UIC anyone? Chicago, IL

Anyone graduate from UIC I heard it’s the best design school in Chicago any one have any suggestions? trying to find a good design school.

Thanks a Million!

for Industrial Design?

Yeah, I received my MFA in ID from there but it was some time ago. You would really have to vist the school, see student work, find out where their grads are getting jobs, intership opportunities, etc. At UIC talk to Drew Browning or Bill Becker.

As far as I know there are only 2 schools in the city of Chicago that offer undergraduate degrees in ID: UIC and Columbia College.

Saying UIC is the best in Chicago for undergrad ID isn’t saying much since there are only 2 schools. Why are you limiting yourself to Chicago?

As far as it being the best general design school… to broad of a question. I do hear the graphic design program is good but so is Columbia College (currently enrolled in the program.)

Do your research and visit the schools.

Do you need to stay in Chicago?

It is odd that there are really no good design schoold in Chicago, but that there are 3 in Ohio, some kind of Kharmic balance I suppose, but I would suggest getting out of town.

IIT’s undergraduate program was pretty good but they got rid of it years ago. I agree that there are better schools in Ohio … even in the Midwest.

Its too bad because Chicago is a great city for designers. Programs do change though. Some get better, some get worse. It will be interesting to see where these 2 programs end up in the future.

Maaan! I’m getting depressed. I enrolled at UIC starting this fall with the intention of entering the industrial design program when I finish the introductory art courses. Now everything I see on this site makes it sound rather second, third, or fourth rate! I don’t have much of in the way of options though for family and job reasons so, so be it. I guess it’s going to be up to me to make UIC the world-renowned center for all things design then eh :unamused:

PS Hello to anybody else slogging through or planning on slogging through the swamp of creative mediocrity that is UIC. Don’t worry, we’ll make it great.

I’m in the ID program @ UIC too. UIC was kind of my last resort because I didn’t make it into RISD the first time I applied. So I’m thinking of transferring to UC or Parsons this Spring or next Fall. UIC’s ID program isn’t the greatest.

I was talking briefly with some UIC design students who are a bit further along than I am, and they said the program is starting to improve. They said there are more classes available now than there used to be. At the student IDSA meeting that I attended, they said that they’re trying to set up some extra intensive workshops beside, which would be great if the scheduling works out for me.

The computer labs have all kinds of software available even if you’re not in classes that use them yet–so I’ve been able to start teaching myself Rhino, Maya, and Solidworks. The wood and metal shop seems to be pretty well set-up if you can get in there when it’s not too crowded. A student who transfered in from Columbia (the other ID school in Chicago) said Columbia’s shop has, more or less, the same equipment; but that it is laid out a bit nicer, with more work space available.I heard UIC’s shop boss is kind of against letting people weld. I guess it’s a safety thing, but it is something I would love to learn.

One thing that I don’t really like about UIC in general is that it’s hard to cross over into other colleges. There are some engineering and materials classes that seem like they would be useful to design students but that are off limits unless you’re in the engineering college.

Another thing that I think is a little strange is that in the first year program for all art and design majors, everyone is required to take the introductory course for every field. So my ID intro course has five people who are actually interested and fifteen distracted people who would much rather be doing something else. I understand the idea behind the broad-based approach–getting exposure to each field–but I have doubts about how well it works in practice. It sucks the life out of the class. I feel bad for my teacher.

All in all, from the little I’ve seen, I don’t think UIC is so bad. You just have to work at things on your own a bit. Oh yeah, and the building the classes are in is terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible. You spend the first week lost.

I’ve seen it suggested several times that a good way to get an idea of a school is to look at the work the students produce. So, I set up a coroflot page and will post my assigned projects as I finish them. Please keep in mind that these are just from the first semester introductory class. Obviously, more advanced classes are working on more complex projects so don’t think this is the best the school is turning out ! :open_mouth:

Hope this helps anyone else thinking about UIC

BusinessWeek named UIC one of the top 60 design schools in the world. http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/talenthunt/index.asp

I went to an open-house for perspective MFA grad students (I’m just first year, but it’s never too early to plan), and they spoke about some of the upcoming changes at the school. First, Scott Wilson (he was a designer at Nike, Motorola, and some other places) gave a talk and they announced that he would be joining the faculty in January. They’re starting up a 10,000 sq ft research center, also in January, for the interdisciplinary product development part of the program (design, engineering, and business students working with companies to come up with new ideas). It’s supposed to have a VR room, and rapid prototyping machines, but I haven’t actually seen any of it yet. All in all, I got the impression that the program is undergoing dramatic changes. I heard the graduate program was actually discontinued for a couple years and is now headed by completely new people. Seems like it’s going pretty well so far.

Anyway, that’s some more information for anyone thinking about UIC.

University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) has big Alumni connections. Their student chapter of IDSA seems pretty strong as a result of this. Every year I notice they have a job fair held in Chicago actually with at least 20-25 companies in firms. Maybe biased for doing my undergrad there :wink:

Check out that program, talk to some current students.

Let me also just clarify that UIC was ranked in the top 60 based on “looking for design programs that incorporate business strategy” as the main stipulation.