Choices

OK. So. I’ve gotten into the (undergraduate) programs at Pratt, RISD, Carnege Mellon, and University of Cincinnati, and I just wanted to see if I could get some advice on choosing a school.

Some background. I was inspired by ID years ago, but only really understood the implications of my inspiration about a year ago. Art/drawing wise I’m relatively inexperienced (good enough to get me in, though) and I’m more of a smart/creative/passionate person than the typical art student into ID (excuse me if I offended anyone with that stereotype). I’m looking more for a program that’s broad, more theory, human-based, IDEOlike and/or gives me a chance to take non-basic classes in other subjects.

My innermost, heartbodyfelt, mindspiritplus feelings. Subjective(objective) deeper(surface) reality:

Pratt. They offered me $12000 a year, but I’m not particularly fond of the “artistic”-based program. Not really looking for an art school.

RISD. I never got to visit, but they have a good reputation and I like the idea of being able to cross-register at Brown when schedules line-up.

UC. They’re offering $9000 a year, so it’d be inexpensive. I like the reputation and co-op program but the campus location (both distance from where I live and location in the city) and largeness kind of turned me off. I could certainly live with it though.

CMU. I loved the university, design program and the opportunity of interdiscinplinary programs. It’s very expensive and I’m not too sure how well the students are prepared and find jobs. I think, I’m leaning towards them though, because I’d be more motivated there and would find the drive to pay the tuition and get a job. I hope.

Anyways, I know you all have experience with schools so if you can give any insight or advice or your impression of a school it would be greatly appreciated and very meaningful. Sorry the post was so long. Thanks a lot!!

You should read the top two threads on this board but to summerize:

RISD: the schedules between Brown and RISD never line up and the reputation the school has with your art teacher is much different the one it has with large design firms and studios.

Pratt: if you think their program is too “artistic” then you will want to stay away from RISD

CMU: I hear good and bad, slightly more bad these days

UC: rarely a bad word ever said about it, awesome co-op program gets you two years real experience by the time you graduate, it has a great reputation, large studios and firms actively recruit, and to top it all off it is cheap…still not sure?

You’re looking at two art schools and two universities, so that’s one difference right there. It sort of sounds like you’re leaning toward a university experience.

Unfortunately, RISD’s proximity to Brown is more of a promise than a reality; it’s really difficult, like Yo mentioned, to take courses at the other school (and this is the case with most schools in similar situations).

If you’re not looking for an “art school” then RISD is probably not your top choice.

Carnegie Mellon has a mixed reputation for design, although the programs certainly sound interesting. It’s a pretty good university over all (depending on the subject areas you’re looking at to augment your design studies), and Pittsburgh is a decent city for internships and other opportunities.

The program at Cincy has been getting rave reviews in recent years. It’s a university, so you can take many different courses, and it offers the co-op program, so it’s not strictly artsy-fartsy. Based on your post, it sounds to me like this should be your top choice.

if you can go to DAAP… go.

i am a junior in ID… currently interning at nike designing women’s shoes… before this i worked in boston for Design Continuum… before that i designed surgical tools for Johnson and Johnson and before that i designed printers for lexmark… i have one more co op to do this fall… all before i graduate…

are you picking up the pattern?

dont get me wrong wherever you go… whether its UC or Sally’s School of Beauty Supplies… its all what you make of it. it just so happens that UC put me in the position to have twice as much work experience as my peers at other schools… dont get me wrong the intern places… some the same places i did… but in general cincy puts you on a path to really working at some place relevant.

every school has its pros and cons… but if i had it to do all over… i’d still go to cincy. its a big school… lots to do outside of design… although your course load will handicap that a tad. but if you can get through school at cincy and grow as a person… you’re gonna be alot further along than most design students.


good luck…

Thanks for all the insight. My choice is definately narrowed down toward UC and CMU. Based on my experiences, I liked CMU better (though still a little concerned about where they’re graduates fit in the design world), but I hear a lot of good things coming out of Cincinnati. I’m actually really honored that I was accepted to both schools, and I’d be ecstatic either way. I’ll be making a decision soon. Thanks again for taking the time to offer some guidance.

We have just lost one of the most important faculty members: Craig Vogel, the author of “Creating breaking through idea”, who founded the IPD program at CMU. I heard that he is now at University Cincinnati.

Prepare to be disappointed with CMU’s lousy prototyping facility (technically we don’t have one). Even though the engineering school has pretty decent prototyping machines, design students are not allowed to use them. If I were you, rather choose Uc. Their internship program seems very effective compare with CMU’s, which is practically none.

These days it seems University of Cincinnati is very highly regarded by employers. Internship is part of the program… you must do it. Also seems like they attract top talent. I am pretty sure they won’t let you continue in the program if you don’t meet thier standards.

CMU tuition: 43K
UC tuition: 8k~28k

I also like the Univ of Cincinnati program,but it does have problems.

First, the location is very mediocre. Lots of crime and cincinnati isn’t one of the best college towns.

Two, they don’t have the same widespread amount of art and design majors as a stand alone art school such as Pratt or RISD.

Three: If you are applying there from out of state, you are talking about $23,000. I fundamentally have a problem paying $23,000 for a state school. You can go to RIT for less, which is private.