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Old 02-02-2011, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
148 posts, read 370,235 times
Reputation: 74

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I apologize if this is repeating another thread as I tried to find information.

Due to a recent decision of a career change, I decided after I graduate from my current college, I plan on going to an art school for interior design. The Illinois Art Institute-Chicago is my first runner up from the research I've done. But I was just wondering if anyone has any insider or personal information on this school as far as getting in, the coursework, teachers, administration, reputation, etc. Any information is helpful. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:12 AM
 
674 posts, read 1,013,036 times
Reputation: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aenej4 View Post
I apologize if this is repeating another thread as I tried to find information.

Due to a recent decision of a career change, I decided after I graduate from my current college, I plan on going to an art school for interior design. The Illinois Art Institute-Chicago is my first runner up from the research I've done. But I was just wondering if anyone has any insider or personal information on this school as far as getting in, the coursework, teachers, administration, reputation, etc. Any information is helpful. Thanks!
In my opinion, Chicago has an abundance of art, architecture and media you can survey and study on your own if you're interested in interior design. You cannot be taught art, only how to think about it. So spend a much smaller amount of money by going to another school for interior design. The Art Institute is ridiculous, especially if you expect employment after you graduate to pay all of your loans back.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
148 posts, read 370,235 times
Reputation: 74
Do you know of any other design schools? The only other ones I have researched are the Art Institute, Harrington's, and Columbia College and they all seem to be on a similar level as the Illinois Art Institute.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,884 posts, read 4,699,325 times
Reputation: 2766
I would check out their job placement rates. The REAL Art Institute - The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a much more prestigious school than the for profit types like the Illinois Art Institute. There's no point in paying for school if you're not going to get a job to pay off your student loans.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:25 PM
 
209 posts, read 559,930 times
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I have a good friend who went to Illinois Institute of Art 2000-2004. He did not love the administration of the school and thought that their career and placement office in particular was pretty useless. Nevertheless, he did get (unpaid) internships through the school and he has been working steadily since graduation, so I think even he would allow that it wasn't a complete waste of time or money. He found work in the design industry about 6 months after graduating and now manages a showroom at the Merchandise Mart here in Chicago (the Merchandise Mart is a giant complex of mostly wholesale design showrooms and is also where Illinois Institue of Art is located).

It's unfortunate that most interior design programs are offered at private institutions like Illinois Institute of Art and Harrington because that usually means big-time loans to pay for them. It's especially unfortunate because most of the graduates of these schools end up in entry-level design industry retail sales jobs, and those are the lucky ones. Paying back $50,000 + in loans on $35,000 a year is not easy to do.

One other thing: you mentioned that you're already graduating from college. As far as I know, Illinois Institute of Art and similar schools offer a BA in interior design, so the question is whether you want to pay to earn a second BA. If there are no other degree options (associates degree, certificate) and you still want to get another BA, you should find out from all the places you're considering how much of the general education credits you earned at your first college will transfer to the new school to hopefully save you time and money.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
148 posts, read 370,235 times
Reputation: 74
Since I will already be getting a BA in an unrelated field, I have the option of getting a Masters in Interior Design. Harrington gave me that option. I didn't know if I should get a BA or BFA in Interior Design first, then a Masters? I know employers mostly look at your portfolio rather than dwell on where you got your education so maybe a Masters is the best option for me. As far as getting another BA, my general class credits will transfer so I'm not too worried about that.

For some schools, they require a portfolio for admissions, well since I haven't done any work since high school for interior design, I don't have a portfolio or even know how to make one. The Illinois Institute of Art doesn't require a portfolio but maybe that's a red flag?

I've heard most of the schools I have looked at are for profit which I'm not too interested in. I would rather go somewhere that's for education.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:40 PM
 
4,126 posts, read 7,386,091 times
Reputation: 2681
I don't know if the School of the ARt Institute of Chicago offers interior design. Maybe only fine art. Check and see. Interior design schools like Harrington might specialize in that.
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