Early "Chance Me" for my brother at NC State, UCLA - Graphic/Industrial Design

Good Morning,
My brother is a rising senior who hasn’t created an account here yet so I said I would write this while he gets started. He is interested in graphic design or industrial design. He has visited NC State and really enjoyed it. They spoke to him about the specific application to the design school and while he thinks he’s a match there in general, he heard it was pretty tough to get in to the design school. He will be visiting UCLA with my family while I attend orientation (admitted UCLA c/o 2026). He’s visited PSU and JMU and liked them as well. Would you kindly assist in chancing him for these majors?

US Citizen
PA resident
Public HS
White Male

Intended Major - Graphic Design/Industrial Design

4.62 GPA W/4.265 UW
No class rank given but he knows he’s in the top 25/450
SAT - 1340

Will have a total of 6 AP classes (AP Art, AP Physics, AP Gov, AP Calc are on his senior class schedule) and total of 10 honors classes upon graduation

Distinguished Honor Roll 1-4, Most Improved Player - HS Varsity Soccer 2

Varsity soccer 1-4, Art Show 1-4, Unified Track 3-4, Varsity Wrestling 1-2, Key Club 1-4, NHS 3-4, CVS Cashier 2-4, Premier Club Soccer Captain 1-4

I don’t think he’s written any essays yet but based on what I’ve seen him do, they will be strong.

No cost constraints

Likely - PSU, JMU, Clemson, UGA
Match - UMD, NC State
Reach - UCLA (not sure if this becomes a match since I also attend), USC, UCSD

Thanks so much!! I will tag him once he creates an account!!

I know that usually forum rules indicate that posts should be about oneself or one’s child, but as you’re a sibling, perhaps the mods might make an exception.

A couple of quick questions:

  1. What’s the budget?

  2. Is your brother likely to be recruited for soccer?

  3. I’m not an expert on this, but I would make sure your brother takes a good look at which schools are direct entry, and for those that are not, see if there are secondary admissions requirements to declare the major. I suspect that the majors with admissions requirements will probably be stronger than those without them, but those can also frequently be very competitive. (This is particularly for the industrial design major…I haven’t seen as many graphic design majors with admission requirements.)

  4. From what I know (and again, I’m not an expert), there’s a significant difference between graphic design and industrial design. Graphic design is more the creating of graphics and images, often to convey information or for advertising purposes. Industrial design is the development of a product and thinking about how it would work, and the materials to be used, and how it would look. Is it that your brother is interested in both fields but isn’t sure which he would prefer? Or is he thinking about them as somewhat interchangeable based on whatever the college offers?

Thank you for the quick response. Here is what I know…

Our parents have the means to pay for school (thankfully) so the schools on his list are within his budget.

He does not want to play soccer in college.

I didn’t go on the visit to NC State, but I you’re right about the school specific admission there. The school would normally be a “likely” for him but the design school is much more competitive. Not sure about the other schools but he is aware which ones are direct admit vs the ones that are not and has come away with the list I wrote.

I think both types of design interest him. I know he’s had classes in HS he really enjoyed that focus on those subjects. The evidence are all the projects he brings home and displays all over his room…lol. He told me that at NC State and UCLA, both majors are part of the same design school. So even if he applies as one, he can switch fairly easily once he learns more about what he likes better. I think he’s done a lot of homework on his college list so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case with all of them, but don’t know for sure.

Thanks again!!

Safety - JMU.

Match - PSU

I would put Clemson, UGA, UMD, and N C State into high match - low reach - because of the SAT.

Edit: UC is test blind - so maybe a chance - but high high reaches and no go at USC although that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try.

Good luck.

PS - if you’re PA, why not Pitt.


Per its Common Data Set, alumni/family relationships are not considered in UCLA’s admissions.

Which specific majors is your brother interested in majoring in at these schools? When viewing the listing of schools with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), none of these were listed for industrial design. I was having some issues with the National Association of Schools of Art & Design’s (NASAD) accredited schools search function, but these schools didn’t have an accreditation for industrial design here either (Georgia’s BFA in Graphic Design was accredited).

  • Penn State
  • Clemson (offers a Graphic Communications major that a 3rd party listed as the major for industrial/product design, but it’s not what I usually think of for industrial design)
  • U. of Georgia
  • U. of Maryland
  • UCLA
  • USC
  • UCSD

In contrast, James Madison & NC State were both listed in IDSA and accredited by NASAD.

If your brother is truly interested in industrial design as a possible career, then I would suggest he make sure he is able to study it as a major.

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UCs do not consider legacy or other family relations in admission.

Better for him to make his own account and ask his questions directly rather than through you.

So, budget would be at least up to the OOS cost of the UC’s?

For industrial design, if he wants to join you in SoCal, CSU Long Beach would be worth a look. Much farther north on the west coast, WWU in Bellingham has a terrific Industrial Design program. Consider the Packaging program at Cal Poly SLO. SJSU has both Industrial Design and Packaging.

U of Cincinnati DAAP is top-notch, and he’d be eligible for the National Outreach Award as a PA resident. Purdue also has fantastic industrial design and visual communications design programs. RIT is another that’s excellent.

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