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The University of California - Irvine

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA Faculty AccessibilityB+
Useful SchoolworkA Excess CompetitionB+
Academic SuccessB+ Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueA- University Resource UseA
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB+ FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceA Social LifeC+
Surrounding CityF Extra CurricularsB
SafetyA+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful, Arrogant

Male
SAT1460
Super Brilliant
Lowest Rating
Surrounding City
F
Highest Rating
Safety
A+
He cares more about Surrounding City than the average student.
Date: Aug 18 2007
Major: Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
The department is filled with knowledgeable faculty and staff who not only know a lot about their respective fields, but also are practicing artists. Some are even famous and held in high regard, showing at galleries all over the world. Many of the teachers also teach at other schools (like Pasadena Art Center and CalArts). The problem is that many of them also live in Los Angeles, which means they may not be available on days that they teach at their other schools.

The facilities for the photography department are pretty nice. There's a digital lab for making digital prints, as well as a black and white group lab and individual color labs. There's even a mural printing room with an enlarger that can make large, wall-sized prints. Being able to check out lots of different types of equipment from the school is also a big plus and cuts down on the costs of having to rent or buy your own camera. The best equipment gets checked out a lot, so reserve early if you want the best stuff.

Many of the students are great too and are really into what they do. There is a real passion there because it's not a field where one can expect to make a lot of money right out of school. As such, the program contains a lot of people who are genuinely interested in making art and pursuing it. The people seem very willing to learn and show their work. There's a gallery set up to show undergraduate art aside from the official university galleries (where senior and graduate exhibitions take place).

The classes can be difficult, especially in the more advanced levels of the various fields of study offered. Outsiders to the art department often try to take classes in studio art because they think that since it's art, it's gotta be easy and the teachers aren't going to be very critical about their work. Luckily, the teachers provide a lot of critique on student work because the only way to improve art is to have it looked at critically. Students also participate in critiques so that there is a peer review as well.

Projects are the predominant basis of evaluation in the art department. Work is critiqued in a very detailed manner and a lack of effort is immediately apparent during the critique. Expect to be doing just as much work as other majors, if not more. The major requires a lot of time and effort, but is also really fun and engaging. It's easier to build relationships with professors and lecturers because upper-division classes tend to be smaller and more intimate, often only consisting of a handful of people. Beware, though, that spring quarter sometimes has graduate students teaching the beginning classes. It's not necessarily a bad thing because the grad students all know their material very well and can provide a different perspective on art. However, if one wanted to begin building a relationship with a particular teacher or lecturer, it would be advisable to try doing it earlier in the year when the teacher will be more available.

so, in short,

1) manage time well. nobody wants to look at something that someone didn't think was worth enough time and effort to do properly/well.

2) get to know teachers. some of them are famous and could provide good connections after graduation.

3) get to know students. much of the inner workings of the school rely on students and being part of the community has a lot of benefits.

4) take advantage of the facilities and equipment the school has

5) take advantage of opportunities to show work when possible

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The University of California - Irvine
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