Engaged Learning

The most valuable assessment tool for artists is the critique—concentrated time at various stages during and after the completion of projects for instructors and peers to come together to discuss your work. Being able to present your ideas and refine them with group input provides an environment in which real learning occurs. 

Critiques at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) happen in various ways—one-on-one with faculty, in small groups with fellow students, full-class discussions, and informally whenever you wish to get feedback from instructors and peers. These opportunities make your work stronger andenergize you by introducing ideas and possibilities that you may not have considered.

These dialogues are crucial to your development as an artist and a thinker. Critiques provide excellent preparation for life after art school where your ability to explain your ideas, process feedback, and work collaboratively are necessary and valued skills across all professions. 

Process-Based Learning

Another exceptional feature of SAIC’s curriculum is our credit/no credit grading system that fosters self-direction and motivation and encourages risk taking and experimentation. 

As a visual scholar, you must be willing to take chances and examine possibilities in order to progress. SAIC wants you to move past making work for a grade and learn to work as professional artists and designers do. 

This does not mean that our assessment system is not extremely demanding. We require that you explore, be original, and be bold. Our expectations are high, and our faculty and your peers will engage you in rigorous discussions as they push you on to greater things. 

The strength of our curriculum means that you will have no difficulty pursuing graduate school in any course of study within or outside of the visual arts after graduating from SAIC.