Reputation of Cincy and schools in general

So… my procrastination finally cost me something. The last day to apply to CMU’s ID program is Monday, and they need to physically have the items then (not postmarked).

I didn’t really want to go there in the first place, but the overall reputation of the school still kept me somewhat interested.

My main choice is Uni of Cincinnati, which seems to have a better rep then CMU, at least in the design world. The coops sound great as well. I’ve already applied hope that I’ll get into UC.

My only concern is that the school is relatively unknown outside of the design world, and that may hurt me if I end up changing fields at some point. The University of Cincinnati doesn’t ring any bells with most people, and I’m unsure of how much it will help me in another industry. Then again, maybe all the internships will make up for it…?

I figured that if I decided to go into a field outside of design upon graduation or later in life, the CMU name still means a lot to many employers.

Obviously most of the people here are designers, but does anyone have input on Cincy’s rep in other fields (namely media/film/video games), or if school rep even matters in the real world? I take it from you guys that it’s more about the portfolio and people skills in the design industry, but any thoughts on the working world in general?

At this point it’s already too late, so dwelling on it won’t change anything.
I suppose I could transfer, but that seems like it might end up with wasted time and funds.

Any thoughts or consolations to make me feel better…? Bleh…

No one else can answer this for you, there’s advantages to both.

But go with your gut feeling.

Again, I think your thinking (worrying) about it too much. Sounds like your planning too far ahead. I’m around 2-3 years into school and my preception of design and what I want to do in the vast world of ID has totally changed since my first day at design school.

You sound set on UC, so go ahead with it, take a chance and have confidence in your decision and instinct.

I find it ironic that you’re against the whole design fair, furniture, design slash art side of the industry yet you like the sound of CMU because of its ‘name’. You are right though, unfortunately that’s the way the world works. But anyway… you’ve made your choice, I think it’s a good one.

Just go to UC. CMU doesn’t have a lot of transfer students because our ideology/methods differ so much from other schools. If the only reason you wanted to come here was because of the name, don’t come here. That being said, there’s a reason why so many people recognize CMU’s name: it’s because of CMU’s incredible interdisciplinary opportunities. You can pretty much take any course in whatever department you want, as long as you want it enough and bug people for it. Designers here aren’t just designers, they are engineers, businessmen/women, artists, philosophers, scientists, etc. The potential for double majoring or minoring is huge here. I can’t say much about UC since I never even heard about it until this year. So, that shows how much you should listen to me.

It’s too late anyway, so just forget about it. OR take a year off. I have a lot of friends who have taken a year off, and for all of them, I think the benefits far outweigh the consequences. A year to fully discover what you want to do, resolve anything you haven’t resolved at home, learn to live by your own rules. And then accumulate a portfolio over that year, and then apply again next November. Sometimes I wish I took a year off.

My daughter got into both UC and CMU and chose UC. She hasn’t regretted it once!

There are many reasons. First, contrary to what you think about CMU, UC actually will give you more design choices. CMU has strong programs, but they are very limited in their offerings. For example, if you want transportation design, digital design, fashion design or fashion merchandising, animation etc. CMU isn’t the right place. However, UC has majors in most of these choices. You will actually have MORE option with UC than with CMU.

Secondly, name branding is only relevant in your mind because of college marketing hype! It won’t matter a hoot which schools you go to as long as your school is fully accredited and deemed to have very decent programs in your major.

What matters most are grades and ( for designers) porfolios! Period. Please repeat what I just said five times! UC has a plethora of majors and offerings that vastly dwarf that of CMU. Don’t get me wrong , what CMU has is good. However, they are more limited in majors than that of UC.

Moreover, as you noted yourself, UC has an amazing reputation among designers and design firms. Certainly their reputation rivals that of CMU, according to a professor at CMU!

Finally, UC,net of most scholarship offers, is MUCH less expensive than that of CMU. It usually is about one half of the tuition of CMU. CMU isn’t really good at giving out many merit scholarships. In addition living expenses in Cincinnati is about half that of Pittsburgh, after the first year. For example, my daughters share of house rent for the year is $1,800 per year for her own private room! Yes, you read this correctly. In todays economy, attending a school such as CMU over Cincinnati, especially for programs that Cincinnati is well known for, is crazy. Cincinnati is the MUCH, MUCH better deal.

Taxguy, I thought your daughter went to UC? I think you made a typo…

For me it was the Co-op program. I think most people that choose UC, for them that is the deciding factor…
I am currently in Chicago on Co-op and have had the pleasure of working for a great organization and through that have worked with 4 well known design firms and have learned A LOT… One thing you will learn quickly is that real world experience is far greater then in class philosophy… I don’t have bad things to say about UC, the classes have been great so far. But I have learned more out in the real world then I have in class. Ultimately it is up to you but weigh your options before you make a choice… When it comes down to it having the skills and experience are far greater then school reputation…


Tons of people have heard of University of Cincinnati. They have an amazing Engineering school (especially Bio-medical which the design school works with a ton) a great Law school and one of the best medical programs in the country.

PLUS, we are Big East and we are going to win the ORANGE BOWL…who hasn’t heard of the Orange Bowl! And back in the Bobby Huggins years we had a stellar Basketball team.


Woops, I did make a typo. My daughter goes to UC and NOT CMU. I just corrected my prior post.

Undergraduate ID ranks 3rd behind CMU and Art Center in 2009 Design Intelligence Report