Hi, i recently graduated from a university with a degree not in design or art. But ive always had a strong interest in artwork; more specifically sketching / design using photoshop and illustrator. Ive been thinking about attending graduate school for design however im not sure what schools i should investigate and what I would need in order to apply for them and since my degree wasnt in art would it hinder any chances of attending a design school ?

I’d go for a undergrad in design. Graduate schools don’t teach you /give you the undergrad knowledge/experience. You’re jipping yourself out of a good education if you think you’re above undergrad just because you already got it once. Many of Art Center’s undergrad students are there for their 2nd undergrad, and their work is amazing, just because those are the ones who know the true importance of education.

asked sort of a similar question

Thanks for the tip. I’d like to attend school in canada … maybe quebec but does anyone know of any good schools to look into out in canada / quebec area or in the states ?

There are a bunch on the east coast area of the states (sort of) near Quebec.


should be more but I forgot

I dunno about Quebec, but check out Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. It’s my alma matter and considered the best ID school in Canada. With the way the program is laid out, you might even get advanced status recognizing some of the courses you already have, depending what you took.


Hey Rkuchinsky, i’ll def. have to take a look into that school. What do you mean ‘advanced status’ ? just wondering… do most design students go on to attend grad schools or is that not really needed ? Are there any major differences between schools out in the states vs canada ?

I’m guessing advanced status means that you don’t have to take those courses you already took and are further along than your peers.

Many students go for the masters, but there are also many who don’t. It’s your own choice. Going to grad school does not guarantee you a good career, but depending on the person, it may propel them to greater heights.

I don’t know much about schools in Canada, but taking a quick look at the schools’ student work will give you a good idea of the differences. There may be as much difference between a Canadian and a US school as there is between one US school and another. A Canadian school may be very similar to a US one. I don’t think I’d judge it based on the location, but on its body of work/philosophy.

Yes, advanced status means that you don’t need to take some courses. The Carleton program is very heavy on various foundation maths, sciences and business courses so some of these you might have already done.

In general I wouldn’t say that a masters is done by very many designers, and it’s function is more about professional design streams like teaching and research than practical design. I don’t think it adds much value to a practicing design, IMHO.

As for Canadian vs. US schaools, I wouldn’t really say there is an inate difference, aside from costs. Any Canadian school will be far cheaper than an American school, though if you a US citizen it might be more similar as I think you’d need to pay a different tuition than a Canadian would in Canada.

Rather, I think the main difference between different schools is their focus. In general, I’d say there are two types of schools. Those more engineering and practical focused, and those more art and concept focused.

Art center is more of the art focused.

Carleton is definitely more engineering and practical focused. There are lots of required courses (at least when I was there) of physics, statics, calculus, algebra, economics, psychology, etc. (all taken from the actual faculty of bus, sci, etc., not a watered down course for designers), that help prepare you for a solid foundation of real life and working with these types of people. These are of course in addition to design and studio course which include a lot of working with real companies and mass production technologies courses so you have a very solid foundation for being a real designer. There is, I would say less blue-sky future concept and fancy rendering type of work at Carleton than a place like Art Center. The idea is to prepare you to actually get a real job as a deisgner, not just be able to render an awesome spaceship.


Is it possible to become a designer through practice practice and muchh practice without having to attend school ? Or do you think taking classes is needed ? And how is it possible to get into a job field without any actual experience in the field except for pieces of work you’ve created on the computer by yourself ? Just wanna say thanks for the information, its definitely giving me more of an insight of what the field entails. I’m sure i’ll continue to have more questions.

technically i sure some designers have become pros without formal training, but I wouldn’t suggest it. It’s probably near impossible. Just look at all the threads here of how grads are having a difficult time getting a job, and surely you must realize that any grad would be far more likely to get hired than someone with no training.

Plus, school is not only about learning the skills, but also the process, making contacts, being evaluated, working with companies in projects, etc.