View Full Version : Design schools and programs

Wee Beastie
Aug 28, 2007, 11:26 AM
I have been thinking of going back to school for awhile, although I am not yet sure for what (if I go back at all). The idea recently crept into my head that perhaps I should go back for GD. I currently work as a graphic designer (also a painter on the side), but getting my MFA could help advance my career. I am looking for some opinions on schools that I should check out. I received my BFA in illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art. I design for both print and web, and am interested in programs for either/both. Any input would be most welcome and appreciated.

-wee beastie:p

Aug 28, 2007, 11:38 AM
ahhh my kind of thread.

you may want to look at a 3 year program for your MFA if schools will not take the BFA + work experience as enough to qualify for a 2 year GD MFA. RISD, Yale and a few others offer a 3 year MFA for non-graphic design BFA people; tho if you have been working in GD for a while i suppose you could get into a 2 year MFA.

you can hunt thru my threads as i have posted about this many times on here, but the top programs for 2/3 year GD MFA in the USA right now are generally conisdered to be

SAIC (School of Art Inst. of Chicago)
U of North Carolina
Virginia Commonwealth

and to a lesser extent


and i am sure i am forgetting a few others.

i did my BFA at RISD and my top 2 year MFA programs are Calarts, Virginia Commonwealth and NC State. i would not look at Cranbrook until Elliot Earls leaves, Yale is basically the same education as RISD, and SAIC is basically a program to get you a good portfolio to get a big art director job. (i am going to go back to be able to get a tenured teaching position in GD - right now i teach GD but as adjunct.)

I have also started hearing about some distance/remote programs that will essentially allow me to get an MFA at my own pace from a somewhat lesser known program; i already have RISD on my cv so i do not need another impressive sounding (and expensive) school on my pedigree. I know that Notre Dame has a MFA program that is a paid position; not only free everything but you get a good stipend to teach a few classes as well. there are other programs like that out there.

as i mentioned, i am looking at an MFA to advance my teaching career, i am not yet convinced that an MFA will do that much (especially considering the cost) to advance you in terms of employment. others may have evidence to the contrary.

Wee Beastie
Aug 28, 2007, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the info! Sorry if this is a redundant post. I usually search old threads before posting a question, but this time I didn't (that's why I have only started to post very recently).

I agree that the degree itself will have little effect on the course of my career. I know it's all about the portfolio. I'm sure I could benefit from some focused study of design related issues. All of this hinges on getting some considerable scholarship money (that probably rules RISD out). Am I qualified? Time will tell. If I don't get money, I don't go back. Question Shecky: Are you posting from a print or web perspective? Thanks again.

Aug 28, 2007, 03:03 PM
i started design in architecture out of high school, found that was not for me, then moved to web design after a hiatus, and eventually found my calling in print design, which i went back to RISD for. so now i do 90% print with some motion and web mixed in.

i bring this up, and not that you are saying this, but i have heard of people getting media-specific MFA degrees. i think that a design MFA is going to be a "Graphic Design" MFA and can then be applied to web or print or motion or writing or anything; in my opinion a "web design" MFA is a joke; the same way a "print design" MFA would be; there is a difference of vocation that would not be properly served by an MFA as opposed to an internship/apprenticeship/continuing education classes/etc.