Students gathered around a lounge talking, studying, and gazing out the windows at the view overlooking the Art Institute museum.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Academic Advising provides you ongoing partnership, support, and advocacy as you navigate SAIC’s interdisciplinary curriculum and map out your unique degree plan. Your academic advisor will be your point person to help you manage course concerns and personal issues and connect you to resources to support your academic success. 

Academic Advisors can assist you in a variety of areas, including:

  • Check your credit progress
  • Select courses, plan your schedule, and register for courses
  • Add or drop a course
  • Withdraw from a course
  • Work through issues listed on course progress reports
  • Resolve course concerns and mediate conflicts
  • Switch degree programs
  • Substitute or waive course credit
  • Take classes off campus through the permissions process
  • Take a leave of absence
  • Return from a leave of absence 
  • Navigate SAIC policy and procedures
  • Appeal academic and refund policies
  • Review campus resources
  • Obtain food assistance

Academic Advising Brochure

Advising Appointments

Academic Advisors are available to meet with students in person and remotely. You can schedule an appointment through the Navigate Student app or desktop site here. If you have general advising questions or do not know who to contact, please email or call 312.629.6800

  • First-year students are assigned an academic advisor who is connected to their Research Studio I course and integrated into the classroom experience during their first semester at SAIC. Students are required to meet with their advisor each semester before registering for classes through the first semester off their sophomore year. These appointments are called pre-registration, or “pre-reg,” and help prepare students to register for the upcoming semester. See Make and Prepare for Your Appointment for more information.

  • While SAIC does not require juniors and seniors to meet with academic advising, we recommend that you continue meeting with an advisor to make sure you are on track to complete your degree. It is recommended that juniors and seniors meet with an advisor at least once a year. See Make and Prepare for Your Appointment for more information.

  • Graduate, certificate, and post-baccalaureate students receive academic advising directly through their department.

  • Preparing for a general advising appointment can make a big difference in what you get out of it. To get the most valuable advice and information from meeting with an academic advisor:

    Do Your Research

    • The SAIC website or your Self-Service may already have the answer. Look at those resources to gather information
    • Talk to appropriate departments or offices that relate to your question or concern
    • Consult with your support system

    Come with Specific Questions and Arrive Prepared

    • Bring questions so you don't forget anything important
    • Have relevant information and emails on hand

    Set-Up a Reminder

    • Set up a reminder on your phone the day or hour before your appointment to ensure you don’t join late or miss your appointment
    • Arrive a few minutes early so you have enough time to either check in at the advising desk in Sullivan 1204 or to check your internet connection for virtual calls. This will ensure you make the most of your scheduled time
    • Arriving more than 10 minutes late to your appointment may result in cancellation
    • If you are unable to make your appointment, please cancel and reschedule your appointment on Navigate!

  • Pre-registration, also known as "pre-reg," is a required meeting with your Academic Advisor to review your course selections for the upcoming semester. Pre-registration occurs in October/November and February/March. If you are required to have a pre-reg appointment in order to register for classes, you will be sent an email invitation to schedule the meeting via Navigate.

    Prior to meeting with an advisor for a pre-registration appointment, here are some things you may want to consider:

    Review Your Remaining Credits


    • In Self-Service, under Tasks, you will find a list of any holds on your account.
    • Click on each hold to find out when the hold will become "active," and who to contact should the hold already be active. You will need to speak to someone about resolving the hold.
    • Registration with Permissions holds are placed by Academic Advising. These holds are lifted after your required pre-registration meeting. Please note, a hold may still be listed on your account but not be "active." Pay attention to the date on the hold as that will tell you when the hold will be active.

    Course Selection

    Work Samples

    • Gather samples of your work (e.g., writing samples, slides, etc.) that will help your advisor get to know you and enable them to provide personalized feedback.

Class Registration

SAIC students are assigned a date and time that they can begin registering for classes based on how many credits they have completed. Prior to enrolling in classes, students should review and consider the following items:

    • Some holds prevent students from registering, so students should look under Tasks in Self-Service to see if they have any active holds

    • Before enrolling, make sure you know exactly what credits you need to complete your degree
    • Download your Advisement Summary through SAIC Self-Service. Directions for how to find and read your Advisement Summary: 

    Student Guide to Accessing Academic Information [PDF]

    Step-by-step directions for how to register

  • Check the school's academic calendar to make sure you know when classes begin. It is important to be on time and attend courses on the first day, and throughout the semester, because absences affect your ability to earn credit. If you register late for a class (during the Add/Drop period), you are still responsible for any participation or work you have missed. Enrolling late does not excuse you from the missed class time. We encourage you to carefully consider adding classes after the semester begins and ideally after a discussion with the instructor. See SAIC’s Attendance policy in the Student Handbook and the syllabus for each of your courses for more information.

  • Every semester you should log in to SAIC Self-Service and review your schedule a few days before classes begin, as there are occasionally last-minute room changes. You can see your course schedule by visiting the Current Students dashboard and clicking the Self-Service link. You will find your course schedule under Manage Classes non-mobile, then select View My Classes.

    Download the SAIC Campus Map‌ with the classroom locations listed by their abbreviation of your class schedule.

    SAIC Campus Map [PDF]

  • Most classes, including studio, will provide you with a list of materials needed on the first day. Check both your email and the Canvas site (when applicable) for each of your classes prior to the start of the semester. Either way, plan on bringing notebooks and writing materials to the first class so you can take notes. You may also visit the DePaul University bookstore website to see if the courses you enrolled in have any required texts available for purchase there.

  • Login to Self-Service to check your course schedule, your unofficial transcript, and your degree audit. If you have any questions, contact your academic advisor.

    If you are a new student, you should work with SAIC Admissions prior to the start of your first semester. New transfer students should continue to work with SAIC Admissions through Add/Drop of their first semester enrolled at SAIC.

    You should also:

  • For your first semester at SAIC, the Office of Admissions will register you for classes. You may work with them prior to the start of your first semester, or with your academic advisor once the semester begins, regarding any schedule concerns. You may contact Admissions at Sullivan Center, 36 South Wabash Ave., suite 1201, or 312.629.6100.

    If you are a returning student, you may work with your advisor before classes begin to make sure you are comfortable with your course selection. We highly recommend you make any schedule changes before the semester begins. Adding and dropping classes after they begin can seriously impact your ability to receive credit. If you miss a course session because you added it after the first course meeting, this counts as an absence and can affect your standing in the course.

  • If you try to enroll in a class, but receive a message saying "Requisites have not been met," this means there are classes you need to complete before taking this course. Prerequisite requirements indicate the class builds on skills learned in a previous course(s). You will need to enroll and receive credit for the course(s) listed as a prerequisite—which is listed under the course information in Self-Service.

  • If you believe you qualify for waiving any course prerequisites, you should contact your academic advisor to discuss your situation. Your academic advisor may refer you to the faculty or chair of the department depending on your situation.

  • It's important to have two to three class options prepared in case your first choice is full. You should register for these back-up classes and check back to see if a place opens up in the class you wanted. You may also add yourself to a course’s waitlist. For more information on how to waitlist for a class, please visit the Registration and Records’ waitlist guide.

  • A hold can come from a number of departments (the Media Center, the Flaxman Library, Student Financial Services, etc.), and can be placed if you have not returned items, if you have outstanding payments to make, or you need to meet with your advisor. A hold can prevent you from using SAIC resources (e.g., checking out library books), and can also affect your ability to register for classes. You may check to see if you have any holds by logging into SAIC Self-Service and looking under Tasks. When you click on the individual hold, you can see details such as who to contact to resolve the hold, and when the hold is active. You may see a hold on your account that is active on a future date. This hold will not prevent you from registering until that date.


Academic Policies for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) include the SAIC Bulletin, Student Handbook, and guidance on understanding your grades, class progress reports, academic standing, appeals, taking courses outside of SAIC, and leaves of absence.

View Academic Policies

Degree Requirements

Degrees Offered

SAIC’s degrees and departments offer a rich curriculum that allows for interdisciplinary study. While many students choose to focus on a specific discipline, others choose to build a hybrid practice that combines many areas of interest. Regardless of the degree you choose to pursue, you have the option of studying across many disciplines. Writing students may wish to complement their studies with courses in architecture and design, for example.

You will leave the school prepared to adapt to the complex society in which you will be working in and influencing.

Advisement Report

All SAIC students should learn how to review their academic information and know how to access it. Your Advisement Report gives you a summary of your degree plan, how many credits your degree plan requires, and how many credits you have completed. It includes all courses you are currently enrolled in, have received credit for, transfer credits, incomplete grades, as well as grades not reported.

For more information about how you can access your academic information via SAIC Self-Service, check out: 

Student Guide to Accessing Academic Information [PDF]

Off-Campus Study Requirements

At SAIC, we encourage students to think beyond our campus and into the communities where art and design lives and breathes. We encourage students to venture out, explore, and take in every possible thing they can.

Off-campus study options include:

All incoming undergraduate students are required to complete six credits* of off-campus study with the exception of BAAH students, who are required to complete three credits of off-campus study toward their degree. Courses that satisfy the off-campus requirement can also satisfy degree requirements for studio, liberal arts, and/or art history credit.

Consultation with an academic advisor is recommended to confirm course selections that fulfill the off-campus study requirement.

*Transfer students who are awarded at least 12 transfer credits, but less than 36 transfer credits are required to complete three credits of off-campus study requirements. Transfer students who are awarded 36 credits or more are waived from the requirement.

Changing Your Degree

Students may elect to change their Program of Study during their educational career at SAIC under certain circumstances. Note: Changing programs during your SAIC career may lead to a re-attribution of credits already completed. Academic Advising strongly encourages all students to meet with an advisor before making any decision to change programs to review their degree progress, courses taken, and how those courses may or may not count towards their new program. International students seeking a program change must also receive authorization from the International Affairs office. 

Changing to Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Program

Students changing into the BFA program must meet with an academic advisor to receive authorization. Once authorized, students may submit their signed Program Change Form to the Registration and Records office. 

Changing to Non-BFA Degree Program

Any student wishing to change into the Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing, Bachelor of Arts in Art History, or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education degree program must receive authorization from that department's Program Director (or their designee). Students should submit a Program Change form to the Program Director or designee and may be asked to meet in person to evaluate their request or submit additional application materials.

Program Change [PDF]

Locker Registration

Degree-program Students and Students-at-large

All students, staff, and faculty are eligible to register for one SAIC locker, which must be registered online through SAIC Self-Service. Lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be registered before placing a lock on the locker. 

Please refer to the Locker Registration Policy‌ [PDF] for additional information.

To register for a locker, follow the instructions in order:

    • Log in to SAIC Self-Service, under the Current Students Dashboard
    • Choose "Other Services"
    • Choose "Student Locker"
    • Click "Add a Locker," select Building, Floor, and Locker number (use the magnifying glass icon to see the available options)
    • Put a lock on your Registered Locker

    • Log in to SAIC Self-Service through the Faculty Dashboard or Staff Dashboard
    • Go to Student Center page
    • Under the Personal Information section, click on Locker Registration
    • Click Add Locker
    • Select the Building, Floor, and Locker Number (use the magnifying glass icon to see the available options)
    • Agree to the Locker Registration Policy and click Save
    • Put a lock on your Registered Locker

    Registered lockers must have a lock placed on them by the end of Add/Drop for the fall and spring semesters. Lockers are checked for valid registration after those dates.

    • If an unregistered locker is found locked, the lock will be cut and the contents disposed of.
    • If a registered locker does not have a lock it will be released and made available to others.

    All lockers are automatically unregistered twice during the year: once after the end of the Spring term, and again at the end of the summer term. When this occurs, all remaining locks are cut. Contents of the lockers are disposed of at that time. The Locker Clean Out dates will be sent through SAIC email and posted throughout campus.

    "Faculty Locker" or "Do Not Cut" signs will not be honored at any time.

  • Non-degree Students and those with special requests (i.e., eligible for more than one locker) register lockers through the Office of Student Affairs.

    Contact the Office of Student Affairs at 312.629.6800 or with their ID number, building, floor, and locker number/s to register. 

Academic Advisors

Academic Advising

Sullivan Center
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1204
Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312.629.6800

Dean of CAPX and Academic Advising

Rebekah Champ

Associate Dean of Student Affairs: Academic Advising

Cheeyon Cha

Student Success and Completion Specialist

Eve Feldman

Academic and Career Coach

Alberto Ponce

Director of Academic Advising

Deborah Beal

Senior Academic Advisor

David Norris

Academic Advisor

Sidney Aldrich

Academic Advisor

Mike Freiheit

Academic Advisor

Meredith Haines

Academic Advisor

Tyler Maxie

Academic Advisor

Liz Medoff

Academic Advisor

Karen Nguyen

Faculty Advisor

Pete Fagundo

Faculty Advisor

Steve Heyman

Faculty Advisor

Eric Leonardson

Faculty Advisor

Anita Welbon