School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Explore School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Featured Profiles:

Visual Arts

Founded in 1866, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of the most historically significant accredited independent schools of art and design in the world.

We are ranked among the top ten art and design schools in the world by QS World University Rankings; we were named “the most influential art college in the United States” by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism survey; and are ranked the #2 graduate fine arts program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

SAIC is distinct in providing an interdisciplinary curriculum—here you won’t declare a major, but you will start with an idea and choose from a range of media to fulfill your vision. Want to combine sculpture, ceramics and film? Concentrate on painting only? We provide the necessary freedom for students to develop as artists, designers and scholars. This freedom, combined with our cutting-edge facilities, renowned faculty, exceptional resources including the Art Institute of Chicago, and the nation’s largest art and design internship program prepares you for a successful future regardless of your life path.

We are dedicated to providing a complete liberal arts education as well as the arts and design education that will serve our alumni throughout their multifaceted careers.



“Most Influential Art School in the United States” | Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism Survey

U.S. News Badge

One of the Top 2 Fine Arts Graduate Schools | U.S. News and World Report

QS Badge

Among the Top 10 Art and Design Schools in the World | QS World University

Contact Us

We are excited to see the work you make, talk to you about your ideas and goals, and help you prepare an application that best represents you and your hopes for a creative educational future. We invite you to meet with us at one of our admissions events, or contact us at or 312-629-6100. Our admissions counselors are all practicing artists and designers, and can provide expert advice on preparing your application materials for top scholarship consideration!

An Inside Look

What students are saying about us...

  • “I’ve had classes and the teacher takes us to the Art Institute, and we’re analyzing this piece, looking at this beautiful Van Gogh in person and just talking about it. I can’t even think of a greater privilege than to be able to study a painting in person.”

    • Trinidad Vasconez
      SAIC International Student, Art Education
  • “SAIC has helped me understand the art world in many ways. It’s given me the tools to think critically about art making, and has also given me a community of students of color to collaborate with. I’ve come to know of many artists and have a pocket full of references for understanding the past and hopefully beginning to understand the future of art.”

    • Maria Fernanda Hernandez Tort
      SAIC student
  • “SAIC’s facilities are amazing. I study in the fiber and material studies department, and I’ve been able to do work on my own floor loom every semester, as well as a digital jacquard loom. I believe there’s a very limited amount—maybe 20–30 or even less of these looms in the country—and SAIC has two of them. That really says a lot about the access we have here.”

    • Hope Wang
      SAIC Student, Fiber, Painting, & Photography
  • “SAIC’s Visiting Artist Program is a rare opportunity to interact with artists of great caliber one-on-one or in small groups—it really is such a diverse and vibrant program.”

    • SAIC Student
  • “The Fashion Resource Center has these amazing, incredibly historically significant garments that students can open up and touch and look at in person. There’s really no other place in America like it. Now, whenever I’m in a design slump or feeling tired, I go in and it reignites my passion.”

    • Maria Beniaris
      SAIC Student, Fashion
  • “Not having majors allows students to explore as artists and diminishes limitations, but the academic spine keeps it all grounded.”

    • Blaire Brown
      SAIC Student, Fashion Design