The Academic Spine is a required three-course sequence for all undergraduate degrees. The courses provide a structure for peer support and intensive faculty mentoring as students navigate the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) open curriculum.
- The Sophomore Seminar, taken in the spring of the second year, is an interdisciplinary studio seminar that will hone critique skills and provide guidance as students develop their work.
- The Professional Practice Experience, taken in the third year, exposes students to key real-world, hands-on professional skills, such as proposal writing and networking, and assists in developing effective strategies for speaking about art and design work with various audiences.
- The Senior Capstone course, taken in the final year of study, provides targeted support for students developing a focused project or body of work.
All of the Academic Spine courses are offered through multiple departments across the School.
Academic Spine Courses Required for Students Admitted to SAIC as First-Time Freshmen
- Sophomore Seminar (SOPHSEM 2900) is taken in the spring of the second year of study
- Junior Professional Practice Experience (PROFPRAC 3900) is taken in the third year of study
- Senior Capstone (CAPSTONE 4900) is taken in the final year of study
Academic Spine Courses Required for Transfer Students
- Professional Practice Experience (PROFPRAC 3900) is taken in the third year of study
- Capstone (CAPSTONE 4900) is taken in the final year of study
Note: In lieu of Sophomore Seminar, Transfer Students are required to take Research Studio: Transfer (RS 1022), in their first semester at SAIC. RS 1022 shares assignments and learning objectives with SOPHSEM 2900, but is focused on the specific needs of transfer students.