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The Memphis College of Art

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Jun 12 2011Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
No school is perfect. If you're not getting what you need; find a way to get it.
I had fun at MCA. I learned a few things at MCA.
I learned if you want to be an artist; don't go to any school! You only need to got to (art) school if you want to work for somebody else; then having a diploma -may- help.

The only classes you may need if you want to be an artist are business classes and marketing classes. To learn art, just go to galleries and museums and study the artworks (not pictures of artworks).

Learning about art from an art school is like learning about love from a prostitute...
The movie "Art School Confidential" says it all.
My dream(s) are to either sell my artworks or teach college art. I have yet to achieve either. Since I have not; I have to assume MCA is partly or wholly to blame. For that reason, I rate MCA an 'F'.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
Question
Starting Job: Janitor Preparedness: F Reputation: B
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Feb 22 2011Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
Okay, first of all, the campus here is great. The school couldn't have picked a better location to build. The main undergraduate building is located right in the middle of Overton Park, next to the zoo and about 20 feet from the small community stage known as Levitt Shell. The security guards here are 24 hours, friendly, and if you see them enough, they'll start calling you by name. This school is great for the normal arts like: painting, drawing, sculpture (especially awesome), etc. I've rarely heard anyone from those majors have any complaints about the school.

That said, I'm a digital media major, meaning I work in animation and cinema from day to day. Though the resources and classes are improving every year for my major, there simply isn't enough here to give you the working knowledge needed to be anything other than an independent filmmaker or a 2D animator with a slight knowledge of 3D. Visual Effects are strongly discouraged for a good lot of the cinema field. Using contemporary films for reference of anything in my field at this school is virtually unheard of. I get stuck in review committees at the end of the year that hardly even know we have a digital department.

I cannot say it enough, but don't go here if you want to get into a larger film company later on. You'll have to go to school elsewhere afterwards to make up for what you didn't learn. Likewise, we only have a couple classes in Maya, and nothing in 3ds Max. The editing program for film here is Final Cut. I could go on and on about things we don't have: like a motion capture studio, any kind of acting department, a props department, a green screen room... But I'll leave it there.WAVING RED FLAG: If you want to be a graphic designer, do NOT go here. The graphic design department is largely hand skill oriented (not much digital work) and is said to be 10 years out of date.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2012
Question
Individual Value: A+, Extracurricular Activities: D
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Jan 30 2011Art & Design Department
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I decided to leave after one semester. Many instructors seemed tired or disconnected. Simply going through the motions. Technology is not incorporated nearly as it could be. Classes moved at a very slow pace and I learned more by reading books at home. Critiques were absurd and only offering vague general feedback. For the price of this school, it is a poor value for the money. Tuition is nearly 24k a year which breaks down to about $300 per class. I decided to get out before the hole got any deeper. The nail on the coffin was in one class we were doing an exercise on thought mapping and the instructor said the topic was sex and told students to draw first three things that come to mind. After scrawling our vulgar images we were told to tack them to the wall. That is when I realized I was paying $300 to draw a penis and tack it to the wall under the pretense of education. I am moving on to another college.
1st Year Male -- Class 2014
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Campus Aesthetics: B+, Education Quality: F
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