The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has long been distinguished by its innovative and extensive curriculum in modern and contemporary art history. SAIC's Master of Arts (MA) in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism draws on the institution's setting in Chicago, with its wealth of historic architecture, public sculpture, numerous museums, libraries, cultural facilities, and active gallery scene.

The program is the most extensive of its kind in a comprehensive art school in this country, and its curriculum allows for an expansive view of the historical, theoretical, and critical issues relating to art, design, and contemporary visual cultures. Fifteen full-time faculty teach modern and contemporary art from diverse theoretical perspectives in a wide array of global and international contexts. Many of our graduate students become curators, professors, writers, critics, publishers, gallerists, arts administrators, and activists.

Faculty Advisors

Faculty teach their newest research and incorporate it into their training of graduate students. In addition, graduate students in Art History can engage the many artists and scholars who teach in departments across SAIC and who form a lively and active intellectual community engaged with the contemporary art world.


Chicago is a world-class city with a vibrant art scene. Students have access to major cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago and its heralded Modern Wing, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the numerous thriving artist-run galleries and community-based organizations in the city's independent art scene. Students also have access to SAIC's wealth of resources.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculumrequirements, MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism facultystudents and alumni, and more. For recent news, see the 2013–2014 Welcome Letter from the Chair.

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