Took a look at the links you listed Yo -- turns out I'd already seen a couple of them, but worthwhile to check again, if only to observe how quickly things turn nasty when you ask folks to list The Top 5 Schools in --.
Seems to me that the only thing everyone agrees on is that different schools have different strengths, and which one is the *best* depends on your own background and what you want to do later in life. What might actually be a much more useful discussion (if anyone else is interested in chiming in) is a specific listing of strengths and weakenesses of various design schools by people who either went there or have worked with graduates from there.
For example. I graduated in May of this year from the Pratt Master of ID program, and can offer this:
Very high fraction of faculty are working designers, and often discuss real world issues in class.
The 3D analysis curriculum is outstanding, and produces designers with strong innate senses of form and proportion.
3D sketch modeling is encouraged at least as much as 2D, leading to very creative forms and solutions not often seen from more "pencil-oriented" schools.
The Masters program requires extensive research and strategy work, pushing designs toward the innovative and away from the purely stylistic.
The broad range of backgrounds in the Masters program means that team projects and studio work benefit from a wide range of insights.
The Brooklyn location puts you in the middle of the largest concentration of creative professionals in North America -- chances are good that your neighbor is writer, graphic artist, documentary filmmaker, etc, so there are endless sources of inspiration.
New York holds the offices of dozens of design firms, as well as galleries and events like the ICFF, so opportunities for internships and exhibition are great.
Absurdly disorganized; if a student doesn't have the drive and ability to find their own internship, build their own useful curriculum, pursue their own projects, they run the risk of learning next to nothing.
The lack of a foundation year for non-designers entering the MID program means it's possible to graduate without knowing how to draw or build a finished model.
Poor maintenance of physical resources, though this is improving.
The high fraction of working designers in the faculty means very few full-time teachers, so actual teaching ability varies wildly -- many teachers do not perform basic tasks like writing and holding to a syllabus, giving clear assignments, holding constructive critiques, etc.
Very few (if any) projects are developed to a level of finish and produceability that makes for a solid portfolio piece. Recent graduates often find themselves spending 6 months or more fixing work to make it presentable to potential employers.
Anyone else? I for one would love to see something like this for Art Center, UC, RISD, etc.[/quote]