School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graduate Programs

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Located in an urban area in Chicago, Illinois, School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a Comprehensive institution.

How do I apply to SAIC’s graduate program(s)?

Please refer to the prerequisites and deadlines for graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates, which vary by program.

What are the application requirements?

Requirements vary by program. Please refer to the prerequisites and deadlines for graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates, which vary by program.

Can I apply to more than one program or studio area?

You may apply to up to three programs. You may submit an application to up to three departments of entry for each program if you are applying to the MFA in Studio or the Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Studio. Each program and department to which you apply must have its own ePortfolio, statement of purpose, and letter of recommendation; otherwise, your application will be deemed incomplete and not be reviewed. Please only submit once for the rest of your application materials, such as official transcripts and test results. There is no extra charge for applying to multiple studios or programs.

How do I build a competitive admissions portfolio?

Portfolio requirements vary by degree. At one of our admissions events held throughout the fall, we highly recommend meeting with faculty from your prospective department(s), as each department will be able to give you detailed feedback on what they look for in an applicant’s portfolio. Visit saic to view a calendar of our events and to RSVP. edu/grevents. Please feel free to schedule a meeting with us by sending an email to gradmiss@saic. Graduate admissions counselors are also happy to offer general advice and suggestions. edu.

Is a BFA required to apply to the MFA program?

While a portfolio and an undergraduate degree are required, a BFA is not a prerequisite. Applicants are welcome to apply regardless of their academic backgrounds.

Can I transfer as a graduate student?

Yes, SAIC will accept up to 15 credits for transfer. You must submit a written request and the pertinent transcripts with your application if you want to be granted transfer credit for graduate work you completed at another institution. Check the box indicating your request for transfer credit on the online application, and then list each course for which you want credit. Transfer credit is only granted at the time of application and needs to be approved by the Graduate Review Committee.

When and how will I be notified of my admissions decision?

For programs with a January 10 application deadline, admission notifications are typically sent out by mid-March. You will be notified by mail and/or email.

Are scholarships available? How do I apply for a merit scholarship?

Yes, SAIC offers a wide range of scholarships. At the time of admission, all applicants are evaluated for SAIC’s merit scholarships, which can range from partial tuition awards to full tuition awards. No separate application is necessary. Additionally, SAIC staff have compiled a list of outside scholarships that can be found at saic. edu/outsidescholarships.

How many full-tuition scholarships are awarded?

Although most departments offer multiple full-tuition scholarships, each department offers at least one. Additionally, every department provides additional scholarships to help students pay for various amounts of tuition. Please feel free to contact Admissions or your particular department to inquire about the available scholarships.

Where do I send my official transcripts?

When submitting an online application to SAIC, it is strongly advised that you upload your transcripts via your ePortfolio. Your official transcripts should be sent to: if you are sending a paper copy.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graduate Admissions 36 S Wabash Ave. , suite 1201 Chicago, IL 60603.

If you are accepted, you must submit an official transcript with your graduation date listed.

Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?

No, admission to any of SAIC’s graduate programs does not require GRE scores.

Are teaching assistantships available?

In the majority of studio and academic departments, teaching assistantships are available every semester. 3-6 hours of weekly class time as well as preparation time outside of class are needed for TA positions. These jobs are designed to help graduate students with their living expenses and give them valuable teaching experience. TAs are paid an hourly rate. All graduate students are eligible to apply. Contact Career Services for more information.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Financial aid is available in two forms: need-based aid and merit-based aid.

Without a separate application, all applicants—domestic or international—are taken into consideration for merit-based scholarships. These are selective, awarded by faculty concurrently with admission decisions, and based on the information in your application, your interview (if your program conducts interviews), and your overall fit in the program relative to all other applicants. The entirety of your application’s content is what matters most in this situation; all factors must be taken into account. By program and year, there are different numbers and amounts of merit awards available.

Need-based financial aid and awards are issued after completing the FAFSA (at using SAICs school code 001753). Only U.S. citizens, U.S. naturalized, or U.S. green card holders (Permanent Residents) are eligible for this federally-sourced financial support. The amount awarded is based on financial information confidentially reported in the FAFSA. Students demonstrating the highest need (Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) at or close to 0) often receive up to 35-40% in gift funding– that is, grants (not loans) that are not borrowed nor required to be paid back. Those with the highest reported need are also typically eligible for loans to offset the remaining tuition balance.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded in addition to need-based aid, however, receiving a merit award may also affect your need-based award. Starting October 1, applicants can fill out the FAFSA online at If you are admitted and have filed your FAFSA, you will receive your financial aid package within approximately two weeks of your acceptance.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

International graduate students may be eligible for merit-based scholarships, which are given out during the admissions process. Unfortunately, the U. S. The government does not fund foreign students’ attendance at U S. Additionally, the majority of grants, scholarships, and loans from public and private sources in the U S. citizens or permanent residents. Students should make every effort to locate potential funding sources in their home country, whether they are national, provincial, or private.

What is the current tuition rate?

Current tuition rates can be found at

When do I need to submit my nonrefundable $500 tuition deposit?

You must submit your tuition deposit by the date stated on your admission letter to secure your space. If you defer your admission, you still must submit a tuition deposit to hold your space. Tuition deposits can be paid online through SAIC Self Service, or with a check made out to SAIC and mailed to the Admissions office. Be sure to include your student ID on the memo line. We cannot process credit card payments over the phone.

Can the tuition deposit be waived or refunded?

Under no circumstances can the tuition deposit be waived. The tuition deposit is nonrefundable.

Where can I find comprehensive information about financial aid?

Please visit saic. edu/sfs. You may also contact Student Financial Services at 312. 629. 6600 or saic. sfs@saic. edu.

Can graduate students take undergraduate studio classes?

Each semester, students may sign up for one class at the 3000- or 4000-level. Graduate students need the Graduate Division Chair’s permission before enrolling in more than one undergraduate studio class or choosing a studio elective at the 1000 or 2000 level.

Do all graduate students have private studio spaces?

Private studio spaces are provided to all students in the departments of ceramics, fiber and material studies, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Students from all other departments or studio areas are required to submit an application for studio space, and instructions will be sent to them via email over the summer.

Do I have an option to select the faculty I want to work with during my studies?

Yes. A self-directed study curriculum at SAIC embodies the institution’s dedication to an open, interdisciplinary structure, and students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty from various departments to design their own courses of study and research.

How long is the program and can I study part-time?

With the exception of the Low-Residency MFA, Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, and the Master of Architecture or Interior Architecture, which are 3-year programs, most of SAIC’s graduate degrees are designed to be finished in 2 years with a full-time course load. The maximum number of years it will take part-time students to earn their degree is four. This includes time off for leaves of absence. Students will have access to studios for four semesters only.

Can the program be completed while working full-time?

Yes. Numerous programs provide flexible course schedules, enabling students to finish their degrees while holding down a full-time job. Each program will have different requirements, so please get in touch with your department directly to go over your options. Please be aware that at SAIC, graduate degree completion takes a maximum of four years.

Can I attend the program through distance learning?

Yes. With the help of an SAIC alumni advisor local to them, our specially created Low-Residency MFA program enables students to complete their spring and fall semesters while working remotely from home studios. Students will participate in six-week intensives at SAIC over the course of three successive summer residencies, which will be structured around both studio- and classroom-based courses and symposia.

What facilities, equipment, or technology are available to graduate students?

All SAIC students have access to our top-notch facilities, including our woodshops, metal shops, foundry, advanced output center (3d printing, laser cutting, large-format printing), media centers (tool and equipment checkout), service bureau (professional printing), moldmaking facilities, libraries, and special collections, in addition to the specialty departmental resources listed by department under the “resources” tab.

How do SAIC’s facilities and resources compare to other liberal arts colleges and art schools?

Students at SAIC have access to a wide range of facilities and resources not offered at any other college, such as our libraries and special collections, media centers with cutting-edge audiovisual equipment, gallery spaces where students can exhibit their artwork in multiple venues, public lectures by well-known visiting artists through our Visiting Artists Program, instructional shops with a variety of hand, pencil, and other materials, and a variety of other resources. In addition, the city of Chicago is home to renowned galleries and museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as outstanding public art and architecture, as well as a diverse and historic network of neighborhoods connected by public transportation.

What are the exhibition opportunities for students?

SAIC provides numerous opportunities for students to exhibit their work across campus and in venues throughout Chicago, in addition to the yearly MFA show and other departmental graduating student exhibitions. Visit saic to view a list of open calls for work for SAIC’s galleries. edu/exhibitions/show-your-work. Additionally, departments regularly distribute external job postings to students all year long.

Do you have a Visiting Artist Program?

Yes. One of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s oldest public programs, the Visiting Artists Program was established in 1868 and has hosted more than 1,000 international artists, designers, and scholars from more than 70 countries through a variety of lectures, screenings, conversations, and readings. Individual departments frequently host nationally and internationally renowned visiting artists who interact with SAIC students directly through studio critiques and roundtable discussions in addition to school-wide public lectures, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and culture.

Is on-campus housing available to graduate students?

Yes. Despite the fact that the majority of graduate students choose to live off campus, some residence halls are only available to upperclassmen and graduate students. Reach out to Residence Life at 312 if you’re interested in living on campus. 629. 6870.

How do I arrange a campus tour?

You may arrange a campus tour online. The 1:30 p.m. graduate campus tour is available on Mondays and Fridays. m. , and select Saturdays at 11:45 a. m. throughout the year. After the tour, which lasts about two hours, there is a chance for discussion with a graduate admissions counselor. By contacting Admissions at gradmiss@saic, you can schedule a special campus tour if you are unable to attend one of the regularly scheduled tours. edu or 800. 232. 7242.

What is SAIC’s readmission policy?

Degree-seeking students who wish to re-enroll at SAIC after exceeding the five-year leave of absence cap or the statute of limitations for degree completion must submit a new application.

SAIC 2021 MFA Show Walk-through


How hard is it to get into SAIC?

School of the Art Institute of Chicago has a 48 acceptance rate. 6%. For every 100 applicants, 49 are admitted. This means the school is moderately selective. The school is more accommodating than other schools and still expects you to meet their GPA and SAT/ACT requirements.

Is SAIC prestigious?

SAIC is an exceptional institution for studying fine art. The school’s approach to teaching about art is as diverse as its encyclopedic art museum Self-directed studio work necessitates a strong work ethic and discipline to be successful.

Is it hard to get into the Art Institute of Chicago?

The typical ACT score at School of the Art Institute of Chicago is 77. Your ACT score should be close to the average if you want to be a competitive applicant to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You’re probably going to have a harder time getting accepted if you’re closer to the 67.

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