Many students work while enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) as a way to not only cover some of the costs of tuition and fees, but to gain valuable experience in the workplace before graduating. Here are a few of the job programs available to students at the school.

Further details are available in the Student Employment Guide [PDF].

After a student has agreed to accept a student employment job (on campus or Co-op) and in order to get paid, students must complete specific federal and institutional required documents and record their time as they work on ARTICtime, SAIC's electronic time and attendance system. For complete details on Student Payroll requirements and steps go to the Student Payroll page.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides on- and off-campus part-time jobs for students. Most on-campus jobs during the fall and spring semesters are reserved for students with FWS eligibility and international students.

These jobs are available in many administrative and academic departments at SAIC. We make every effort to assist students in finding a job, but the receipt of a FWS award does not guarantee a job. Search currently available jobs here.

Eligibility: To participate, students must demonstrate financial need on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. Eligibility will be noted on your financial award letter.

Award amount: The award amount is variable depending on federal funding allocated to SAIC and the student’s job placement.

Institutional Employment

Institutional jobs offer students the chance to work on-campus for a number of departments and offices. These jobs include teaching assistantships. We recommend that you start searching for a job upon your arrival to campus.

Eligibility: There are a limited number of jobs reserved for students who do not demonstrate financial need. Students must have F-1 student visa status, and work during the fall and spring terms is restricted to 20 hours a week. During the summer and winter terms, students are able to work up to 40 hours a week.

Award amount: The amount of money made depends on the job placement and hours worked. 

Teaching Assistantships

Each year SAIC offers more than 100 teaching assistantships. Duties vary by department and by class, but may include coteaching responsibilities, research work, maintaining facilities, and/or grading papers. The number of hours varies by department, but generally totals six hours per week.

There are two types of teaching assistantships available:

Category A—positions involve teaching a class. These positions pay $20 per hour.

Category B—Studio positions pay $12 per hour, and involve assisting a teacher with a class.

Available teaching assistantship positions are posted on SAIC's Careers and Internships website one semester in advance—every fall semester for spring and summer and every spring for fall and winter.

Eligibility: The majority of teaching assistantships are awarded to second-year graduate students, but a few of them are held by new students. Graduate students must be enrolled at least half time to be awarded a teaching assistantship.

Award amount: A graduate student does not need earning eligibility to be awarded a teaching assistantship. If earning eligibility has not been established, it will be assigned when a student is awarded a teaching assistantship.

Students are encouraged to research other teaching and work opportunities on- and off-campus, and to explore the internships available through the Cooperative Education Internship Program. Call the Career + Co-op Center at 312.629.6820 for more information.

Cooperative Education Internship Program

The Cooperative Education Internship Program (Co-op) provides sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students the opportunity to extend your SAIC education beyond the classroom. Through the Co-op Program, you gain experience as an intern with a wide variety of professional arts and design related work environments while earning course credit, often with pay. Co-op employers include exhibiting institutions, design firms, production companies, artists' studios, cultural organizations, and more. You can participate in Co-op during a Fall, Spring or Summer semester.

Co-op is a class, for which you must register and tuition is charged and satisfies studio credit and can also satisfy the off-campus requirement. Most students earn 3 credits per semester and complete 210 required hours at their Co-op internship. Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate.

Undergraduate students can take up to four internships (12 credits total) and graduate students can take two internships (6 credits) depending on their program requirements.

Co-op is one of the most important career activities you can participate in while you are a student at SAIC as you prepare for employment after graduation. While participating in Co-op, students work part time in a wide variety of art-related positions in Chicago and throughout the country.

Visit to find out more about the Co-op program.

Student Payroll

If you decide to work on campus at SAIC, you will be required to submit a timesheet every two weeks in order to receive your paycheck. Read on for important information about the student payroll process.

Annual Payroll Schedule

The Student Payroll Schedule [PDF] lists the deadline/due dates by which timesheets must be electronically submitted by the student and supervisor in ARTICtime, as well as the bi-weekly pay dates. Consult the Student Payroll page for more information.


Online Timesheets must be submitted through the ARTICtime system, by the student employee, according to the Student Payroll Schedule every other Monday by 10:00 a.m. After students submit their timesheet, their supervisors will log into ARTICtime, review the hours for accuracy, and indicate if the student demonstrated satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance. Upon completion of those items, they will then approve the timesheet for payment. ARTICtime is located at

Direct Deposit/Paychecks

You are encouraged to enroll in Direct Deposit by logging into SAIC Self-Service, clicking on the Employee Center and completing the correct information in the "Direct Deposit Setup" link. This option allows SAIC to deposit your funds directly into your bank account, enabling quicker payment and avoiding a paper paycheck that must be picked up and deposited in your bank every two weeks. Students choosing not to use Direct Deposit will have to pick up their paychecks at the Cashier/Bursar’s Office according to the Student Payroll Schedule. Paychecks not picked up are mailed after 14 days.