NOTE: After the end of the spring 2013 semester, the Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Art History, Theory, and Criticism (BFAAH) program will no longer be accepting new students, either from external or internal applicants. Interested students should consider applying to the Bachelor of Arts in Art History (BAAH) degree program or to the BFA with Liberal Arts Thesis option.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with an Emphasis in Art History, Theory, and Criticism affords you the ability to develop your studio practice while obtaining an in-depth knowledge of traditional art history, theory, and criticism studies with a focus on modern and contemporary art.

The curriculum is composed of:

  • 63 studio credits
  • 30 Liberal Arts credits
  • 39 Art History credits, including senior seminar and thesis classes

Our department consists of a core of full-time faculty and a larger group of part-time faculty from other departments, the museum, and established scholars, critics, curators, and other professionals from the Chicago area. We offer a wide range of courses in modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism, as well as visual culture (totaling about 80 separate lecture courses and seminars a year).

The SAIC Art History faculty are also in close contact with the studio areas. As teachers and advisors, they are available to students for discussion of studio work. You will find studio faculty teaching courses on issues in contemporary art, and art history faculty giving critiques in the studios, bridging what might otherwise be an artificial gap between art history and artmaking. This integration of theory and practice is one of the special characteristics of the SAIC Art History program.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the Art History, Theory, and Criticism website for information on the curriculum, faculty, and resources offered through the department.

Ready to apply to an undergraduate degree program? 

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