Creative Making, Critical Thinking

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, we recognize that today’s artists are not only makers of images, objects, and events, but designers of cities, public spaces, scholars of visual languages, and producers of global culture. Our students are inventors, explorers, and thinkers. As a student, you will develop a deep understanding of historical contexts while imagining new frameworks for ideas and forms. Above all, you will be encouraged to cross disciplines and explore concepts unbound to any one medium or academic department.

In addition to our Master of Fine Arts program—ranked #2 in the nation (out of 220) by U.S. News and World Report—SAIC offers a number of Master of Arts programs, plus a Master of Architecture, Master of Design, and a Master of Science, all situated in the context of an award-winning, interdisciplinary art school. Most recently we added a Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts, allowing students to develop an individualized three-year plan of study that integrates studio work with art history, theory, philosophy, and poetics.

Renowned Faculty

SAIC is famous for its faculty: working artists, designers, educators, and intellectuals who have helped shape the curriculum to prepare students to prosper in the professional world. They are skilled in many media and technologies and well-versed in contemporary theoretical debates, and as such are leaders in their respective areas, committed to building a diverse, stimulating environment for the exchange of ideas and the production of culture.

Chicago: A Vibrant City

In addition, Chicago’s active art and design scene, which includes established blue-chip galleries as well as younger galleries and alternative spaces, provides an ideal backdrop for young artists. There are key international venues for contemporary art and design, including the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Renaissance Society; and the Museum for Contemporary Photography. And with our Visiting Artists Lectures, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and our Sullivan Galleries, SAIC holds a prominent position in the Chicago art and design community, which helps our students gain access to many areas of the professional art world locally and beyond.