A semi-objective view on SCAD

In another thread someone mentioned how often SCAD gets blasted here, and I realized that they were right. I know that this forum brought up a lot of doubts in my mind about the school, so I would like to share some of my thoughts on it.

Right now I’m a sophomore at SCAD currently studying ID as my major with Furniture Design as my minor. I’m on my third quarter right now, which makes me feel like I know enough to talk with some authority about the school while still not being affected by school jingoism.

So, obviously to start out I should touch on the accreditation. I know that when I was looking at schools, the fact that SCAD wasn’t NASAD accredited was a major red flag. The reason behind this is that SCAD offers 15 programs that NASAD does not cover, meaning they can’t get accreditation without dropping these programs. However, for the programs that are under NASAD, SCAD has ensured that each ones of them meets up to the standards required.

It is by no means an “easy” school. The classes are 2.5 hours long and only last for 10 weeks. This means much less time to work on projects, but by no means does this mean less is expected. I’ve found myself pushed to my limit and beyond many times, but always with enough support that I’ve felt I can achieve what is wanted.

The facilities are absolutely incredible. Every time I walk in I feel like a kid in a candy store. They have separate shops for each material including metal, wood, foam and plastic as well as a full car size spray room, welding/forging shop, CNC and rapid prototyping shop (And one of the CNC’s is huge, 5 axis and over 100k to purchase). I can honestly say that just the range of tools provided was a major contributor to my choice in this school.

Every teacher I’ve talked to has industry experience. Many of them constantly amaze me. In Materials and Techniques (a furniture class), I learned more about wood in one class than I have in my entire life. SCAD is also a bit unique in that it doesn’t offer tenure. Every teacher I’ve talked to about it has praised it, saying that it removes tensions that would arise from having tenure (such as having to vote on others raises and whatnot). I’ve also noticed I have never had a truly “bad” teacher.

Now, particularly with ID, the students take a lot of initiative. As a senior you’re able to apply to work with a company in Hong Kong and then travel there to present your own designs to the company itself as well as seeing firsthand production and design methods. Looking at the presentation boards from this, there is some serious talent. The website really doesn’t do the program justice at all.

The city is amazing, and I’ve fallen absolutely in love with it. It’s sketchy sometimes, but that just makes it more interesting. The freshman dorms are literally right next to the ghetto. So yeah, that’s a definite downside. You may get mugged, it’s just something that happens.

The housing is… crappy. It’s overpriced, badly managed, and would be nearly unbearable if it weren’t for having other students around. As well, the meal plan they offer (and require certain dorms to have) is pretty awful. The school store, Ex Libris, has a decent selection but it price gouges everything like crazy.

Now, I know what I wrote may come off as rather one sided when looking purely at academics. Yes, there are some classes that I’ve wondered if I’m getting my money’s worth, but so far these have all been Liberal Arts and Foundations classes. I’ve not gone far in terms of my ID and Furniture classes, but I can honestly say I have absolutely no qualms with either program yet and while I was hesitant and worrisome about the validity of SCAD’s programs at first, I am absolutely thrilled to be there now.

you should get an apt. when i went to scad 5 yrs ago i had a apt and rent was only 250 a month. by the way the dorms at scad are huge (compared to an average dorm room) and you have your own private bathroom.

off topic, sort of…

go to Zunzi’s takeout (lunch only)

It’s downtown on York St and Drayton St.

it is hands down the best food in Savannah. one of my favorite food spots on this planet. owned by a married couple who have blended their two heritages together in culinary amazingness (South African and Swiss). report back when you see the light.

and I second the apartment advice. much cheaper and much more fun. I’d say stay on the West side (aka “the best side”) - and near or below Forsyth park

I think the criticism comes from being an up-and-coming program. SCAD has clearly made some recent investments since I visited years ago.

Post some links to student work! Let’s see how it compares!

I know students have portfolio websites written on their project boards. I’ll write some down next time I’m at Gulfstream.


I agree with Taylor. I moved out of the dorms my second year there. I live downtown one year and the rest I live closer to the beach.

SCAD is a great program but it is not for everyone. Just like all design schools they have their own way of teaching and their own philosophy, which works for some students, but not for others. I think the reason SCAD gets so much heat on this site is because it is so young and not as established as others, but like others have said, the portfolios speak for themselves. Although mine wasn’t on the list :cry: (I am just joking of course. I do not have much for a corfolio) :laughing:

I think the SCAD reputation is starting to build and in the next few years will really start to be recognized as a top notch ID school.

Getting an apartment in Savannah is definitely the way to do it. I never really thought the dorms were that bad, despite my room being in a hotel from the 60’s. The rooms are pretty big and you get your own bathroom with a shower and you’re right downtown. Plus, with the kinds of scholarships that SCAD gives out it’s not really that expensive to stay in the dorms assuming you at least did well on your SAT’s.
But the freedom that you get from having an apartment and not having to eat on the meal plan is definitely really nice, and if you’re 21 or married you don’t lose any scholarship money for moving off campus.

And Zunzi’s is definitely the best reasonably priced place to eat in town. It’s no Cha Bella, but it’s pretty good :wink: