University Help :/

im currently a Mechanical Engineering student who wants to transfer into Industrial Design (no art background) and need help in deciding which university i should attend

i compiled a list of credible universities without portfolio requirements that i think i could be admitted to (i could be wrong about some) & my current GPA is a 2.5

University of Cincinnati
Southern Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago
Ohio State
Philadelphia University
Arizona State

these are just the ones i found
but any recommendations, reviews, & pros and cons would help

Hey ikajo93,

I believe Cincinnati’s DAAP program has a minimum 3.0 GPA

thank you. do you have any other input about the other universities? or any recommendations. im really trying to narrow down my list to 4 or 5 solids schools.

i read a lot of good things about purdue ohio and arizonas programs but didnt really see anything else.

I went to Arizona State and had a good experience. I also have visited the Cincinnati DAAP program a few times so I am familiar with their program. And there has been a lot of great work coming out of Ohio State over the past few years that have caught my attention. As for the other programs, I haven’t heard much about them and there are other programs that are even better then the ones that you have listed.

Out of that list the Cincinnati DAAP program is the best, the downside of their program tho is that it is 5 year program where most are 4. The up side of that is because they require you to do 3 co-ops/internships while going to school, that is why it take longer because one semester you would be working in the field, and the other semester you would be at school. This is great cause they help place you with a job, and once you graduate you’ll have basic 3 job experiences to lists on your resume.

As for the other schools I would suggest Arizona State and Ohio State are pretty evenly matched, beside location. I went to ASU because of lifestyle. It’s warm and beautiful in AZ, and a lot more to do then Ohio State. College experience as a whole at ASU is great. The ID program has some awesome instructors that have been there for years and their real life experiences make a difference.

Now like I mentioned before there are better ID colleges that are better then the ones you listed that you may not have looked at like

  1. Pasadena Art Institute
  2. Rhode Island School of Design
  3. Pratt

There are others but those are probably in the top. Now keep in mind, I’m pretty sure that majority of all these ID programs (ASU, Ohio, Cin., etc) require a 3.0 GPA unless you have a good essay and community services.

Hope that helps.


The only school on your list that I am familiar with is Cincinnati, I desperately wanted to transfer there but I think I have found my opportunity to be at Art Center College of Design.

My best advice would be to not jump into a program solely based on your lack of portfolio. Knowing what I know now, there are a ton of resources I could have used to get myself at an adequate level to enroll in a program that had a portfolio requirement. I felt that the Academy of Art in SF, was my only option. But I also wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make that decision.

I would encourage you to take a different approach and ask yourself what you want to do in the world of industrial design, and what school do you want to go to that will provide you with the best training and creative environment. At that point, if you find a school that requires a portfolio requirement, get in contact with their admissions and find out what you need to do to get into that program. Somewhere on these boards is a list of the top 10 Industrial Design programs, that’s a great place to start looking. I don’t think you should narrow your search based on schools you think will accept you. Find a school that excites you, and then make it happen.

I hope that helps,

How did you determine your list…

one criteria you may want to use as a qualifier is what school blend ID with ME so you can utilize your ME experience i am thinking more of a school that offers a BS vs BFA.

These are just credible schools that I found without portfolio requirements

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Cincinnati is the best school on your list but I believe they do require a program to get into the actual design program, ie they will let you into the school, but you still need to get into the design program within that.

Schools without portfolio requirements tend to be weaker. Build a portfolio. Don’t you want to be a designer?

As a recent cincinnati grad, I cannot recommend it enough. Having almost 2 years of experience of working in actual studios around the world made finding a job post-grad simply not a problem. It’s a little more difficult to find a place that’s a good fit, but everyone in my class who worked hard, has either found a place to land or hasn’t looked hard enough yet (a lot of people take a break and travel right after school).

There is no portfolio requirement, and once you’re accepted into ID, you’re in the program (no portfolio reviews or anything). Because of this, they tend to accept students with higher grades, as the assumption is that if you’re a hard worker and are smart, they can teach you all the skills you need for design. A 2.5 will be difficult to get in, but I don’t know much about transferring, especially form mech e, where I’m sure the average GPA is lower than other majors.

hope this helps! if you have any questions or anything, let me know! good luck wherever you end up! Having core as a resource and working hard will ensure you get as much as you can out of any school you go to. If you work to ridiculously high standards, you can excel anywhere.

so i got accepted into ASU and Purdue. and im still on the fence about which of those two to attend. any suggestions would be helpful. what are some of the pros and cons of both schools?