KAIST is a research-oriented university, meaning that graduate students at IDKAIST are both students and researchers. They take classes as well as work full time at their lab performing research with the help of their advisors and colleagues. Initially, academics make up a greater portion, but research for their own dissertations and industrial/government projects will gradually take up a greater part of their learning at IDKAST. They sometimes stay at the labs carrying out their research duties, especially when their degree topics are aligned to the projects. Students are motivated to invest their extra time.
Master’s students need to take courses as follows:
- At least one general required course (3 credit) among followings:
Scientific Writing, Introduction to Computer Application, Probability and Statistics, Industrial Economics and Cost Analytics, Patent Analysis and Invention Disclosure, Collaborative System Design and Engineering
- Two required major courses (6 credits)
Design Project I, Research Methodology
- Four elective major courses (12 credits)
User-Centered Design Methodology, Media Interaction Design, Digital Design Fabrication, and Design Issues
Students may consult with their advisors to take courses offered by other departments. Examples of courses offered at other departments that Industrial Design students have taken include HCI (School of Computing), Interactive Computer Graphics (School of Computing), and Mobile Pervasive Computing (School of Knowledge Service Engineering).
PhD students need to take at least 27 selective credits including Design Research Issues.
Learning at a research focused graduate program takes place not just in class but also in the process of performing research for contract projects and dissertations. A wide range of unique research traversing the boundaries of science and design is being conducted at our labs. There are currently 10 labs led by 10 professors at IDKAIST.
Visit the website of each lab to learn more about their publications, exhibitions, products, and other kinds of research output.
There are currently 14 professors at the Department of Industrial Design, including two emeritus professors and one research professor.
Tenure track professors
Nam, Tek-Jin (Head of Department) / Lee, Woohun / Bae, Sang-Min / Nam, Ki-Young / Bae, Seok-Hyung / Lim, Youn-kyung / Suk, Hyeon-Jeong / Saakes, Daniel / Bianchi, Andrea / Lee, Sangsu / Lee, Kun-pyo (leave of absence)
Kim, Myung-Suk / Chung, Kyung-Won
Master's graduates go on to design roles or research roles related to design. They may develop new products with consideration for user experience or conduct trend research or user research for design development at large IT companies, startups, and design firms. PhD graduates pursue their design career in industries, academia, research organizations, and public institutions. The specific field varies widely depending on the topic of PhD research.
Currently, most of our PhD graduates work in new product development or user experience research at large companies or help bridge design education and research at universities. Some graduates are in charge of design review at public institutions such as the Korean Intellectual Property Office or perform human centered design research at IT research institutes. Others have gone on to become CEOs or CDRs at startups
IDKAIST welcomes those who have majored in engineering fields such as Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Industrial Science, and Human Engineering. Applicants who combine an understanding of design with fundamental engineering knowledge have the potential to become outstanding graduate students. Such applicants would have to prepare application documents and interviews that display their expertise in their original majors, as well as their goals and plans for interdisciplinary design research.
IDKAIST welcomes applicants with not only skills related to the final product of design such as product development, visual media, spatial systems, etc., but also those related to the value provided by design such as visual communication, user experience, and services. Applicants with a background in design can combine their knowledge with systematic research methodology and new technologies to create synergy. Such applicants would also have to prepare application documents and interviews that display their expertise in their original majors, as well as their goals and plans for interdisciplinary design research.
Having an engineering background could be helpful in one aspect. However, in principle, IDKAIST does appreciate diverse expertise from different disciplines. Almost every year, we have graduate students who majored neither design nor engineering, but show their excellence in both courses and research achievement. If you plan to take technology-intensive courses, then you need to put extra efforts just because it is new to you.
For MS candidates, the Department offers new students introductory presentations and tours of all research labs before the first semester. Based on the information collected from the orientation, students apply to a few labs in prioritized order. Individual interviews with professors proceed after the applications. Department discusses the best matches and announce the result to students.
Ph.D. applicants assign their potential supervisors in application forms. The accepted applicants are matched to the supervisors in most cases, but those who have not yet decided for supervisor specifically still can apply. In this case, the Head of Department should be an advisor tentatively. Based on the applicant’s research interest, the actual supervisor will be searched and matched after the admission.
For general inquiries regarding the overall admissions process, schedule, and document submission, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Team at the Office of Admissions (042-350-2351, firstname.lastname@example.org).
※ Please refer to the KAIST graduate school admissions website for details regarding the application schedule and document submissions. https://admission.kaist.ac.kr/graduate/. For international students, please visit https://admission.kaist.ac.kr/intl-graduate/
For information about the department, professors, labs as well as the interview procedure and schedule (for applicants with successful document reviews), please contact the IDKAIST (042-350-4503, email@example.com).
Regarding the Ph.D. admissions, documents are submitted with a potential supervisor assigned specifically. For this, applicants are highly recommended to contact with professors who may supervise your Ph.D. study. Alternatively, the applicant can assign the Head of the Department for the submission and find the supervisor after the admission. Please refer to Q.4 to find your future supervisor, “Who are the professors at IDKAIST?”. Good luck!
Department of Industrial Design, KAIST
Bldg. N25, 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
대전시 유성구 대학로291 N25동 산업디자인학과
Tel. +82-42-350-4502~3 / Fax +82-42-350-4510
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