WMU debuts new product design and innovation major

by Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Photo of a student writing.

Product design and innovation major to be offered in fall 2017

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will offer a new undergraduate program next fall that combines the disciplines of art, design, engineering and entrepreneurship. 

Called product design and innovation—PD+I—and housed in the College of Fine Arts, this highly innovative program will meet the growing design and manufacturing needs of southwest Michigan and the Midwest.

"Kalamazoo and the surrounding area is a hotbed of design and manufacturing activity. Local corporations are in constant need of professionals to contribute forward-thinking products, systems and solutions," says Dean Dan Guyette. "PD+I will deliver the top-notch graduates these companies seek."

Real-world application

WMU educators continue to collaborate with local companies and organizations including Whirlpool, Tekna, Newell Brands, Stryker, Fabri-Kal, Landscape Forms, Eaton and Southwest Michigan First in the development of PD+I to ensure that the program will prepare students to excel in the field. These strategic corporate partnerships will also afford students on-the-job training and real-world application opportunities. 

PD+I combines and builds upon the nationally ranked programs within the Gwen Frostic School of Art, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Haworth College of Business to form a new, cutting-edge industrial design education experience. It received its final approval from the Michigan Association of State Universities Oct. 14 after being approved by the WMU Board of Trustees in June.

The new degree program features four years of hands-on industrial design education for each cohort of 20 students.

Apply to the program

Students interested in applying to the product design and innovation program may do so at wmich.edu/productdesign.

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