While some students enter the UW as freshmen, others arrive as transfer students after doing coursework at other colleges. The School regularly accepts transfer students who want to study art, art history, or design. We asked three who just finished their first quarter to write about their experience here.
Division of Art
The main reasons why I chose to study at the University of Washington were because of the community connections, the various programs and resources available, the simple transfer process, the opportunity to learn from an institution with distinguished alumni, and the diversity on campus. The program offerings were particularly important to me as I was looking for an institution where I could study both art and social sciences. I chose to study art with a concentration in 3-Dimensional Forum (3D4M) because I want to expand my knowledge of ceramic sculpture and to learn from multiple experienced sculpture artists. This 3D4M concentration allows me to study different materials, learn new techniques and skills, and challenge myself outside of my comfort zone. I appreciate the flexibility of the 3D4M concentration because I am able to float, explore, and combine material and techniques from one practice to another. I've only just started my second quarter, but I already feel like there is no limit to what I can create because of the positive experiences I've had with my Art instructors so far. I also plan on studying Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and American Ethnic Studies. The UW allows me to do all of this. As a transfer student from a small community college, I expected to feel lost and isolated at the UW, but, after my first quarter, I am happy to say it has been a welcoming and encouraging environment. Overall, I have had great interactions from orientation, advising, and faculty. I was expecting the instructors to be intimidating, but they truly just want you to grow and succeed. While at the UW, my goals are to complete an internship, make connections with the greater Seattle art community, master another language, find an organization I am passionate about, and study abroad! I look forward to all I have planned as I continue my education at the UW.
Division of Art History
Coming from two other colleges before transferring to the University of Washington I was more than ready to find a school that was equal parts affordable and challenging. The School of Art + Art History + Design offered that. I knew I wanted to major in Art History since my freshman year, and it has been something I could hold onto as I transferred through two other colleges, but it was my first quarter at UW that really solidified my love for Art History through the stimulating coursework and incredibly knowledgeable faculty. It was clear that everyone here cared about art and art history as much I did, so this propelled me to try harder and give back as much as I was getting. During these next two years at the School, I hope to strengthen my connections with my peers in the major and join some of the clubs the School has to offer like the Printmaking Association and Student Voice Project; from my experience, it is community that makes this whole college thing worthwhile.
Division of Design
The road to UW was long and tedious, tough; it has never made me more sure about the place I am in right now. I started at another university as a freshman but quickly learned their design program was not nearly as rigorous as I had hoped. Racking my brain in my Photoshop 101 class, I knew I needed something more. The UW Design program has had a positive reputation around the city and so, fueled by a nasty breakup, I dropped out of school, finished my AA at a community college, and I applied. When applying to the design major as a transfer, I had to go through the workshop in the summer, which was the most exciting and terrifying day of my life. I felt like I was in an episode of Project Runway minus Tim Gunn. Now that I have finished a quarter here, I can confidently say the last two years of anxiety and hard work have been completely worth it. I can't say it has been easy, but that just comes with the territory. The quarter has tested my emotional endurance equally to my development of new skills. I appreciate being surrounded by a cohort of talented creators who consistently challenge me to be better. Once we approach spring quarter, we will need to narrow our scope to a desired track in the program. I am leaning more towards Visual Communication Design, though Interaction Design has piqued my interest since joining the School. Additionally, since the design major is a three year track, I will be taking a 5th year. That leaves me with some time to expand my knowledge in other fields. I want to reach into some social justice topics, includingGender, Women & Sexuality Studies or Disability Studies. My attention at the moment, however, is pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship as I have dreams of not being told what to do. Beyond school, I work as the Design Student Coordinator at First Year Programs on campus. There, I have an opportunity to apply my skills in a real world setting under brand guidelines. Then, on the weekends, I work with engineering students at Design for America where we tackle issues on campus and spend a year prototyping solutions for a conference in the spring. It's an opportunity for me to connect with peers beyond the School and allow me to practice UX design from a different lens outside of class. When I'm not living or breathing design, I spend my days caring for my jungle of plants, pretending I can skateboard, or complaining about the weather even though I actually like it.