Which grad school to go to?

Which Grad School would you choose for Product Design

  • Art Center
  • IIT Chicago
  • RISD
  • California College of the Arts
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art

0 voters

Applying to eight different schools was the easy part… waiting for their decisions was more painstaking… and now its the worst of all… deciding which college to go to… So once again I would like help from those who helped me choose these colleges…
Have applied for a masters in Industrial/Product design… Have a background in architecture and have been working in an ethnographic research firm… am more inclined towards user-centered design…
The choices are (in my personal favorites order)

  • Art Center
  • IIT Chicago
  • RISD (still waiting to hear from them… had a phone interview a month ago and am feeling confident about it)
  • CCA
  • Cranbrook
    (the other three rejected me - Stanford, Pratt and CMU)
    It would be nice if you could pitch in your two cents… and it would be appreciated if there are reasons to substantiate your choice.
    Do keep in mind that I am an International Student and Financial Aid/Scholarships/Part-time jobs are a big plus!

Which product isn’t user-focused? Maybe you should ask yourself exactly what you want to do or achieve during the next two years, what kind of designer do you wish to evolve into, and then examine the program of these schools and evaluate which one is the best for you. It’s not about the name of the school now. It’s about how they can get you to where you want to get to.

Man, that is easy… Art Center.

I am looking at fusing my architectural background with product design to create more sensitive environments… and i am very impressed by most of the courses (barring cranbrook i guess)… yes… each college has something different to offer… but ultimately aren’t we all what we make the most of ourselves? I guess I’m just looking for a place where I’ll get a chance to explore without any boundaries.

How so?

Did you talk to the professors of each school regarding your goals? It’s very important because they can very well tell you that the program does or doesn’t support what you want.

when I applied a while ago, and got in to most of them, I asked one of the professors if I can venture into other variant of the courses that they offer in the school(eg. take interaction design classes while being in product design). The answer was no. So I didn’t go there even though it was recognized as one of the top schools in the world.

I looked at my own goals, then look at the programs that the schools offered, and realized that most of them are too structured. I guess another question you may want to ask is, how much freedom do you want, and how much can those schools offer. Each school teaches a certain kind of methology. Which do you think is best for you, or are you actually not looking to be put into a frame?

that also leads to another question. Do you want people to recognize you by your work or the school you graduate from?

I’m not quite an Industrial designer, rather a graphic designer/multimedia person who’s into interaction, human centered design, strategy and a desire to learn and dabble with product design. I got into NYU’s ITP, IIT and Parsons’ Design and Technology for Grad school. Right now I think its a toss up between ITP and IIT. Prior to applying I got a BS in business and have been working in advertising for years in NYC. I am hoping to reposition myself away, far far away from advertising (if possible).

Does anybody have any opinions about graduates from either school? It seems like ITP would be fun, but I’m worried that I wouldn’t be making much of wage increase in the long run. Considering the ridiculous price tag I’m pretty concerned about making an investment in a program that won’t lead to anything much. Any alumni from either program?

The more I research the more I get confused about what I want and what’s the best direction…




(some cool stuff actually)