Learn to design the future with a strategic and systems-level approach.

ArtCenter’s “Grad ID” program offers a Master of Science curriculum combining the pursuit of extraordinary design and making skills with the knowledge, theories and methods that are essential for creating new value for enterprise and social innovation in a context of complex and unstructured challenges.

Our faculty of internationally renowned educators and professionals work with students in a design studio environment where they’re encouraged to create with a consciousness that their designs exist in a larger context. Our methodology, Strategic Innovation, takes a forward looking systems-level view and strives to balance the business, technological and human aspects of each design opportunity. This broadly applicable creative process produces empathetic solutions to essential human needs so that designers and enterprises can be resilient and grow.

Grad ID has also joined forces with Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management to offer a dual MS/MBA degree track in Innovation Systems Design (ISD). The two-year program prepares tomorrow’s innovation leaders by combining business strategy, leadership and management acumen with the rigorous development of creative skills and design innovation methodology.

In 2010, gradID was ranked nationally as the number one graduate industrial design program both in U.S. News & World Report and in DesignIntelligence. In five of the last six years, it has been ranked number one in DesignIntelligence’s America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools issue, which bases its ranking by asking professional offices, “Which colleges best prepare graduates for their profession.”

“BCG Digital Ventures strives to answer the questions that haven’t been asked yet, as we invent, build and scale game-changing businesses with the world’s most important companies.   Our colleagues who come from ArtCenter’s Graduate Industrial Design program know how to hit the ground running on Day 1 and really help us stay ahead of the curve in arriving at new and novel outcomes.”

from:  Jeff Schumacher, Founder and CEO at BCGDV


“In our business we rely on highly talented multi-disciplinary teams galvanizing around complex real world problems and innovation opportunities.  Bringing the “head” and the “heart” to bear is foundational in all we do and we have many GradID graduates who continually amaze us with their ability to conceive and build novel and compelling solutions and businesses.  We have grown from 20 to over 500 people in the last three years – I can honestly say that our business would not be where it is today without a constant flow of talent from the ArtCenter.”
from: Simon MacGibbon, Managing Director & Partner at BCG DV 

Alumni from GradID: Kevin Bethune (link: Kevin’s story) | Jan Lienhard | Leticia Cervantes | Juno Chen | Erin Ballard | Magdalena Paluch | La Mer Walker

“It is great honor to have graduated from ArtCenter’s Graduate Industrial Design Program (Grad ID), where I had a tough but incredible journey. The top ranked program has cultivated numerous world-class designers, and has had a lasting influence on my later work and life. Studying at ArtCenter left me with two gains that prove to be significant in managing Mi Ecosystem. First, Grad ID trains designers to quantify design techniques and skills, while my prior education taught me to base design merely on feelings. Second, ArtCenter places design in a bigger picture, teaching designers to take commercialization and business perspectives into consideration, and think in a holistic way. Last but not the least, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Grad ID for cultivating Li Ningning and Chen Lu, who now work for Mi Ecosystem, and have led design teams in winning more than 40 international design awards including Red Dot Design, iF Design and Good Design in just past 3 years.”

 from: Liu De, Co-Founder and VP at Xiaomi Technology

Alumni from GradID: Liu De | Li Ningning | Yu Pengtao | Wang Zhiyao

“Having hired multiple graduates from ArtCenter’s Graduate Industrial Design program, I can confidently state that the level of talent and skills are top notch. The program is focused on developing well-rounded business professionals who leverage design to tackle the most complex business problems. It is not only how or what to design, but the future vision, business case, impacts and most critically – knowing how to operationalize processes, products or services via multiple delivery channels to businesses and / or consumers.”

from: Chris Hodges, Director, Customer Experience and Digital at Westmonroepartners

Alumni from GradID: Thomas Smiley | Ariane Fund

GradID is a great platform to build a transformative design toolbox while partnering with extraordinary people to launch your own business。
GradID is a phenomenal catapult for design leaders that will transform industries.

from: Hugo Girait (GradID 2012), Founding partner and CEO at propelland

GradID is where people come when they want design skills that resonate beyond traditional confines. Graduates leave the program with the unique ability to create and visualize new business concepts that are insightful, strategic, and – above all – truly viable.

from: Zach Buchman (GradID 2016)

GradID is an very unique industrial design program, one that covers design, human needs, business and technology – which are the key ingredients for successful innovation.
GradIDers are able to speak designer, technologist and entrepreneur all in one coherent program and sets you up for a great career.

from: Siddhartha vanchinathan (GradID 2012), Founding partner and COO at propelland


Are you right for GradID?

We’re looking for bright, articulate, intellectual, literate and social individuals.
Students with industrial design undergraduate degrees and various levels of professional experience comprise a slight majority of our student body. We prefer students with professional industrial design experience whose work has resulted in market-tested designs. However, we also accept candidates with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and professional experience. In fact, breadth in the background of our students plays an important role in defining the transdisciplinary culture of our program.
We’re especially interested in individuals who can:
• Make appropriate and human-centered designs.
• Write and communicate effectively with language.
• Demonstrate an understanding of, and experience with, 3D form and design.
• Draw effectively and visualize via other methods and mediums.
• Select important projects and identify real needs.
• Research, investigate and analyze design topics.
• Experiment, think laterally and engage in creative idea-generation activities.
• Demonstrate consistently great visual design sensibility and ability, with an attention to style, proportion, shape, material, color, etc.
• Take a systems approach to design solutions and demonstrate an understanding of the business, technological and human related aspects of the design context.
• Create value for the human condition, in addition to satisfying an aesthetic appetite for consumption-driven style and fashion products (e.g. chairs, desk sets, most cars, and designer teapots).

Portfolio Format

We pay close attention to the design of the experience that applicants create for us with their portfolio. Applicants should consider messages conveyed by the design of their portfolio and clearly show their ability to meet the requirements for application as outlined on Art Center’s website (artcenter.edu). All portfolios must be submitted through Slideroom. Please make sure that files are easy to understand and, whenever possible, that the work is organized in a single executable file. Titles and descriptions of work should be included.

Admissions Process

All candidates should visit the Admissions page on the Art Center website (http://www.artcenter.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions/application-requirements.html), where admissions requirements are outlined. Applications are for entry to the Fall term only. January 15 is the deadline for priority consideration, including potential for scholarship award, Applicants will be notified regarding admission and financial aid decisions by early April. Applications will continue to be accepted after the deadline as long as space is available. Please contact the admissions office for information about application after the deadine. Scholarships and Financial aid are available. Procedures and deadlines are outlined on the website.
We strongly encourage students to visit the campus and to meet with the GradID department chair. To arrange a general visit and tour, call 626.396.2373.
To schedule an appointment with GradID, call 626.396.2464.

To new students


ArtCenter is comprised of two campuses in Pasadena – one is called Hillside Campus and is located above the Rose Bowl Stadium area, the other is called South Campus and consists of three buildings, known as “870” (S. Raymond Ave.), “950” (S. Raymond Ave.) and “1111” (S. Arroyo Blvd.). All gradID classes are held at Hillside Campus in our Studio (Rooms 122-123), Room 105, or a computer lab.

Hillside Campus

The following offices are available at Hillside Campus:

CSE (Center for Student Experience)

Enrollment Services

Financial Aid


Cashier (moved to the 1111 S. Arroyo Blvd. building)


Student Store

Cafeteria / Student Dining Room

Student Gallery & Williamson Gallery


Parking at Hillside Campus is at the south end (far end) of the campus in the Student Parking Lot. The Student Parking Lot is closest to the gradID Studio, first floor, Room 123. Parking is free but requires a parking sticker, issued by Security.

South Campus

There are three buildings that comprise South Campus: 950 and 870 South Raymond Avenue, and 1111 South Arroyo Boulevard. 870 houses Fine Arts, 950 has the Public Programs offices and classes, along with Graduate Art and Graduate Media and Design Practices departments, and the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography.  The 1111 building has the Illustration and Graphics departments as well as a number of administrative departments like the Cashier, Accounting, Development, Marketing & Communications. There are satellite offices of the Library and the Student Store as well.


New Student, Family, and International Orientations

Please look for emails from ArtCenter and the Center for Student Experience (CSE) regarding orientations. CSE has established a page on InsideArtCenter and a Facebook group as an extension of the orientation program. The CSE coordinates the Family program and encourages your family to stay connected with the CSE by joining the ArtCenter Family Facebook page. International Orientation, mandatory for all international students, is an opportunity for students to learn about American culture, as well as ArtCenter culture. More information may be found on the New Student Orientation page at InsideArtCenter under the International section.

GradID Orientation

You will receive an email from the department with the date, time and location of your department orientation.


  • ArtCenter Off-Campus Housing listing: https://www.facebook.com/ACCDHousing/
  • ACCD All Majors: Got Work Get Work: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ACCDGETWORK/
  • ArtCenter Lost and Found: https://www.facebook.com/groups/876315565757790/about/
  • Cops on Lida: https://www.facebook.com/groups/376054835747181/


  • ArtCenter Student Store (Follett): Hillside and South campuses, (626)396-2227.
  • Blick Art Materials: 44 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626)795-4985
  • HobbyLobby: 641 N Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502, (818)559-1398.


  • Finishmasters (automotive & industrial paint): 5470-78 W. Pico Blvd, LA 90019 (they moved out of Pasadena), (323)934-3177.
  • Silpak (polyurethane & silicone mold & casting materials): 830 N. Victory Rd., Burbank, CA 91502, (818)985-8850 .


Pasadena Transit: Pasadena has its own easy and affordable bus system. Route 51/52 provides weekday service throughout Old Pasadena, with stops at both campuses. https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/pasadena-transit/. ArtCenter runs a free shuttle service with two shuttles Monday-Friday 7am-11:30pm, and one shuttle Saturdays 7:15am-8:45pm during terms. TripShot is the ArtCenter Shuttle app.

LA Metro: Metro Gold Line Fillmore Station is located one block north of South Campus connecting students to the Metro rail and bus system serving all of Los Angeles County. https://www.metro.net/. The ArtCenter shuttle stops at the Memorial Park, Del Mar, and Fillmore Metro stations.

Metro Bikes: Pasadena also offers Metro’s bike-sharing program, allowing registered riders to pick up a bike at more than two dozen stations located throughout Pasadena. https://bikeshare.metro.net/

Driving in LA: If you are unfamiliar with driving in Los Angeles, you may find this article useful: https://www.tripsavvy.com/driving-in-los-angeles-1586574.


Pasadena, nestled against the San Gabriel Mountains, has great shopping, restaurants, and outdoor activities. The City of Pasadena website is a useful tool. Below are links to event and information pages.

Pasadena events: https://www.visitpasadena.com/events/

Hotels: https://tinyurl.com/y8qaowvxor visit the City of Pasadena directory at https://www.visitpasadena.com/discover/business/?type=accomodations

Restaurants: https://www.visitpasadena.com/discover/business/?type=restaurants

Shopping: https://www.visitpasadena.com/itinerary/shopping-excursions/Old Town Pasadena’s main area runs along Colorado Boulevard between Fair Oaks Avenue and Arroyo Parkway. Paseo Colorado with more shops, restaurants and movie theater is just east of that area as well.

Museums and Gardens: Pasadena is home to a number of museums and gardens, most notably the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, The Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, Descanso Gardens in La Canada. https://www.visitpasadena.com/memorable-museums/and

Hiking: https://www.hikespeak.com/los-angeles/san-gabriel-mountains/

Information about Los Angeles: ArtCenter website information http://www.artcenter.edu/student-life/living-in-los-angeles/overview.htmlor the LA Convention and Visitors Bureau website https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/

It is approximately 45-60 minutes to get to the nearest beach, and about 20 minutes to get into Hollywood or downtown LA.