Being an Art School transfer Student

Hi everyone-

Was looking for anyones thoughts on being a transfer student to Design schools and Art Institutes.

My son’s passion is photography with a possible open interest in cinematography. We are looking at the UC system and at design schools and art Institutes. If he goes the design / institute route I would like to save some money (100K respectively) by having him go to SMC for a couple of years…does being a transfer student to schools like California Institute of the Arts, SF art Institute, Pratt, Parson, SVA, NYFA hurt his chances of getting in? Can he get in that way?

Anyone have experience taking this route?

@sem524 You really should talk to an admissions rep from each of the art/design schools he is interested in. The benefit to your approach is that he can dabble in his interest and make sure it’s really what he wants to commit to, as well as build his skills before applying to an art/design school. One disadvantage is that it could possibly take him longer to graduate. Many art schools do not take a lot of credits from other institutions because the art schools tend to have very rigid programs. For example, if he went to a junior college or other college for 2 years then transferred to an art school, he may have to complete 3 more years at the art school to meet the art school’s requirements. If that’s the case, that may not save you money. Each art school runs their curriculum differently, so it really is best to call the reps.

Art schools are a very different beast than traditional colleges. So make sure you do your homework to understand those differences. Here’s a web page than helps explain it and how to approach the admissions process:

To echo what @animal10 said above is that traditional art schools have a fairly set curriculum…first year is ‘foundation studies’ where everyone takes the basics in drawing, 3D/sculpture, color theory etc. Students then officially declare their major usually beginning of first year spring semester. Sophomore year is then the foundation courses in THAT discipline which make up the prerequisites for junior and senior year classes.