Non-Credit Courses

Fall Adult Continuing Education Registration is Now Open!


Design Your Own Creative Pathway


NEW: Register online or download the Adult Continuing Education Non-Credit Registration Form [PDF] and do one of the following:

  • Email it to
  • Fax it to 312.629.6171
  • Drop it off at 36 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 1201, Chicago, IL 60603

Noncredit courses in the Adult Continuing Education program are conveniently offered evenings and weekends during our ten-week fall and spring semesters, and one-week, five-week, and ten-week summer sessions. We also offer short format courses that are offered at a discounted tuition rate.

Classes are held in SAIC’s studios and labs where students have access to a wide variety of facilities and resources.

Featured Fall Courses

Just Added! Adobe Photoshop
Mondays, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
October 1-December 3
Intended for students with basic graphic design skills and prior Adobe Photoshop experience, this course explores techniques used to create imagery and designs of a more advanced nature. Students explore the far-ranging use of this software for print, web, and mobile devices. Topics include layers, masking, compositing multiple images, color correction, retouching, special effects in type, and more. Attention will be given to exporting files to other applications and platforms including Adobe InDesign and the web. Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Graphic Design or equivalent experience.

Creative Encounter: Process as Research
Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
September 27-December 6
Is creativity a trait everyone shares? This class answers the question with a resounding YES. Students explore creativity as an active process within individual, group, and organizational contexts. Class projects provide hands-on experience to help understand and develop creative approaches and build new strategies for problem solving and innovation. Active research of "making" is supplemented by readings and conversations where students explore viewpoints from architecture, literature, performance, physics, psychology, sociology, visual arts, and other fields. Topics include analogy, creative catalysts, curiosity, the everyday, failure, hierarchy and harmony, impossible thinking, metaphor, mindfulness, myths of creative genius, ordering sense and concept, play, and spontaneity.

Paper Sculpture and Design
Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
September 27-December 6
This course merges two-dimensional imagery and three-dimensional forms. Students will be invited to transform works on paper, prints, photographs, old paper scrap materials, and abandoned paper art projects into 3D forms. Paper will be studied as a material with the unique ability to both hold information on its surface and be sculpted into an object. Issues of simultaneity will be addressed: When can a line in space also present itself as a drawing? How can an object be at once both an image and a sculpture? Students will examine the lightweight and portable nature of paper as catalyst for working site-specifically. Maquettes and modular and expandable forms will be considered for their possibilities within the contemporary art and design worlds. Students will learn techniques for working both very large and very small, and will gain an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual backings of working in this versatile medium as they produce works in both 2D and 3D formats, and learn to move between the two.

Introduction to Product Design
Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
September 27-December 6
This class introduces students to the dynamic world of product design. Class lectures present cultural views of design, introduce the field's most prominent players, and explore multiple approaches and directions in contemporary product design. The studio component of this course guides students through the different stages of product development from idea formation through prototype creation.

Portfolio Narrative: Design Communication
Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
September 27-December 6
Whether conducting a presentation, participating in a charrette, critique, or professional interview, it is critical to have a clear and concise vision of your work. Our work as creative thinkers is often a projection of self, making the process of discussing and sharing our ideas a vulnerable experience. Students will explore methods and practices designed to develop confidence and improve the verbal, nonverbal, and graphic communication skills required to create and convey a clear design narrative. Each session will be comprised of a series of workshops, design sessions, and lectures culminating in the production of a professional portfolio that represents the individual as a thinker and maker.

Intro to HTML and CSS
Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
October 3-December 5
In this course, students learn the fundamental language of modern web development: HTML and CSS. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) uses symbols and codes to tell a web browser how to display a website; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) define the appearance of a site's layout and design elements. Best practices in web design and how to troubleshoot common problems are also addressed. Before starting this course, students should be comfortable creating, deleting, renaming, and moving files and directories without assistance. Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Graphic Design, Digital Design: Adobe Photoshop, or equivalent experience.