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Mississippi State University

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Date: Feb 20 2014
Major: Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc (This Major's Salary over time)
Graphic Design major here. MSU has one of the BEST graphic design programs in the country. It is easily an SVA/Yale/Carnegie Mellon level education. I see MSU design work in magazines all over with work from SVA/SCAD/Tyler SOA etc. It is simply a top notch place for not just Graphic Design but all Arts & Design related majors. I simply cannot stress enough the quality of MSU's graphic design program.

I loved the graphic design department vibe. Everyone is very serious about it, as you have to compete in a portfolio review to get accepted. Everyone is judged on fundamentals of art and design so there are no students with bad fundamentals in design/drawing/painting/art/sculpture/photography. Many of the graphic design alumni go on to branch their career out into fine arts & illustration as well as graphic design. Despite the seriousness of the department, it was also a lot of fun. I laughed the most I ever had my entire life with my graphic design friends. The design labs were nearly always open and we treated Stafford as a second home having fun movie nights and all-nighter deals frequently as we simultaneously worked diligently to finish out projects.

The art/design department is a little insular and past my first semester I almost only saw other art kids the rest of my college experience (during class hours) but that was perfectly fine with me.

I got great help from all of the faculty, who were more than willing to go out of their way to help. Peter Bain, Jamie Mixon, Jeffery Haupt, Soon E Gogh, Brent Funderburk, Jude Landry, and many other faculty's teaching has a direct effect on everything I do at work today. One of the good things about MSU's faculty that differs from other design schools is that they never focus on teaching you a "style" or their own ideology but I found a healthy focus on what most would consider objective fundamental perfecting.

If I had to make any critique on the program is the lack of social media classes. Typically it is considered a completely different field, but professionally I am finding myself lumped into the social media specialist role. It is not a hard transition by any means, but it might have been a plus to have.

As far as Starkville, I really enjoyed it. I actually would not mind retiring there as it is a nice place to live in general. I grew up in Memphis so it was a nice break from the business/crime/lack of community. I am also Catholic and never found a community for my particular faith until Starkville. The friends I made in CSA were some of the best I ever made.

I'm not a huge partier but I felt pretty happy at Dave's Dark House Tavern, which had a pretty diverse crowd and an affordable menu/beer selection. I know that Starkville isn't the place that comes to mind when you think of drunken fun, but if you want that sort of thing it is definitely there.

I'm not a huge sports fan, either, but I didn't mind the SEC football insanity outside of taking my parking as soon in the week as Wednesday to Friday. This irritated a lot of students as it forced us to park in the nose bleeds and be tardy.

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