- How do students register for orientation?
- How do parents and guests register for orientation?
- How do I get to SAIC?
- Where can I find a campus map?
- Where do I park once I get to SAIC?
- What is the schedule for New Student Orientation?
- What is an ARTICard, and how can I get one?
- What is the U-Pass, and how can I get one?
- What is this I hear about a laptop requirement?
- Where can I find more information on Contemporary Practices?
- How do I travel in and around Chicago?
- How will I/we pay for school?
- How do I get involved at SAIC?
Orientation: Frequently Asked Questions
All new undergraduate students are required to attend SAIC's Undergraduate New Student Orientation; therefore, students do not need to RSVP. A $150 orientation fee will automatically be charged to each student's account for this program.
Register online for Parent and Guest Registration. Registration is free, and parents and guests are encouraged to attend. Spring registration will open soon.
See how to get here.
Download a SAIC Campus Map [PDF].
Street parking on Wabash Avenue is extremely limited. Garage parking is available nearby at 55 East Monroe Street (travel south from 36 South Wabash Avenue to the intersection, turn left on Monroe, and enter the garage mid-block from the right lane).
The schedule for Spring New Student Orientation and Parent Orientation will be posted in November. Please check back the Parent and Undergraduate Orientation page then.
The ARTICard is SAIC's mandatory identification card. This one card is used to access facilities, check out equipment and library books, and provide debit card capabilities on campus.
Simply by depositing money onto the card, students can use it to make copies, print projects, do laundry, purchase books and supplies, and buy food all over campus. There is no membership fee, service charge, or minimum balance. The balance carries over from semester to semester, year to year until the account is closed.
Deposits to the ARTICard can be made by cash or check at the ARTICard Office, via mail by check or money order, or online with a credit card or electronic check.
For more information, please visit the ARTICard website.
Students will have the opportunity to pick up their ARTICard during New Student Orientation.
The U-Pass allows full-time students unlimited use of CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus and rail transportation each fall and spring semester. Currently, the U-Pass benefit is not offered during the summer and winter terms, although the card itself can still be used for full-fare transit during these terms. The cost of the U-Pass is $135 per semester, along with a one-time $5 fee for students receiving their U-Pass for the first time. This is a savings of nearly $200 when compared with regular CTA fares. The $135 mandatory fee is automatically charged to all full-time students' tuition and fee account each semester. The U-Pass is distributed throughout the first week of school.
There will be opportunities built into the New Student Orientation schedule for new students to pick up their U-Passes on their own or with their orientation groups.
SAIC is committed to providing the best and most innovative art education possible. SAIC believes we have a responsibility as an institution to ensure that, when you graduate, you are fully conversant with the tools that technology can provide. In order to ensure integrated curricular technology and equal access to a wide range of software, technical support, and training, SAIC has instituted a technology requirement consisting of two parts: a school-wide laptop requirement and a technology fee.
All incoming undergraduate students, with the exception of second-degree students, are required to own a laptop that meets minimum hardware requirements. To learn more about the requirements and to connect with a vendor that SAIC has partnered with to offer laptops that meet the requirements, please visit saic.edu/laptoppurchase. SAIC students should bring their laptop to orientation check in on Sunday, August 31, to learn how to use SAIC wifi and learn how to download the software package.
All students enrolled for six or more degree credit hours are charged a technology fee. This fee helps provide access to wireless and wired networking, curricular software in computer classrooms and labs, and student computing Help Desk support and training. In addition, students with a qualifying laptop computer can access curricular software both on and off campus, along with student computing Help Desk support.
SAIC specializes in the complete education of contemporary artists and designers, scholars, and educators, and individuals who envision their professional and personal futures in the broad range of fields relating to art, design, and education. SAIC’s course study matches the breadth of a liberal arts education with the depth and rigor of a discipline-based studio program. The Contemporary Practices program is designed to provide the transitions necessary for students to succeed in the broad and complex arenas that drive contemporary art and design.
For more information, please visit the Department of Contemporary Practices
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
Chicago Train Stations
Cycling in Chicago
Financing your education is unique for each student and family. Please visit the Financial Aid website for resources that will be helpful to you.
Campus Life strives to enhance and complement students' studio and academic experiences through campus activities, events, programs, student groups, and student organizations. Campus activities and events are a great way to build connections and further your development as individuals and artists. For more information on life at SAIC, please visit Campus Life.
Student Government represents all students enrolled at SAIC, providing students with a strong voice in school decisions. All students are encouraged to attend open meetings, which are held each week. Through these open meetings, students have the opportunity to have their voices heard and to shape the issues that Student Government champions each year.
In recent years, this student organization has planned, funded, and co-sponsored events such student Open Forums, Town Hall Events, All-School Barbecues, disaster relief fundraisers, and more. They've implemented a school TV station (ExTV) as well as collaborated with and supported other student organizations such as Student Union Galleries (SUGs), Student Programming Board (SPB), Free Radio SAIC, and F Newsmagazine. They have improved recycling efforts on campus and developed new programs to improve the sense of community at SAIC.
Student Programming Board
The Student Programming Board is a committee of students dedicated to planning educational and social programming and events in the new LeRoy Neiman Center. As the new hub of campus, the LeRoy Neiman Center will host weekly events and provide many opportunities for students to engage in the SAIC community.
Student groups at SAIC reflect the many interests of our diverse population. Our groups are active, often sponsoring events and programming such as: the Experimental Film Society's film screenings, weekly Latin dance and yoga classes, philosophy discussions, and art critiques. There is a group for any interest, and if it doesn't currently exist, our students are encouraged to start their own groups.
To learn more about joining one of the over 70 registered student groups and student organizations or forming a student group, please visit Engage SAIC for an up to date list of registered groups and upcoming events!