The Admissions office at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is dedicated to assisting you and your family through every step of the college selection process. We are interested in getting to know you—your work, your expectations for college, and your ambitions for the future. We seek students who wish to immerse themselves in an intense interdisciplinary environment, and we hope to challenge the very notion of what art means to you and to our society. SAIC provides a sophisticated education that hones your unique abilities as a contemporary thinker and maker in a global community.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree provides you a broad education that balances thinking and making, academic rigor, and experimental play. The BFA curriculum integrates academic and studio education—the classroom and the studio inform and enhance each other.
PROFPRAC and CAPSTONE are now required for new incoming students beginning in the 2015-16 academic year.
|Total Credit Hours||126|
* BFA students must complete at least 6 credit hours in a class designated as "off campus study." These credits can also fulfill any of the requirements listed above and be from any of the divisions (Art History, Studio, Liberal Arts, or General Electives).
BFA With Distinction—SAIC Scholars Program: The SAIC Scholars program is a learning community of BFA students pursuing rigorous study in both their academic coursework and their studio pathways. There are two opportunities for interested students to apply to the SAIC Scholars Program: at the time of admission to the school, and after they have completed 30 credits of study at SAIC. Students pursuing the latter option are required to formally submit an application to the Undergraduate Division. Once admitted to the SAIC Scholars Program, students are required to successfully complete a minimum of six designated scholars courses. Students who complete the program will graduate with distinction.
BFA students may complete a nine-credit, research-based academic thesis as part of their studies within the 126 credits for the BFA in Studio degree. BFA with Thesis course sequences are offered over 3 semesters through the departments of Liberal Arts or Visual and Critical Studies (VCS). Students who are interested in one of the thesis options should follow the steps outlined below in the beginning of the junior year.
Requirements for the BFA: Studio Art with Liberal Arts Thesis
Step One: Students are required to meet with the Chair of the Liberal Arts department in the beginning of their junior year.
Step Two: With the Department Chair's approval, the student enrolls in the following courses beginning in the spring term of their junior year:
- SOCSCI or HUMANITY 3900 Academic Research and Writing (3 credits)
- LIBARTS 4800 Undergraduate Thesis: Research/Writing I (3 credits)
- CAPSTONE 4900 Liberal Arts Undergraduate Thesis: Research/Writing II (3 credits)
Step Three: The completed thesis must be approved by both the Thesis II instructor and the Chair of Liberal Arts. Students must make a formal presentation and participate in the Undergraduate Thesis Symposium in their senior year.
Requirements for the BFA: Studio Art with Visual and Critical Studies (VCS) Thesis
Step One: Students are required to meet with the Visual and Critical Studies Undergraduate Coordinator in or by the beginning of their junior year.
Step Two: With the VCS Coordinator's approval, the student enrolls in the first of the three-course sequence beginning in the spring term of their junior year:
- VCS 3010 Tutorial in Visual & Critical Studies (3 credits)
- VCS 4800 Undergraduate Thesis Seminar: Research & Writing I (3 credits)
- CAPSTONE 4900 VCS Undergraduate Thesis Seminar: Research & Writing II (3 credits)
Step Three: Completion of thesis must be approved by both the Thesis II instructor and the VCS Undergraduate Coordinator. Students must make a formal presentation and participate in the Undergraduate VCS Thesis Symposium in the senior year.
|Total credits required for minimum residency||66|
|Minimum Studio credit||42|
Interested in learning more?
Students may choose an interdisciplinary or concentrated course of study within the following studio departments:
- Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects
- Art and Technology Studies
- Fashion Design
- Fiber and Material Studies
- Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
- Painting and Drawing
- Visual Communication Design
Students may choose a fine arts or design emphasis. In the design arena, students can choose a pathway in:
Students may choose a BFA in Studio with Thesis Option, in which they complete a nine-credit, research-based academic thesis as part of their BFA in Studio degree. The thesis option is offered in the following academic departments:
The openness of the curriculum at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is the most valuable aspect of the BFA degree program in that it allows for creative, idiosyncratic, and tailored programs of artistic development, thereby emulating the very process of artistic making.
Approximately half of the students work across departments, building a mixed repertoire of ideas and skills, while the other half tends to concentrate in one or two departments. Academic advising, provided by the Office of Student Affairs and from individual departments, helps guide students in making the best course selections and ensuring completion of all requirements. All BFA students also fulfill Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Liberal Arts requirements.
Visit the Participating Departments page for information on the curriculum, faculty, and resources offered through the departments.