The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual and Critical Studies degree program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) allows you to pursue in-depth academic study in the creative environment of an art school. You will draw connections between the visual arts and history, philosophy, psychology, and the natural sciences. Alumni of this program go on to graduate work in the humanities, museum studies, arts administration, art-related law, or pursue careers in communications, teaching, public service, social activism, media production, or journalism. 

You will share most classes, including a minimum of 36 hours of studio courses, with students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program, yet also follow a distinct sequence of courses, seminars, and personal research. Core courses provide you with diverse critical methods for exploring the cultural meanings of visual phenomena as they relate to social, economic, and material circumstances. You may choose from a variety of courses in studio practice, art history, writing, and the liberal arts and sciences, with special attention to topics such as visual and media literacy, cultural history and theory, and global studies.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the Department of Visual and Critical Studies web page for information on the curriculum, faculty and resources offered through the department.

Or, learn about the consecutive degree option for BFA and BA in Visual and Critical Studies, which is growing in popularity. With additional coursework, you can engage in a sustained investigation of research, writing, and studio practice.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or ugadmiss@saic.edu.