University of Michigan - Stamps School of Art & Design Reviews
I just accepted my offer for the School of Information and will be transferring out of Stamps. Me and several of my friends (5 of them, to be specific) all started our freshman year in Stamps. Next semester, only one of them will still be in Stamps. The classes are hit or miss depending on the professors. Some of them are unqualified to teach, but some are amazing. It's hard to get into classes that you want, especially the upper level classes, some of which have THREE prereqs. The portfolio expo they advertise every year does not have good opportunities for recruitment—they usually bring in small companies and startups that hire unpaid/min wage interns. (One time they even brought in RoosRoast?) Overall, Stamps does not seem to care enough about the development of students and to be honest I'm transferring because despite excelling in my studios, I feel like I haven't learned ANYTHING.
The program uses an interdisciplinary approach but uses that an excuse to not flesh out any mediums. Majority of classes are just intro levels and theres no way to delve into most mediums, instead you just briefly touch on each medium. The work taught to students is all very classically proficient but isn't innovative. Sophomore-Senior year most classes are elective studios which honestly remind me a lot of my high school studios. It looks like there are a lot of courses but most courses aren't offered year round. The courses all expect far too little from the students and aren't challenging enough. Whole programs are entirely discontinued, for example they closed the dark room this year. The program is good for kids who want to double major in an academic field, but I am transferring to a stronger art school.
Overall, I am fairly disappointed with the Stamps School of Art and Design. It's just a studio arts program of the likes of a high school education and doesn't really challenge its students for any mediums, which has allowed for people to stick more to a specific way of thinking rather than allow for any type of creative expression. Having our winter semester be shoved to the brim with 4 required classes and a lecture series is just not worth it. Spending $120K in a span of four years for something you can get in high school for free is just a scam. The cards are stacked against you, and if you choose to stay, good luck trying to find a career. The school has no well-known alumni of the last 20 years on any national scale, and most grads end up working at dining halls on campus. I don't intend in this review to dismiss anyone, but I stand by my word. I'm going to try to finish my freshman year out strong so I can transfer to Ross or a school with an animation program in the fall.