The University of Cincinnati: Digital Design or ID

Hello, I have a couple of questions about UC and Digital Design. First, is it easier to get into DAAP if you are already in the University of Cincinnati? Second, there seems to be some overlap between the ID and digital design major and I’m interested in both. (If I understood digital design better it would help me make a better decision as to what to major in.) My question is what exactly can you do with a digital design major? For example with game and web development, employers seem to greatly prefer or only accept a degree in computer science or computer software engineering. What is the benefit of a degree in digital design? Thanks in advance for answering.

It’s probably easier to transfer into DAAP as a UC student than most any other student, but only a few transfer slots open up a year.

the difference between digital design and computer science/engineering is vast. polar opposites in fact.

How shall I say? I understand the difference. What I’m saying is that for the jobs that both people in cs and dd are capable of doing, most employers prefer a cs degree. So, if you want to go in, say web design/computer animation are there benefits to a digital design degree over a computer science degree?

what end of the web/gaming development process are you interested in doing?

Just like ID, part of the cycle will be very heavy engineering based while another is all design. Where I work, there’s 50 engineers for every ID.
In that perspective it’s easier to get an engineering job because there’s more work to do there.
I assume DAAP would teach you all the needed programming skills, particularly since you’ll have to get a job to meet co-op requirements (starting Sophomore year)

I don’t know much about gaming and animation or what computer science involves but UC’s DD can get you a job in web design, and a good one, with plenty of opportunity for freelance.

I see little overlap in DD and ID after the first or second year. Building and rendering computer graphics is just a small part of each disipline

Roulette, my daughter is majoring in Digital Design at UC. I might be able to enlighten you.

First, it is VERY hard to transfer to UC. They only have about 2 slots open each year for each major. Be advised of this.

Secondly, digital design is much more akin to graphic design than to ID. In fact, there is a movement to combine the majors. Digital kids do need to know a fair amount of graphic design and do take a fair amount of graphic design oriented courses and typography.

Howwever, digital kids train in areas of web design, special effects, digital photography, and animation and game design,although the program isn’t as intense in any one of these areas as a specific major in these areas. Thus, they get a broad overview into these areas. The program seems ideal for the person who knows that they want something in the digital area but isn’t sure exactly which discipline is best.

As far as software goes, they are required to take at least one programming course outside of DAAP and are highly encouraged to take more. My daughter’s advisor recommended that she take at least two courses in C++.

In DAAP, they get an overview and get projects in the following software so far:
Maya, Illustrator, Photoshop, Action Script (Flash), and Java, and HTML. They also should have a basic understanding of graphic design software such as Endesign. In addition, you also need to develop very strong skills in design,which they emphasize. Also, this may be a partial listing of the software knowledge that is taught. My daughter is only a sophomore;thus, more and different applications may be taught in her upper class years.

Thus, you really have to be both an artist/designer and also must be competant in learning various computer software applications, and be at least somewhat knowledgable in programming.

My daughter constantly tells me that digital kids are worked MUCH harder than their graphic design counterparts due to the greater amount of training that they need to have. However, maybe this is “the grass seems greener elsewhere” syndrome. I can tell you that my daughter is one who will work till she drops and feels that UC is even overwhelming her,which is very tough to do.

My take on the program is that it is VERY good,but if you want specific training in animation or game design or special effects, you might have to continue your training with a masters program after graduation since this is a broad based major in a number of disciplines.

I can tell you one hidden secret that isn’t well known: Although it is one tough major, kids that do well in it and develop strong skills in these disciplines usually make more money than that of any other DAAP major, even including architecture and Industrial Design,which are right now the hardest majors to get admitted to at DAAP.

To answer your question about getting into DAAP… The statement about there being only 2 slots open per year for transfers is not a definitive answer… There are 12-14 transfer/ nontraditional students (including myself) in my sophomore ID class who entered last year and that doesn’t include the few that transfered in this year skipping the foundations year. This is a little above avg compared to other years but it is not that far off. As for other majors I am not sure but I do know there are more then 2.

If the statement was about there being only 2 spots open for in school transfers, then that is a little more accurate. I can think of only 2 others besides myself (3 total) who transfered from in school. So is it easier to transfer if you are already a UC student?
That is a hard question to answer.
#1 because there is no set number of transfer slots for each major it is at the discretion of the program coordinator.
#2 say there are 10 slots open for out of school transfers and 3 for in school you have to look at the proportion of how many people are applying from out of school as transfers for 10 open spots and the amount of people applying as in school transfers for 3 open spots. Which has a better chance? I’m not sure.
BUT if you apply and get in as an ID student or Digital and decide to switch that is something that can be done but will have to be done before your final quarter of foundations year. But this is also at the discretion of the program coordinators. I do know a few students that did this. Hope that helped.


Thanks very much, Taxguy1. Your description of what digital design really is has been very helpful and will allow me to make a better decision about what to major in. I was sligthly concerned because most of the job descriptions I have read for jobs that relate to the field of digital design specifically ask for a degree in computer science. That’s why I thought it might be harder to find a job with a degree in digital design. However, with the co-op program and experience gained, I’m sure it probably doesn’t matter.

Thanks a lot for the information. I had wanted to go to a large state school with a more traditional feel (in a small town, few commuters, large sense of campus unity) for a year to complete my general requirements. Plus, the school also has a foundations like program and Industrial Design. However, after reading the boards I saw how hard UC was to transfer into for out of school students. Then, I thought that maybe I should apply to UC either as a fine arts major or something else like exploratory and transfer to DAAP that way. But, from what you’re saying, xjamesx, I’m not quite sure which is better. However, I’m still going to apply to UC.

The thing is I’m not sure what design field I want to go into. That’s why I didn’t apply to DAAP; because I didn’t want to get locked into a major. I do know that I want to go into the design field and get a job that hopefully allows me to be very creative or atleast pays well/decently, ha.

Keep in mind that design in DAAP is a 5 year program. If you start in another major at UC and are able to transfer in, you may be looking at 6 years of undergrad.

If you’re unsure about what field you want to go into or what internships you’ll get in specific majors, I would encourage you to talk to an advisor at DAAP. There are some friendly people in the design office and they should be able to help you out. Talk to someone who knows!

for the freshman foundations year at DAAP all the design majors are in the same program (exept Graphics). you don’t have to decide between ID and Digital untill afterwards.

I wanted to clarify some information.

First, it is much easier to get into DAAP as a freshmen than as a transfer. If you can get into it as a freshmen, do so.

Second, someone noted that since the foundation year is the same for both ID and digital design, you can decide which one you want after that year. This ISN’T quite true. Each major in DAAP has severely controlled enrollment. I know someone who dropped out of ID and had to wait several quarters before majoring in art history as an example. It certainly isn’t as easy to transfer majors in DAAP as this thread seems to lead you to believe.

As for transfer chances. I got this chart from the Office of Institutional Research at UC. It shows the number of transfers for each major:

Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
Art History ARTH 23BAARTHIS 3
Digital Design DGTL 23BSDES 3
Fashion Design FASH 23BSDES 2
Fine Arts - Art FAA 23BFA 3
Ind Des Tran Tr IDTR 23BSDES 2
Indus Design INDL 23BSDES 8
Interior Design INTD 23BSID 4
Pre-Inter Desgn PINT 23NONE 1
Urban Planning URPL 23BUP 6
Urban Studies URST 23BS 1
College Total 33

he makes a good point about transferring into one college in DAAP from another. It’s nearly impossible for an Art major to get into Design for exmple and vice versa, as noted.
Some people have tried this route, entering as Fine Arts, taking design electives with the hope of tranferring later on…not a good idea.

I don’t think the Design, Art, Arch. or Planning colleges require you to declare your major untill the end of freshman year, however.

There is some confusion on when you pick your major. A few years ago UC switched the way they do things. You now have to decide which major you want to go into when you apply. Throughout foundations year if you applied for ID then you are considered an ID student but you are taking foundations with Graphics, Digital and fashion students. This was not the case a few years ago, when they decided after foundations year if you were accepted as an ID student digital or whatever.

As far as switching from school to school, SOD (school of design) SAID (school of architecture and interior Design) SOP (school of Planning) and then the school of fine arts it is impossible and not recommended to do that. But within the SOD it is possible, not guaranteed but possible to switch from Digital to ID and vise versa. But it has to be done before the end of foundations year.

If you apply to DAAP and don’t get in but you get accepted to UC’s main campus do that if you don’t mind spending an extra year in school, well 2 since most DAAP programs you seem to be interested in are 5yrs. During this time you can get all your English , history, math and some social science classes out the way. Even art history classes. These are some of the classes you will be taking during foundations year. The only down side to this is if you do all that and don’t get accepted the next year. Like taxguy said it is way easier getting in as a freshmen then a transfer but if you keep your GPA above a 3.7 and maybe take some fine arts classes open to all majors then you should be ok to transfer. But do not enter as a fine arts major most of the classes you take will not apply towards digital or ID. During this time you can also get to know the DAAP faculty. Talk to people at the SOD office and see what else might help you in the transfer process. Hope this thread doesn’t confuse you to much.
If you have any questions about the transfer process that haven’t been mentioned here send me a PM because I have been through the process and can help you out if needed.