ID program in Notre Dame

Hi, can anyboby share some insights on Notre Dame’s design program? I’m looking into taking an MFA in Industrial Design and I have come across their website…any pros/cons? Thanks!

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presuming you want a Masters to get a tenure-track teaching gig (the only benefit of getting one), keep in mind you will need to compete against MID’s from bigger-name schools who will lend greater prestige to whatever institution hires them (prestige being very important to Universities).
The other thing remember to help land a teaching gig is: universities need cash - if you can attain grants to fund your research you are good as gold.

What do you want to research in grad school?

On the other hand, if you are a career-changer, get a Bachelors. If you just want a better ID career - work your ass off. Either way a masters is not the best choice.


i’m planning to take a master’s degree…unfortunately most of the prestigious ID schools are very expensive too. some research universities do offer fellowships.

i have a bachelors in ID…just need to get focused time to assemble a killer portfolio (probably)…

keep in mind that a killer portfolio is not the bottom line in grad school. It’s about research and enrichment. If your planning on ND or any 1st teir U or even Big10 - look over the academic journals for ideas and present a thorough research agenda. If your looking at Art schools the grad program will still be more theory based.
I think Ohio State and Pratt and a few others offer different tracks depending on whether you want to teach, practice or do pure research but everywhere you look will require a thesis and to get into grad school a good thesis idea will go further than a good portfolio.

great no spec! you seem well informed…what’s BIG 10? i know tier1…is big 10 the top 10 universities?

(but not all have design programs right?)

the big 10 is a conference of large mid-west universities, many 2nd tier. I ment to imply any of the top50 U’s, (distinct from the Art Schools)

I agree that the focus of most grad schools is not to biuld a “killer folio”, it is research, digging deeper into the meaning of design, and getting the qualifications to teach.

If you want to spend some time on that folio, why not just take a year off and live in an inspirational city and build that folio. You’d save money and do it faster, if you have your undergrad you should have the skills to do this.

I also have the impression that although you have the bachelors, you don’t have much professional experience. ID education is largely vocational in nature and you’ll need 5-10 years experience in the feild before a top school would consider offering you tenure. this is also the best portfolio building you could do.

thanks guys!
i’m actually working right now as a designer of home accessories. not the best but it pays the bills. i design cheesy stuff, but “design” nonetheless.

i’m actually thinking what value would a master’s degree give me…i think the clear answer would be “to have a master’s degree in my resume”…because i know that going to grad school is not a guarantee that i will become a great designer.

I got my bachelor’s from an overseas university. eventhough (assuming) that i have the same skills as someone who graduated in the US, my chances on progressing in this field is slim compared to people who studied in big name design schools (pratt,risd,cranbrook,art center)…the only consolation prize i have is that i’m now working in new york…but still it’s not a level field based on my experience…most companies would hire someone from a school with great reputation.

I kinda like yo’s suggestion of taking time off and just assembling stuff…i think i actually need that. I have been working for 5 straight years since i got out of college.