Patrons walking through galleries with bright pink and yellow textile hanging on the wall in foreground and painted textiles and canvases in background wall.

Patrons walking through galleries with bright pink and yellow textile hanging on the wall in foreground and painted textiles and canvases in background wall.

Personal Vision, Expansive Pursuit

SAIC's graduate program gives you the freedom and the structure to pursue your vision in expansive ways—across disciplines and through rigorous critique. As you choose among a variety of seminars, courses, and graduate advisors to design your study path, you’ll advance your practice and evolve your interests. 

Graduate Degrees and Certificates

SAIC offers graduate pathways in studio, design, and academic fields, along with post baccalaureate certificates and a low-residency MFA.

#2 Fine Arts Program in the U.S.

U.S. News & World Report
Best Grad Schools

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Mac Pierce

Studio Tour: Mac Pierce

The Graduate Experience

How do SAIC's graduate students push their work forward? According to Mac Pierce, it's all about the unique "mind meld" that occurs when diverse talents and knowledge come together within the community.

Four Things You Should Know

    Making Begins and Ends With Meaning

    At SAIC, we believe that meaning and making are inseparable. As artists, designers, and scholars, we are driven by ideas—our responses to the worlds of art and science, to social justice issues, to personal identity and community. As we research and refine our ideas in the process of making, we also discover new ways of making. Every aspect of life and learning here is informed by this basic truth.

    A person placing a large sheet of photos in a gallery.

    We Cross Disciplines

    You can focus on one medium, but at SAIC you have the freedom to explore outside of your department as you identify how you want to make meaning, and to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration with peers and faculty to advance your research.

    A student pouring plaster into a mold.

    Rigorous Critique Is Key

    SAIC emphasizes critique as a way to develop a critical eye, gain confidence, and better understand your practice. You'll have opportunities to participate in several crit sessions, culminating in Critique Week, where interdisciplinary panels assess student work.

    Two students working with various objects at a table.

    Creative Kinship Is Your Future

    SAIC offers intimate settings for building connections with students from around the world that spark new insights and perspectives. You'll bond with artists, designers, writers, scholars, and curators, and become part of a legacy of alums who’ve formed fruitful collaborations.

    A group of students discussing art in a gallery.
    Jina smiling at the camera against a white backdrop

    Our Faculty Are Practitioners and Mentors

    SAIC’s professors are acclaimed artists, designers, and scholars who are both your mentors and your partners. They offer one-on-one mentorship as you develop your projects. They connect you with opportunities and help guide your journey. From thesis coursework to collaborations beyond SAIC, you'll benefit from their experience, guidance, and critique. 

    A person in a metal works studio.

    Photo by Grace DuVal

    Our Facilities Are Metal

    SAIC's facilities are unmatched, providing you with access to world-class resources for creating work. From advanced technology labs to interdisciplinary maker spaces and multiple galleries, our facilities support your creative exploration and experimentation.


    "SAIC is like a theme park for artists! I've used the 280 Wood Shop, Printmedia Lab, and the Flaxman Library, where I was able to see a 16mm Ed Ruscha film projected just for me." - Daniel Salamanca (MFA 2019)

    Angel Otero Defies Definition

    “Painter” is the description that Angel Otero (BFA 2007, MFA 2009) identifies with most, but using that title has the unintended effect of singling him out. Though Otero has exhibited at museums like the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is featured in the permanent collection at the Guggenheim, and has earned the attention of the New York Times, when it comes to his accolades, he’s both humble and occasionally exasperated by the art world’s insistence on categorizing creators.

    An artist stands in front of a colorful work of art in his studio

    Greg Stephen Reigh (BFA 2013)