Transferring from an unrelated subject

I am an American first-year student studying politics in the UK. I’m planning on transferring back to the US next year for a variety of reasons, one of which being my interest in ID. The problem is that I have very little artistic experience and no portfolio. I’ve been practicing my sketching recently and have been learning Photoshop and Illustrator, but there’s no way I can assemble an acceptable portfolio by the time transfer applications are due. Because of this, I’m looking at transferring as undeclared to several schools with ID programs and improving my skills enough to enter the major in my junior year. I’m looking at UIUC, UIC, Iowa State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and NC State.

Can you guys give me any tips to help me improve enough to be competitive for an ID major? Also, if any alumni or current students of these schools could tell me a little about the program and the environment, that’d be great. I know I’m in a pretty bad position right now, but I really want to make this happen and am willing to put in as much work as necessary.

Thanks to everyone reading, and I hope to join your ranks one day!

I’d throw University of Cincinnati into your list. It’s a top ranked ID program and there is no portfolio requirement.

I’m on the fence with Cincinnati because of the abysmal 4-year graduation rate (21 percent). Is this rate better for ID students?

I’d rather have taken another year in school to get my skills up to a higher level than get out a year early and have to look for a job with a sub par portfolio… :wink:

From the work I’ve seen come out of the school, it would be pretty high on my list were I to do school all over again. I would also be a little apprehensive about switching to an id major in my junior year, often times the classes are set up so that it has a certain order that you can’t really get around. For example at kcad we had id1, id2, id3, id4, and thesis for a year, it’s sort of hard to not take three years to do that.

That said, start posting work on these forums as soon as possible, give yourself design projects now to get ahead of the curve. This forums feedback is priceless.

Cincinnati is a 5 year program (where did find 4 year graduation rates?)
you have to work professionally or CO-OP for over a year to graduate. that is what makes it a top ranked program.

Those were for the school as a whole; I’m not sure how to find them for specific majors.

Can I still complete gen-eds while in the ID program? Coming from the UK I only have college credits in my department; I’m not sure if that will be an issue.

Thanks! I’ll apply to Cincinnati’s DAAP, but it looks to be extremely competitive so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I am currently just working on my 1 and 2 point perspective, so I might not be posting any work on these forums quite yet haha. I’m glad I found this site though; it’s such a great resource.

I would start posting sketches here ASAP. I understand you may feel not confident with your sketches, but the best way to improve is getting feedback from experienced designers. There are many great sketch guys around here that could help you up and would be happy to do that :wink:

most people in design are more interested in a schools’ 6 month job placement rate vs. overall graduation percentages. and UC has the highest around. that may not be an important issue for you - but check around and see for yourself…