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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

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I am a former faculty member at the

Jun 08 2014Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I am a former faculty member at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. There is no way I would have attended this school, nor would I recommend it to anyone. Profit trumps education at every turn. The administration --from the smiling, slimy president Sebolt all the way down are generally from the business world not academia. They will accept anyone with a Pell grant and a pulse. I had students who were legally blind in drawing classes, students who couldn't speak English, students with ankle monitoring bracelets, students with serious mental health and/or substance abuse issues, students with little or no skill or motivation. The school provides little or no support. These people are bastards, stay away from them and go to a real school. Anyone who tells you they can teach you to draw in 44 hours is a damn liar.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Preparedness: F Reputation: F

I was a graduate of the Art Institute

Jan 27 2014Art & Design Department
I was a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1996, before it was taken over. While I attended the Art Institute in the mid 90's, it was an excellent school. The instructors had real world experience, taught not only fundamentals, but also helpful tricks and tips to excel students forward. It was purchased and became accredited, which required the school to remove all the non-master degree instructors leaving them with instructors with no real world experience. I returned to AIP online to obtain my Bachelors degree in 3D Animation (after getting my Associates degree in the same field) because I was so impressed with the experience of the school when I attended there the first time. Things have changed for the worst. A high percentage of the instructors I was given had no real world experience, only the degrees to let them be instructors. Some instructors didn't even know simple terms that 3D graphic artists use on a regular basis. It was obvious that they barely knew enough to teach the courses and nothing more. I eventually dropped out of this program and talked with the director to voice my opinion about the 3D program they were offering, and what needed to change. Since I had been in the 3D field for over 15 years, I knew what was expected of 3D artists, and the school was not teaching it properly. I then moved into the photography department and asked the school to give me instructors names and websites they had to ensure the instructors knew what they were doing. I was satisfied with what I had found, and decided to take the course. After taking classes, I realized they aren't teaching enough in the classes to make you a good photographer. I had to research outside the school to learn more about lighting and posing. These are things that should be taught IN the school, and not required to spend extra time and money outside of the school to become proficient. For the price of this school, they should be developing a higher rate of excellent students coming directly out of school. The return on investment for this school seems to be nil.Bottom line, the school no longer cares about the education the students are getting, only the money they will give the school.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2017
Friendliness: A, Education Quality: F

I was in the Game Art and Design

Feb 27 2014Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I was in the Game Art and Design Program for four quarters. This Review is focused on that field and what I experienced.

I was accepted into the school with without any background or skill in art. I was horrible at concept art. After the second quarter, I saw a dramatic improvement in my sketch work. Once I transitioned into the digital end of artwork, I began to notice, I was spending the majority of my time learning how to use 3DS Max on YouTube. My professors only criticized the work, which is not bad. I only wish they had helped me learn the software in the classroom. I used standard grading rubric to rate the school. I would say about 25% of the classes, and professors that taught them, were excellent. I took multiple classes where the professor would just sit at their desk and draw while ranting how 90% of us will never find a decent job. I was also told that I would have the opportunity to learn some basic computer programming, because we are studying VIDEO GAMES. No programming class work at all. The courses are not even offered. The game design club would get about 10% into the actual game development process before encountering a problem that requires some basic knowledge of a programming language. The students were set up for failure before they even started.

On top of the incredibly poor curriculum, the student housing was substandard and unsafe. It was common to ride in an elevator that would drop one or two floors before getting to the floor you needed to be. It was all concrete with little paint. I did not reside in the student housing. I was not that much of a sucker. However, my friends who did, said there were being charged somewhere along the lines of $1500 a month. In addition, one of my friends had two other roommates, all being charged $1500 a month. That is $4500 a month the school made on students living in substandard conditions.

To sum up the experience, I had few professors who actually taught a course. The majority of my class time was on a computer watching YouTube lectures, trying to self teach. If you have a passion for Game Art and Design, I would strong recommend that you save yourself the $80,000 and take some programming classes at Community College. Spend your down time learning off YouTube and other Game art forums. You will save yourself A LOT OF MONEY and not be crippled with debt. I do not even put my education from the Art Institute on my resume. I am embarrassed by it. If you are serious about actually working in the field of Game Art and design, DO NOT ATTEND THE ART INSTITUTE. Get a real education.

1st Year Male -- Class 2016
Surrounding City: B, Education Quality: F

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