Summer Institute Residency Program


Intense. Rigorous. Life Changing.

Download the ECPSI 2019 Registration Form

View the 2019 ECPSI Brochure

Registration is now open, only a few spaces remain in each session!
The Merit Scholarship and Financial Aid Deadline is extended to Friday, May 24, 2019!


Request more information here.

Why Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI)?

  • Study with our amazing faculty, passionate teachers and acclaimed practicing artists, designers, and scholars, many of whom teach in the undergraduate program.
  • Make use of our state-of-the-art facilities and resources including our museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the third largest collection of art in the world.
  • Live in our incomparable residence halls in the heart of downtown Chicago.
  • Explore Chicago in the summer - vibrant, exciting, and friendly.


Ideal Preparation for a Creative Future

  • Earn college credit (2 credit hours for 2-week session; 4 credits hours for 4-week session) that may transfer to any college you attend.
  • Prepare a competitive portfolio for college admission.
  • Successful completion of the program waives the portfolio requirement for admission to SAIC's undergraduate program
  • A large number of ECPSI students receive top merit scholarships to our undergraduate degree program.


Merit scholarship and financial aid are available

Session 1:  Monday, June 17–Friday, June 28 (2 weeks)
Session 2:  Monday, July 1–Friday, July 12 (2 weeks)
Session 3:  Monday, July 15–Friday, July 26 (2 weeks)
Session 4:  Monday, July 1–Friday, July 26 (4 weeks)

Students must be at least 15 years old and not older than 18 years and have completed their sophomore year of high school to enroll in the ECP Summer Institute.


Ideas Matter Here

Which is why we empower you with the freedom to work in multiple media. With us, you can incorporate text into paintings, combine performance and sculpture, and explore the relationship of sound to architecture. The possibilities are truly limitless. And, you will leave our program with higher confidence and innovative, portfolio-quality work.

"We want our students to be able to master not just one medium, but to have the freedom to move and explore throughout different disciplines; to experiment; to take risks; to find the right solution for each individual problem. Our interdisciplinary philosophy, accomplished by excellent, enthusiastic faculty, the third largest collection of art in the world, and one of the most exciting cities in the country, make SAIC the whole package." —Rafael Vera, ECPSI instructor

Enrollment: Approximately 150 students per two-week session
Students living on campus: 90%
International students: 17%
Countries represented: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela
Instructional staff to student ratio 1:8

ECPSI Online Exhibition

Art and Street Culture class project: Emma Akins, Kylie Bryant, Isabella Buoscio, Brendan Burress, Oliver Carr, Rosa Chen, Sophie Conklin, Grace Coudal, Emily Deutsch, Nick Hartsell, Lauren Hawthorne, Claire Hyde, Julia Lacerda, Cara Mastrostefano, Jasmine McDow, and Callie Nelson, Art and Street Culture


International Students

SAIC welcomes international students from abroad and those already in the United States with a student visa to enroll in all of our Continuing Studies programs including ECP and ECP Summer Institute (ECPSI). However, SAIC is not certified to issue immigration documents for international students participating in Continuing Education programs except for our ECPSI program.

Featured Courses

Visual Commumication Design #1013
Session 1: June 17-28

This course covers the elements and principles of graphic design and provides students with the technical and conceptual tools to develop effective design strategies. Students expand their understanding of what surrounds them and learn how to look at and evaluate products, graphics, architecture, advertisements, and more. Class discussions challenge students to consider the world of design through a contemporary art lens, drawing upon the work of Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, and others. In addition to using traditional materials like sketchbooks, students use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, and output work using high quality digital printers. Students can expect to create portfolio-quality works that explore symbols, logos, typography, layout, image and text integration, and sequential design. 


3D Animation #1020
Session 2: July 1-12

3D animation is a versatile and fast growing industry used in applications from video games to movies to virtual immersive environments. Students in this course learn how to build three dimensional spaces, audio, interactivity, life forms, and/or objects using Maya software. Looking to 3D artists such as Alex McLeod, Jennifer Steinkamp, and the Zeitguised, students research how 3D animation as a medium can be used in traditional and non-traditional ways. The course begins with introductory exercises to explore the possibilities in 3D modeling and animation, ultimately focusing on the skills necessary to complete individually-driven final project(s). 


Material Manipulation #1030
Session 3: July 15-26

This course explores traditional and non-traditional methods of altering, enriching, and manipulating existing materials and objects; using techniques such as soft-sculpture building, stitching, cutting, dyeing, wrapping, printing, stenciling, paper manipulation, and layering in combination with waxes, adhesives, and collage. Projects may range from fabric sculptures to embellished clothing to altered objects to layered reliefs and beyond. Emphasis is placed on surface treatment and experimentation while also considering conceptual concerns to create portfolio-quality works. Looking to artists such as Nick Cave, Tara Donovan, Anna Betbeze, Isa Gezken, Carlos 'Dzine' Rolan, and Samantha Bittman, students learn to make artwork through appropriation and object/paper manipulation as well as an introduction to soft sculpture techniques. Trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, thrift stores, and local galleries/studios, artist presentations, and group critiques supplement the studio experience. Artwork and/or performances that are temporary in nature or that cannot be easily transported will be properly documented through photography and/or video.