Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual and Critical Studies students follow a curricular pathway that shares many classes with Bachelor of Fine Arts students before diverging into a unique course of study. Here are the requirements you must meet to earn a BA in Visual and Critical Studies.
Total Credit Hours
VCS 2001 Issues in Visual and Critical Studies (3)
VCS 3010 Tutorial in Visual and Critical Studies (3)
VCS 4800 Undergraduate Thesis Seminar I: Research & Writing (3)
CAPSTONE 4900 VCS Undergraduate Thesis Seminar II: Research and Writing (3)
PROFPRAC and CAPSTONE are now required for new incoming students beginning in the 2015-16 academic year.
CP 1010 Core Studio Practice I (3)
CP 1011 Core Studio Practice II (3)
CP 1020 Research Studio I (3)
CP 1022 Research Studio II (3)
Studio Electives (27)
ENGLISH 1001 First Year Seminar I (3)
ENGLISH 1005 First Year Seminar II (3)
Social Science (6)
Natural Science (6)
Liberal Arts Elective (3)
ARTHI 1001 World Cultures/Civilizations: Pre-History to 19th-Century Art and Architecture (3)
Art History Elective at 1000 level (3)
Art History Elective (3)
Transfer students must complete at least 66 credit hours of coursework at the SAIC in order to earn a BA in Visual and Critical Studies degree here. Please look at the breakdown of credits required for minimum residency below:
Total credits required for minimum residency
Minimum Studio credit
Minimum Visual and Critical Studies Core Curriculum
VCS 5003 History and Theory of Visual Studies
VCS 5004 Research and Production
VCS 5010 Topics in VCS
VCS 5999 Thesis I
VCS 6999 Thesis II
External criticism, theory, or methodology courses relevant to individual research—these courses are selected in consultation with the graduate director.
Electives—Advanced academic courses (liberal arts, art history, etc.), studio advising, co-op internships, or otherwise relevant engagement including directed and independent studies.
Completion of thesis
Total Credit Hours
Degree requirements and specifications
Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years from entry into the program to complete course work and submit a final thesis. This includes time off for leaves-of-absences. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
Transfer credits: A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to 6 transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
Graduate Projects: Master of Arts students who are working on studio projects as a part of their degree requirement may enroll in MFA 6009Graduate Projects. Students are limited to a total of 6 credits of graduate projects over a four semester period. Any MA student wishing to take a graduate project must obtain permission from both the advisor with whom they wish to study and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students will receive a permission number from the faculty to register for the advisor's section of MFA 6009 Graduate Projects. MA students should meet with their department head to confirm that graduate advising is the type of class they need to fulfill graduation requirements.
Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours
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For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.