Hardest. Decision. Ever. (PLEASE help) RISD students appreciated!!
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    Hardest. Decision. Ever. (PLEASE help) RISD students appreciated!!

    Hi everyone.

    I've been admitted to RISD and planned to major in Illustration.


    I've also been admitted to Yale.


    Obviously two different schools. Obviously RISD is a great art school.

    But I've been researching Yale's art department & it seems to be good.

    If I go to Yale I will be getting a great Liberal Arts education. I can still major in art but I am afraid the facilities/ teachers, etc., will not be as good...the whole art experience...as if I go to RISD.

    But Yale is a great school. *falters*

    I know I will meet amazing people at BOTH institutions.

    I applied to the RISD/Brown dual degree but did not get into Brown...so this is such a tough decision...

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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    I can't give you an answer. But I can give you some info and ask some questions that might help you inform your decision.

    Yale is a great school. But their undergrad art department isn't much, their reputation is built entirely on their masters program (which is useful primarily for connections and as a resume booster in the circles for which such things matter). I think, if you're going to go to Yale, it would be an incredible waste of time to major in art.

    Even if though you weren't accepted into the dual degree program, I believe cross-registering for Brown courses is still possible at RISD.

    What is your financial situation? Both schools are, needless to say, very expensive. Which degree do you think would be a better investment? Even though Yale is an Ivy League school, with a tuition to match, they also have an Ivy League endowment, so the scholarship and financial aide situation may be better.

    Which school do you think will do a better job of teaching you what you want to know?

    Remember that it's not just an either/or choice. None of the above is also an option.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Thank you so much for the comment!

    Financially, I will be able to go to either school. Thankfully my decision can be made without regards to this aspect.

    When you say their undergrad art dept. "isn't much" and it would be a "waste" to major in art...what are you basing this off of?


    I would love to see examples of Yale undergrad art students' work. I have been able to find a bit, and it doesn't look bad...but again, it isn't RISD.

    http://art.yale.edu/UGSummerComprehensive

    http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/20...ly-artsy-nude/

    This page says Yale's art program is good, but it's from an ehow so I have a feeling I can't trust it. :/

    http://www.ehow.co.uk/list_6461923_a...versities.html

    Then again, I *know* RISD's art program is fantastic. But will I be missing out on a college experience, liberal arts classes, etc? I did not think so but I must ask these questions...

    Part of me feels like an undergraduate liberal arts education can only be experienced once...whereas I could go to graduate school for art or take a program after college...

    but part of me is afraid that would be "too late"...and another part of me really does want to experience the full-art undergraduate education.

    I am visiting both schools in April but any more thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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    Hey there! Current RISD illustration major here. :]

    While I can't speak for Yale from experience, I can say that I've heard similar things to what Elwell is saying. However, given as how I've never applied, or even been to Yale, I don't know how much weight my words hold.

    In regards to RISD, however:

    RISD is a great, great place and the illustration department is wonderful place filled with wonderful people and professors.

    In regards to liberal arts, fear not! RISD has heavy requirements in liberals arts (1/3 of your credit requirement). In addition, you can opt to have a "concentration" (aka, a minor) in the liberal arts department, which requires additional liberal arts credits. I don't know numbers off hand, but I can roughly guess an addition of 12 credits. More information can be found on RISD's website.

    Even if you were not accepted as Dual Degree Student, you can still take Brown classes for credit! While it is a bit more challenging as it usually involves a series of e-mails to the professor/showing up for the first day and hoping they'll let you in, I have a number of friends who have taken classes there and have been really pleased! Also, Brown professors love love love RISD students, and they offer a different way of thinking and contribute to that class differently than Brown students.

    Last edited by ewalus; April 1st, 2011 at 04:11 PM.
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    thank you so much! this was very helpful.

    one of my other concerns was how hard it would be to cross register into some brown classes.

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    From what I've heard it's not too difficult, but it takes a little extra work (as I mentioned before, e-mailing the professor, showing up to the class hoping to get in). For your reference, here is the webpage for the RISD Registrar's Office, which deals with class registration and credits:

    http://risdregistrar.wordpress.com/

    And if you have any further questions that are not adressed on the site, give them a call! They're all really nice people. :]

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    thank you again.

    to answer a previous question:

    Which school do you think will do a better job of teaching you what you want to know?


    RISD. When the "what I want to know" is art. Obviously RISD.

    But Yale when the "what I want to know" is english, literature discussions, etc. (I think - I will be looking into RISD's liberal arts classes when I visit again!)

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    What a great dilemma to have! I'll be interested to know what you decide...either school would be fantastic in different ways...I wish that students who are both artistic and academic weren't forced to choose one or the other. High quality programs for both art and academics are few and far between, and it makes the decision almost akin to having to choose between children. Fortunately with RISD there is Brown nearby, whereas with Yale you don't have a nearby artistic powerhouse. I think you'll be well off in either place, and there is always grad school to focus on whatever it is you missed as an undergrad.

    Good luck!

    -Rebecca


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