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Hey i’m a high school senior in texas looking for ID schools to major in transportation or product design. Texas doesnt look like the best place to find ID programs so im trying to find schools that are not real far off. Heres some im looking at:
-University of Illinois-Chicago
-California state university-long beach
-Art Institute-Chicago
-Art Center college of design
-Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Your opinions of these school will really help, thanks

Hey, I just wanted to plug my school. I’m a sophomore in ID at University of Illinois.

I think some people get confused when they see my school called “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign” or “UIUC” because that kind of name sounds like it’s a satellite campus of the university. But really, it’s the school’s hub.

My experience here has been fantastic so far. The program is extremely flexible; even though the emphasis is in contemporary product design, students are free to pursue their own style. We have plenty of cutting edge facilities, and very active faculty. Some notable alumni include like the designers of the Aero chair, the new Gatorade bottle, the RAZR…etc.

Going to a university’s art school is really up my alley, though I can’t speak for you. I’ve spent time at other art schools, and the scope of diverse knowledge and experience that you get from going to a public university for your design education is extremely valuable, to me. Not only do you get educated in various fields, but you also are able to apply these broad and diverse experiences to your actual design work.

Please excuse the school’s not-that-impressive web site. I can assure you that great things are happening at the school. It is ranked among the top 10 schools for Art/Design/Architecture every year.

Sorry to babble, but I just wanted to share the fact that I’ve been having a very positive experience here. Let me know if you ever want more information.


thanks, that info helps a lot, i’ll check it out
so you think a public university can offer a more well rounded program than a art shcool?

No problem at all.

There’s absolutely no question that a public university can offer a more well-rounded experience. Even though I find myself cursing General Education requirements when I’m staring at a Psychology assignment from time to time, the requirements do absolutely nothing to get in the way of my design education, and I definitely end up valuing the experience. Gen Eds are taken care of in no time, and the broad base of knowledge gained by taking classes in other areas, taught by professors that are experts in their fields instead of just “Liberal Arts and Sciences” instructors at art schools is very valuable.

And something I can say from experience is that when you’re in the school of Art+Design here, it really does feel like you go to art school. It’s not like the School of Art+Design is just some neglected hallway in a random academic building; it’s a very independent College. And, the student body is very small, especially when compared with other colleges within the university. There are roughly 90 total ID students, undergrad and grad combined. So there is a feeling of family, within the huge public population of the school.

An advantage over a dedicated art school is that I have the option of then walking home from a day of design courses and seeing an opera, or touring the Beckman Institute of Technology and its supercomputer, or seeing the Illini rock the nation in basketball, or hell, attending a lecture on biomedical engineering. And any of this is within 20 minutes walking distance. I really value those options, but others don’t. It’s all about preference.

The difference is that you aren’t living, eating, and socializing with all art/design students, all the time. This is a fact I happen to like. Spending dozens of hours a week in class and studio with these people is cool and all, but I personally like the option of 39,900 other potential pals.

In conclusion, I dig it here.

You really need to add DAAP to your list, perhaps you don’t like the idea of life Cincinnati, but every serious prospective student should at least check them out.

just wondering if anyone knows of grad schools in which you don’t need a UGrad degree in art or design to apply. I know that this is the case for IIT and U of Calgary. Is there any other schools. Is this the best route to go? or should I take a UGrad degree? I am currently in my last year of a business degree and I don’t have a portfolio or anything.

This has been talked about on here a lot and is a huge can o’ worms. While it of course never hurts (too much) to open it up and ask again, you might also try the search function and seek out some of the past threads…

Yep, there’s a big thread about IIT here: Accepted to Mdes program

i’ve posted a lot about the school.

You’re finishing an undergrad business degree or an MBA? In either case, why don’t you get some work experience first? The most successful and desireable IIT grads tend to be the ones with a minimum of 5 years professional experience prior to entering, regardless of field, so going there straight out of ugrad isn’t the best choice. If you just got an MBA, go apply it for 2-3 years, then think of IIT’s MDM program later as another career stepping stone.

But more importantly, why do you want to go to design school?

a) To be a designer - the one worried about aesthetics, details, form, realization?


b) To be a design planner/thinker independent of design field (graphic, industrial, interaction, etc.) - the one worried about user needs, researching user behaviors, focused on concepting, prototyping and presenting ideas? (Concepts and prototypes that will be eventually refined to death by those in category a) above.)

If a) don’t go to IIT. Think about continuing education or an undergrad degree.

If b) give IIT a look. Right now there are no equivalent schools or degrees. There are some that offer a healthy dose of design thinking, but not sole dedication to it.