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New Arts Journalism: Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism

The Master of Arts (MA) in New Arts Journalism at SAIC is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and experiences to write about the arts for diverse audiences. Located in a vibrant school of contemporary art and design, the MA in New Arts Journalism program provides full engagement with the theory and practice of journalism as well as the opportunity to work closely with artists, art historians, cultural theorists, and art critics connected to a major American museum.

Fall 2018 Application Deadline: February 1

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's New Arts Journalism department requires an online application for its Master of Arts (MA) in New Arts Journalism program. You will need a valid credit card and current email address in order to complete the form. Please review the following requirements carefully before submitting your application:

  • There is an $80 nonrefundable application fee ($100 for international applications). The application fee is discounted by 50 percent through December 1.
  • You must upload one 500- to 700-word statement of purpose that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how this area of study is particularly suited to your professional goals. Upload your statement of purpose with your ePortfolio.
  • In addition to your application, you must submit an ePortfolio. Your portfolio should include 10–15 pages of critical writing. You may submit a single writing sample or multiple shorter papers addressing topics in new arts journalism or contemporary culture.

You also must submit an official college transcript and two letters of reference for admission into the program. You can ask your references to upload their letter to your online application or mail them directly to the school. Contact Jim Yood at prior to the deadline to schedule an interview.

For more information on the application and admissions process, visit the graduate admissions website.

The 48-credit, two-year program is divided between four areas of study—journalism (15 credits), production (12 credits), cultural models (12 credits), and electives through which a student can specialize their study (9 credits).

Journalism  15  
  • NAJ 5100 Constituting Cultural News: Introduction to Journalism (3)
  • NAJ 5120 Journalism Workshop I: Interview/Investigative Reporting (3)
  • NAJ 5300 Arts Beat: Journalism for the Arts (3)
  • NAJ 5500 Cooperative Internship (3)
  • NAJ 5754 Contemporary Art Criticism: The Review, Opinion Piece, Critical Essay (3)
Production/Journalism  12  
  • NAJ 5190 Thesis Workshop (3)
  • NAJ 5200 Design for Writers: Print, Photo, and Video Production (3)
  • NAJ 5220 Wired Writing: Culture and Community on the WWW (3)
  • NAJ 5290 Portfolio as Thesis Preparation (3)
Cultural Models  12  
  • NAJ 5002 Modern and Contemporary Art (3)
  • Graduate Seminars (9):
    Concerning cultural models and modes of production and dissemination such as VCS 5003 History and Theory of Visual Studies. Consult program advisor for appropriate courses.
Electives—elective courses are chosen in consultation with and require the approval of the New Arts Journalism Director prior to registration. 9  
  • Criticism, theory or writing (3)
  • Academic courses (9)
    Liberal Arts, Art History, Studio, Co-op internships, or otherwise relevant engagement, including directed and independent studies
Optional—3 Credit Study Trip  
Completion of thesis/portfolio  
Total Credit Hours 48  

Degree Requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the coursework and submit a final, approved thesis. This includes time off for leaves of absence. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved, and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the deadline is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 42 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to six transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.  
  3. Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours

Fall 2018 Application Deadline: February 1

If you are ready to apply to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism, you will need to build a portfolio, gather all of your application materials, and complete the electronic application. (Spring admissions are not accepted).

Completed Online Application

SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry. Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline.

Start your application here: Graduate Online Application.

Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at or 800.232.7242.

Nonrefundable Application Fee

When you click the "submit" button on your online application, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information. Under no circumstances will an application fee be waived or refunded.

Domestic application fee: $80
International application fee: $100

Application fees will be discounted by 50 percent through December 1.

Official College Transcripts

Submit one official transcript from each college you have attended. If transcripts are issued directly to you, forward them to SAIC with the seal unbroken and the registrar's signature intact. A transcript request form is available for download from the online application, but is not required. If you are in possession of unofficial copies of your transcripts you are welcome to upload them to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio, but you are not required to do so.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable. If admitted to SAIC, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion and award of your degree directly to SAIC's admissions office prior to your matriculation.

Address transcripts to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201 
Chicago, IL 60603

Students admitted to a graduate program who have not received a high school diploma, GED or equivalent are not eligible for federal Title IV financial aid funds.

Statement of Purpose

Write a 500- to 700-word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work and describe how this area of study is particularly suited to your professional goals. Upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.

Letters of Recommendation

You are responsible for securing two letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of recommendation from current or former instructors. 

Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via SAIC's ePortfolio. When completing the References section in your ePortfolio, you will be asked to provide the names and other information associated with each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent to each of your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations through the ePortfolio.

If your recommenders prefer, they may submit recommendations by mail. Be sure to supply your recommenders with addressed, stamped envelopes and ask them to sign across the seal.

Address recommendations to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201  
Chicago, IL 60603


The Admissions Committee reviews portfolios for clear direction and potential for development. Applicants are required to submit an ePortfolio. You must submit a separate ePortfolio for each program or studio department to which you apply. Instructions for submitting ePortfolios will be sent either to the email address associated with your SAIC application, or to the email address associated with your ePortfolio account, if you already have one. You will receive the link to your ePortfolio 24 to 48 hours after you save the first page of the online application.

Submit 10–15 pages of critical writing. You may submit a single writing sample or multiple shorter papers addressing topics in new arts journalism or contemporary culture.

  • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)
  • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

Direct all inquiries regarding the ePortfolio to, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100.


SAIC recommends interviews for all graduate applicants and requires them for certain programs. International applicants residing outside of the United States are not required to have an in-person interview, but it is highly recommended they arrange interviews for programs with an interview requirement.

An interview is recommended for the Master of Arts in New Arts Journalism. Contact Jim Yood at prior to the deadline to schedule an interview.


A current résumé is required. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section in your ePortfolio.

International students

Students whose native language is not English, or who do not have a degree conferred by a US-accredited university, are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results with your application. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

Minimum required scores

TOEFL: 100
IELTS: 7.0
For more information about the TOEFL, please visit here.
For more information about the IELTS, please visit here.

Academic Records

Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationary and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.


A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC.

SAIC's interdisciplinary ethos creates an ideal environment for the New Arts Journalism student to engage directly with artists, designers, and writers in order to develop an instinct for seeing the broader issues that underpin events in the world of contemporary art.

Unlike other arts journalism graduate programs, SAIC is a thriving site for students to combine in-depth knowledge of the arts along with the study of the rubrics of journalism. The program helps aspiring journalists to refine their writing of reviews, essays, interviews, and feature stories, and examine the contexts of investigative reporting, the opinion piece, the documentary, and the critical essay in the context of art. Every student participates in at least one internship, which offers a valuable, hands-on experience working at a Chicago media venue. The concluding thesis may comprise a publication or zine, investigative journalism, an extended narrative, or original research.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MA in New Arts Journalism faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or