UIUC- ID program?? and schools for ID??

i currently go to university of Illinois, urbana-champaign as a freshman.
i was accepted into the industrial design program for my sophomore year, but
i’ve been questioning about the program because the facilities and other things seem to be lacking.
i applied to non-art schools because i wasnt sure what i wanted to do,
but now i know that i want to do industrial design for sure.

should i transfer into different university?

if i do, where should i go,? i just wanna know the best ID school and some circumstances about the schools.

I thought UIUC’s undergrad ID program was in the top 10 (lower half of the top 10)?

yeah, according to u.s. news ranking, the Graduate ID program is ranked 10th…
but i’m not sure about the ranking…

hey daniel,

It’s really not about the school*, it’s about what you put into it and the other students* in the program.

  • Cincinnati’s COOP program may be one wild card

  • the real advantage to the better schools is usually that they attract other driven/ambitious students and so the learning environment is that much better as MOST designers I know will say they learned far more from the other students in their class and their own investigations than directly from their instructors.

The best instructors give you good guidance and direction, the rest is really up to you, they can facilitate, but own your education. With all the resources available these days and all the online content and forums like this they is really no excuse.

There are plenty of UIUC alumni out there doing great stuff. I would say that they are typically 5 very strong students per graduatiing class (give or take) and then 5 or so more that are adequate. I’ve talked to plenty of co-workers from some of the top schools that have said their schools number of solid graduates weren’t much different.

I am a little curious where the program is headed and have some questions, but I participated in the job fair this year along with one of my Directors and we were both pretty impressed with the level of the top students.

The school rankings for ID programs are always a little suspect, they typically only rate graduate programs and used to only be state schools. You definitely CAN get a great education at UIUC, that being said, if I was in your shoes and had it to do all over again right now, I would definitely visit and consider: Cincinnati, Cleveland Institute of Art, CCS, CCA, and maybe a couple others.

feel free to PM if you want to talk about more specifics

Thanks for the reply IDiot,
one thing i was concerned with uiuc was that, they dont have a strong connection with companies.
what i mean by that is, they dont have an office for putting students into internship or bridging them with
jobs/companies. all they provide is a senior show and a job fair at chicago.
job opportunity was the main concern that i had which stirred my decision of transferring.
and realistically, i dont think i am the best from my class and i am wondering if mediocre-skilled people have more
chances to the jobs in other schools.


Aside from UC’s coop program, most schools don’t have a ton of real school arranged placement that I’m aware of, much like UIUC it is up to the student. Most schools have a few certain companies that regularly watch them and give internships and jobs to the top tier students.

I also wouldn’t worry too much about where you think you shake out in your class just yet, you’re a freshman, plenty of time to improve. My sophomore year I wasn’t sure I was in the top half of my ID class, but by senior year had secured my spot soundly in the top three.

best of luck

UIUC has good facility’s and you will be able to do things there they you would never be able to at smaller schools or at an art school. Art school’s do not have top ranked business and engineering schools attached to them.

Someone put it to me like this: have you seen the UIUC packet on campus housing? It’s the ugliest thing with almost only copy you will see. Other schools make their dorms not look like a prison cell, but people go to UIUC due to it being an amazing school. Also why people come from all over the globe to go there (waaaaay more then instate). So go visit all the schools you want to go to and talk to students and faculty. Look at the work and what the placement is like after graduation.

Hi danielzz,

I don’t know if we have met before but I am a junior in the industrial design program at UIUC. When it comes to facilities, we actually have a lot. We have a 3D printer, albiet old, a new CNC machine, new cintiques (total of 4), ect. The main thing is, wherever you go, your passion for design. This drive will take you very far and without it, it will be difficult to be successful even if you have the best teachers and the best facilities. This was proven by the students this year. I don’t mean to brag, but we won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mention at the International Housewares Competition. One of our seniors won the Midwest merit award and outstanding student award. Also we may not have an office for putting students in an internship, but we have a very successful student-organized job fair. Not all schools can give their students the experience of an interview and portfolio review like our job fair. I know some students have gotten internships from the job fair. It’s true that there are some concerns about the faculty and school, but we are working actively to improve, and there are changes being made as soon as next year such as a new hire, change in program chair, and student meetings with the teachers.

As a student you do not have to be the “best” in your freshman classes to be good in ID. The main thing is to come to the program ready to learn and absorb all the information you can. Learn from teachers, peers, and go on websites like this. I had never taken an art class in high school and wasn’t the best either. What I did was go into the program knowing I would practice and learn how to become a better designer.

If you’re still interested in the ID program, visit us in the basement. My studio is right across the 3D lab, closest to the vending machines. We can show you what we are working on, and what you as a sophomore can do. One thing that we have at UIUC is a strong community within the student body. Everyone is helping each other out when they ask. We are there almost there all the time except for going to classes outside of the art building…seriously.