Syracuse vs SCAD ID program

I’ve narrowed down to Syracuse and SCAD. Both have great facilities and have name recognition. Other than the differences in the campus experience, any opinions on which program prepares you better for the real world in ID? I’m more interested in designing functional products rather than only aesthetically pleasing products. Please give me the good and the bad of each school.

BTW, I also got into Univ of the Arts in Philly, Columbia College Chicago, Columbus College of Art and Design, and MassArt but SU and SCAD seemed to be far above these.

Both are great programs which will prepare you as much as you prepare YOURSELF. I work with several extremely talented Syracuse grads. Likewise I also see great talent coming out of SCAD and if I was in the position to hire people I consider them very strong.

Every student who gets an acceptance letter wants there to be some magical switch that says “Go to XXX, because YYY is awful and you will be unemployed” - there isn’t one. Welcome to being an adult - it’s time to start making your own decisions.

SCAD is cheaper and warmer and a 4 year program with great talent in a small art school format.

Syracuse is a big university in a big city with Big East athletics (better start liking Basketball), 5 years with a strong foundation year and a lot more diversity then you’ll probably get out of Savannah, but it’s god damn cold.

You need to make the call. College isn’t just about the program, it’s where you are going to spend 4 or 5 years of your life and change from being a kid to being an adult. And if you can, go visit both schools to get a feeling for each. If your parents say it’s too expensive to take a trip consider the fact that Syracuse @~$40k yr for 5 years is far more then a weekend airplane ticket.

My parents have been great, they know this is not only a big investment both in money and my future. I just got back from visiting both schools, getting a feel for the schools, walking through the ID facilities and talking to a few students. It seemed that the Syracuse program was more focused on building from the ground up, starting with a strong foundation in drawing before moving into technology use for design. The students work was on display and 2nd through 4th year students are in the same area, while the 5th year students are on the same floor but off to themselves working on their thesis. SU is a big school but VPA is a college on its own and the Warehouse where the ID and all design programs are located is great.

At SCAD, none of the students work was out - all the studio space was cleaned out. The tour guide said that was the same in all design studios in all programs. Seemed they were more focused on using technology from the start, and one student said they only did foundation for one quarter. Savannah is a great city but diversity does concern me at both the school and city.

I’m leaning on SU but want to make sure I’m not missing anything.


First off I want to say congrats!! College is a big leap for every student and you will grow and mature and come out a completely different person.

As far as SCAD goes…I am a SCAD grad and I can assure you that the whole process is taught at SCAD. They are very strict in making sure that you do not touch a computer until you have a solid concept that is feasible and fits the consumer’s needs. Can I ask when you visited the campus? The reason why the studio may have been cleaned up is because SCAD runs on quarters instead of semesters and I believe they give a lot of tours in between. Seems like a strange time to do them since you would probably rater see a working studio than a clean studio. It does get pretty hectic in there through out the quarter. So bad that Profs have to ask the students to clean up from time to time.

SU is a great school to. I have not worked with anyone from there, but I have seen work come out of the program and it does look solid. I think they do have a bit more of an engineering approach meaning getting deep into the mechanics and the manufacturing. This is something that I did miss at SCAD and had to learn on the job. Also I completely agree with a five-year program. I think it really gives you a chance to grow as a designer.

Like Cyber said this is a choice that you will have to make. Both schools are great for different reasons. Good luck and keep us posted,

Don’t mean to be a salesman out here…but I have to say SCAD. I studied there and had a great time. As far as diversity goes, you should not have any problems. There are people from all over the world there.

I don’t know if you are updated on the info about the ID program, but they just opened up new campus in Hong Kong which is going to have a huge ID program.

Syracuse has come a long way since I was there in the mid-90’s. Don Carr helped to really revamp the program and make everything more relevant to the world around. One thing I thought we were missing was having professors who were also working designers. Having companies and industry around the school is helpful - think of ACCD, CCS, Cincy, etc. - but SU as well as SCAD are pretty thin in that regard. I went to SU due to the strong VPA program and everything a university could offer. I knew I was going to major in ID but could have changed that mid-stream if I wanted to, and some of the more valuable classes were NOT in VPA. Things like ethics, media criticism, and languages weren’t offered at the art-focused schools when I was looking around.

It is so god damn cold there however, without decent DH ski hills to make it more pleasant. If you are any kind of wimp when it comes to cold and snow, don’t go there. I spent a summer in Syracuse while interning at Chase Design, and it was great. Yeah, you should like hoops, football, and lacrosse. The Greek system is also huge and pervasive, and it seemed like those guys and girls had lots of fun, but I wouldn’t recommend joining a frat while taking on ID, unless you are very organized and focused.

Though, both of the Organization have same facilities and name recognition, but the campus experience in not the main subject. To my opinion is that you may choose that depends on you interested on the program. Do you agree with me?