Art Center College Of Design

★★★★☆
  • 1700 Lida St

    Pasadena, CA 91103

    Map & Directions
  • 626-396-2200

About Art Center College Of Design

Hours
Daily 8am-10pm

Education

Education
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3.5 2
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First off, at approx. $10,000 per quarter (15 weeks each) just for tuition, I suppose you'd expect world class teaching and support. It can be hit and miss in the advertising department which also exposes you to a solid dose of graphics, photography, and sketching. If you want to be purely mercenary about it, attend for 3 terms and get out before you go completely broke. I stayed for 5 terms (you need to complete 8 terms to get a degree) and bolted with enough under my belt to begin working in the field.

Here's the rub: you could spend a fraction of the cost to gain the same skills either by taking classes at UCLA Extention and/or by teaching yourself through technical books about Photoshop and the like. It is very over-rated, as you'll find companies want designers who are willing to experiment, have a unique body of work, and a command of the technology out there. You can get that without going to the poor house at Art Center. There is no flexible day program to allow a working stiff to attend classe

PROS: reputation that exceeds itself, some good graphics instructors
CONS: some god-awful self-indulgent professors in the letterform and photography fields; reputation doesn't deliver on skills to adequately compete in the marketplace; education is overpriced given what is offered

2
★★☆☆☆

First off, at approx. $10,000 per quarter (15 weeks each) just for tuition, I suppose you'd expect world class teaching and support. It can be hit and miss in the advertising department which also exposes you to a solid dose of graphics, photography, and sketching. If you want to be purely mercenary about it, attend for 3 terms and get out before you go completely broke. I stayed for 5 terms (you need to complete 8 terms to get a degree) and bolted with enough under my belt to begin working in the field.

Here's the rub: you could spend a fraction of the cost to gain the same skills either by taking classes at UCLA Extention and/or by teaching yourself through technical books about Photoshop and the like. It is very over-rated, as you'll find companies want designers who are willing to experiment, have a unique body of work, and a command of the technology out there. You can get that without going to the poor house at Art Center. There is no flexible day program to allow a working stiff to attend classe

PROS: reputation that exceeds itself, some good graphics instructors
CONS: some god-awful self-indulgent professors in the letterform and photography fields; reputation doesn't deliver on skills to adequately compete in the marketplace; education is overpriced given what is offered

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I may be a bit biased, but I truly believe that this school has driven me to excel in all aspects of life. It's true that a school is only as good as the effort that you put into it; meaning that any school can be just as good as long as you take it seriously, and push yourself to learn and grow. This school in particular fosters that drive, and gives you the strict foundation and work ethic that the art world demands, while at the same time giving you the freedom to pursue what you think is most important. I've known tons of students that have gone here and thought that simply the name would land them jobs. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way anywhere. Go here if you're serious--and you'll reap the rewards.
I've also attended the UCLA extension Computer Graphics Program (almost to completion) and it in no way compares with this one. For one, the critiques you get at UCLA extension come from people who are looking for a career change -- mostly beginners (that's not a knock on them, just a fact--I was one of these as well when i was there). The critiques at UCLA Extension are generally not very helpful (i.e. "that's good," or "not bad," and that's it). You never realize what you're missing until you get real and uncensored critiques from good students and professors at Art Center, and learn how to defend and justify your work both through presentations and through your skills. Also, by actively participating in the critiques of your fellow students, you gain even more knowledge and promote spirited discussions with which additional revelations come forth.This in turn helps your classmates, and urges them to do the same when it's your turn to be critiqued. This is where your education here really begins to shine.
Yes, this place is outrageously expensive--most good art schools are. It's also an investment towards your future. You may have the work ethic and drive to learn from books and stuff, but where's the interaction? You learn just as much from your fellow students as from your professors, and of course, from yourself. Go here for the guidance and the training, don't go expecting a golden pass somewhere along the way.

5
★★★★★

I may be a bit biased, but I truly believe that this school has driven me to excel in all aspects of life. It's true that a school is only as good as the effort that you put into it; meaning that any school can be just as good as long as you take it seriously, and push yourself to learn and grow. This school in particular fosters that drive, and gives you the strict foundation and work ethic that the art world demands, while at the same time giving you the freedom to pursue what you think is most important. I've known tons of students that have gone here and thought that simply the name would land them jobs. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way anywhere. Go here if you're serious--and you'll reap the rewards.
I've also attended the UCLA extension Computer Graphics Program (almost to completion) and it in no way compares with this one. For one, the critiques you get at UCLA extension come from people who are looking for a career change -- mostly beginners (that's not a knock on them, just a fact--I was one of these as well when i was there). The critiques at UCLA Extension are generally not very helpful (i.e. "that's good," or "not bad," and that's it). You never realize what you're missing until you get real and uncensored critiques from good students and professors at Art Center, and learn how to defend and justify your work both through presentations and through your skills. Also, by actively participating in the critiques of your fellow students, you gain even more knowledge and promote spirited discussions with which additional revelations come forth.This in turn helps your classmates, and urges them to do the same when it's your turn to be critiqued. This is where your education here really begins to shine.
Yes, this place is outrageously expensive--most good art schools are. It's also an investment towards your future. You may have the work ethic and drive to learn from books and stuff, but where's the interaction? You learn just as much from your fellow students as from your professors, and of course, from yourself. Go here for the guidance and the training, don't go expecting a golden pass somewhere along the way.

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