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help: Graphic Design Programs: CSULA v. CSUEB

jaeohjaeoh Posts: 4Registered User New Member
Hey All, is anyone here familiar with the graphic design programs of CSULA / Cal State Los Angeles and CSUEB / Cal State East Bay? I need to choose between the two and can not find any good critical info re: the quality of their departments/programs.

I know they are not at all near the top notch art schools/programs that everyone here has been discussing -- but they are the only choices available since I (a) already have a BA (State-wide impaction -- many schools do not admit for 2nd BAs) and (b) I cannot afford a private school or UC.

A little background: As a young bright-eyed artist, I caved into great parental pressure to "keep art as a hobby" and pursue something more "serious." Ten years later I am stepping up to pursue what has always been in my heart -- but have also hit the walls from CSULB, CSUF, Cal Poly SLO, Poly Pomona, etc not admitting 2nd BAs.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!! :)

Also, does NASAD accreditation make a big difference? CSULA is NASAD accredited, while CSUEB is not (they used be in 2005 -- can't find out why no longer accredited).

p.s. I like CSUEB's curriculum better bc they offer a focus on multimedia -- but they are not NASAD accredited.
Post edited by jaeoh on

Replies to: help: Graphic Design Programs: CSULA v. CSUEB

  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Posts: 699Registered User Member
    CSUEB is accredited by WASC.

    SCAD is not NASAD accredited and the students receive an excellent education and do very well professionally. Look at the work coming out of both programs, which do you like better? My knee-jerk reaction is if you like time-based media and you get a good vibe from the school, go to CSUEB. CSULA appears to be focused on fine arts with the Design option as an afterthought.

    No employer looks at accreditation. They will look at your portfolio to the exclusion of just about everything else but your personality.
  • jaeohjaeoh Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    Thanks RainingAgain! Your words really help alot. My thoughts were similar to your knee-jerk reaction, but I was unsure about how much weight accreditation should have in my decision. I'll definitely take a look at the work coming out of both programs. Thank you again for your quick and helpful reply.
  • charlaccharlac Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    If you are pursuing this as a career, you do not need a degree. At a studio your bachelors in whatever you have will hold about the same value as a bachelors in graphics design. Have you tried a masters program instead?
  • jaeohjaeoh Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    I looked at some masters programs. The ones that I have looked at (ie. CSUF, CSULB) have a BA in Art as a part of their admissions requirements... so it felt like I would (a) not qualify from the get go since my BA is in Peace and Conflict Studies and (b) Perhaps I would be behind on some fundamental training.

    If you are familiar with masters programs that would include fundamental training and not require a formal background in art, please do share. I would totally be down to explore any of your suggestions. Thanks Charlac!
  • charlaccharlac Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    If you are going for specifically a Graphic Design program, then it may be a challenge for an MFA as oppose to an MA. I looked at CSULB fine arts program and they have an MA which is less of studio work than an MFA. I hear of people entering photography, film, and animation Masters program all time at many different schools with anthopology, english, art history and other liberal arts undegrad degree. See if you can talk to admissions though. If your work is very dedicated and looks to have potential, try Cal Arts. My old department chair told me of a Vietnam Vet photojournalist who got in from just experience alone.

    BTW accreditiation according to my former dean and friend is mainly for an employer at the school to allow their children to attend for free. I don't know for sure if that is true, and I will find out soon.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Posts: 699Registered User Member
    //BTW accreditiation according to my former dean and friend is mainly for an employer at the school to allow their children to attend for free. I don't know for sure if that is true, and I will find out soon.//

    That's the strangest thing I ever read about accreditation.
  • wello86wello86 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Since you have a BA - not sure if it is too late to apply for an mfa at csulb?

    I am currently an mfa candidate at csulb for visual communication (graphic design) - the program is great. The graduate program is relatively new, but the bfa program for graphic design is extremely competitive and provides a lot of support in both theory and practice. I too had to kind of fall under the pressure of chasing something a little more "conventional", so i double majored in business and art. Before entering the program, I had very little technical experience with the design programs. I know this is very little information, but I am not sure if this is something that could help your thoughts... let me know if you would like me to share more details...
  • jaeohjaeoh Posts: 4Registered User New Member
    Thanks folks for the replies. So I've been looking into the mfa programs offered at CSULB.

    Wello86, it helps to hear your feedback about the graduate visual communications program. Though you did not have much technical experience with design programs, I'm guessing you had a pretty good background in studio art -- enough for a strong portfolio?

    I guess the main obstacle for an MA/MFA in my mind is that I don't think I have much for a portfolio at all. Thus I figured it'd be best to start from scratch with a 2nd BA.

    Charlac, I think that you're suggestion to talk to admissions is the best way to really find out if an MFA is a viable option for me. Thanks wello86, I am going to talk to the folks at CSULB art department regarding MFA visual communications this week. I would LOVE to be able to go to CSULB. They have a strong program and I wouldn't have to relocate.
  • bussolini.combussolini.com Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I am interested in the same program at CSULB (MFA- visual communication). Did you apply? I am getting my portfolio ready to apply any suggestions???
  • crypicusercrypicuser Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    So what did you decide? I am interested.
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