ID Schools for Athletes

Hey there,

So I’ve started my college search and I am interested in industrial design. However, I would also like to continue running track and cross country in college. Any chance you guys could help me find schools that fit both of these criteria?

A bit about me:
NY residence (I do not want to go to school in upstate NY)
SAT 1600: 1390 (first time, will retake)
UW GPA: 3.4

Schools I’ve researched so far:

Nc state
Appalachian state

So far I think Cincinnati would be my best fit, but I’ve read a lot about their admissions and am not sure I would get in. Are there any programs out there I’ve missed? I don’t care at this point about dI, dII, or dIII.

Iowa state has a D1 track as well as a new ID program.

Also remember Cincinnati requires to co-op. So starting 2nd year. You will be in school one semester and interning the next. Not sure when track season is. But you may have to skip out on some internships in order to compete after your second year.

Also look into

OSU (d1)
Virgina Tech (d1)
San Jose State (alma mater of Tommie Smith and John Carlos)

Thanks a lot. I did not think about how co-ops could be in conflict with my ability to compete in college. A quick check showed that San Jose State only has men’s cross country and no indoor/outdoor track which is a pity. Beggars can’t be choosers, but I wish there were some more medium/small options out there for me. Besides going to an art school with no athletics, it would seem my only options are big schools like OSU.

Purdue or Notre Dame, perhaps?

BYU also has a great ID program.
Syracuse also another option

Definitely look into Virginia Tech. We have someone in the ID program right now who does XC/Track year around.

Big schools; OSU, Auburn, BYU, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Long Beach, Washington…

Oregon, the school with the best track facility in the country thanks to Phil Knight, started a product design program recently.

By the way, Savannah has a good athletics program; heck, they had arguably the best basketball coach among art schools until Cazzie Russell was reassigned when they dropped basketball.

Hi! I go to PhilaU and play softball there. We do have a track and cross country team as well. We are division II.
I just finished my first year in ID and personally I haven’t had a problem managing it yet. We don’t have many athletes in ID, I am the only one in my class but it isn’t difficult. The school itself is very design centered with only about 3,000 students it is a lot different from the big dI schools that you’ll find that have athletics and ID. It just depends on your preference. Good luck!

Agreed for the mentions of Purdue and Iowa State.

At Purdue there were at least a handful students I knew who survived being both an athlete and an ID student. Iowa State’s new program looks like it has a good start from my bit of interaction with them.

University of Kansas might be worth a look:

Hey I’m about to graduate from Georgia Tech. I was a swimmer for part of the time I was in school and I have a good friend who has been on the swim team for 3 year while he was in ID. It is demanding, but doable. You should get to know the coach and the curriculum well if you are seriously interested. At Georgia Tech, ID is a 4-year program that requires 1 studio every semester in addition to other classes. It is highly likely that these studios cut into practice time given one semester they may be from 8am-12pm and the next could be from 1pm-5pm. Also in a small ID program such as ours, there is often only one section for a required course so scheduling around team practice can be tough. Cross-country tends to have less-organized practices as opposed to track though, so perhaps you decide to pursue only cross-country in conjunction with ID.

When making your decision, I would definitely suggest choosing your school for design education over athletics. You’re already an awesome athlete and can be for the rest of your life, but you’ll most likely be going pro in ID, so coaching in design is most important. If possible, definitely do start by doing ID and competing. If you end up having to drop athletics, it’s no big deal; you’ll just be dropping it a year or two before your eligibility would run out anyway. You’ll also become an all-star in local road races and the strength training, nutritional knowledge, discipline, and other great qualities you learn from being a collegiate athlete will stick. Lastly, tell the coach what you want to get out of being on the team, what you want to get out of your education, and know what the specific time requirements of the team and the curriculum. (and not just your first semester, but for the ones following too) Hopefully that helps. It’s impossible for anyone on here to give extremely valuable advice unless they have personally worked with cross country/track coach and studied ID at the particular school you are interested. Best of luck, it’s an exciting time. Let us know where you go!

Thanks for the response.

There’s one thing I observed from my visit to Cincinnati. When I asked my student tour guide (a non-athlete) about the possibility of ID + athletics, he said it was flat out not possible. Not enough time. After the tour I found one of the track assistant coaches, and he said that it is possible for some, but others find it too much. There are class conflicts, you have to have the motivation to train on your own sometimes, etc. Some students make adjustments such as only taking co-ops in the Cincinnati area and other things. So I guess some of it depends on your time management skills, but “not having enough time” is relative. To some non-athletes, the 2-4 hours I spend at practice in high school would be “too much,” but that is something I’ve gotten used to over the years.

BTW I am considering applying to Metro State U of Denver, because their track/xc program is almost exactly what I’m looking for, but am unsure if their ID program is worth it. Also considering non-athletic schools like Cleveland Institute of Art, or minimally athletic schools like MassArt (club-level I think), SCAD (NAIA), and SJSU (XC only).

Edit: Maybe GT or VT too.

David Hotard is right though…you shouldn’t prioritize the athletics program so heavily. I understand that it’s a passion for you, but this is your future we’re talking about. I.D. is the field you’ve chosen to go into, and college is meant to be training for that field. Don’t risk a poor educational experience for the sake of a pastime.

I have been reading this thread as I am in the same situation but with a different sport. I am on the West Coast, sport is tennis. I want to continue in college as it is a big part of my life and it has been a dream to play college tennis, but I am also aware that ID is one of the most time-consuming degrees. I am going to try and visit Metro State in the next couple of months -I like their tennis program (D2). I hope the ID departement is good too. Metro State is also pretty affordable for me coming from California. Ill post some feedback.

To re-iterate what has already been said, sports really shouldn’t be a priority, especially if no scholarships are involved. Sometimes you have to get real, are you that good at your chosen sport? Sure, sports are fun and I was involved in numerous sports my entire life, hockey was mine. But when I had to choose my educational institution I put hockey second to what design school was best. I ended up playing club hockey for a season, missed a lot of games because of my schoolwork and when I transferred I joined the rowing team, 9 months of waking up at 5:15am. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun.

My recommendation: Think about it, are you going to be making money playing a sport after you graduate? 99.9% probably not, so choose the education first.

I actually started my ID education at Metro. It is a okay ID program if you are serous about being a designer you will need a better education. I am also going to jump on the athletics as a secondary concern if you want to do ID. I work in the outdoor industry and have so far my whole career. I got into it because I have a passion for outdoor sports. But during design school I focused solely on ID. I still road my bike and skied but it was a low propriety. Being in the outdoor industry I see designer all the time who put athletics first and ID second. I found them to be poor designers.

Remember ID school is pretty much your gateway to a job once you have that job you have the rest of your life to include sports into it. So don’t skimp on you four years in school because you want to play sports during the time. ID majors are beyond demanding and require the up most focus on your end goal just to get through them. You will work in the program everyday of the week for between 8 hours to 24 hours a day. If you are at a good program you will sleep 4 to 5 hours a night and the rest of the time you will be working on ID. ID programs are like an athletics program but instead of train to win an event you are training to win a career.

I went to Cincinnati with with a Shot Putter who managed doing both very well.

1390 isn’t a good SAT score anymore?

One of my designers played soccer at Western Washington University, all four or five or six years of his education.

Yes, I understand the part about setting my priorities. For me, it has been convenient to look at ID schools with athletics for another reason - they are generally universities that don’t require portfolios, and as I’ve said in other threads, I’m taking my first drawing class this year. I have other pieces that could work; I’m currently building a writing desk out of black walnut in tech class, and I have been taking photography classes as an interest for a couple years. But even with that, I’m worried about getting accepted into an art school such as CIA or SCAD. Heck, I’m worried I won’t even get into Cincinnati. :neutral_face: