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Step Five: How to Choose a Design School

Step Five: How to Choose a Design School

Valerie Atkisson | ArtBistro

What are your priorities?

There is no perfect design school. What you have to do is to find one that matches your priorities and has a program you are looking for. As a general rule, consider these points:

Location: Schools in New York and Los Angeles are great because they are also hot spots of creative talent. Learning in locations like these will put you in close contact with the right people and places.

Cost: Money is always an issue, but don’t fret if you’re dream school is out of your price range – there are always many artistic scholarships waiting for you.

Reputation: If you’re going to spend time and money on a degree, you might as well get educated at the best design school of them all, right? Find out which school is ranked in the top of your particular major.

Strengths of the program: Make the program work for you and your interests. How can the school help you improve your artistic strengths and weaknesses that you determined in Step 4?

Teachers that you want to work with: You’ll find a lot of opportunities to network during your time at design school, and that includes your professors too! Great design professors not only have hands on experience creating amazing works of art, but are good mentors and have a track record of excellence. A teacher can make or break your career.

Facilities: Does your dream school have the latest tools, software, or design methodology? How up-to-date is the curriculum? Is there a lot of space to do your work? Make sure your school has the capacity to give you a quality education so you can come into the workforce with the latest knowledge and get that competitive edge.

Plan on visiting schools before and/or after you’ve applied and been accepted, so you can determine which schools and programs fit your priorities best.

Art School or University/Liberal Arts?

There is also a decision to be made about art schools vs. universities. In many ways these are similar institutions. The main difference is that art schools focus the general education requirements around design and a greater portion of your credits to be in design which is good if you want a specialized education.

Typically the level of academia for your general education will be better at a university or liberal arts college. This may be a better approach for students who want a strong higher education with their art degree.




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