concept in two-dimensional space. 

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course introduces drawing as the common denominator to all art-making media. Students practice fundamental drawing skills by employing a variety of black and white media and techniques through line, shape, value and texture. Coursework emphasizes conceptual and technical abilities as well as visual perception and problem solving.

Prerequisite: ENG 1010 or ENG 1009 or permission of department

This course is a general introduction to the tools and methods used to analyze and interpret works of art in a variety of contexts. Students learn how to effectively communicate how visual forms work in conjunction with cultural beliefs both in the past and present. Analytical tools appropriate to the disciplines of art criticism and art history, including the use of research, are used by the student to support interpretations. A variety of artistic traditions, including materials and techniques from across the globe and throughout time, are introduced so that students are prepared to identify and interpret historical and contemporary examples of visual art and design. By developing an awareness of the relationship between visual forms and the messages they convey, students increase their ability to respond critically to their own increasingly complex, visual environment.

This course is designed for the non-major and recommended for the General Studies requirement in Arts and Humanities. (General Studies-Arts and Humanities) 

Offered: Fall, Spring

This course examines the fundamental principles of three-dimensional art and design through a survey of concepts, techniques, and material practices. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and creative problem solving through investigations of physical form, process, context, and studio practices. 

Prerequisite: ENG 1010 or ENG 1009, ARTH 1600, or permission of instructor 
Pre/Corequisite: ENG 1020 or ENG 1021 recommended

This course is an introduction to the discipline of art history and the tools used to analyze and interpret works of art within their cultural contexts. As the second part of a two-part survey, the course examines art, design and architecture from the 14th through the 19th centuries, paying particular attention to global cultural interactions and their impact on visual imagery. Analytical tools appropriate to the disciplines of art history, theory and criticism, including the use of research, are used by the student to support interpretations.

This course provides the second of two foundation courses in art history for students in art, art history, and communication design majors and is recommended for non-majors to meet the General Studies requirements in Arts and Humanities and/or Global Diversity.

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Contact Information




Campus Location:

Aerospace & Engineering Sciences
1449 7th Street
Suite 200A
Denver, CO 80204

Mailing Address:

Campus Box 90, 
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362



The Department of Industrial Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.