Should I transfer?...

I am currently a first year ID major at RIT.

From the first moment I stepped onto campus something struck me horribly wrong and still does to this day, but that is just something I must get over.

I haven’t really gotten enough of a taste of the ID program as I am only a first year but I am wondering if it would be in my best interests to perhaps transfer to another school such as Parsons or Pratt.

Looking around on forums and browsing contest winners and applicants, I see none from RIT but plenty from Parsons and Pratt. Is this perhaps a sign? Am I going to be missing out on something here that perhaps is evident in those other schools?

Not to forget, a large portion of the ID freshmen majors here are so fickle about their own major that I wonder am I attending a “second rate” ID program that mainly has people that are just feeling it out so it isn’t taken as seriously in the professional world?

Not to mention the cost is… :open_mouth:

I know this may sound like a secondary concern, but the people here are driving me to my wits end and I feel that I am going to be having to use the last ounce of my self control to keep from going completely “psycho” on some of these people. This is a stressful and aggitating atmosphere that keeps me in the state of having a headache nearly 80% of the time. I wonder if it would perhaps be different at a school that was more focused on the art and design world rather than the technical world. Not to mention had more access to entertainment OTHER than horrible bars.

ANY reasonable opinions are highly wanted right now as I want to know if I should transfer out this next year or stick it through at the risk of possibly going insane.

Thank you very much.

I doubt that things will really get easier for you at RIT or anywhere else. It’s a tough field, and dealing with creative people (especially the fragile ones who need to act out and prove themselves constantly) is a given. If your gut tells you that something’s wrong, it wouldn’t hurt to visit other schools to get a sense of what you may be missing, or to give you new appreciation for what you have.

Going to a school in a larger city will give you more interesting experiences outside of school. It doesn’t have to be NYC. Pratt and Parsons are both good, but you should check out other schools as well (RISD and Art Center come to mind).

As for money, that will likely be an issue wherever you go. A lot depends on the aid you get, which may be somewhat negotiable (at RIT or elsewhere). Try applying for outside scholarships, since you can take them with you if you do transfer.

As a side note, and based on my limited knowledge, I don’t think RIT has a world-class ID program. That said, I think that’s less relevant than you finding a good fit for yourself, there or elsewhere. It’s possible that your issues boil down to not yet having found a faculty member who can mentor you, or because you haven’t bonded with classmates in your program yet. Who knows? It wouldn’t hurt to visit other schools and see what your gut tells you.

I would suggest RISD, they seem to have graduates with good portfolios, that’s what it’s about.

In an increasingly global market for talented designers, you need to have the best education you can get.
That said, RIT offers things that Pratt and Risd don’t. Partcularly: Engineering and Buisness colleges. If you’re interested in learning more of those feilds now rather than on-the-job, you may have advantages over your competition at graduation.
The best advice, wherever you go to school is: get co-ops/internships! You will ultimatly learn more and have a better portfolio from real-world work than anything you do in school.

It’s your personality.

In my original undergrad (different field) I transfered schools for 2 reasons: 1 to be in the school with the best reputation in my field and 2, to be in a more vibrant city. I have never regretted it. Lot’s of people would consider the campus/community atmosphere a secondary concern… but sometimes it isn’t. In my case, I just couldn’t take 4 years in a small college town any more. I’ve visited RIT, btw – maybe it’s just the isolation of the campus and the oppressive bauhaus architecture, but it does seem a little bit stiffling.

People will also tell you that it is only your portfolio and work that matter, but my choice to go to transfer schools was dead on – I made better contacts, not to mention that in hundreds of conversations I have had since graduation, people ask “where did you go to school?” and I actually had an answer that garnered a positive reaction. It may be superficial, but when people do not know a lot about you, they will make assumptions based on where you went to school (though, from what I have heard RIT has a good reputation, esp. for balancing more technical knowledge with design training as mentioned before).

You should be prepared for the possibility that you will not graduate in 4 years if you transfer. I wouldn’t worry about it though. It is better to be one of the more prepared people graduating than one of the less prepared.

Oh… and if you decide to transfer to Pratt make sure your grades are as high as possible. Pratt bases most of it’s merit-based aid on your GPA.

Good Luck,


I just transferred schools, from Carnegie Mellon to Pratt, and for me it was a great decision. If you feel like the school is constantly a headache, get out. I’d worry more about your personal preference, as this is where you’re going to be spending four years of your life, and you learn best if you’re in an environment where you feel comfortable and happy. Also, in the end, how much you learn is up to you- it depends how hard you push yourself.

Guys hey;

I have been roaming about on forums trying to ask this one simple question ; I really dont want to be in the shoes of mechanistic.

For this spring 2006 i have applied to the following schools , please let me know as to which one u guys think is good and the ones i need to go to based on ur knowledge and know how.

IIT, chicago
NC state university - raleigh
san jose state.
San fransisco state university
stanford university design program
Arizona state university

If yu guys have some other college in mind let me know

“yu guys have some other college in mind let me know”
“as to which one u guys think is good and the ones i need to go to”

You might start with high school grammar, spelling and work your way up to the college level.

Purdue is good. BOILER UP!

First of all

Guest ; thank u for ur suggestion on purdue university.It does not have spring admissons if i am correct it is in the process of getting a NASAD rating right?

And the guest who commented on my grammar; this is a forum for gods sake dont except to see a great deal of grammatical english;try shakespeare instead for timepass.


I suppose I have come to the decision of wanting to transfer. (This conclusion was reached after finally coming out of a migraine that I had for 3 days…haven’t gotten migraines in 6 years until coming to RIT…:confused:)

I also talked to one of my professors. She said things pretty much along the lines that you guys did. If I don’t feel comfortable here, I should go elsewhere.

You’re right. It is FAR too stiffling here. There are not many places to escape to and once finally getting out, the freshmen are so strange and horrible here, as a woman (or man) you have to watch your back constantly. (Last weekend was an adventure in self-defense. That didn’t help improve my feelings towards RIT at all…) So not only was there nothing to do before, but now the few safe things there once were are forever tarnished in my mind. Uff… Now, I know there are dangers everywhere but I am serious when I say the people at this school are weird. There is seriously a strange quality about people who have been at RIT. Perhaps they too have gone a little mad from being here. :stuck_out_tongue:

If you love squirrels and geometric buildings in the most boring sense and being surrounded by technology geeks that feel as though they rule the world, then you’ll love RIT.

If you have respect for others, want respect paid to you, want things to do when you have some down time, and real life reference to your major…go elsewhere. Run away from RIT and never look back.

There is the upside though that RIT does have many other programs that courses can be taken in to improve upon other skills. IE: business and technology. But is it worth this?

As a Grad of RIT, I can say that their ID program was very strong for 25 years. It was a great pogram that went through a large turnover of educators in the mid to late 90s.

The new program is not as strong as the one built and run by Toby Thompson, FIDSA.

The architecture of a school is not a reason to change. If you are creative, you can work and be inspired anywhere.

I am creative and I can work and create here, but I can’t thrive here.

There simply arent the same amount of resources and forms of entertainment here that there are elsewhere.

Again though, whether or not a person feels comfortable anywhere is based upon that person. And I am a person that doesn’t “feel it” here.

Now there are alot of kids that love it. They either just do as it fits their needs wants and style, are too naive to think of anything but partying, or live in considerable close distances that allow socialization with friends and family. I don’t have any of that so I need something else that RIT doesn’t offer.

I find myself keeping myself busy with tasks constantly instead of relaxing as there are no ways to relax aside from sitting in front of a computer, television, or drawing which at the end of a normal day is sometimes the last thing anyone wants to do… There are many recreational sports and clubs though. I will grant you that. But they always seem to clash with my schedule. I need something flexible.

There are things that RIT and Rochester just don’t have for me. It is a good school. Infact, it is an amazing school. It just isn’t for me. Which was the original question I asked in which I wanted varying opinions.

I’m not bashing RIT. So don’t bash my creativity.

I am not bashing your creativity or skills. Just making a general statement about creative people. As an alum, I know all the complaints about the campus and location.

If you are first year, you have not joined the ID department. With any school choice, the departent you are looking to be part of is the one to look at. It would also be the reason to leave a school. The RIT ID program is not what it used to be…

On a side note, Rochester is not a bad city. There is a fair amount of culture and things to do. Saying that, it is also not NY, Chicago, SF or a city of that size/exposure.

I’m a senior now in the ID program and I understand why people may want to transfer. Looking back I wished I had transfered to a school in a larger city that had a better design culture. Like NYC.

The program is going under some major changes, and should strengthen in the comming years. That is not to say that it isn’t a strong program now. I’ve even heard from many people that it is stronger now than schools like RISD that are more graphic design oriented.

If you have the drive to be a designer, then you can do it here. But you’re going to have to work. There’s opportunity to work with engineers and take classes in business which will give you a much better sence of what it actually takes to be successful as a designer. It’s not all about pretty pictures, and crazy concepts.

If you don’t feel your personality fits here, then that is definatly a reason to consider transfering. However, the architecture and the nerds are not reasons why you can’t become a great designer here.

Another idea is to come work in the studio, get to meet some upperclassmen. Join the IDSA student chapter. If you get involved you can find a home here. College just takes more work on your part to get what you want out of it. That goes for any program you may be in.

I believe that you should transfer, especially if you have found a particular school that you strongly prefer. I also studied ID at a school I was not hapy with and now that I have transfered to a better school and location, I am much happier.

I already decided to transfer. Especially after having recently visited the campus.

This time, “it clicked”.

Portfolio review is at the end of next week. Any suggestions? :smiley:

If RIT isn’t a good fit for you then by all means, transfer. However, don’t transfer for the wrong reasons. RIT has a well known, program in both ID, and new media and graphic design. Its design programs are all considered quite good. In addition, it has a strong co-op program as well,but I don’t know about co-ops for ID. Moreover, being able to take courses in business etc really can be an advantage."
Finally, RIT tuition is really a steal for a private school. Schools like CMU are 9K more per year!
However, if you hate the school you are at, no curriculum or price is worth it.

Let me suggest some other strong programs:

  1. University of Cincinnati: Surprised? This is considered to have one of the best ID programs in the US. They even have a very strong transportation design program. UC also has the first and, many consider the foremost, coop program in the US. Thus, when you combine a top notch reputation for ID with a top notch co-op, you have a great combination.

  2. Carnegie Mellon: Also has a very strong reputation in ID. It is a very intense school. If you think you have headaches at RIT, just go on the message forums such as and check out CMU. It is a very intense school in all ways. I am also not sure that it is better than Cincinnati. If it is better than RIT, I don’t think it is much better. Moreover, it is 9K more in tuition per year!

  3. Pratt Institute: I can go on and on about Pratt. I love Pratt’s offerings in just about anything. However, you really have to see Pratt. According to their own faculty senate report, they have over 180 million of deferred maintenance on buildings. When I visited there, I saw a number of places where tiles in bathrooms were broken, paint was peeling off walls etc. In fact, there were two studios which had notes posted by professors to “remove all artwork due to leaking ceilings.” Dorms were not well maintained either. For a school with an architecture and advertising design programs, many nof the buildings were pretty pathetic. You may not like the solid red brick at RIT,but at least they are in great shape, and they are well maintained.

  4. RISD: I loved RISD. I loved the city of Providence. I can go on and on about that school. However, it is very hard to get into, and it is very expensive, approaching IVY league tuition rates. I don’t specifically know good the ID program is. However, most kids love that school. It has the highest freshmen and 6 year graduation rate among any stand alone art school and has the highest endowment among any stand alone art school. Don’t expect any aid however.

  5. Art Center College of Design in California is reputed to have a strong design program in both product design and transportation design. It is well worth checking out.

  6. Syracuse University: Syracuse is known for having a very strong art and design program and to provide strong liberal arts. I don’t know however, how good their program is in ID or even if they have an ID program. You would have to check them out. However, if they do have one, it is probably pretty good.

  7. Parsons College. This is a good program. However Parsons is best known for fashion design. However, I am sure that any design program is good.

Some final thoughts: Most of the better schools fill up with freshmen and don’t have a lot of attrition in their programs. This means that transfering isn’t easy. Moreover, there is an old saying that “the grass always looks greener elsewhere.” RIT may not be a bad choice.

Whoops, I just checked out Syracuse’s program,and they do NOT have any ID program. Thus, please ignore my discussion about Syracuse in the above post. I wish they allowed us to edit our posts.