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

Provocative Thinking and Making

Welcome to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), one of the most historically significant accredited independent schools of art and design in the nation located in one of the greatest American cities. Our accolades are many, including recognition by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism survey as “the most influential art college in the United States” and our consistent ranking among the top graduate fine arts programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

SAIC is distinct in the way that it provides graduatepost-baccalaureate, and undergraduate students an interdisciplinary curriculum and the necessary freedom to develop as artists, designers, and scholars. At the same time, we strive for a level of rigor, investigation, and cultural relevance that makes SAIC truly special. Our students translate the most complex ideas into tangible forms—paintings, sculptures, films, performances, books, installations, inventions, buildings, community projects, and, more often than not, a combination of the above. Few schools in the United States provide such a broad range of possibilities.

Our engaged student body and award-winning faculty of artists, scholars, and leading practitioners work in close proximity, sharing exceptional resources and establishing a forum for a vigorous exchange of ideas. The heralded new Modern Wing of the Art Institute provides an incredible resource for inspiration and study. Other unique SAIC resources include our cutting-edge facilities, Gene Siskel Film CenterVisiting Artists Program, and Sullivan Galleries that exhibit work to a wide audience.

Of course, downtown Chicago gives our students access to one of the world’s most creatively vibrant and architecturally rich cities, and we encourage engagement in its full spectrum of cultural amenities. However, we fully recognize that we live in a globalized society—reflected also in the demographic make-up of our student body—and thus provide a wealth of invaluable international study opportunities across the globe.

Foremost, SAIC is about students. We are dedicated to providing a complete liberal arts as well as the arts and design education that will serve our alumni throughout their multifaceted careers. We are delighted by your interest and sincerely hope that you will add your voice to the SAIC dialogue at such a critical point in the history of Chicago, the nation, and the world.



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


#7 Art and Design program in the world | QS World University Rankings


#1 in top 25 Animation schools in the Midwest in 2022 | Animation Career Review


SAIC named in the top 10 Art Education programs in the US | College Magazine


SAIC named one of the top 50 film schools | TheWrap

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