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    FAQs: From students

    Can you send me a course listing for AIGA?
    AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is a professional association, serving its members and promoting the value of graphic design to the business community and the general public. It neither offers courses in design nor makes recommendations of selected programs. Nationally, each chapter's lecture series may address programs and creative practices, but they are not offered as courses.

    AIGA does offer a comprehensive resource for those interested in a career in graphic design. Graphic Design: A Career Guide and Education Directory is intended to help the individual make decisions about preparing for a career in graphic design. It defines the purpose and practice of the field and identifies the strong links between effective educational programs and effective professional practice. Suggestions are made to help the individual evaluate schools and potential employers.

    What are the top 20 graphic design schools in the U.S.?
    AIGA is a professional association, serving its members and promoting the value of graphic design to the business community and the general public. We do not rank graphic design programs or schools.

    We are currently developing an accreditation process that will determine which graphic design programs meet the standards expected by the profession. While the outcome of that process will take several years, the schools that were authorized in recent years to give the AIGA student medallion will undoubtedly be among those who receive accreditation. There are many other qualified programs as well, depending upon the needs of the student, but this list will assist in any initial review of strong academic programs.

    Those schools are:
    Art Center College of Design
    California College of Arts and Crafts
    California Institute of the Arts
    Carnegie Mellon University
    The Cooper Union
    Cranbrook Academy of Art
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    North Carolina State University
    Rhode Island School of Design
    University of Cincinnati
    University of the Arts
    University of Washington
    Yale University

    Can AIGA help find a design graduate a job?
    AIGA's website offers Design Jobs, a national career and recruitment center. AIGA members may post a job seeker profile, and anyone may post a job listing.

    How do I do research on a particular designer?
    You probably know that one good resource for reviewing the work of contemporary designers is the AIGA's annual, 365: AIGA Year in Design. This is an annual compilation of the best in U.S. graphic design. If the particular designer you are interested in is still living, you should try contacting him or her; most people enjoy sharing information about themselves (as long as you are considerate about taking their time and you have done some preparation!). If you are in New York City and you are an AIGA member, you can call to make an appointment to use the AIGA library, which has a collection of a wide variety of materials on design and designers.

    Do you sponsor a student competition? Do you know of any national student competitions coming up soon?
    The AIGA national competitions do not include a category for student work. The main reason for this is that the selected entries from these competitions become traveling exhibitions, and we need multiple copies of each selection, which are not available if the work hasn't been produced, as is generally the case with student work.

    Some AIGA chapters have competitions at a local level, and many of them include a category for student work. Please contact your local AIGA chapter for more information.

    Publications like How and Print have sections in their annual reviews for student work as well. You can contact them for deadlines and additional information. Also, there's a catalog of both national and international competitions called “Awards, Honors and Prizes,” by Gale Publishing. You can find it in the reference section of libraries. They have a dedicated section on design competitions.

    Does AIGA offer any scholarships?
    AIGA and Worldstudio offer Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships to allow young people from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to not only to realize their artistic dreams, but also to give back to their communities.

    I'm looking for a summer internship. Any hints on how to start my search?
    We encourage students to list themselves in the job seekers section Design Jobs with a “seeking status” of Internship. Likewise, we are encouraging firms to list their internship opportunities.

    You should also contact local colleges and universities to determine if they have internship placements. Another good way of proceeding is to review past AIGA annuals to identify designers whose work you admire and write to them. You can also contact the National Network for Artist Placement and ask for a copy of The National Directory of Artist Internships. This publication identifies art internships for emerging artists in various fields, including graphic design. The directory is distributed to over 2,000 colleges, university career centers, and libraries and is useful for graduating arts students. Contact: NNAP, National Network for Artist Placement, 935 West Avenue 37, Los Angeles, CA 90065. 213 222-4035

    What is the AIGA student medallion?
    The AIGA Medallion for Design Excellence was awarded in recent years in recognition of distinguished achievement by a student in graphic design. The individual receiving the award has exhibited outstanding creativity, innovation, achievement or leadership, and dedication to the profession of design.

    AIGA awarded this medallion to encourage national awareness and recognition of the contributions of design students to the future of graphic design. AIGA worked with a small number of schools in the late 1990s. The program is currently in hiatus.

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