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Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design

Building upon the OCAC tradition of educating creative thinkers and makers, the Industrial Design program (chaired by Cia Mooney) explores the deep relationship between humans and the objects and products that accompany our daily lives. By addressing social, cultural, economic and ecological concerns, you will have the opportunity to conceptualize innovative objects through a fluid, yet rigorous, approach to design methodology, materials research, digital and physical technologies, and production strategies. Launching in Spring 2018, the 60 credit program applies a mentor-based approach to project research, studio workshops, internship opportunities, graduate seminars and electives. 

How to apply

Simply visit Admissions to learn more about graduate enrollment periods and apply online.

Questions? Please contact us at 971.255.4192 or

MFA ID PS.jpgNikki Davis, BFA in Craft 2015

Course descriptions MORE >

Studio: Combined Studio – 12 credits
The digital fabrication laboratory (OCAC FabLab) and Metals, Wood, Printmaking, Ceramics and Textiles studios are invaluable resources to an innovative material practice. Rotating project-based topics in Combined Studio are designed to acclimate students to the studio/shop environment of the Industrial Design program and to foster intimate knowledge of a range of natural and synthetic materials. Projects are intended to equip students with expanded technical and material understanding while developing design skills, enhanced problem solving methods and innovative approaches to a variety of problems. Students define pragmatic aspects of the design process from feasibility of manufacturing to the challenges of transforming concepts into tangible objects.

Studio: Project Research - 27 credits 
Through ongoing discussions with advisors, including faculty, practicing designers and visiting artists, students are encouraged to pursue their individual directions through experimental, social, and commercial approaches to designing meaningful objects. Promoting innovative object design through production and fabrication, students engage in research, ideation, material exploration, concept realization and presentation. The methodology is designed to prepare students for professional practice and to develop the entrepreneurial abilities and confidence to enter the industrial design field where they will examine how their objects build relationships and context between users and community.

Seminars – 12 credits
Students explore object design in industrial and post-industrial societies. Examining the roles of objects in relationship to technology, culture, trade, philosophical and tangible function, and user interaction, students are encouraged to question designer and maker roles in the public, private, commercial and global communities. Students investigate how to formulate and investigate research questions and communicate their ideas while researching design methodology, process, market strategy, and the cultural impact of the object.

Electives – 9 credits
Electives include additional studio and academic courses and internship. A minimum of 3 credits of internship is strongly encouraged.

15 credits per semester: 60 credits total

1st Year      
Fall Credits Spring Credits
Combined Studio 3 Combined Studio 3
Project Research 6 Project Research 6
Seminar 3 Seminar 3
Electives 3 Electives 3
2nd Year      
Fall Credits Spring Credits
Combined Studio 3 Combined Studio 3
Project Research 6 Project Research 9
Seminar 3 Seminar 3
Electives 3 Electives 0




Learn more about our programs of study:
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts in Craft
Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design
Master of Fine Arts in Craft & Material Studies
Master of Fine Arts in Applied Craft + Design
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Craft (requires a bachelor's degree)
The Certificate in Craft