I graduated from Graduate Computer Art Department. Not only were most of my professors industry professionals, but almost all were of very good quality as to both knowledge and teaching ability. SVA's grad programs get the best of everything particularly the Computer Art Department, who replaces their computers every three years.The quality of thesis and student work was exceptional. They also had reasonably tough admission standards. I would definitely recommend SVA Computer Art for graduate program.
SVA, as an institution, downright sucks. It's irresponsible as a business and horrible as a school-- they'll squander your $100K in tuition on ad campaigns, recruitment, and promo materials to keep up the school's reputation that was (rightly) established decades ago, but it's nothing like that now. Only some of your money will actually go toward things that will help you directly as a student. The facilities are average at best, and half the teachers just plain ol' don't give a flying F about their job. Many of them are in it for the benefits (not even the pay, because it's so low). The administration treat you like cattle, and the student advisers are the the worst in the bunch. God forbid something's wrong with your schedule, because getting help from them is a nightmare. I've also found that the school will actually attempt to swindle unsuspecting students out of even more money, by forcing them to pay for redundant classes, or other administrative "accidents" that you will end up being responsible for. As an illustration and cartooning major, I found that the departments' chair, Tom Woodruff, was irritating more than anything. He hates comics and shouldn't be in charge of the department whatsoever as well. However, there are some fantastic professors there... if you can find them. My recommendation to someone that's interested in going to this school to major in illustration or cartooning is to take a class here and there on your own, and read a lot of books on your favorite artists and technique. There is very little I've learned from going to SVA that I couldn't have gotten from a $300 trip to Barns and Noble.
I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion and you asked us not to reply to others reviews, so I wont single any reviews out but I'm writing this for people that are honestly basing their school decisions on these reviews. It is my opinion that the negative reviews are not fair at all to this school and its teachers and I was really disappointed to read them. I found this link accidentally when I stumbled upon a revelation at work today while designing in Illustrator. I realized I have been practicing techniques I learned in Frank Young's Graphic Design Class in 2002-3...well its 2011 and I didnt realize it until today that one of the things he taught us that was "a fun exercise" I seriously use almost everyday at work. And I was looking him up to tell him and I got this link with these reviews and I wanted to scream reading the bad reviews. Perhaps some people took this school in completely the wrong way. Classes like Originality and Visual Literacy were GREAT! Your project was what YOU wanted but yet helping YOU figure it out on YOUR OWN. It was ALL about your own creativity! And finding what your own creativity really is and how to utilize it in your field. Its much more than what you came in with no matter how creative you think you are it can always go further. The unconventional methods WERE GREAT! Who wants to learn something different doing the same thing? This school did not AT ALL ask you to follow their ideas and not your own - everything was left up to you while teaching you and if you're all about doing what the teacher wants to get an A, well you dont get graded in business at work in As and Bs, I understand some teachers are harder or different than others, and you will get that at any school you go to. Design how you want while listening to them and learning in the process. Its not about the grade. Deal with it. If you wanted the A and didnt explore something you wanted in fear of it not being correct, then you lost something, but it was your choice. I took the C if I got one (rarely) and stood by my work and love my career. Yeah you get frustrated but every good and bad experience, grade, and teacher I had at this school prepared me for the real world of creativity. Trust me your boss and your clients aren't going to LOVE every single project you do. I did like 300 projects in 2010-11 at my current job(large and small - in my GD field) - you cant get 300 A's, nobody thinks the same as you or agrees with you 300 times. But, going back to SVA, mostly if you were there and on time and did the work you got As and Bs and it was great work to work on, great teachers and great classes. Yeah it was expensive....thats what loans are for. And what are we going to do with money in the next life anyways, its all about our experiences now. I live every moment to the fullest and they encourage you to do so. The course work is as challenging and as helpful as you make it. Period. I advise you take the time to make every project as best you can and you will have a beautiful portfolio with nothing to regret. My only regrets were the projects I did not have time to make as good as I could've or when I chose to use my time differently and not put it into that project. But those are MY regrets, nothing against the school and its teachers. I sincerely hope this helps people looking into this school and the teachers reading it that I loved my time at SVA and I have been in the field ever since and still explore new things....just got an airbrush & compressor and cant wait to figure out how to use it!
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