In order to ensure integrated curricular technology and equal access to a wide range of software, technical support and training, SAIC has instituted a technology requirement.

All incoming first-year students and transfer students enrolled in Contemporary Practices program are required to have an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer that meets or exceeds minimum specifications.

The 2015-16 Laptop Program recommended model is an Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13" 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 512GB PCIe-based flash storage, 8 GB memory, and 3-year AppleCare Protection Plan. You can purchase it with a student discount through any Apple Store, or online through the Apple Store for Education. You may also purchase from any Apple authorized retailer of your choice Since Apple frequently releases new products, we recommend that before you buy, check for up-to-date information on our Laptop Program page.

The school-approved laptop includes a diverse template of software that supports the development of your practice. SAIC has resources in place that give you access to:

  • Bulletin board and chat capabilities
  • Classroom file depository through the school's portal or SAIC Google Docs
  • Online image database (ARTstor)

The Department of Contemporary Practices has an instructional shop with hand and floor-mounted power tools staffed by technicians to provide advice and training. Contemporary Practices also has a dedicated Media Center. You can check-out tools and equipment reserved exclusively for Contemporary Practices students, including:

  • Video camcorders
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Digital cameras
  • Lighting equipment
  • Digital scanners
  • Tripods
  • Mold making equipment and supplies
  • Hand Tools
  • Sewing machines

As a student at SAIC, you'll also have access to...

Libraries and Special Collections

Unique access to important libraries and special collections including a world-class museum.

Media Centers

The media centers provide audiovisual equipment and services to accommodate documentation, creation, instructional, and exhibition needs.

Gallery Spaces

The SAIC campus showcases a diversity of student artwork across multiple exhibition venues. Students can propose to exhibit their work in a variety of formats and locations.

The city of Chicago has a lot to offer.

World class museums and galleries

Since the late 19th century, when the museum collection of the Art Institute was established as a study center for the School of the Art Institute, students have used the museum's vast holdings to inspire and inform their creative and scholarly practices. No other school of art and design can claim such a major museum as part of their campus. 

Unparalleled architecture

A living laboratory of the study of late 19th- and 20th-century architecture, landscapes, and interiors—the development of the Chicago school of commercial architecture, the flowering of the Prairie style house, the progression of the City Beautiful movement in urban planning.