Portfolio Development - One Year Worth a Wait?

I am a Prospective Grad Design student from a non-ID background and I started taking sketching classes a months ago. I am making good progress according to my teacher but The Portfolios are due in January, so I was wondering, if its worth taking more time for devoloping my portfolio? I was reading some of the older posts where a few posters held the opinion that even if you get accepted to a place like Art Center, one has a hard time coping if you lack the foundational skills.

Just wanted more opinions of whether it would be a better idea to apply AFTER I graduate? Practice the whole year, polish my skills, and apply in January 2010 instead of 2009. I graduate in July 2009 with a BSc (Hons) in Economics.

January gives you 4 solid months of development + however many additional days in January (assuming it’s not due the 1st) to get everything compiled.

Don’t wait. If you put in a decent amount of time (remember grad schools tend not to expect non-ID students to already have the ID education - thats the point of the degree) so if you can show strong basics then it gives you a good head start. If you don’t get in on the first shot then reapply after.

Work hard, draw every day, and critique all of your own work. When you get to a point where you can’t think of anything to critique, then post it online to get some additional feedback. The inability to self critique is one of the things I see that kills people. You need to learn to be very critical of your own work and be willing to redo things over and over till you get them to what you feel is “Right”.

Also it will depend heavily on where you apply to school. Are you sure you want to apply to an art school? Or have you considered a university that might be more grounded in engineering/science?

“Also it will depend heavily on where you apply to school. Are you sure you want to apply to an art school? Or have you considered a university that might be more grounded in engineering/science?”


I was looking at Stanford and they require ATLEAST 1 year of “LIFE” experience after undergrad. Plus for a place like Stanford and IIT I need to take GRE, which is practically IMPOSSIBLE along with the portfolio. Does anyone know if Stanford actually admits anyone straight out of college into their Product Design Program?

They make you wait one full year after college graduation to matriculate. I have no idea if you can actually apply while in undergrad and be admitted for the subsequent year

PRATT wont care either way,
IIT and Stanford are another question, the GRE will make a difference there.
you may have to Kaplan it.

Your Economics degree wont get you into a design feild, you may have to get an internship (even if you have to work for free) this would do more towards your goals than any other thing you could do!

the short answer is, take the year or go to a lesser school.

Pratt has one of the best Masters program. A lot of the grad students don’t have any foundation of art or design background but the classes they go through seem to cover many of the basic artistic elements needed to be successful with what they decide to do. I’ve seen some really great thesis presentations.

Also, from my observation over the last few years, the ID department treats their grad students like royalty.

Ive also heard good things about Carnegie Mellon’s program, but don’t know much about it.