B.F.A. in Product Design

  • Product Design Students
  • product design student setting up in a critique space
  • Product Design Student

Through immersive coursework at the intersection of art, design, engineering and entrepreneurship, the Product Design program aims to prepare the next generation of industrial design innovators. Join us to shape how humans interact with technology and collaborate with international corporations in the industry to develop creative solutions for real-world problems and create the future of design.

The product design program was created with the mission of meeting current and future manufacturing needs in southwest Michigan and beyond. Through coursework in the Frostic School of Art, the Haworth College of Business and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in addition to cooperative educational components which place students within industry settings, product design graduates will be uniquely equipped to create the future of design. The first cohort of students began coursework in the fall of 2017.

Richmond Institute for Design and Innovation


Basic Studies Requirement12 credits 

  • ART 1040 Object Drawing (3 credits)
  • ART 1050 Drawing Studio (3 credits)
  • ART 1070 Form and Surface (3 credits)
  • ART 1080 Form and Space (3 credits)

Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement3 credits 

  • ART 3250 - Writing About Art (3 credits)

Art History Requirement12 credits

  • ART 2200 History of Art (3 credits) OR ART 2210 History of Art (3 credits)
  • ART 2220 Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (3 credits) OR ART 2230 Introduction to Asian Art History (3 credits)


  • 3000-4000 level Art History Topic Course (3 credits)
  • 3000-4000 level Art History Topic Course (3 credits)

Product Design Sequence37 credits

  • ART 1600 Design Seminar (1 credit - repeatable for credit, minimum of 4 hours required)
  • ART 1610 Drawing for Design (3 credits)
  • ART 1650 Product Design I (3 credits)
  • ART 2650 Product Design II (3 credits)
  • ART 2660 Materials and Processes (3 credits)
  • ART 3620 Product Design III (3 credits)
  • ART 3680 Special Topics in Design (3 credits)
  • ART 4640 Design Internship (3 credits)
  • ART 4650 Product Design IV (3 credits)
  • ART 4670 Thesis Project (3 credits)
  • ART 4980 Product Design V (3 credits)
  • IEE 3420 Ergonomics and Design (3 credits)

 Art Studio Electives12 credits 

  • Art Elective course in sculpture, metals/jewelry, or ceramics (3 credits)
  • Art Elective course in sculpture, metals/jewelry, or ceramics (3 credits)
  • Art Elective course in any art discipline (3 credits)
  • Art Elective course in any art discipline (3 credits)

 Supporting Engineering Requirement7 credits

  • EDMM 1420 Engineering Graphics (3 credits)
  • EDMM 1500 Introduction to Manufacturing (3 credits)
  • EDMM 1501 Processes and Materials in Manufacturing Laboratory (1 credit)

Entrepreneurial Studies Requirement15 credits

  • Entrepreneurial Elective (3 credits)
  • Entrepreneurial Elective (3 credits)
  • MGMT 2140 Exploring Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
  • FIN 2420 Entrepreneurial Finance (3 credits)
  • IEE 3010 Entrepreneurial Engineering II: Product and Service Design (3 credits)


  • Product Design Core Courses: 37 credits
  • Supportive Courses—Art and Design: 27 credits
  • Supportive Courses—Engineering: 7 credits
  • Art History: 12 credits
  • Entrepreneurial Studies: 15 credits
  • General Education: 27 credits
  • Total credit hours: 125 

Students should consult the WMU catalog for the product design program course descriptions and requirements.

course descriptions


Portfolio reviews for admission into the B.F.A. program in product design will be held each year in March.




The newly remodeled product design facilities accommodate all manner of contemporary and traditional processes while remaining committed to providing a healthy, non-toxic working environment.

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