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The School of Visual Arts

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The graphic design program was a major disappointment

Apr 28 2011Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
The graphic design program was a major disappointment since the only class that I actually learned and made decent portfolio work was typography. For some odd reason the graphic design professors are not very helpful and attentive to students. Visual literacy was a waste of time and so was graphic imaging, originality. SVA follows odd, disorganized systems so don't rely on them to treat everyone fairly. If you want to receive a high score for the 2nd year portfolio review be in Frank Young's class and follow SVA's illustrative predictable style and surely you will get a 5! Do not follow your own voice. Confirm to your professor's preference and tastes. Never ask questions! Just do it! Maybe if you are lucky a professor might hook you up with a job!
2nd Year Female -- Class 2013
Scholastic Success: A, Education Quality: F

The Graphic Design program is decent, but here's

Apr 07 2011Art & Design Department
The Graphic Design program is decent, but here's a little tip for those who are considering taking up Graphic Design: If you can't afford to pay $20,000-$40,000 each year for up to four years, do not go here. Do not put yourself under a pile of loan debt just to get an arts degree, because it's not worth it. It is ridiculous that students have to pay this much for an arts degree. The job market for Graphic Design is over-saturated, and very competitive, so you will have a difficult time finding a steady job when there are several hundred other people applying. Through personal research, I discovered that a graphic design job listing can net over 400 resumes a week.

The problem is that the professors or anyone at the school will not tell you this, because they need that $20k-$40k from each student to operate. The program itself isn't as in-depth as some might expect it to be. It's more experimental design rather than real in-field type of work. If you can go to a cheaper school that will give you a bachelors for under $10k a year, by all means do it, because you will get the exact same education there.

The best alternative to this of course is the internet and books. There are so many tutorial websites out there for Adobe Creative Suite and Web Design (lots of companies are going digital now) that you can practically teach yourself in half the time that you would taking useless classes in a GD program. Plus you won't end up in debt, and looking for a job for months if not a year. In the end, your clients will not look at where you received your degree from, but at your portfolio of your past work, and its quality.I've learned very little compared to what real jobs require. Here are a few things I recommend for everyone to focus on while learning Graphic Design: Typography, kerning and leading, Web design (at least HTML and CSS), print production (to prepare files for print), and applications themselves (you will only get to learn the basics at this school).

3rd Year Male -- Class 2010
Surrounding City: A, Extracurricular Activities: F

For anyone considering a major in film, first

Apr 03 2011Video/Media
For anyone considering a major in film, first ask yourself this:

1. Is this what I really want to do?
2. Can I afford this?
3. Am I willing to wake up before 5:00AM for a film shoot?
Am I willing to have a very unhealthy lifestyle, wherein I will not be getting much sleep for weeks at a time?

4. Do I really need film school?
Unlike Law or Medicine, Film is not an industry where it is necessary to have a degree to break in. Many directors did not major in film. Film is all about who you know, and who knows you. While film school will provide you with plenty of opportunities to meet people just like you, trying to find a way into the industry, one must consider whether this is worth a yearly bill of 30,000+ dollars.

Most of the truly successful people I met here did not get to where they are because of the curriculum provided. In fact, most of them would get into trouble for missing classes. Why were they missing class? They figured working on a set was a much more valuable experience than attending class. They got to where they are because they took advantage of the equipment the school provides and they worked on shoots outside of school. Honestly, many of them didn't even bother to use the school's equipment, instead opting to rent equipment from other venues or borrowing equipment from friends.

Students who were not successful are more commonly found at SVA. Many students who go here do not give a hoot about film history. They find it "boring" and would rather watch the latest stoner comedy.

I met some truly wonderful people here, and learned much during my time at SVA. However, this had very little to do with the curriculum itself and more to do with my own personal development. Production classes, which can commonly run up to 6 hours in length, often felt like a waste of valuable time (time that could have been spent working on a film). Humanities are a joke. My advice to people interested in getting into film is to not major in film. If film is all you're interested in, try finding other ways to meet people within the industry.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2012
Surrounding City: A+, Useful Schoolwork: F
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