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UMICH Stamps Art and Design/ Art Schools

nat6763nat6763 1 replies2 threads New Member
Hi, I am a high school junior right now, and will be applying to schools next fall. I am looking to major in art and design, and want to apply to University of Michigan’s Stamps school of art and design. Does anyone have any information about how good this school is compared to a traditional art school? I love the university feel of the school, and the fact that I can take academic courses along with art ones, but I still want a strong art program that prepares me for a job in the art field. I will probably still apply to some more traditional art schools but not sure where yet. Any suggestions?

I like illustration and concept art, and would maybe want to try animation. I’m also going to the Stamps pre-college program this summer.
edited June 2019
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Replies to: UMICH Stamps Art and Design/ Art Schools

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7768 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    Stamps might be part of a traditional university (and an excellent one at that), but it is a degree-granting school of art and design in its own right and requires a portfolio for admission. Therefore, it's likely to be competitive with other, more "stand-alone" options as long as it offers a rigorous foundation program and a variety of concentrations. Where Stamps might differ is that stats (GPA, ACT/SAT) are relatively more important so will be higher than at several of the stand-alones. Stamps puts 50% of the weight on the portfolio, meaning it's as important as your stats and other attributes. https://stamps.umich.edu/undergraduate-admissions/portfolio

    One thing you might want to check out - either by asking this summer or just finding it on the website somewhere - is how much of your time and credits will be spent in the studio as opposed to the classroom. A good BFA program tends to have a 2:1 ratio or even a bit higher; it's flipped for a more conventional BA program in art. The difference is that the BFA is a professional degree so studio time is essential. The BA is a liberal arts degree and your major (art in this case) is but one facet of your educational experience. Both degrees are fine, and plenty of talented artists have gotten the BA. A lot depends on whether you are primarily seeking that professional training or something a bit more broad.

    There might be small trade-offs in terms of artistic training vs. rigorous academics, but whether that's a good or bad thing is a personal decision. There really is no one correct answer here; In general, the best school for you is the one at which you see yourself thriving. You'll be able to figure that out based on your experience this summer.

    Good luck to you!
    edited July 2019
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7768 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Oops - almost forgot part 2 of your question:

    If academics are important to you, then stand-alones RISD Pratt and MICA all tend to have a decent academic side to them. Parsons has the New School and even requires you to take at least some academic courses over there. This was an issue for us as well when my oldest was applying to art school. Others might be able to weigh in as well. RISD allows you to take courses at Brown and MICA has something going with JHU. You'll need to check on how easy it is to cross register. I know some who have done it, but others say it's not easy.

    CMU obviously has a great school of art in a university setting so if that place appeals to you, check it out. Test scores and GPA will be relatively important there as well.

    If you will be coming in with a bunch of AP's you might check to see which stand-alones accept them. No school of art - university setting or otherwise - is likely to accept AP Studio, although pretty much all of them say they want to see that on your transcript, if your school offers it. If you are applying to a university with an art/design school (such as UMich/Stamps) then you can probably expect to have all the standard academic AP scores accepted, assuming they clear the cut off.
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