I am a transfer student from San Diego, and I have been struggling on choosing these two UCs.
The deadline of acceptance is coming up, although I am going to submit both and pay for a $100 non-refundable fee for each campus, I will still need some comments/suggestions about this.
I have checked on the art courses that both Berkeley and Irvine offer, Irvine also offers courses of different issues on the arts, while Berkeley is more art practical, they don't have the issue courses like Irvine's. I have visited the School of the Arts in UC Irvine (I think I will make another visit to Berkeley and see if I will like the environment). The campus of UCI is beautiful but the school of arts is not what I've expected, probably I have been putting UCLA as the standard. For the major, I don't want to emphasis just in one area, and I wish to learn and do in different areas. For housing, I'd prefer to live on my own as I want to have more personal space, and the studio may really become a "studio" because I find comfy to work at home alone.
Here are the Pros and Cons for UCB and UCI that I have made:
For UC Irvine,
- Their studio art program is more diverse.
- The art department is in Claire Trevor School of the Arts, along with the music, drama, and dance departments. (easier to get in touch with the departments of performance arts when I deal with video/ photography/ performance art projects)
- They have a few buildings for studio art.
- Maybe good art facilities, ie. 24 hrs color labs, with individual darkroom for enlargement; senior can sign up for a studio area (1 of 6) for a quarter.
- In Quarter system (Fall, Winter, Spring)
- School day is Mon-Thurs, labs on Fri. I'd have more time to work on arts and do more hours on work-study.
- I can minor in digital art and/or marketing.
- Closer to home; it takes about half an hour for driving.
- For housing options, they have privately owned and managed apartment communities located on the UC Irvine campus), offer furnished studio apartments.
- Safer neighborhood.
- Not in urban setting; I can't say it's rural, but it seems like segregated from the outside to me.
- No major art museum closed by (like LACMA near UCLA).
- Doesn't have a rich cultural community (like LA and SF).
For UC Berkeley
- For their 138. Sculpture: installation course, students will select a site on campus and make a piece for it. (which is one of the things I want to do).
- Campus is in an urban setting.
- Located in the Bay-Area, which is more culturally diverse, and have a better art community.
- More opportunities for the art development.
- Closed to major art museums.
- UCB also has their University Art Museum, with the Pacific Film Achieve.
- Reputation, especially if I decided to go back to my original country after graduation.
- Their program is not as diverse as Irvine's.
- The art department is in the School of Letter & Science, and they don't even have a building for the art department.
- No photography course is offered in the art department, while it is offered in the architecture department. (not count as art course)
- In semester system (Fall, Spring), they don't offer studio art courses in Summer sessions.
- School day for studio art will be Mon-Sat, and I may not be able to do work-study or I will do less hours.
- I will need to take an American Culture course to fulfill the requirement to graduate. I may need to take a few GE even I am on IGETC; I will talk to the counselor and solve that out.
- Far away from home, and I have to pack and transport a whole lot at once.
- Their campus housings do not offer studio or 1 bedroom, you have to share bedroom with a roommate. For housing option, I have to find off-campus apartment, additionally, I have to purchase all the furnitures and stuffs, and pay all the bills for utilities on my own.
- I heard that UCB doesn't have much fund for the arts.
I would also like to know anyone from Berkeley's art major, how did they make the decision when they got offers from several UC campus? and which priorities are considered for fine art major?