We received a lot of questions in preparation for the Dean's Reception this year, and I think that the Graphic Design Major Session answered quite a few! The purpose of this post, though, is to revisit a couple of big ones for people that weren't there/wrap up details.
1: I would like to hear about some of the software/computer programs that are used for course work and does the university help with the cost of those?
Absolutely! First of all, I just want to say how JEALOUS I am that your computer purchase will be tax exempt (since it's required). I also wanted to note some other software we use and where you typically get it from. First of all, we use the Adobe Creative Suite of programs. You can buy Design Standard or Design Premium, with the difference being that Premium has the web stuff in it like Flash and Dreamweaver. You're gonna want that. Go to http://bookstores.umn.edu/viewCategory.cgi?categoryID=3527 to check out the MTech page on the Bookstore site to see more information--unfortunately, you have to log in as a student to purchase it. That being said, you don't really need it until you take GDes 1315. Try to hold out as long as possible--Adobe updates fairly often.
Secondly, DO NOT purchase Microsoft Office in a store. Buy it from the U at http://www.oit.umn.edu/umart/ because it's about $40 instead of $100.
Also, don't buy your own antivirus software. It's available for free from the U at http://www.oit.umn.edu/utools/all-software/symantec-antivirus-125184.html
This next one is a favorite of mine....
2: Can students outside of a music major participate in groups like choir?
Students outside of music majors can participate in choir AND band! There is a difference between auditioned groups and non-auditioned groups on campus, though. An auditioned group doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a music major either; you just have to earn your spot. Learn more on the School of Music's Ensembles site at https://music.umn.edu/ensembles and make sure to JOIN MARCHING BAND! Kidding. Kind of.
This post got really long really fast, but my goal is to answer YOUR questions, so feel free to leave me comments for the remainder of the semester. It's almost spring break!
Graphic Design B.F.A.