The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is dedicated to the exploration of ideas through the process of making in visual, written, and aural form. The program encourages experimentation, play, and an avant-garde practice, both in and out of the studio. Graduate-level courses and topical seminars support the individual studio work by exposing students to the larger dialogues around the production, exhibition, and function of art, architecture, and design.

In addition to your studio work, the MFA in Studio degree program offers the following educational opportunities:

  • Rigorous Art History, Theory, and Criticism classes, required during the course of study, further provide you with historic and contemporary models of making and thinking.
  • Specific seminars in contemporary, thematic, or critical issues of a particular medium can augment studio work, as can interdisciplinary seminars that bring SAIC faculty and students from all areas together to address the meta-issues of contemporary art and culture.
  • Interdisciplinary seminars also allow students to show and discuss their work with faculty and students from across the studio areas, as well as from other graduate programs. The resulting exchanges allow MFA students to view and critique a wide variety of art and the many generative approaches to studio practice and become fluent in discussing their own work with peers both in and out of their particular fields.

In general, SAIC's MFA in Studio program is designed for advanced students sharpening their technical and theoretical skills, and deepening their engagement with the issues of their day. With SAIC's pluralism of forms and ideas, you learn the complexities of process, expression, and representation. You will be exposed to what's happening in the world of art and design, and gain valuable self-assessment skills to sustain yourself in your career. The MFA program is versatile, accommodating the many models of being an artist, designer, or scholar today and supporting further invention around what this may mean in the future. Moving students ”beyond ability” toward something even more daring, meaningful, and impactful is the focus of our studies.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculumrequirements, MFA 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