The industrial design program at Carleton University School of Industrial Design prepares graduates for professional practice. Industrial designers work in teams where they contribute to the development of products, systems and services. The Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) degree requires education and experience in anticipating psychological, physiological and sociological factors that influence design decisions. In the case of tangible products or systems, the industrial designer needs to have a good grasp of manufacturing materials as well as physical principles. A blend of creative, technical, and social science competencies is therefore important.

The industrial designer is often responsible for communicating and contextualizing conceptual ideas in an interdisciplinary team that may involve anthropologists, management, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing specialists. This requires graduates who have a unique contribution in such an interdisciplinary environment and who are adept at working with professionals from other fields as well as their own.

The Bachelor of Industrial Design program is structured to meet the professional requirements of industrial design practice. Design studios currently form the core of the program. Program requirements also include courses in psychology, physics, math, economics, and marketing, which provide a solid academic background in areas relevant to the practice of industrial design. Students with qualifying grades have the opportunity to take a co-operative industrial design option. They may also choose to have a Minor in another area of concentration such as Business, Psychology, and Technology, Society, Environment Studies, among others.

The program maintains strong ties with other Carleton University units including the Eric Sprott School of Business, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Department of Psychology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, School of Information Technology, and the Technology, Society, Environment Studies program. This allows it to continue to provide the widest educational opportunities in industrial design in Ontario and Canada.