Degree- BFA or BS

I have applied to several schools for industrial design. Yes!

Carnegie Mellon and RIT offer a prestigious degree, but a Bachelors of Fine Arts.

UARTS Philadelphia isn’t as prestigious, but offers a Bachelors of Science degree.

I know I need to pick a school for myself, and decide based on how the school fits. But, just out of curiosity, what kind of post-graduation experience did have all had in comparing the two degrees?
Is there even a difference?
Does the prestige outweigh the degree?


From my experience nobody cares if you have a BFA, a BS, or a BID. I’ve never been asked what my GPA was either.

From my understanding, the b.f.a. is considered the professional degree while the b.s. is not.

I’ll ditto Yo’s statement. From my experience, bfa, bs, ba - the only thing that matters is your talent, portfolio presentation, and professional attitude. No one has ever asked my GPA, but they were happy with my portfolio and the work I’ve done OUTSIDE of school - and the fact that I did indeed stick it through and get a degree.

Here’s the secret: School is just a piece of the puzzle. The thing that will land you a job is the collective body of work and experience you gain. Internships, network, and use school as a launching pad. If you dont do that, any degree from ANY school won’t matter.

Good luck

BA, BFA, BS, and BID degrees differ in their basic requirements (e.g. more or fewer studio courses, math, etc.). If you look at programs across the board, you’ll notice certain curricular similiarities when examining programs that offer the same degree. Of course, schools aren’t limited by those basic requirements, and many have requirements above and beyond those minimums. The different degrees just have to do with accreditation.

In the end, choose the school that fits you best.

It doesn’t matter what the actual degree is. (BFA, BS, BID, etc). It usually depends on how the design school is structured and affiliated with in the college in question. Art school=BFA, engineering=BS, etc.

About the prestige thing, what to look for is how big of an active alumni network the school has. Take Cranbrook for example. Tiny school but huge network. (Yes, I know its a grad program). Will a prestigious school help you make contacts after school (like job interviews)? Well, yes, but it only for about 2 minutes or so. Then you are on your own.

It’s much more important to find a school that you can thrive in. The schools that you have listed are all well known and well respected.

And don’t forget point-of-view for what matters most. A lot of designers forget about this somewhere along the way.