Confusing Graduate school e-mail? Accepted? or not?

Ok so i know this much I can not get my hopes up about this school, but I have kind of got mixed messages in a recent e-mail from the schools 3-D department head, and here is how it reads. (this school accepts 150 students a year (this is what i have read) and they have 10 departments (do the math)))

The selection process is always challenging * trying to invite the right mix of students * bringing together a diverse group capable of building a broad design dialogue and a highly productive working environment. The current students and I have recently reviewed your work and application with great interest. I was especially impressed with your statement which suggested that you are an informed artist, who has ‘done her homework’ to explore important influences. Based on your body of work, your experience, and your thoughtful writing, you’ve been selected as a prime candidate for the program. Each year we invite the top 15 candidates to visit for a day to get introduced to the current students, review work, discuss your goals, and explain more about the program. This interview process helps us, and you, confirm that Cranbrook is the best place for your studies. Letters of acceptance are sent immediately following this interview process. _so what do you think??

Just trying to pass time and come to some kind of conclusion before i go up there!

You’ve been shortlisted as someone they feel would be a good fit for the program and you are being invited to the campus to spend a day there where you can see how the school’s culture is and they can see if you would make a good fit - in person - and then they’ll make you an admission offer. This is usually done for candidates who look good on paper and you’re almost sure but you need to make sure by inviting them over.

If I was you, I’d be thrilled.

not yet - after the interview if it go’s well

So I quess now the question would have to be … how selective …and how many they really accept in?

I am excited, but sometimes you get so far in that you forget how much getting recognized by these schools actually means, and how much of an accomplishment it is.

I know cranbrook has a good reputation, but I do not know where it stands perticularly.

I would estimate that the shortlist probably includes twice as many applicants as there are spots. So, you’ll get to the interview and meet roughly 15 other applicants, half of whom will get offers. Cranbrook is quite selective and, if you’re concerned with rankings, you can check out US News & World Report. Or, pick up any design magazine and see how many grads are in it. Congratulations on making it this far! It really is a positive sign. Probably the most important thing to remember is your passion and excitement. Even if you feel intimidated by the interview, make sure you communicate effectively about yourself and your work, and ask questions of the faculty and students. Good luck!

This Metropolis article isn’t exactly current (Peter Stathis is no longer the chair of 3D Design), but it gives a good general overview of the program’s philosophy and approach:

Because it is a small school and a small program, it’s important for everyone there to be a good fit. You’ll be “stuck” with these people for two years, and they with you. That’s why there’s an interview process.


i have not seen you post recently however your past posts have always seemed insightful and genuine. as such, your words have been one of many factors giving me an extremely positive view of cranbrook.

i am currently considering graduate school and am most impressed with cranbrook. i am looking for more information about the school, however, and am interested in picking your brain a bit. would this be possible? if so, can you tell me first whether or not you are currently affiliated with cranbrook so that i can better understand the context in which we are communicating?


Congrats on being asked to interview at Cranbrook, I’m currently a second year student. Basically the interview is to make sure things are a good fit on both sides. Come with lots of questions, and I look forwarded to talking with you.


I am just considering applying to graduate school next year. I am looking at Cranbrook and Pratt as both seem to be small, individualized programs. Did you consider RISD? How would you compare/contrast these two schools?

I did consider RISD, Pratt, Eindhoven, RCA, but what’s good for me, may not be the same for you. Granted all are 3D programs with great reputations, but all are very different when it comes down to how the programs are structured. Cranbrook isn’t for everyone, but for me, I wouldn’t attend anywhere else. Do your research to find what fits best for you. If you have specific questions about Cranbrook, I would love to help you out, but its probably better asking someone from RISD what the programs like, for me, it wasn’t what I was looking for.

It can be hard to quanitify Cranbrook, RISD, SAIC, Design Academy Eindhoven, and RCA, and also kinda misses the point with these schools. They are all geared towards growth as a designer as creative individual- and all go about it in different ways.

My belief is that a person who is ready to spend 2 years working solely on what they love to do will find any of these schools worthwhile. If you have your choice, I’d suggest visiting (for more than a day) so you can understand the dynamics of the progrems.

A particular quirk in these schools is that they have created design movements (more than methodologies) and this can create some odd behavoir. Can make things a little strange-- but also makes for quite a ride.

Good Luck-

graduateschoolseeker, I attended the 2D Design program some years ago and would be happy to answer any general questions you might have about the school (which probably belong in a separate thread). But, the leadership of both Design departments is now different, and I’m sure there are others on this board who are better equipped to answer specific questions. Anyway, best of luck in your search.

Untitled 1,
They’ll be letting 7 people into the 3d program this year.

thanks a lot frank for all the information, and the rest of you thanks a lot for the wise words and such. I would have to say i am a bit worried. I have been told that if you are one of the 7 they ask you on the spot about if you will commit to school there. This is kinda stressful, because i would need to take a few days to think about it, for myself, finacially, and because of other schools. But i do not want to hurt my standings in that spot if i were to get it…

I asked a friend of mine for some advise … and she went about responding this way … which is why the post before this was triggered

so this is what a friend had to say

"“that’s so great! you made the first cut - I know that cranbrook works that way (narrows down applicants, has interviews, then choses from the interviews) and I think the risd design department (graphic) works that way as well (not sure about furniture/whatever). I know a guy from OSU undergrad went on an interview last year in the ceramics dept. at cranbrook, he was picked first round after the interview to be a grad student, but declined because of money. I’m thinking go to the interview and check it out - you are obviously in the running - I’m sure they’ll pick their top candidates, then a 2nd list/waitlist, then start w/the top ones seeing if they’ll commit to go, then work down to the 2nd list if all spaces aren’t filled w/the first one. (my point being even if you make 2nd pick/waiting list after the interview, you are still in the running). I know if you are on the first pick, they’ll tell you and then want an immediate reply, but legally you have until a certain date to let them know - they just try to find out asap so they can move down the list - since most people apply to more than one school, if they get into two or more they obviously have to make a decision. Be honest w/them if they ask you where you applied and all, the’ll probably want to know that but it won’t effect your chances. I would say find out the notification date and your decision date w/each school if possible before the interview so you can think about it - it may come down to getting into one school, then not knowing about the others and having to wait… As far as $$ goes, I know my friend was offered nothing, I think, he would have to take out loans on the whole thing,and he just couldn’t swing it.I told you that my two professors went there, and said it was worth the loans, even though they just finished paying them off at age 42"”__

i just wanted to clarify that although these schools are all rated highly, each program is sooooooo very different. And Pratt’s program is not small, its actually quite large as far as MID programs go, accepting between 30-35 students a year (and they have some students there 3 years, not 2, so you can do the math). compared to Cranbrook’s 7 and RISD’s @10.

Good luck

To put an end to any rumors, it is ridiculous to think that Cranbrook or any school would force you to make such a decision on the spot. Grad school is a huge investment of money and time and requires a lot of thought on what makes the most sense. That’s why we have the interviews so you make sure its fits you and vice versa. After the interviews, decisions on applicants are made from the department as a whole.

Thank you for clearing that up, I was not sure how valid that information was, so I thought I would post it and see.

im so curious abt cranbrook interview!!! how did it go for u? thnx.

So, what’s the verdict? What are these interviews like? Have you heard back from them yet? Spill the beans!