Rejected, Now what?

I’ve been rejected admission to The Design Program at my school twice now. I have what I belive is a strong protfoio showing a range of work from Life drawing, photograpghy, electronics, sculpture, photoshop/illustrator and of course models. I recieved decent grades (A’s & B+;s) in the classes in the program that i was able to take during the year.

I’ve been rejected twice think its time to give up the dream?
I am 2 years shy of completeing a degree in geography at another school… but my passion is desing. However being reject from the program limits my options.

Any ideas? and one in a similiar situation? What to do?
som smaples from what was in my portfolio here… maybe im missing something painfully obviouse. would just be nice to know.


:smiley: ya it’s pretty clearly expressed that they wont give any feedback. Frustrating but understandable. What school do you attend?

Had a quick peek at your site. Nice presentation. Has a clean feel. Like the products you have too however I couldn’t see any ideation. How you developed your final design from the ground up. The messy development sketches are what demonstrate your mindset. Are you a problem solver. Do you already have an instinct for how develop an idea further. That is the only thing I see lacking. The corkscrew was a very nice piece but I would have loved to see the initial concepts that lead to the finished product. Presentation can be learned but ideation is a natural talent. Demonstrate you talent for design.

Did you ever get feedback from the admissions board?

Also, have you applied to other design schools? (Is this a possibility?)

ya thats just a portion of my portfolio…their was a sketchhbook submitted with ideation sketches. Although it is true i probably could have used a few more, to show where my ideas emerged from…

The admissions board never gives any feedback, makes things difficult


Which school is it? It’s pretty bad that they rejected you twice without letting you know why. It’s like they can reject you 100 times and keep the 100x application money and not tell you what you’ve paid for.

Your drawing skill is pretty decent judging from the figure drawings. I say apply at another school and you probably will even get some scholarship money.

Also, do find out what they are looking for before submitting it. Every school has very different emphasis. Some wants to see good foundation skills, so wants to see more design related ones. Again it’s giving them what they want to see.

its an annual review. So im definatley for stuck for a While, i might redo my portfolio and try applying at other schools in witihin Canada.

what school did you apply to?

What level were you trying to enter the program at? You clearly have a high level of conceptual ability and a certain level of fine art drawing ability. What I see missing right now is a certain level of form development ability. That said, your work is interesting and should make you an interesting candidate. I am highly surprised that faculty within the program wouldn’t have time to tell you how to improve your application after denying it twice.

I agree witht he former blogger. Somewhere else would definitely accept you. Pratt in NYC or Academy of Art in SF might accept you for late admissions. Contact Deb Johnson at 718.636.3600 at Pratt or Tom Matano at Academy of Art 415.274.2200.

Academy of Art is generally better about accepting transfer credit.

Best of Luck.

I applied at The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, …it is a BA, the design program is considred 2nd year (a foundation year is the first portion).

Or CCS. They will give you scholarship.

wow, im suprised

I am also at ECIAD, and after myself being accepted I can see no reason why you would not have been. The only thing I can say is if you do apply again, go crazy with “process” and messy sketches, they eat that shit up. Also, even if you are not completely interested in sustainability, pretend you are. Another good friend of mine was also denied, and his portfolio was equally impressive. Have you thought about appealing? I know some people find success with that at certain universities, that is, if you still want to attend ECIAD. You have an incredible amount of ID related work for not beinng in the program (and I know thats tough to do at ECI), and its done well. Another option to consider might be to continue do what it is your doing, and think about a post graduate degree in ID. Anyhow best of luck, and keep us up to date.


Thankyou everyone for the great feedback, its been quite helpful. I’m a bit confused with everything at the moment, but I’ll post an update in a bit, once I get sorted and make some concrete decisions. Right now i might as Prof. Butterfingers suggested, try contacting Pratt in NYC or Academy of Art in SF about late admissions.
Thanks Again!

Hey man, the work looks nice, I wouldn’t worry about not having ‘ability’

I got rejected the first time I applied to the ID faculty (at ECIAD also, actually!)

I agree with the earlier post who said to really go apeshit with the sketches and proccess. ECIAD is ALL ABOUT sketching, in my opinion. I think they kind of over-emphasize sketching there, the program seems to revolve around it.

I noticed Christian Blyt’s name on one of your boards, definately talk to him for advice, he is really great. I don’t think he is as much into the sketching as some of the other instructors there (he’s all about models, I remember)

I guess the best advice I can give you is just keep cranking at it. If they don’t seem to give you any advice as to why they don’t accept you, it might just be a case of you applying the same year as a bunch of REALLY good students. If you sucked at something, I think they’d at least say ‘work on drawing’ or whatever.

Keep in mind that ECIAD teaches design from an art-school point of view. Form, colour, sketching and semantics are key there.

Keep at it bro, your stuff looks tight, and you seem to be determined.

That’s a better start than you probably realize!

Sounds like a good plan. There’s a lot of options out there.

I took a look at your portfolio and from what I understand you’re looking to transfer into a Design program after two years of undergrad? The portfolio seems good enough, if they’ve turned you down twice, I would look at :

  1. Essay - Are you able to articulate clearly your reasons for attending design school beyond the quality of your portfolio? Many applicants believe (I’m not judging just speaking from my experience in Design school admissions) that if they submit a good portfolio, they really do not have to work on any other aspect of their application.

  2. How are your grades in the program in which you are now? Do they meet the minimum requirements of the design program?

  3. Who are your recommenders? Are you selecting your recommenders well? Are they professionals, or professors who know of your skills and your ability to do well in theprogram? Sometimes the best application in the world can be derailed by less than stellar recommendation letters.

Good LUck


Keep your head up man, looks like you tried your best. Nice effort! One quip, just dont rely on final renders; Sketches (the ideas) are key.

I didn’t even get a rejection letter first time I applied for my masters, Got in this year though, looking back you can always change and improve.

Dont settle doing something you dont like (geography). I know, I was stuck doing engineering for 4 years. You will thank yourself in the long Run!

best of luck!