Film Learning School
Film Learning Institute

Application Deadline: April 1

If you are ready to apply to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio program through the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation, you will need to build a portfolio, gather all of your application materials, and complete the electronic application by April 1 for the fall semester (spring admissions are not accepted).

Completed Online Application

SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry. Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline.

Start your application here: Graduate Online Application.

Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at or 800.232.7242.

Nonrefundable Application Fee

When you click the "submit" button on your online application, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information. Under no circumstances will an application fee be waived or refunded.

Application fee: $90

Application fees will be discounted by 50 percent through December 1.

Official College Transcripts

During the application process an unofficial transcript is acceptable for review, pending an Admissions decision. Official transcripts are required upon admission. Submit an unofficial transcript(s) from the universities/colleges from which a degree and any prerequisites have been completed. In the digital application you can attach unofficial transcripts (.pdf or .jpg). If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable.

Official transcripts with degree completion verification are required upon admission to a graduate program. Transcripts are only official if sent directly from the degree-granting institution to the SAIC Graduate Admissions Office. If transcripts are issued directly to you, forward them to SAIC with the seal unbroken and the registrar's signature intact.

Official transcripts can be sent both in digital and hard-copy format. Digital transcripts can be sent from the degree-granting institution to Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:

SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Students admitted to a graduate program who have not received a high school diploma, GED or equivalent are not eligible for federal Title IV financial aid funds.

Statement of Purpose

Write a 500- to 700-word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio (Film, Video, New Media, and Animation) is particularly suited to your professional goals. Upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.

Letters of Recommendation

You are responsible for securing two letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of recommendation from current or former instructors.

Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via SAIC's ePortfolio. When completing the References section in your ePortfolio, you will be asked to provide the names and other information associated with each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent to each of your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations through the ePortfolio.

If your recommenders prefer they may submit recommendations by mail. Be sure to supply your recommenders with addressed, stamped envelopes and ask them to sign across the seal.

Address recommendations to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201 
Chicago, IL 60603


The Admissions Committee reviews portfolios for clear direction and potential for development. You must submit a separate portfolio for each program or studio department to you apply.

Submit one or more works that have a combined total that is a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Please include your personal contributions if you were a collaborator.

You may submit work digitally via Slideroom by providing a Vimeo link to your work. You may also submit a playback DVD. DVDs must be authored correctly for playback (i.e. DVD Region 1 encoded or Region 0, commonly referred to as "Region Free"). You may also submit work on digital tape format, i.e. SD or HD mini-DV tape. We also accept analog formats such as 16mm film prints. Include a portfolio inventory list that indicates the title, size, running time, date, medium, your explicit role in the production (i.e. Director, Cinematographer, Script writer, etc.) and any other pertinent information about each piece. Work on analog formats must be queued to its starting point. If not in English, please include English subtitles.

Please do not link your video through any application other than Vimeo. If you choose to mail your time-based portfolio, please send it to the address below:

SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Although every precaution is taken to protect portfolios, SAIC cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Original portfolios will be returned following reviews. Do not submit envelopes or stamps for return mailing.

Address portfolios to:

SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Direct all inquiries regarding the ePortfolio to, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100.


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is not required but you are welcome to submit your scores. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

Program Disclosure

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.


SAIC recommends interviews for all graduate applicants and requires them for certain programs. International applicants residing outside of the United States are not required to have an in-person interview, but it is highly recommended they arrange interviews for programs with an interview requirement. Applicants are welcome to contact the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation to request an interview with the department chair at 312.345.3827 or

International Students

Students whose native language is not English, or who do not have a degree conferred by a U.S.-accredited university, are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results with your application. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

Minimum Required Scores

IELTS: 6.5
For more information about the TOEFL, please visit here.
For more information about the IELTS, please visit here.

Academic Records

Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationary and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.


A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC.

See also:

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio program

Film, Video, New Media, and Animation department