Need some advice about majors

<p>I'm debating between industrial design, graphic design, and visual communications. What exactly is the difference between the latter two? I've been getting unhelpful/vague/generally useless opinions about this.
Is there some sort of overlap between industrial design and apparel design? I enjoy fashion but am apprehensive about actually majoring in it. </p>

<p>Also, any suggestions as to how to build a strong portfolio? I've been trying to rebuild mine but have absolutely no idea as to where to start/go with it. </p>

<p>GUESS WHAT ANOTHER QUESTION! Does anyone have an experience with the programs at any of these schools? I have absolutely no idea about any of them and found them by basically closing my eyes, sticking my hand in a bucket, and randomly grabbing a few.
Wash U
Or perhaps any other schools? I'm pretty much dead set against art schools, as I would like to double major/have the convenience of changing to a different major.</p>

<p>I dont think any of those schools are really known for graphic design. Art school is where you’ll find the best programs in this field. For ID I think UPenn might be good if only because they have a good architecture department and if a school has a strong Arch department they usually have a strong ID department. The same goes for cornell probably. Have you thought about Tyler school of art for Temple university? If you want to explore other fields, you can still do that and Tyler is still a good school. Not to mention that it’s a state school and thus no crazy NYU tuition. However, that doesnt mean the school is is easy to get into.</p>

<p>Double majoring would be a bad idea unless the fields are closely related. Contrary to popular opinion, art/design is pretty rigorous. A BFA requires a serious amount of effort to get anything from it. You probably wont have the time to have a second major.
Think of it like this, in competetive fields that attract gifted people like art/design, law, investment banking etc you have to be significantly more competent at your expertise than the average person coming out. Your attention will be less focused and divided in comparison to someone focusing only on art.</p>

<p>Oh, didnt see Carnegie mellon. That school is definitly good for GD. By far the best on your list and better than a good number of art schools for GD.</p>

<p>Thanks for the info. Yeah, rigor of design programs made me unsure about the idea of double majoring. I enjoy art/design, but it’s been sitting on the back burner for the past few years and my schedule/entire school revolves around academics.
Do you know if Temple or Carnegie require a year of foundation? Or is that more of an art thing</p>

<p>A lot of psych majors head towards HR when they graduate. Consider looking into that. There are certainly jobs there.</p>

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<p>Carnegie Mellon has the ID and GD students do their foundation year together and then they break up into their separate sections for the last three years. Read their website for the details. It would be worth your time to visit there if you are able. It is a unique program and it is worth talking with the students who are in it to get the full picture. Carnegie does have interdisciplinary programs so that you can double major or minor. If your stats are way up there look at the Brown/RISD dual degree as well.</p>

<p>There are many threads here about building a portfolio. Most schools want to see observational drawing in addition to other work. If you can get to a National Portfolio Day and show your work to various schools you will get a good idea of what they expect to see. Different schools will emphasize different things so you may need to tailor your portfolio individually. Taking a summer pre-college program at one of the art schools is a good way to build your portfolio. Carnegie gives the option of completing an additional design assignment if you feel your portfolio is not strong enough. </p>

<p>Some ID programs will offer elective courses in apparel design but it is hit and miss. If you were at an art school that offered both you could take a non major elective in apparel design. Or use a summer to take a course for skill building…for ex. go to NYC for the summer and take classes at FIT. </p>

<p>You might want to take a look at U of Cincinnati DAAP school. They offer everything you are interested in plus it is a co-op program so you end up with work experience before you graduate.</p>

<p>as to differences in fields of study, read the information put out by each school. Generally:</p>

<p>Industrial design may have some conceptual overlap with fashion design, but they’re separate specialized majors everywhere I’m aware of. Fashion design has quite rigorous requirements for learning to design/cut patterns. The fashion world is a (cutthroat) culture unto itself. ID encompasses all kinds of other products–cars (for a very few designers), furniture, watches, cellphones . . .some of which might conceivably be wearable.</p>

<p>Visual communications may mean one thing at one school and something else at another. it even sometimes just means “visual art.”</p>

<p>Graphic design is sometimes designated as separate from “advertising design” or “art direction”, sometimes not. basically, it’s 2-d commercial art (think logo design, for example.)</p>

<p>again, different schools use different nomenclature. at Pratt for instance, there is no “Visual communications.” Its “Communications Design” dept includes graphic design, art direction, illustration as separate majors. . .web design, typography are other specialized areas, not sure whether they’re currently separate major areas of study.</p>

<p>I’m a graduate of WashU’s Communication Design program, so I can shed a little light on that.</p>

<p>At WashU you take two years of foundation classes, then two years of your selected major. For CDes, you’re given a choice of two projects to complete for each assignment, one swinging more an illustrative route and one more graphic design. The final year you choose one as your concentration and complete a thesis. Both encompass color, typography, motion, etc. Pretty well rounded.</p>

<p>WashU is very strong in that it is ranked very high (#11, tied with Northwestern, last I checked) overall, so you will get a great liberal arts background as well. The CDes program itself is very good in that it really teaches you to think critically about your work, not just ‘let’s make cool things’ but why you make them, which enables you to better evaluate your work and make it better.
There does need to be improvement in teaching the technical aspects though- sometimes students would have a great idea but struggle with the means to physically create it. </p>

<p>Also, as far as a double major- it is possible, but the rigor of the CDes program is so demanding that it will be a challenge. I know several people who did it- their majors included Psychology, English, and Computer Engineering, and a lot more minored in Russian studies, Marketing, Psych, Writing, etc. It takes some careful planning.</p>