The Art Institutes Reviews of Bachelor's in Graphic Design

  • 19 Reviews
  • Nationwide
  • Annual Tuition: $17,410 - $19,354
11% of 19 students said this degree improved their career prospects
5% of 19 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Reviews - Bachelor's in Graphic Design

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Samantha Mera
  • Reviewed: 6/18/2019
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"What a disappointing school...the teachers were so great until budget cuts happened and they laid off all the good ones. All this money poured into a school where credits cant even be transferred and transcripts are lost and apparently charged for. I cannot describe my disappoint with this school right now and im still paying my loan off to a college that no longer exists...dont do it everyone. Save your checkbooks and your sanity."
Raoul Watanabe
  • Reviewed: 7/5/2018
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"The Art Institute offers a mixed bag of educational experiences. Some of the instructors are very good and dedicated, some are indifferent at best. They are increasingly using adjunct part-time instructors to save money on teachers -- and the slippage in quality of teaching and the dedication of the teachers shows as a result. The enrollment at the campus has declined bigly in the past few years -- the parking lot looks like a ghost town. They have cut back a lot on their services, class offerings, and support for students. Go to a public school."
A and B student does not reccomend this college
  • Reviewed: 5/3/2018
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"The art institute IE CA is totally unprofessional they are employing teachers that are old and displaying memory problems they do not allow you to choose your electives they have attendance rule they revise and do not inform the students of so that they can screw the out of they money and classes they paid for, they have teachers who are biased and discriminate against students who dont hold the same thoughts as them, they have teachers who are being paid to teach design and art but use their class time to b**** about the president or their own political opinions and use the class to indoctrinate young students to adopt their bs political views, they have teachers that only encourage their "dreamers" teachers who think the kids of people who broke the law and came here illegally are more entitled to have dreams about a future than the other students who are citizens, they say if youre absent 3X your out of the class but if you are absent 2X they drop you from classes you paid for and have attended and been doing the work for even when they are notified of a valid reason and that you intend to not drop any classes because they want to scam as many as possible for tuition and deny your the education you paid for they erase all your classes and deny you access to do the work. they put you in totally irrelevant classes that you wont benefit from until graduation make you do resumes and portfolios that will be irrelevant by the time you graduate so the classes can be filled some classes you need they dont offer so you have to go somewhere else to take them. their art kit they claim was a $500 value is full of junk cheap art supplies crappy colored pencils the teachers wont want you to do your work with low quality drawing paper 100 year old dried up rubber cement markers that are all old and dried up, ink pens that dont work cuz they are all old and also dried up.basically you get charged 500+ bucks for low quality old unusable supplies and you end up having to go buy all new stuff to do the work. dont use the v ending machines cuz when it steals your cash they do nothing to get your cash back when you call the number and the vending guy ignores you so they are enabling the dishonest guy and allowing him to rob the students."
Kate S.
  • Reviewed: 8/31/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I was fortunate enough to have very good professors and the rigorous course load/schedule prepared me for the fast-pace world. The administration is another story. I had to fight tooth and nail to get my credits transferred (even though, the credits has the same title/description) and my adviser was 80% clueless most of the time. I ended up having to advocate for myself and do my own scheduling and degree audit. In the end, I had to do a lot of things myself (financially) to only leave with 45K in student loans. I don't recommend this school, because it isn't worth it. The company wants to see your skills and don't care where you got your undergrad. The degree gets you an interview, but the skills keep you employed."
Steve Mathews
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"THIS SCHOOL IS A SCAM. IT COSTS FOUR TIMES AS MUCH A QUARTER THEN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE BUT THE CREDITS AREN'T TRANSFERRABLE TO OTHER SCHOOLS. THE PROGRAMS ARE OUTDATED. THE CAREER SERVICES DEPARTMENT DOESN'T HELP YOU FIND WORK THAT YOU COULD REALISTICALLY PAY OFF YOUR LOANS AND BILLS WITH, ONLY POSITIONS THAT YOU COULD HAVE GOT WITHOUT A DEGREE. IF YOU WANT A JOB THAT PAYS A LITTLE MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE, THEY GOT YOU COVERED. FINANCIAL AID DEPARTMENT IS SHADY AND DOESN'T RETURN PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS. IF THEY OWE YOU MONEY THEY WAIT AS LONG AS THEY CAN TO PAY YOU. They also just got bought out by a nonprofit to avoid all the lawsuits and loan forgiveness they were being hit with. They prey on people with low incomes and that are fresh out of the military because it's a guaranteed pay check for them. Teachers don't even teach their classes. My last two years I only learned what I thought myself. They make you pay for a web portfolio class that the teacher in the first week of class said "If you have any questions Google it, cause I can't help you." What is he even being paid for and what did I pay for?"
  • Reviewed: 8/30/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I went to the New England Institute of Art in Boston. One semester I had an Edgar Allen Poe English class the entire semester we watched the doors, and Dixie chicks "documentaries" not really sure that was relevant to graphic design but hey now I have $135,000 in student loans so you tell me if that education was worth it. Everything I "learned" at this school I knew prior to going there because I went to a tech school my last semester of high school. And everything I learned about how to communicate professionally and successfully I learned on the job I got myself after college. Also AI claims they got me a job in graphic design after graduation.... I worked at staples as a cashier And I got that job myself. Total scam. They prey on stupid 18 year olds from low income family's that they know will have to take out massive private loans just to attend. I got in "early admission" October 2006 and I was so excited I said yes and didn't even consider any other school that accepted me later in the year. Yes I was dumb but it is their job to recognize people they can con. To this day 7 years later I have never been employed as a graphic designer."
Shane Roberts
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Just in time for the 2008 crash my Ai Graphic Design degree was practically useless. More qualified people who were losing their jobs on a daily basis starting filling positions just to keep jobs, so I head to find anything I could because the "Job Placement" workers were *literally* not doing anything. Then they wanted to take credit for my job placement when the mistook completely on their end that I had a great job at a prolific company. The only good thing to come out of that place was networking with the other talented kids who I would later work with. There were some good teachers, but that place wasn't worth the price of admission. Once you were force-fed your degree, it wasn't worth the paper and ink used to print it. No one in the real world had any respect for a graduate with an Ai degree. Avoid this place at all costs."
Class of 2006
  • Reviewed: 1/11/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Had big hopes I'd get a decent paying job in my field. Total lies and deception from this horrible school. They would call me every day to see when I was enrolling in the program. Studies super hard, was on Dean's honor role many times. I worked my butt off to do my very best. There are no jobs and this school is nothing more than a diploma mill. Avoid at all cost!"
  • Reviewed: 10/17/2016
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I have been crying for the past two hours because they say that I have exhausted my loans and unless I want to pay $400 a month, I cannot get my bachelors. Now I am settling with an associates, still having to pay an absurd amount of money per month until they give me my diploma. This means, if I graduate next month, until I pay off $15,000, they will not give me my diploma. This financial plan has changed so many times since I have been there. First I was paying nothing, then I was paying $190 a month and now it is $400 a month. I wish I never went here. I will be in debt until I am 60, having attended "college" and have nothing to show for it. I wish I would have read reviews before I signed up."
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2016
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Horrible school filled with broken promises and lies. Over $65,000 in student loans with an interest payback of over $142,000 A complete joke. Never found a job in the field. I would not wish this terrible dishonest for profit school on anyone. They knew all the tricks to get you to enroll."
  • Reviewed: 12/15/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Total waste of time and money. They promise the Hollywood studios, like Disney and DreamWorks are looking for AI graduates, not true! The debt you will get yourself into, should be against the law. They do take advantage of the poor and military and should be investigated for their recruiting practices. AI should be shut down!"
  • Reviewed: 11/9/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Great school when I was there, recent changes have not had a positive affect on the school."
  • Reviewed: 9/29/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Not worth the money that was spent on it. Private collages are a scam. I'm so far in debt I can't imagine life without repaying my loans. Most of what I've learned has been in the field."
Lindsay M.
  • Reviewed: 7/16/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Ohhh where to even begin. I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh from 2005 to 2009 and it's nothing but a diploma mill in college's clothing. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about AiP and I regret ever going there. The thing is I was under the impression that I was receiving a quality education, but then I later went on to attend grad school with a real art program and I got to see the difference. Let's look at the classes first. There are a LOT of unnecessary courses I had to take that were required for program completion. Design Fundamentals and Design Principles are the same thing with different names. Graphic design is not the same as illustration, yet there are four required illustration classes (five if you include Life Drawing). Design & Technology and Electronic Design are the same too. There are two portfolio classes. Two English classes and an Algebra class are requirements too. I'm sorry, I took college prep math and English so I *wouldn't* have to take them in college, but the Art Institutes do not accept credits from other schools. How nice for them. Oh, and once you hit your second year, you are required to take one elective each semester. Yup, the optional classes are required. So what are some of the career-building courses the graphic design bachelor's student can take? Special Projects I, II and III! Because that's not vague or anything. How about Textiles, Fundamentals of Audio and Architectural Drafting? Because those have everything to do with graphic design. In the midst of all these Xerox-copy classes and required electives, there was no InDesign class. I personally never learned InDesign until grad school, and even then I taught it to myself. I did have a Quark class, but the professor teaching it had never used the software before, so he also had no clue what he was doing. A Flash/web class is a program requirement, but I took Web Animation II thinking I'd be learning some new, more advanced techniques. Nope! My professor (Mr. Hassinger, I think) just told us that we had to make a portfolio site and show it to him at the end of the semester. He didn't teach us anything new at all, so I basically paid for an 11-week study hall. I think the Art Institutes like to artificially pad their programs in order to stretch them out into associate's and bachelor's programs. If you got rid of all the superfluous classes and just kept the real core courses, an AiP bachelor's program would only be a year and a half long, at best. An associate's program would be more like a certificate program, if it's lucky. Next, let's look at supplies. The school really shoves it down your throat when you enroll to buy their $500 starting kit and they make it sound like you'll be lost without it. I didn't even use half the stuff in it. Now, to be fair, I was in Game Art & Design for a year before I switched majors, but I think a year would be long enough to use everything in a *starting* kit. All the expensive textbooks in the kit were never used and I only used a few of the tools in said kit. The professors loved to tell you about their "required" textbooks that you HAD to buy for the class, and then we'd proceed to never once open those textbooks. My English II professor told us all we needed to buy the textbook for her class and we used it to read part of one poem the whole semester. Some professors would tell us to get the books on Amazon and that previous, cheaper versions would suffice, but others insisted on buying the most up-to-date version brand-new from the student store. I'd just go to the school library for any required reading or assignments and it saved me a lot of money. Housing was a real adventure too. About halfway through my academic career, AiP shuffled us to our new downtown dorms, which were really just a converted parking garage with concrete floors and non-opening windows. Yup, the windows did not open, so if someone burned their popcorn or pancakes or what-not, they couldn't open the windows and air the room out like a normal human being. They had to open the door and let the smoke into the hallway, which usually meant someone thought there was a fire and pulled the fire alarm. I'm pretty sure the fire department hated our guts having to respond to at least two false alarms every semester. In addition, the housing staff would specifically run fire drills at 11 or 12 at night to ensure that most/all of us were in the building to experience said drill. This was especially fun in the winter and people had to stand outside in 15-degree weather in their pajamas and bath towels. That BS took about 15-20 minutes, and then another half hour to get back to your room because the elevators and stairwells were packed with students. And if you refused to leave your room during a drill, you'd get fined. Also, don't be surprised if you get slapped with bills for damage to your room. When I was at the old dorms on the North Side, my roommates and I all got a bill for some unknown damage to the room. No explanation or details about it - just a $300 bill for each of us. Financial aid was special too. Like many teenagers in college, I didn't quite know how the whole financial aid thing worked out, but I trusted that my financial advisors did. They never explained things all that well and would just tell us to sign various documents in order to keep the aid going for the next year. Yeah, they don't tell you that you're selling your soul to Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) by taking out high-interest private loans that do not offer income-based repayment or forgiveness. Tuition is insane too. For a piddly bachelor's degree, it's $100,000. Career Services was worthless during enrollment and after graduation. I attempted to do freelance work through the school's career services and was told I had to be a student for, I think, six semesters before they'd even consider me for freelancing (I'd only been there maybe four at that point). So at the six-semester mark, I went back to the director of graphic design (who was a photography major, by the way) and showed her that I had already had my work published in two books since I started attending AiP. She still told me I wasn't qualified enough to freelance. If being a published freelance illustrator doesn't qualify you to do whatever piddly work AiP had to offer, then I don't know what does. While we're at it, let's talk about their job placement rates. The Art Institutes as a whole just love to brag about how 80 percent of their students find jobs after graduation, or how 9 in 10 students find careers. Wow, that sounds great, doesn't it? Yeah, it's a bunch of crap. AI is able to boast such a high job placement rate because they count ANY job, not just art-related ones. If you're working at Wendy's or FedEx or a car dealership after graduation, that gets counted in their job statistics. If they were honest about how many of their students secured employment in their fields of study, their job placement rates would be so abysmally low that nobody would enroll. I couldn't even get a job making coupons or page layouts for the local newspaper office with my AiP bachelor's degree. In closing, the best way to sum up my review of this place is DON'T GO HERE. To call it a horrible institution would be an understatement. I know the name sounds inviting and you might think, "Oh wow, a school dedicated entirely to art! I always see their ads on TV, so they must be good!" But don't believe it. An advertised school almost always means it's for-profit, and for-profit always means that it sucks. If you want to go to art school, do some research and find a real art program. You'll get a far better education for far less money than you would ever get at any Art Institute."
Sebas Restrepo
  • Reviewed: 6/10/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"This place is the best at exploiting your desire to go to college and become a better person. I enrolled believing everything positive I was hearing from the counselors, while also trying not to worry much about the cost since the financial aid people made it sound like this would be a loan I could totally manage and afford once I graduated; and now I regret this choice. A couple of months into the program, I realized most teachers were not qualified and most clases felt improvised, there were instances were teachers were actually learning along with the students and showed no experience at all on the software that was being taught. My bachelors degree in Graphic Design ended up costing me over $100k! this makes no sense since I applied for financial aid every year, was an A+ student, and took my educations serious."
Worst Decision I Ever Made
  • Reviewed: 4/29/2015
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"120k in debt to SallieMae now Navient. 6 years since I graduated and no job. Before I attended they told me I would get a job with start pay at 30k with an Associates Degree and 35-40k with a Bachelors. So I went for Bachelors program and when I graduated the first and only job I was hired for stared at $15hr which was gona be 30k. A month later I was terminated, no Graphic Design job since then. They are a scam nothing but false advertisement."
Arron Stone
  • Reviewed: 7/31/2014
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"I am currently still enrolled with this school but once this semester is over I will be leaving. So let me start of with the fact I am a us veteran. Since I enrolled a year ago I have had nothing but trouble with reviving my GI benefits because of the school. Every semester I have gone through the same issues. They continuously forget to submit paperwork to the VA which causes me to not receive my benefits. I am among many of the veterans that attend this school who have the same on going issues. Next this school has got some of the worst instructors/teachers I have ever seen. The majority of them use youtube as their tool of choice when it comes to teaching. They spend more time telling you to youtube the class agenda for the day rather than physically teaching you. I could have saved the VA and tax payers dollars by staying at home and doing that. Then once you actually get a teacher who actually tries to instruct you, they have no idea what they are talking about. I have a history teacher who told our class that the earth is only 4,000 years old. That shows you the kind of intelligence these teachers have. Next this school will enroll anyone and I mean anyone just so they can make money. We have students there who struggle with simple tasks throughout the entire course and learn nothing and they will just push them along till they fail and move on to the next which is wrong. I am not saying that the mentally challenged don't deserve a chance to goto school and to try and make something of themselves but you can not throw them into technically challenged curriculum. If I could give no star's to this school on ratings I would. I do not recommend this school to anyone. I suggest a university or community college."
Lindsay M.
  • Reviewed: 7/10/2014
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"AiP, much like the other Art Institutes, is a pathetic excuse for a college. Rarely did I feel genuinely challenged in the entire four years I was enrolled because the projects were easy. This is because the school will accept absolutely anyone. You don't need actual talent to pass or even excel, and even with the more difficult majors like game design, your success is almost certainly due to skills you already had before you got there. Financial services are a joke - they just have you sign papers while telling you everything is under control and you have no idea what you're getting yourself into. Career services is worthless too - you might get an internship if you're really lucky. I was told I wasn't experienced enough to do freelance work via the school after I'd had my work published several times. The fact that I was getting a bachelor of SCIENCE degree in a field of art rather than a bachelor of art or fine arts degree should have been a big flaming red flag, but I was stupid and assumed the school was worthwhile. AiP is a worthless school - a diploma mill in college's clothing and what you'll leave with is six figures of debt and a degree you'll never ever use. I kid you not, I couldn't even get a job making coupons for the local newspaper with my AiP degree. Yeah, that BS is just that - BS. The only thing you'll be able to use your Art Institute degree for is to line your coat when you're homeless under the weight of crippling, unforgiving debt. Art majors aren't very lucrative career choices to begin with, but if you absolutely must attend art school, PLEASE don't go to an Art Institute. Actually, I would strongly suggest auditing art classes and majoring in something more practical. Learn from my mistake, folks. Don't irrecoverably bury yourself in debt at this horrible school."
  • Reviewed: 4/18/2013
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"After high school I was wanting a career in graphic design, so I looked to the Art Institutes since I had seen so many commercials. The actual walk through and orientation went very well which gave me high hopes. It only took about a week though to figure out how things really worked there. For starters, the price. I hadn't compared the price of schools before I landed at the Art Institutes. I was paying almost $10,000 for ONE QUARTER. That included an art supply kit which cost $950 of supplies that could've been purchased much cheaper at places like Hobby Lobby. Plus, I never even touched half of the supplies. Second, the teachers. I had five classes, all of which were on campus. The best teacher was an adjunct for a core philosophy class. One of my art teachers who was teaching Photoshop had no clue what he was doing. I could've learned more from an instructional book than him. My other teachers weren't too bad, but with how much I was paying, I expected better quality instructions. And lastly, I hated the faculty. I found most of the faculty to be very rude and not helpful, especially the financial aid department and advisers. I only stayed at the Art Institutes for one quarter before deciding that it wasn't the school for me. I couldn't justify staying at a school that charges an insane amount of money for poor quality classes. I have since transferred to a local community college, which I pay just pennies for in comparison. AND the art department at this school is much more helpful in assisting me, and I've learned much more than at the Art Institutes. It may look all nice and dandy on the commercials, but I would NOT recommend this school to anyone!"