Preparing for Design and Applied Arts School

If you are considering going to school for design or applied arts, your post-secondary planning process should begin as early as high school. Design and applied arts schools and programs can be competitive and are rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Some of the classes that you will want to take are English, speech/communications, creative arts, creative writing (if offered) and math to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools that make your list. Computer and keyboarding skills are also beneficial for programs in this field.

If you are still in high school, and are thinking about going to school for design or applied arts, there are several additional things that you can do to prepare and increase your chances of being accepted:

  • Your portfolio represents you to a college as a potential student. Spend time preparing your portfolio in school and at home. For most schools your portfolio will play a determining factor in your admission to that particular school.


  • Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for these specialized programs.


  • Design and applied arts admissions committees are often interested in a student's prior experience in the field, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining school clubs related to your area of interest. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any competitive application.


  • Work experience - paid or volunteer - can also increase your chances of being admitted and is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees.


  • Develop your skills. Taking arts or craft classes in your community is another way to show that you are serious and have already built up some knowledge about the field. This will also help you prepare for the portfolio required for most applications to design and applied arts programs.


  • Check out CampusStarter's database of Canadian Design and Applied Arts Schools and Programs