The Ringling College of Art and Design
The Ringling College of Art and Design - Comments and Student Experiences|
Ringling works their students very hard. It's not a curriculum you can get through without being dedicated and passionate about the field. A lot of students in CA end up transfering into other majors or just dropping out. As long as you love what you are doing and you are willing to put a lot of time and effort into it, you will do fine at Ringling.
People who come here are all from different art levels and backgrounds. Students and teachers try to be kind no matter what. That being said, critiques can be harsh but the only reason for that is because everyone wants you to get better. Getting an A+ in this school is near impossible and you are told that over and over at the beginning of freshman year.
The school recently got a few new buildings. The new library is large and has many recourses at the student's disposal. There is also a new Soundstage building which will be operational starting this year. The labs have 22" cintiqs that are equipped with Adobe, Maya, 3Dmax, Zbrush and a bunch of other programs. Some Animation labs are PC Labs, not cintiq but you can always find a device to work on.
School food is almost always terrible. Don't eat at Hammond if you can help it (if you are vegetarian/vegan be careful about getting tofu or veggies from the grill section. They are grilled on the same grill as the burgers). Although the food is horrible the staff at Hammond are very nice and will try to help you as best as they can.
At Ringling you learn how to be a professional. You are expected to act a certain way and treat your assignments a certain way. The professors and friendly and want to help, but they also want to prepare you for the industry. Missing deadlines is a big no-no, being late to class will have you marked absent and if you miss 4 classes you fail. Be on top of your work and you will be fine.
Ringling has a great career services department ! They will work with people individually to make sure they know what they want and they are applying for places they will be happy at/ will make a contribution at. You start meeting with them starting freshman year and keep doing so throughout your Ringling career. They will also arrange for many studios, studio reps and artists to visit. During these visits they give presentations, answer questions and after that meet with students individually. You are certain to find internships and jobs as a Ringling student/grad as long as you do the work given to you (and more if you can) Overall Ringling does have it's negative points. It is a very competitive environment and everyone tried to be the best they possibly can. It is a great place to thrive as long as you can keep up with the coursework.
Ringling is very academically rigorous on the surface level, but because in most areas they lack knowledge about what they are attempting to judge, it's dubious whether or not you can say it is truly rigorous.
It's worth mentioning that they like to dock your grades/fail you if you get too many absences (around four), even if you get sick. They are not that understanding, and if you are prone to illness you should watch out.
You're paying about sixty grand a year when you don't even need a degree to get work. Nothing you learn here cannot be learned for a cheaper price or for free.
Ringling does very well in the marketing department. I would advise you to do very thorough research on all your available options. Do not get into deep debt because you think you need to go to a reputable school to do well in animation, film, games, etc, where the degree hardly matters (or at most, where you got the degree from doesn't). There are plenty of online options that you can learn from while getting another degree. If you can afford it, consider Gnomon.
Ringling is good for you if you:
Are willing to take emotional abuse in some sick notion that learning animation is some sort of boot camp process. Are willing to sleep 0-5 hours a night if you actually want to finish your work and make it look good (unless you work especially fast, or are willing to sacrifice parts of your assignments). Have an abnormally high respect for authority figures even when they lack respect for you.The things you are learning are not that important in the grand scheme of things. Don't sacrifice your health.
When it comes to social life, we aren't all just weird hermits. Yes most of us love anime but there are also parties every weekend, games of manhunt and capture the flag each friday, clubs, events, beach trips, and lots of stuff to do. Most of the socializing you will do will be the shenanigans you get up to with your floormates. (the dorms here are fantastic btw). The thing is, with all the work you have to do, YOU WILL be INCREDABLY BUSY. You will make lots of friends, and people at ringling are really supportive and accepting, and you can have fun, but don't let that get in the way of work. But all in all, socializing is not a problem and you won't be missing out on any fun since there's fun to be had all around.
Don't take all the negative comments too seriously. Ringling is really hard and thus it has a steap drop out rate, so a lot of people get super bitter about it and go on rants. Ringling is amazing.
But, just as a warning, Ringling pours most of its time, money, and resources into its most popular and succesful majors, thus computer animation and game art are some of the best programs that you can find in the country, meanwhile majors like fine arts and some of the design majors are left by the wayside, so be careful in choosing your career. (motion design and illustration are also very good here)