School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a favorable location in downtown Chicago facilitates the experience of vibrant creativity in an architecturally rich city. Art is the soul of the world, the appreciation of which is ingrained in our intellect. But if you are greatly interested in artistic creations, a degree in the same can be very beneficial for your career. There are many schools dedicated to the service and education of art, one can also visit professional course for more information.

There are many queries about the ranking, notable alumni, and majors, which we will discuss in this exhaustive guide. 

School of the art institute of Chicago excels in providing an interdisciplinary curriculum to undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students. These students go out to become designers, artists, and scholars, with a zeal to change the world with art. Let us start learning more about this reputed art institution, inspiring generations since the 19th century.

School of The Art Institute of Chicago
School of The Art Institute of Chicago

School of The Art Institute of Chicago – Info

Established in 1866 through an art students’ cooperative, the school is renowned in the art industry. National Arts Journalism survey conducted by Columbia University conferred the title of “the most influential art college in the USA” upon SAIC. 

The School of The Art Institute of Chicago ranking is reasonably consistent in the nation. The U.S. News and World Report ranked it in fourth place for overall arts education. In an all-university ranking by The Global Language Monitor, school stood 5th in the U.S., becoming the highest valued art school in the country.

Here, the cultural influence of Chicago and the award-winning faculty strives to bring out the best from the art students. The broad alumni base works in mutual cooperation with the institute for a multifaceted career of the students. 

The School of The Art Institute of ChicagoThe Value System

Every university has a plethora of benefits that you can weigh upon while taking admission in it. Beyond the educative curriculum and diversity of culture, it is the value system of the place that shapes the students towards greatness. At School of the art institute of Chicago, the value system is very intricate and binding.

  1. Be an explorer.
  2. Merge creative playfulness with critical thinking.
  3. As makers of unique perspectives, always try to generate meaning.
  4. The faculty and students support each other in an artistic pursuit. 
  5. The richness, contradictions, and complexity of Chicago mirror itself in the diversity of School of the art institute of Chicago. 
  6. SAIC has shaped the art industry of the 20th century and will continue to do so in the 21st century.
The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago

The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago


School of The Art Institute of Chicago majors is remarkable in the art industry, with a 70% acceptance rate. The university offers several on-campus courses and off-campus and distant learning opportunities. There are about 50 different areas of study covered by 25 dedicated departments.

  • Undergraduate Degrees

The best part about studying at School of the art institute of Chicago is that you can excel in interdisciplinary education. You can choose different areas of interest, irrespective of the degree you are pursuing. Students of Writing may take up Fashion Design for an elaborated career scope, as they desire. One can also visit most affordable graduate schools.

Following undergraduate plans are offered by the school

  1. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio
  • Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects
  • Art and Technology Studies
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion Design
  • Fiber and Material Studies
  • Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Performance
  • Photography
  • Print Media
  • Sculpture
  • Sound
  • Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design)
  1. Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Art Education
  2. Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Writing
  3. Bachelor of Arts in Art History
  4. Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies
  • Graduate Degrees

With a friendly and cooperative faculty, the graduate degree programs dwell deeper into art education. There are several art seminars, ranging in subjects from photography, psychology, or architecture. The programs offer awareness, topical knowledge, and a better understanding of subjects to every student.

The courses offered under this degree program are an elaboration and enhancement of the undergraduate plan, like:

  1. Master of Fine Arts in Studio
  • Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects
  • Art and Technology Studies
  • Ceramics
  • Design for Emerging Technologies
  • Fiber and Material Studies
  • Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
  • Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Performance
  • Photography
  • Print Media
  • Sculpture
  • Sound
  • Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design)
  1. Master of Architecture
  2. Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture
  3. Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy
  4. Master of Arts in Art Education
  5. Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling
  6. Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History
  7. Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism
  8. Master of Arts in Teaching
  9. Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies
  10. Master of Design in Designed Objects
  11. Master of Design in Fashion, Body, and Garment
  12. Master of Fine Arts in Writing
  13. Master of Science in Historic Preservation
  14. Dual Degree: MA in Arts Administration & Policy & MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certifications

The School of The Art Institute of Chicago provides two dedicated Post-Baccalaureate Certification programs focused upon the graduates’ advanced learning. These two degrees intend to prepare the students entirely for the artistic media industry:

  1. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio+Historic Preservation 
  2. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body, and Garment. One can also visit online regionally accredited colleges.
School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Ranking

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Ranking

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Ranking

Along with the alluring degree programs, the advanced environment of SAIC contributes to shaping its students. At school , there are never enough reasons to wish to be a part of their reputed heritage.

  • Liberal Arts

When we talk of an arts degree, it does not only revolve around the creative aptitude. About 25% of the curriculum at School of the art institute of Chicago comprises English, natural sciences, and social sciences, so our students have an all-around development.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies

The exciting course design at School of the art institute of Chicago permits interdisciplinary learning, where you do not choose a subject for majors. You select the idea you want to work upon. Wish to combine film, ceramic, and paintings? Concentrate on architecture only? SAIC has a plan of action for you to pursue and achieve your goals.

  • Full Access to Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago

The Museum of the Art Institute is the home to the third-largest collection of art in the world. With over 300,000 artwork in the gallery, the museum is accessible at all opening hours by the SAIC students.

  • Global Internship Opportunities

Being one of the oldest art institutes in the world, SAIC is equally recognized all throughout. The accreditations and resourceful collaborations allow the students to have a global art exposure. Before you start in the industry, you have your résumé full of accolades and achievements.

  • Professional Opportunities

The graduate students get extensive exposure as they are entirely ready to enter the job industry. They are gradually honed with rigorous training, fellowships, internships, graduate assistantship, teaching assistantship, teaching fellowships, exhibition fellowships, and various other opportunities. One can also visit professional course for further more understanding.

  • Urban Influence

Seventy-seven distinct neighborhoods and a culturally rich heritage make Chicago a beneficial addition to expanding one’s artistic capabilities. The strong alumni base of School of the art institute of Chicago spread across the city creates the best influence on budding artists.

  • On-campus Facilities

As one of the oldest art universities, School of the art institute of Chicago still holds on to many time-honored traditions like throwing clay and pouring molten metal. Simultaneously, they have grown with modern technology, and have laser cutting technology and 3-D printing facilities. Such a diverse range of resources makes it the best place for students to learn different crafts.

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Tuition

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Tuition

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Tuition Fees

As the education form is interdisciplinary, tuition fees are calculated by the total number of credits hours per semester. The students have their portal with options of self-service and account statements to access, 24×7. If there are due payments on any student’s account, he/she may not be able to register for the next semester.

The university also provides live chat and FAQ services on the website to answer all the students’ queries. A payment guide is also provided to the students, for convenience. As there are multiple courses, the fees vary according to the resources provided and hours conducted. The full-time undergraduate students pay an average of $47,000 in fees and tuition.

For different semesters, the first bill date varies, as:

  1. Summer- Third week of April
  2. Fall- Third week of July
  3. Winter- Third week of November
  4. Spring- Third week of December

Additional Costs

School of the art institute of Chicago tuition includes a lot of other factors other than the tuition fee. If you are staying in the residential halls, there are housing charges levied on you. 

There are U-Pass fees, health insurance charges, and technology fee charged per semester, as well. For ARTI Card replacement, and other miscellaneous expenses as well, the payment structure is defined accordingly.

Financial Aid

The Student Financial Services office of the School of Art Institute of Chicago strives to give the best educational facilities to students from diverse economic backgrounds. They beautifully call the funding aids, a partnership among the families, the university, and the state and federal government.

To receive federal financial aids, the student should be enrolled in half-time or full-time courses. There are numerous grants, loans, and aids available to both US and non-US citizens, with an intent to provide equal academic opportunities to all.


Accreditations to an institute prove that the place is fully adept and resourceful at providing the courses offered. It further establishes that the university has participated in a peer-review process for its periodical quality assessment. 

The School of Art Institute of Chicago has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1936. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) also accredited it as a charter member since 1948. In addition to these, there are several accreditation to the achievements of the university, as follows:

  1. BFAAE, BFA with an Emphasis in Art Education and M.A. in Teaching (MAT) programs are certified by the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education).
  2. M.A in Art Therapy and Counseling (MAATC) course is accredited by the AATA (Educational Program Approval Board of the American Art Therapy Association).
  3. Four courses under the Master of Architecture (MArch) degree program are accredited by the NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board).

Provisions for International Students

The diverse student base of School of the art institute of Chicago is maintained because of its graceful approach towards international students. Their total student population comprises more than 30% of international students. The university takes admission of international students under two recognition standards:

  1. Non-US Citizen
  2. Non-US Permanent Green Card Holder

Here are a few things that international students must note:

  1. The students must have an F-1 Student Visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa for pursuing academics in the USA.
  2. Both the undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for merit-based scholarships.
  3. International students cannot avail of need-based financial aid from the federal government. However, they can work on-campus and get incentives. The work provision is for 20 hours in the spring and fall semesters, and for 40 hours in the summer and winter semesters.
  4. The students with TOEFL scores lower than 7.0 IELTS, 65 PTE, or 96 IBT should undergo the EIS or English for International Students classes under critique, tutorials, and fluency categories.
  5. If the students violate any terms of their visa, they will have to apply for reinstatement.
  6. Any update to the international students’ permanent address can only be done through the International Affairs department.
  7. School of the art institute of Chicago collects a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) to prove the student’s ability to pay the tuition fees and living expenses for the entire year. This can require the submission of your bank statement showing available annual funding, a complete packet of immigration and financial documents, international declaration of intent, and a copy of your passport’s biographical page.


There are four semesters in the university:

  1. Fall
  2. Spring
  3. Summer
  4. Winter

The admission deadline and criteria for these semesters vary for the undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate courses, depending upon the semester type.

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Requirements
School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Requirements

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Requirements

Applicants can enroll in The School of Art Institute of Chicago by filling the common application. Here are some of the things to remember for requirements, as a freshman applicant:

  • Application Deadlines

For the Fall semester, the deadline for all early action and previous registration is 15th November.

The final merit deadline is 1st April and 1st November for the Fall and Spring Semesters, respectively. 

The final application deadline is 17th July and 1st January for the Fall and Spring Semesters, respectively.

  • Application Fees
  1. For U.S. Applicants- $65
  2. For International Applicants- $85
  • Portfolio

As this is a technical and industry-oriented university, previous inclination towards the field can help in getting admission. Submit a portfolio as your personal pitch, including 10-15 of your recent works. Use the space to showcase all your skills and potential.

  • Artist’s Statement

With a 250-500 word statement, emphasize your creative aptitude and tell the university why they should accept your application. Take good care of sentence formations, grammar, and punctuation.

  • Transcripts

You should submit your high school transcript or equivalent mark sheet through the application form, email, or mail.

If your certificate/transcript is in any other language, apart from English, provide an officially translated transcript.

  • Test Scores

International students who do not have English as their first language need to submit one of the following language assessment scores:

TOEFL- a minimum of 82 internet-based

PTE- a minimum of 55

IELTS- a minimum of 6.5

Duolingo- 110

For domestic students, test submissions are optional but can be demanded later after academic review. 

  • Letter of Recommendation

You have to submit a letter of recommendation written by any professional or your instructor, who can evaluate and present your commitment, motivation, and potential to excel at School of the art institute of Chicago. If you are currently employed, your employer can assess your skills in an LoR.

Payment Plans

SAIC encourages the students to clear all their payments on the 15th of the month before a semester begins. This way, the students can avoid any restricted access on the campus, the imposition of late fees, or exclusion from further registration. 

The due dates of fee payments for different semesters are as follows:

  1. Summer- May 15
  2. Fall- August 15
  3. Winter- December 15
  4. Spring- January 15

The university accepts multiple payment options, making it easier for all students to pursue their education. One can pay the fees at the Bursar’s Office in Sharp Building by:

  1. Cash
  2. Check
  3. Money Order

CASHNet Wire Transfers, Credit/Debit Card, ACH or electronic check payments are accepted atSchool of the art institute of Chicago. They also offer an interest-free four payment plan to the economically struggling students. The fees are due on the 15th of each month, and an enrollment fee of $50 is charged per semester for availing the facilities. The amount budgeted for the plan subtracts the financial aid automatically. 


Many situations may arise while a student applies for further education in SAIC. The university generates refunds of credit balances on a student’s fee payment account when he/she drops out of a period. The refund is provided after the Registrar’s office confirms the attendance. There are facilities of eRefund and SAIC PLUS Loan Refund too. 

The attendance process and refund amount reflection process is generally completed by the third week in the spring and fall semester. The same is concluded in the first week of August and January for the summer and winter semesters, respectively.

Continuing Studies Program

SAIC believes that there is no end to learning if you are a student of life. Compiling such valuable lessons in the form of professional skills and creative development tools, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers several Continuing Studies Program.

This program is solely intended for the adults and even teachers who wish to learn new skills. There are courses tailored for every age group, be it the children from four-nine years old to high school students preparing for college. 

The courses, certificate programs, and workshops are conducted in the evenings and on weekends. They aim at providing the students with updated thinking over design, art, practice, and theory. 

Public Programs

With extensive reach in the media, culture, and art industry, SAIC keeps organizing several public programs and shows. They collaborate with artists to have lectures, exhibitions, and conversations in the university. Some notable events are Gene Siskel Film Center, Mitchell Lecture Series, Visiting Artists Programs, and exhibits at Sullivan Galleries.

School of the art institute of Chicago notable alumn
School of the art institute of Chicago notable alumni

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago Notable Alumni

The list of such artists and students of SAIC is vast, and if you go through it, you can easily find a lot of familiar names.

The most well-known ones throughout the art industry, are Ivan Albright, Thomas Hart Benton, Roger Brown, John Chamberlain, Eleanor Coen, Leon Golub, Edward Gorey, Red Grooms, Jeff Koons, Robert Lostutter, Joan Mitchell, Archibald J. Motley, Jr., Elizabeth Murray, Jim Nutt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ed Paschke, Nancy Spero, Chris Ware, H.C. Westermann, Karl Wirsum, Grant Wood, Ray Yoshida, Tatsu Aoki, Satoru Aoyama, Jeremy Blake, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Chan, Nora Dunn, John Gerrard, Jonathan Green, Halston, Herblock, Sang-soo Hong, Richard Hunt, Robert Indiana, Michiko Itatani, Gemma Kahng, Vincente Minnelli, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Audrey Niffenegger, Claes Oldenburg, Maria Pinto, J. Morgan Puett, Cynthia Rowley, David Sedaris, Jasmin Shokrian, Victor Skrebneski, Lawrence Steele, Robert Storr, Kunie Sugiura, Donald Sultan, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Sarah Vowell, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

A major query is about the school of the art institute of Chicago notable alumni base who have made the institution proud, ever since its inception.

While the list is significantly vast, it involves notable alumni from all art-related industries, right from painting to films.

Chicago art schools : Job Opportunities 

The School of Art Institute of Chicago endeavors to provide a holistic approach towards learning with the best teaching and non-teaching staff. The ranking among the top universities in the USA is solely maintained with the dedication of the faculty. If you wish to be a part of this accomplished fraternity of academicians and artists, the school keeps listing the job vacancies on their official website.

Wrapping Up!

Owing to its interdisciplinary approach towards art and design, the School of Art Institute of Chicago has built a reputation over centuries, producing assets for the industry. With an artistic zeal and boldness to think out of the box, you can also be a part of this renowned university’s grand heritage. Come, explore your creative horizons at SAIC! For further more ideas please do visit us at Online Schools Near Me.