Step 1 for a non designer towards ID school?

hello, i am a computer science major aspiring to change careers and hoping to get into the Masters program in design. I am reading forums, discussions, researching for the best schools but have a lot of challenges as the information seems to be scattered all over the place. I am taking evening classes at art center in pasadena and trying to build my portfolio at this point to apply for 2012

I am hoping to get some questions answered

  • Best schools in West coast for ID ( i have CCA , Art Center in Pasadena in my list but I need more )
  • Best place to find assistance in putting together or proof read my statement of purpose
  • probability of getting into graduate program without any design background ( i am a computer science major and working as a Finance manager in entertainment company)
  • Ideas on putting together a portfolio when i have only evening classes experience to show for my work so far
  • is it possible to get into an undergraduate and then jump to a graduate program the next year?

any/ all help is appreciated

in desperate need of guidance

  1. in CA: CSU Long Beach, SJSU, Academy of Art, Otis, Stanford
    In WA: Western Washington University.
    In AZ: ASU,
    In Utah: BYU (now getting a little far from the coast…)

Those are the schools I can think of off the top of my head… whether or not they are a good fit or have a good program for you is a different story. If going for graduate school, I would check out other, non west coast schools. Outside of ACCD, Stanford, and otis, i haven’t heard great things about the other ones (I’m from LA- ended up going to the University of Cincinnati. I’d highly recommend it, but Ohio is pretty far hahaha). Other non west coast schools with good grad programs: IIT (not ITT tech haha), UC, CMU, RISD, etc.


  2. decent. Grad programs look for variety- you need to show dedication more than anything. At my school, there are grad students in my studios (somehow they balance a sophomore studio, prejunior studio and a design drawing class on top of their regular courseload), so I’m sure other schools would offer similar options for you to catch up. keep in mind that design grad schools tend to be much more research, theory, and management based rather than form and aesthetic based.

  3. Make up your own project? I just finished doing a powertool for school. Do that. Then do a chair. then a pair of glasses. Then another project. Make sure to focus on improving sketching as well as presentation skills. The UC junior class actually just made a book on putting together a portfolio for beginners- Hire Me?! The Portfolio Handbook (I’m only a sophomore- so I didn’t actually work on it, but I did peruse it a bit, and the content is AMAZING. If you follow all the advice given you should be able to get a decent folio out of it).

5.I don’t think so.

  1. (my own suggestion) Have you heard of interaction design? You might find that being a computer science major might help immensely in entering and succeeding in that field. check out CMU for a great USA program or umea and CIID for abroad.

good luck!