The Master of Arts (MA) in New Arts Journalism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) provides you with skills and experiences to function as art and design journalist for print, including newspapers, magazines, trade journals as well as radio, television, and electronic journalism for new media such as blogs, podcasts, graphic novels, and the Internet even as those formats are shifting and evolving.  

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 Hours48  

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

Chicago's position as a major media and communications center facilitates the required second-year internship in which students combine the study of art, design, new media, criticism, and journalism with practical work through placements with local and global media, class-created publications, and contributions to SAIC's award-winning F Newsmagazine and

The city is a perfect place to investigate art and culture and community today; it's a microcosm of big and little museums, including specialty museums, nonprofit alternative spaces, high-end commercial galleries, and young start-up communal spaces.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions 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