Frequently Asked Questions
Becoming an Industrial Design major at WWU requires three steps.
1. Apply to the University (see University Admissions for details)
2. Apply to the ID program with an Entrance Portfolio to become a pre-major (see Admissions for details)
3. Eligible pre-majors apply to the major in the middle of sophomore year (see Sophomore Review for details)
After acceptance by the University students should plan to apply to the program the quarter before they plan to start at WWU. For instance, if students plan to start at WWU in fall quarter they should apply to ID by the April deadline prior. Applying to the ID program requires an Entrance Portfolio.
Portfolios are accepted three times a year = once a quarter. Check Admissions tab for specific dates.
ID faculty typically notify applicants by email within two weeks of the due date. For students who apply in April, they will receive notification before the May 1 deadline to commit to universities.
An Entrance Portfolio should consist of work prior to coming to WWU. Either high school, hobby, or community college work is typical. There aren't any specific courses that will help you build a portfolio during the freshman year. Sometimes students are allowed to take the freshman level ID courses IF there is space in the courses. Meaning that all the accepted pre-majors have registered and then we allow interest students to register. But that should not be relied on as a method of building a portfolio.
The program typically receives 80-100 Entrance Portfolios in an academic year and 24 are accepted. Portfolios are accepted 3 times a year and approximately 8 are accepted each time, which totals 24.
A pre-major is a student in the program who takes foundational coursework in ID as well as math, physics and engineering courses. ID courses specifically are restricted to those students who have been accepted into the program with an Entrance Portfolio.
Yes, it is typical that students might need to apply more than once to be accepted as a pre-major. The program accepts portfolios every quarter. In the meantime, students can take other requirements for the major such as math, physics, art history and general university requirements.
In order to get feedback on your portfolio, you will need to contact the Industrial Design faculty to schedule an appointment in person or over the phone.
Professor, ID Program Director
Professor, Industrial Design
Transfer students are strongly encouraged to take the following courses prior to transferring to WWU for Industrial Design:
- Foundation Drawing I - the ID program will accept this as equivalent to ID 110
- Pre-calculus I and II - in order to transfer your math courses to WWU, you must complete the series at your transfer institution
- General Physics I - will be accepted for PHYS 114
- Art Appreciation - will be accepted as ART 109 by the ID program
Courses to take to build or strengthen the Entrance Portfolio, but won't necessarily transfer:
- Art Studio classes such as ceramics, painting, and/or sculpture
- Computer aided design
- Graphic Design
If you are taking courses at a school in Washington state, please refer to the Transfer Equivalency Guide to check for equivalencies. The university catalog is the most accurate place to find Industrial Design requirements.
If you would like your transcript evaluated by the department, please send a PDF of your unofficial transcript to the Pre Major Advisor Lisa Ochs at Lisa.Ochs@wwu.edu
Transfer students interested in majoring in Industrial Design should expect to spend at least three years completing the requirements. The time to degree depends greatly on courses taken at the community college and whether or not the student is accepted into the program on the first try.
ID pre-majors apply to be a full major through what is called Sophomore Review. It happens every year during winter quarter. See the admissions page for Sophomore Review for requirements and process. 12 majors are accepted every year.
This is probably the most frequently asked question as well as the most difficult to answer. In recent years, students who didn't make it past Sophomore Review did a number of things including switch to Design or Art Studio, transfer to another institution, or wait a year to apply again. If students remain at WWU, they also look at declaring a minor to either enhance their design skills and/or to remain full time.