Graduate Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions
How do I arrange a campus tour?
You may arrange a campus tour online. The graduate campus tour is offered Mondays and Fridays at 1:30pm from September through April, and on Fridays at 1:30 from May through August. The tour lasts approximately two hours and is followed by an opportunity for conversation with a graduate admissions counselor. If you are unable to attend a regularly scheduled campus tour you may arrange a special tour by contacting Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.232.7242.
How do I apply?
Please refer to the application requirements and deadlines by program for both graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate certificates.
Where do I send my official transcripts?
It is highly recommended that you upload your transcripts via your ePortfolio when you apply online to SAIC. If you are sending a paper document, please send your official transcripts to:
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603
If you receive admission you will be required to submit an official transcript with graduation date posted.
What information is important for international applicants to know?
International applicants should refer to International Student Services.
Can I apply to more than one program or studio area?
You may apply to up to three programs. If you are applying to the MFA in Studio or the Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may apply to up to three departments of entry for each program. You must submit a separate ePortfolio, statement of purpose and letter of reference for each program and department to which you apply, or your application will be considered incomplete and you will not be reviewed. Please submit all other application materials including official transcripts, and test scores, only once. There is no additional fee for applying to multiple programs or studio areas.
Do I need to have a BFA to apply to the MFA program?
While you must have a portfolio and an undergraduate degree, you are not required to have a BFA. Applicants are welcome to apply regardless of their academic backgrounds.
Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?
No, GRE scores are not required for admission to any of SAIC's graduate programs.
How do I request transfer credit?
If you are requesting transfer credit for graduate work completed at another institution you must submit a written request and relevant transcripts with your application. On the online application, check the box indicating your request for transfer credit and list each course for which you are requesting credit. A maximum of 15 credits may be transferred. Transfer credit must be approved by the Graduate Review Committee and is granted only at the time of application.
How will I be notified of my admissions decision?
All applicants receive separate decision letters for each program and department to which they apply and are notified within eight weeks of the relevant application deadline. Decision letters are sent via first-class mail. International admitted students will receive decision letters via DHL with comprehensive admit packages that include immigration information. In general, SAIC does not notify applicants of their official admission status over the phone or via email.
How do I apply for a merit scholarship?
All admitted students are considered for merit awards based on their application portfolios. There is no separate application process.
How many full-tuition scholarships are awarded?
Each program and department award one full-tuition merit scholarship or two half-tuition merit scholarships. Please note that if you are awarded a merit scholarship and choose to withdraw or defer your admission you will forfeit your scholarship.
Are teaching assistantships available?
Teaching Assistantships are available each semester in most studio and academic departments. TA positions require 3–6 hours of class time per week in addition to preparation time outside of class. These positions are intended to provide graduate students with valuable teaching experience and to offset a portion of their living expenses. TAs are paid an hourly rate. All graduate students are eligible to apply. Contact Career Services for more information.
When do I apply for financial aid?
Starting January 1, applicants can fill out the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov. If you are admitted and have filed your FAFSA you will receive your financial aid package within approximately two weeks of your acceptance. The school code for SAIC is 1753.
Where can I find comprehensive information about financial aid?
What are the curricular requirements for each graduate program?
Please refer to Graduate curriculum and degree offerings.
Can graduate students take undergraduate studio classes?
Students may enroll in one 3000- or 4000-level class per semester. If a graduate student wishes to take a 1000- or 2000-level studio elective or more than one undergraduate studio class they must receive approval from the Graduate Division Chair.
Do all graduate students have private studio spaces?
All students in the Ceramics, Fiber and Material Studies, Painting and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture departments are guaranteed private studio spaces. Students in all other departments or studio areas must apply for studio spaces and will receive an email over the summer with application instructions.
Is on-campus housing available to graduate students?
Yes. Although most graduate students elect to live off campus, certain residence halls are reserved for upperclassmen and graduate students. If you are interested in living on campus, contact Residence Life for more information at 312.629.6870.
When do I need to submit my nonrefundable $500 tuition deposit?
You must submit your tuition deposit by the date stated on your admission letter to secure your space. If you defer your admission, you still must submit a tuition deposit to hold your space. Tuition deposits can be paid online through SAIC Self Service, or with a check made out to SAIC and mailed to the Admissions office. Be sure to include your student ID on the memo line. We cannot process credit card payments over the phone.
Can the tuition deposit be waived or refunded?
Recipients of full-tuition merit scholarships are exempt from submitting tuition deposits and under no other circumstances can the tuition deposit be waived. The tuition deposit is nonrefundable.
What is SAIC’s readmission policy?
Degree-seeking students who have exceeded the five-year limit for leaves of absence or the statute of limitations for degree completion and wish to re-enroll at SAIC must submit a new application.