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Southwest Jiaotong University

School of Design

China Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

School of Design, Southwest Jiaotong University is a cross-disciplinary academy that conducts research on systematic innovation and design education. Its objective is to implement the new development concept to better respond to the profound impact of the rapid development of digitalization, intelligence, and urbanization on the spatial and temporal scenarios and life patterns of transportation, production and manufacturing, living and entertainment, and urban construction. At the same time, it will implement the transportation characteristics and high-quality development strategy of Southwest Jiaotong University, and play the role of design disciplines in creating demand-oriented scenarios and linking multidisciplinary integration and innovation. With intelligent technology as the leader, digital media design as the pioneer, design as the essence, and integration and innovation as the development idea, the academy is set to serve the future of smart life, integrating wisdom, goodness, and beauty, connecting the present with the future, society and economy.

After nearly 30 years of disciplinary development, the design majors have expanded from system design focusing on the transportation field to cutting-edge fields such as digital intelligence design and human-computer interaction, digital media art and information visualization, and smart city environment design, cultivating high-level innovative design and art talents to serve national strategies, industry needs, and urban development.

International Role

School of Design, Southwest Jiaotong University is located in a critical node city, Chengdu, along the "Belt and Road" and, therefore, has a global perspective with partners, programs, and alumni worldwide.
Relying on the university's international platform, we are able to expand partnerships with more than 200 higher education institutions, government agencies, enterprises, and international organizations worldwide. The university has signed cooperation agreements with 45 international universities from Europe, the United States, and Asia. We have also signed exchange agreements, including design majors, with universities such as the University of Alberta in Canada, the Metropolitan University of Prague in the Czech Republic, the Ecole Centrale Paris in France, the Technical University of Munich in Germany, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States, Queen Mary University in the United Kingdom, and Politecnico di Milano in Italy.

We offer and accept a variety of short-term summer and winter programs to enrich students' personal cultural and academic experiences. Students have gained immersion experiences at leading global higher education institutions, world-renowned companies, and international organizations.

National Role

School of Design, Southwest Jiaotong University is the director unit of the Design Teaching Committee of Sichuan Province. Product Design and Environmental Design of this discipline have been approved as a national first-class specialty major. Committed to "transportation +" and emphasizing the characteristics of "rail transit," the school must take up the task of "One Belt, One Road." The discipline has three directions: industrial design and human-computer interaction, environmental design and its theory, and visual communication and its theory. 

Talent cultivation is guided by national strategy and set up by closely following the characteristic of "rail transit." It has been approved as the national first-class course and awarded the prize of national teaching achievements. The school has practiced the national strategy of building a powerful country with a robust transportation network and are committed to innovating the Chinese style and image of "Harmony" and "Renaissance" EMU train, with the train CR400AF and CR400BF of "Renaissance" both receiving the highest prize, China Patent Award, and Intelligent Renaissance EMU Train of Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-speed Railway receiving significant national and international influences.

Main Focus

The education of the School of Design, Southwest Jiaotong University, has the advantage of developing transportation equipment design. The disciplines expand to the frontier fields of digital intelligence design and human-machine interaction, digital media art and visualization, smart city environment design, etc. The school undertakes bachelor's and master's education programs around product design, environmental design, and digital media art. It also runs doctoral programs around industrial design and engineering.

Faculties and Departments

Department of Product Design

Department of Environmental Design

Department of Digital Media

Bachelor Level Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication

Master Level Programs

Master of Fine Arts in Product Design

Master of Fine Arts in Environmental Design

Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication

Master of Fine Arts (Professional) in Product Design

Master of Fine Arts (Professional) in Environmental Design

Master of Fine Arts (Professional) in Digital Media

Master of Fine Arts (Professional) in Visual Communication

Master of Engineering in Industrial Design Engineering

Master of Engineering (Professional) in Industrial Design and Engineering

Research Activity and Main Areas

1. Industrial Design and Human-Machine Interaction 

The research activities are carried out for the significant strategic needs of the worldwide transportation field and the innovative design needs of industrial enterprises. The research mainly focuses on the industrial design and comprehensive evaluation of trains, innovative design methods, human factors of transportation equipment, multimodal human-computer interaction, comprehensive comfort, user behavior and driving and riding preferences, and other system research. The school has established academic platforms of Modern Design and Culture Research Center and Human-Machine Environment System Design Institute which has undertaken nearly one hundred research projects.

2. Environmental Design and Theory

The research activities are committed to facing the primary strategic needs in the urban-rural built environment, highlighting the significant characteristics of "transportation + environment" and exploring interdisciplinary innovation. The topics form specialties in urban-rural environment design, cultural and tourism environment design, and human settlement design. According to the frontier of international development, the research conducts theoretical and technology development in smart urban-rural environment and health, environmental big-data integration and application, environmental evaluation and policy, etc. Relying on the southwestern geographical advantage in China, the research plays a leading role in promoting the western development of research and application characteristics of the local smart environment and architecture.

3. Digital Media and Visual Communication

The research areas focus on digital cultural heritage and embodiment of transportation characteristics and expand the frontier areas of digital and intelligent design. The activities mainly focus on the collaborative design of digital transportation culture and information technology, transportation big data information visualization, meta-universe media testing and innovative design based on MR multi-channel perception technology, etc., exploring the humanization, human culture and art of digital information and the innovative possibilities of communication design under the emerging media.

The school has a multi-level research and practice platforms such as the Modern Design and Culture Research Center, the Human-Machine-Environment System Design Institute, the Art Experiment Teaching Demonstration Center, and the Virtual Simulation Experiment Teaching Center of Architecture and Design. 

Doctorate Level Programs

Doctor of Engineering in Industrial Design Engineering

Doctor of Engineering (Professional) in Industrial Design and Engineering

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Product Design

Environmental Design

Digital Media

Visual Communication

Application Deadlines

30th of May for the Autumn-winter Semester

31st of November for the Spring-summer Semester


Specific Inquiries for the Application Deadlines:

International Affairs Office of Southwest Jiaotong University

Teaching Languages

Chinese and English

Semester Dates

1st of September for the Autumn-winter Semester

20th of February for the Spring-summer Semester

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

Insurance fee: 160 RMB/person/month

Accommodation fee: 650 RMB/month

Other costs: around 1500 RMB/month


Bachelor: 593
Master: 195
Doctorate: 17

Exchange Students

Incoming: 4
Outgoing: 4
Others: 5

Teaching Staff

Professors: 20
Lectures: 23
Other permanent teachers: 1

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