Tech Art Guy,
I’m a grad student in the program at Pratt currently, and will tell you straight up that unless you want to be an animator, the department doesn’t have the resources to support the non-animation students in their department. I had suggested the idea of unionizing, essentially, to make sure they don’t cancel every.single.class.every.single.semester. because half the concentrations dont have a minimum of six people to register for the classes.
The critiques are limited to technical ability and tends towards the fluffy side. The faculty aregreat but the curriculum is fairly nebulous. Needless to say, I’m actually scrambling to apply elsewhere for next year. It’s kindof unfortunate… they’re trying to make the department less animation and 3D oriented, but simply don’t have enough students for it, and by not accepting a decent amount of students, we all get short shrifted. It’s too bad… there is potential, and it has been a very valuable bit of time at Pratt.
RISD’s program isn’t impossible, contrary to rumor. I saw a waitlisted student’s portfolio with nothing digital whatsoever… it was decent, but not wet-your-pants thrilling. However, the student was spectacularly well spoken. Because they don’t really do an interview, you can try calling and essentially courting them, get them familiar with your name. They have some fantastic faculty, we had some of them as guest speakers… very interesting stuff.
As far as I can tell, UCLA isn’t accepting any new students for the coming school year, according to their website. I don’t really know how that works, but just based on the students they currently have, it seems like they can afford to do so, they’re incredible.
SVA has a fantastic rep for 3D, and they actually do offer a lot of non-animation courses, but I don’t know much about the program
ITP looks beyond and away completely out there… the price tag is a shocker, but their students seem to put out the most creative work around. SVA is known for being very commercial in orientation. Check out the ITP website… there are students and projects listed, it’s fantastic. Their deadline is January 5th if you’re aiming for it.
Art Institute of Chicago has a pretty neat art and technology program… they seem fairly focused on interactive installation and such. I have no idea regarding their students’ work though.
Parsons - I don’t know about their facilities but I have heard great things about their program. MIT’s Media Lab is obviously unbelievable, but unless you’re a programmer/engineer, there’s only one “group” that is art-based. MICA I have heard is essentially on the level of Pratt, nothing more.
Best to narrow down your focus… are you doing robotics and physical computing, interactive installation, interactive media or web-based stuff, 3D…? Then contact the departments and see if they mesh.
Best of luck