Post-Bacc Programs & Certificates
The desire to grow and develop does not necessarily subside upon receiving your bachelor’s degree. In fact, for many the desire becomes stronger. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers a Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bacc) Certificate in Studio in eight academic departments, plus a Certificate in Historic Preservation. Each of these programs draws on the unique strengths of SAIC’s highly regarded studio and academic departments and will give you the opportunity to pursue your studies in a large professional art-and-design-school setting.
The Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bacc) Certificate in Studio program provides students who have an undergraduate degree with an opportunity to expand their work in a large professional fine arts school environment. The two-semester program is designed to help students develop their artistic vision and technical proficiency and produce a strong body of work for the purpose of graduate admissions.
Applicants to the program may be:
- Individuals with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science who need an additional year of studio experience to prepare a portfolio
- Individuals with a degree in art who wish to pursue work in a medium different from their undergraduate major
- International students requiring a year of intensive studio work typical of the United States educational system before beginning a master of fine arts (MFA) program
The curriculum combines the tutorial aspects of graduate school with the formal coursework of an advanced undergraduate program. Students supplement their studio work with two art history classes, a one-semester post-baccalaureate seminar (or equivalent studio work), and an optional studio seminar.
Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio does not guarantee admission to SAIC's MFA in Studio program. Credits taken while a post-baccalaureate student cannot be counted toward an MFA in Studio degree at SAIC should you later be accepted into that program.
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio is a 30-credit hour program designed to help you build a portfolio for graduate school admission. See the specific course requirements below.
Post-Baccalaureate Studio Seminar
- Painting students take PBACC 5002 (3)
- Visual Communication Design students take PBACC 5320 (3)
PPBACC 5009 Post-Baccalaureate Projects
3–6 credits each semester from any studio area
3–6 credits each semester from any studio area
- ARTHI 5002 Survey of Modern and Contemporary Art (3)
- Art History course 2000 level or above (3)
Participation in two Graduate Critiques
Total Credit Hours
- Curriculum: The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio program is designed to be a full-time, two-semester program. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the program chair and the department chair and will only extend to one full calendar year.
- Specific courses: Of the 24 studio credit hours, specific courses may be required depending on the department to which the student has been accepted. All post-baccalaureate students should discuss their schedules with the program chair or the department chair.
- Full-time Status Minimum Requirement: 12 credit hours
The Historic Preservation Certificate is a 15-credit hour certificate ideal for:
- Individuals wishing to embark on a career in the field of historic preservation, or pursue study for personal enrichment.
- Current practitioners in the field who want to update or enhance their skill set.
- Those considering a Master's-level program who wish to secure foundational competence.
Students bring their prior experience and interests to the service of preservation through studio projects that focus on the adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, or preservation of historic structure(s). In addition, students complete an internship in preservation at an architectural office or other agency or opt to participate in a study trip.
Our faculty are respected professionals committed to preserving and reusing historic buildings, furnishings, sites, and landscapes as well as social inclusion and cultural representation. Their professional affiliations in Chicago and abroad provide a powerful network of connections.
The Resources of a Leading Art and Design School
Students benefit from access to SAIC's state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including our Art Institute of Chicago and Ryerson and Burnham libraries—a major art and architecture research collection. Your peer group includes practicing artists and designers from around the globe.
Chicago: Your Urban Classroom
Chicago is a living laboratory and program projects involve buildings, sites, archives, and collections relating to rural, industrial, urban, and suburban communities.
Real World Experience
Students gain valuable experience through an internship with preservation agencies, conservators, restoration architects or designers of their choosing, or by participating in an SAIC study trip. Other SAIC courses or external professional training may satisfy this requirement.
Seamless Transition to SAIC's MSHP Program
Students who successfully complete the certificate program may choose to work with the program director to transfer credits to our Master of Science in Historic Preservation. Twenty-five percent of the degree requirements are satisfied upon completion of the certificate program.
The SAIC Historic Preservation Certificate is recognized by the National Council for Preservation Education.
- Completed online application
- Official college transcripts: A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required.
- Statement of intent (completed with online application). Write a 500–700 word statement that describes your work or research. Please be sure to address the following:
- Why you wish to pursue this historic preservation certificate.
- Future directions or goals for your work.
- Your understanding of preservation, architecture and place-making. (Save your statement of intent as a PDF and upload it as an attachment.)
- 2 Letters of reference: A recent employer or educational reference is recommended.
- English Proficiency Scores - for students whose first language is not English, we require proof of English proficiency which may be submitted via one of the following tests: TOEFL: 100, IELTS: 7, DUOLINGO: 120.
The certificate includes five courses, totaling 15-credit hours, along with an external practicum, that meets the minimum standards and guidelines promulgated by the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE), consistent with current standards for architectural education being reviewed nationwide by the American Institute of Architects' Historic Resources Committee.
Certificate courses fall into six program areas:
- Preservation Documentation
- Materials Conservation
- Architectural History
- Preservation Planning
- Design Studio Focused on Preservation
- Preservation Practicum
Preservation Documentation - choose 1 from the following:
Material Conservation - choose 1 from the following:
Building Conservation Lab
Historic Materials and Techniques
Architectural History - choose 1 from the following:
History and Theory of Historic Preservation
Other approved Architectural History course
Preservation Planning - choose 1 from the following:
Preservation-Focused Design Studio - choose 1 from the following:
Design Action North Lawndale
Restoration Design Studio
Other approved studio course in Architecture or Interior Architecture
Preservation Practicum - choose 1 from the following:
SAIC study trip
SAIC class or other practicum experience, professional training, workshop or course (external to SAIC)
Click here to view the Historic Preservation brochure.
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