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Graduate Studies

Transportation Design

Graduates of the Transportation Design program are innovators, in automotive design and all aspects of mobility, always with an eye toward the future.

The Program

In this program, students are invited to assume the role of “designer as inventor,” as they are led through a complete design process that includes extensive research, sketching and 3D rendering, animation, core competencies analysis, and more. Special projects explore innovation through forms and materials, functionality, and engineering. Students apply to this understanding a real-world strategy that includes business practices, research, brand identity, vehicle architecture, and mobility as a system.

The Transportation Design graduate program is currently a STEM-designated program. New international students completing this program will qualify to apply for the STEM OPT (optional practical training) Extension.

Degrees Offered

The 30-credit MA (initial degree) is the first year of the 60-credit MFA (terminal degree), with classes focusing on professional and technical skills and knowledge. During the second year, students embark on an independently defined critical enquiry.
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The CCS Transportation Design studios and labs are in the very place where Harley Earl, the first modern automotive designer, and other pioneers created groundbreaking vehicles—and where today’s industry leaders seek top talent. Design competitions, internships, and sponsored projects from the Big Three and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers open doors for graduate placement at every major car manufacturer and nearly all the Tier 1 auto suppliers, at racing and defense companies like Pratt & Miller, and at firms as far away as Vietnam and Abu Dhabi.


Our curriculum is led by faculty who understand what it takes to succeed in the design industry because they have been or currently are successful industry practitioners and leaders. Students learn not only to become critical thinkers and strategic designers but to be professionals because creative talent and execution skills alone do not guarantee career advancement or entrepreneurial success. Students are taught to work effectively in teams both as leaders and as team peers. They cope with the real stresses of deadlines and uncertainties, both within and outside of their control. They learn to champion their ideas through formal presentations and rigorous critiques led by industry professionals who are in positions to recruit and hire promising talent.

Featured Alumni


Spencer Chamberlain

Creative Designer
General Motors


Nikunj Jain

Vehicle Experience Designer / Marketing Analyst
Tata Technologies


Xaoyin Li

Freelance Auto/Product Designer


Dirk Wan

Junior Interior / Exterior Designer


Lei Zhang

Advanced User Experience Designer

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Join the Evolution 

CCS prepares students to enter a global economy in which creativity shapes better communities and societies. Here, creative minds can both explore and thrive. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world.