John W. Kurtich Foundation Travel Scholarships

The John W. Kurtich Foundation Travel Scholarships have been created for SAIC through a generous gift by the Kurtich Foundation. The purpose of the scholarships is to advance student opportunities to participate in our international faculty-led study trip courses.  

Awards: $5,000 competitive scholarships for up to 18 students each year (usually nine per term) to assist with tuition and travel expenses for approved SAIC international study trips.

Eligibility: Scholarships are open to:

Applicants must be full-time degree-seeking students in good academic standing. Preference will be given to Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects and Historic Preservation students.

Application Process: Students may apply for a Kurtich Scholarship for approved international winter or summer study trips only. Kurtich Scholarships do not cover exchange programs or any other off-campus classes.

Applications require:

Scholarship recipients will be chosen based upon the merits of their applications.

Submit your online application here.

Scholarship Application Deadlines:
September 24, 2015 for winter 2016 study trips
February 11, 2016 for summer 2016 study trips

After Application: A faculty committee reviews the applications and selects the finalists. All finalists are presented to the Kurtich Foundation for approval.

For more details download the Kurtich Scholarship FAQ [PDF].

About the Award Recipients
As the award recipients are in essence the embodiment of Professor Kurtich’s legacy, each recipient of a Kurtich Scholarship will be designated as a John W. Kurtich Scholar. Before each study trip sequence, the identified Kurtich Scholars will be asked to attend an event where family, friends, and colleagues of Professor Kurtich will speak to the Kurtich persona and sensibilities as a source of inspiration. The Kurtich Scholars will be expected to document their work for a commemorative compilation, and during the following fall semester each award recipient may have the opportunity to give a short presentation to members of the Kurtich family at a second event.

About John W. Kurtich
Born in Salinas, California, in 1935, John W. Kurtich joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1968 after completing his master’s degree in architecture at Columbia University. Trained as a licensed architect, his artistic practice also extended to writing and filmmaking. At SAIC, Professor Kurtich made an impact on everyone who knew him—as a mentor, a master teacher, and a multifaceted artist. His work, travels, and eagerness to learn and live touched his colleagues, friends, and three decades of students, many of whom describe him as their intellectual inspiration.

Professor Kurtich received numerous awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Graham Foundation award, a William Kinne Fellows Traveling Fellowship, and several Fulbright-Hays Mutual Education Exchange Grants. His scholarship of nearly every field—classical architecture, environmental design, filmmaking, theater, performance, music, photography, archaeology, art history, and cooking—influenced the spirit of interdisciplinary study that serves as the foundation for SAIC curriculum.

Professor Kurtich had a love of travel. He stressed to all of his students and colleagues how valuable seeing other parts of the world was to their development as scholars and human beings. His legacy for scholarship, aesthetics, connoisseurship, and spirited living will endure through his scholars.

See Alumni Relations' Spotlight on John Kurtich for more insight on his amazing legacy.

China Scholarship Council Exchange Scholarship

An agreement between SAIC and the China Scholarship Council of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China provides SAIC undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to study or conduct research in China for one academic year. One full scholarship (including tuition, campus housing, health insurance, and a stipend) is offered for study or research at selected Chinese universities authorized to admit foreign scholarship students. Admission to the selected university for scholarship winners is arranged by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and recipients also receive a visa application which is pre-approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Applicants (per CSC guidelines) must be non-Chinese citizens and in good health.

More information, including application procedures for the upcoming academic year, will be posted here in mid- to late-October.

Odyssey Travel Grants

Since 1998 Marion Parry, a friend of SAIC, has generously provided the means for students to travel to destinations around the globe. Travel can change your perspective, fuel your imagination, allow you to test new waters, and to find inspiration. For nearly 20 years now, Parry's grants have facilitated students' travel around the United States and the world.

Award: $1,500 to 20 degree-seeking students for the sole purpose of education through personal travel, which must be used for travel before the following January.

Eligibility: Degree-seeking SAIC students in good academic standing who meet the following criteria:

Application Deadline:  March 3, 2015. Drawing to be held March 4 at 4:30 p.m. in the MacLean Ballroom. Only one entry per student.

After Application: Plan to attend the lottery drawing! All students are encouraged to come celebrate. Your presence is not required to win a $1,500 Odyssey Travel Grant; however, there will be extra "Surprise Awards" that require you to be present to win, including one for best space-themed costume. Plus we guarantee that it is far more exciting to win a grant when doing so in front of hundreds of cheering friends and students!

World Less Traveled Grants

Marion Parry, a friend of SAIC, has endowed a travel and research grant named The World Less Traveled to provide funds for thesis research, conference attendance, travel for exhibitions, and self-initiated study trips (not SAIC Study Trips) available to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Office of the Deans and Division Chairs is pleased to announce that this fund will be made available during the fall semester each year for use in the subsequent semester. Grants are awarded with a maximum amount of $1,500.

Application Process: Degree students in good academic standing may apply by submitting the following materials via SlideRoom.

Please note when submitting your online application:

    1. If you have submitted an online application through SlideRoom for the Delta Faucet Competition, Kurtich Scholarships, etc., you will not need to create a new online account. Login to Slideroom and select the "World Less Traveled Grant", then complete the application.
    2. If you have never used SlideRoom before, go to Slideroom to create an account. Please note that you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to acknowledge before you can login for the first time.
    3. You will be able to save your application in progress. However, once you click the submit button, you will NOT be able to make any changes to your application.
    4. Please give yourself time to problem-solve technical errors that may occur. There will be no exceptions to the deadline.

Applications due: Friday, October 31 by 12:00 a.m. midnight

After Application: A committee comprised of the Associate Deans and Division Chairs for the Undergraduate and Graduate Divisions will review applications. Notifications will be made in December.

Questions: Contact the Office of the Dean of Faculty: 312.629.6523 or email Ilan Gutin at

Skowhegan Matching Fellowships

The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture is an intensive nine-week summer residency for upper level visual artists. It is set on 300 acres in the lake district of Central Maine.

Award: SAIC matches funds with Skowhegan to provide two SAIC graduate or advanced senior students full scholarships each summer, covering tuition, room, and board.

Eligibility: SAIC students who are full-time degree-seeking students during the spring semester preceding the summer program are eligible to apply for the matching fellowships.

Application Process: Visit to submit online by January 21, 2016. Skowhegan selects the fellowship recipients.

The 2016 Skowhegan application fee increases incrementally according to the following timetable:

November 16–23: $20
November 24–December 21: $50
December 22–January 19: $65
January 20–21: $80

All applicants who qualify for matching funds are also encouraged to complete the financial aid section in full in case more than two applicants are accepted. Other funding may be available from Skowhegan.

SAIC students applying for the matching fellowship should write the following contact information in the financial aid section (Step 4) of the application.

Name of School Contact: Norman Miller
Telephone: 312.629.6830