Grad school choices - AAU, RIT, UArts, ND?

I’m looking for a little feedback. I’ve recently applied to 4 graduate schools. They are:

Academy of Art University - AAU - accepted
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT - waiting
Universtiy of the Arts - UArts - accepted
Notre Dame - ND - waiting

I did my undergrad at SIUC (Southern Illinois) and want to get out of the midwest for grad. Also, I kind of focused on furniture in undergrad but am much more interested in product and possibly medical design. I feel like I need to spend some time working on form development and my sketching skills in general. I know I could do this on my own, but would like some help.

Right now, I’m leaning toward AAU. It seems like their curriculum is in line with my personal goals. RIT would be my other top pick. I think ND would be my last pick - too close to home. I haven’t heard a lot about UArts but their curriculum seems like more of a research based program, so it isn’t as appealing.

I would love to get any feedback on these programs. Also, I would like to see some portfolios of some students that came from them.

Thanks!

none of the above - get a job - best education you can have.

even if you feel your portfolio needs work, your better off making whatever effort you need to get employed than two+ years in school. Grad school will be more research oriented than you may think…

One of the major reasons I’m going to grad school - I want to teach, not immediately, but sometime in the future - forgot to mention that!

in that case - get a job - best training you can have.
this will also give you time to figure out a reserch agenda, ideally you should know what your thesis will be before starting grad school and if your really smart it will be the foundation for the publications that will get you tenure!

He has good advice-- Step out and work for a couple of years. It will give you the perpsective and raw skill development that you will need to make a good choice about grad schools.

It’s not that difficult to go back and most schools will value you more if you have had already worked.

If you don’t want to wait, I’d say look for a school that is most different than your undergrad and has a good conceptual mentality. Grad school is not about skill development- it is essentailly about thinking. They assume that you already have figured the skill stuff out.

Good luck.

best scenario would be to work first, and teach undergrad while you collect grad credits. Or work part time, school part time. Or hook up with a company that will pay for school. Rare, but could happen and usually requires some post-grad employment commitment.

do think about what your thesis will be and what is required for thesis at each school before you make your decision.