The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree provides you a broad education that balances thinking and making, academic rigor, and experimental play. The BFA curriculum integrates academic and studio education—the classroom and the studio inform and enhance each other.

Students may choose an interdisciplinary or concentrated course of study within the following studio departments: 

Students may choose a fine arts or design emphasis. In the design arena, students can choose a pathway in:

  • Architecture
  • Designed Objects
  • Fashion
  • Interior Architecture
  • Visual Communication Design

Students may choose a BFA in Studio with Thesis Option, in which they complete a nine-credit, research-based academic thesis as part of their BFA in Studio degree. The thesis option is offered in the following academic departments:

The openness of the curriculum at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is the most valuable aspect of the BFA degree program in that it allows for creative, idiosyncratic, and tailored programs of artistic development, thereby emulating the very process of artistic making.

Approximately half of the students work across departments, building a mixed repertoire of ideas and skills, while the other half tends to concentrate in one or two departments. Academic advising, provided by the Office of Student Affairs and from individual departments, helps guide students in making the best course selections and ensuring completion of all requirements. All BFA students also fulfill Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Liberal Arts requirements.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the participating studio departments above for information on the curriculum, faculty, and resources offered through the departments.

Ready to apply to an undergraduate degree program?

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or