School Opinions : Georgia Tech and ASU (and others)

First of all, thanks guys on the valuable feedback and advise on the portfolio and schools, its helped me get successful offers from Georgia Tech and Arizona State University for 3-year M.I.D. programs. I am awaiting decisions from CCA, Pratt, CMU and Iowa State and IIT, but I need honest opinions on the programs considering the significant amount of investment into each of these programs.

Background : Engineering background and a over a years experience with a design research firm, origami, some modeling and sketching skills(still working on)

What I wish to do: I enjoy research - ideation - prototyping, the research to conceptualization phase for interactive products/apps/games among other things. Coming with some good background in coding, that knowledge should support me in tech products more and I’d like to combine both skills as well.

What I wish to learn : Applied to 3 year programs, definitely need a year’s foundation for strengthening quick sketching+prototyping. I want a research-backed program, with good ties to the tech industry so I can intern/take projects in summers. Good 3D skills will help, but I’m prepared to learn that on my own.

Colleges and reputations:
Accepted :

  1. Georgia Tech :
    PROS : Big University reputed for tech as well, so interdisciplinary projects/courses seem more possible, huge name, research driven
    CONS : 150k + cost estimated

  2. Arizona State :
    PROS : Big University reputed for tech as well, research driven, cheaper than others
    CONS : Very little info/inputs on the program, dont know much about design in the Phoenix area.


  1. Pratt :
    PROS : Reputed, NY, , also known for strong foundation year for non-designers
    CONS : Very expensive, reputed for Home/Interior/Furniture more than tech(AFAIK)

  2. CCA :
    PROS : SF, connected to tech hub, seems to have a good culture.
    CONS : Expensive, haven’t heard much about the program (having heard more of ACCD,UC,SCAD,CIA,Cranbrook etc.)

  3. Iowa State :
    PROS : Big University reputed for tech as well, cheaper than others
    CONS : Very new program, don’t know much about the program.

MDes Programs :
I know this will likely lead me to more of a User Experience Design career, which I also love, and am strongly considering. Need to know if I can end up in strong product firms in the design teams after studying here.
6 & 7) IIT & CMU :
PROS : Very Reputed, known for strong foundation year for non-designers, very research driven
CONS : Very expensive, not sure what career I’ll end up in.

Please help me make a decision soon with some inputs! Any reputations matter, unfortunately with such huge debts to come(150k+), payscales do as well, so jobs matter as well. Especially between ASU and Georgia Tech quickly, as I might well be rejected from the others!

  1. GT is a good school, more engineering focused which may be good given your background.
  2. Pratt is an art school, and financially speaking is in one of the most expensive areas in the world right now. Unless you absolutely love NY you can probably find better value elsewhere.
  3. CMU has an outstanding program in HCI, but it’s a different skill set from what you’d get in a more traditional ID school. They have a lot of connections into the UX world and a great facility where physical/digital design and prototyping is very well done. I’ve visited CMU a few times in the past few years and always come away very impressed (from a UX perspective).

ASU has a TA program that allows grad students to get in state tuition, somewhere are 10000 a year.