10 Tips for RMCAD Freshmen

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – So, you’ve been accepted to attend RMCAD, congratulations! This is an exciting step in your life and we can’t wait to have you join our incredible community. To help you feel prepared for your first term at RMCAD we sat down with Student Ambassador and General Illustration Major, Alexandria Caldwell to get her advice and answers to some commonly asked questions so you feel prepared and ready to take on this exciting new adventure. 

How do I decide what’s the right major for me?
I would try to think about what you want to do after you graduate, (I know it’s hard) and pick the major that best fits your career path. If you are unsure of what you want your career path to be, pick the major that most appeals to you. You can also schedule a meeting with your Student Advisor, who can give you insight into each major, or reach out to students of majors that interest you to ask about their experiences.

What can I expect my schedule to look like?
There are a few different ways RMCAD will set up your schedule. You’ll either have a stacked schedule, with both of your classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday, or you’ll have one class a day, either Monday through Thursday, or Monday through Friday.  If  one way in particular appeals to you, you can always reach out to your advisor to have them mark that down as your preferred scheduling method. 

How much time can I expect to spend on homework?
It really depends on the class, but you can expect to spend more time working on homework assignments for your studio classes than your liberal arts classes. Most of the time you’ll have to complete discussion posts, smaller weekly writing assignments, and larger research assignments for liberal arts classes which takes a few hours a week, while you could spend many hours on one assignment for a studio class. 

What clubs are there on campus? Can I join a club if I’m an online student?
There are many different clubs, and other out-of-class activities available for students who are on campus or online. The different clubs available for students at the moment can be found here. Also, if there are no current clubs that interest you, you can reach out to Student Activities by emailing student.activities@rmcad.edu to create your own club!

What events do you recommend for first-year students?
There are all kinds of educational, and fun events that would appeal to first-year students, but my best advice would be to just go to as many events as possible. Events are a great way to make connections with other students within and outside of your own major. Not only this, but events are a nice way to take a break from classwork, especially as an online student. Just pick an event that appeals to you and sign up!

What’s the best way to make friends?
I would say the best way to make friends at RMCAD is by attending events, joining clubs, and just opening up to others. I find, especially as artists, that it can be harder to connect with others since we are all in our own world. It can be especially difficult to connect with others as a full-time student, with a job, and other commitments outside of school. This is why I spend my free time attending events because that’s where I am able to make connections with new people. There are also many galleries, museums, and other fun things to do in Denver so I have made my fair share of friends outside of school also. Coming from an out-of-state student, you will make plenty of friends at RMCAD, don’t worry!

How many classes will I be taking during the semester as a full/part time student? 
As a full-time student, you will take two classes every term, which is four classes every semester. As a part-time student, you will take one class every term, which is two classes a semester. I usually go full-time all year with the exception of the Summer B term,  which I take part-time as a break and opportunity to work extra before Fall A.

Can I apply to work study positions on campus?
Yes, There are a number of work positions available on campus for students to apply for such as the Tech-Bar and FabLab. This is a great opportunity for students who want to cut out the commute to a job, and also help other students in the RMCAD community.

What piece of advice would you give incoming students?
I would say to stay organized and on top of your classes, and enjoy your time as a student! Be sure to keep a planner and schedule your work time. It can be difficult to work on assignments from home with the distractions of family, roommates, pets, or otherwise around you. Scheduling your projects can make this a lot easier, and also, remember that your professors are always willing to help/work with you as long as you communicate with them! As for enjoying your time as a student, attend events such as Wayfinding, VASDP, and socialize with other students!

What do you wish you would’ve known about your first semester at RMCAD? Why did you choose RMCAD?
I wish I would have expressed myself more in my studio seminar class. It was my first class at RMCAD and definitely an opportunity to go crazy with my art and explore many new mediums while also forming connections with other new students at RMCAD. Speak up, make those connections, and enjoy your Studio Seminar class!

I chose RMCAD as my school because of the tight-knit creative community. I knew RMCAD would allow me to learn in a small classroom environment, therefore allowing me to receive specific feedback from students and professors. I also love the atmosphere on campus– people are always creating, everyone is so kind and willing to help you, and the campus is STUNNING! I definitely made the right choice. 

Who can I go to if I need help with my major/classes?
RMCAD has a great advising team that would be more than happy to help you with your major as well as your classes and schedule. Other than that, if you ever need advice, want to join an event, or just want to make a new friend, reach out to one of your Student Ambassadors. We are here to help make your experience at RMCAD as enjoyable as possible!