Various colorful prints, leaves and lights hanging from the ceiling of a gallery space.

Aimée Beaubien, Twist Affix, 2017, cut-up inkjet prints, vintage c-prints, paracord, carabiners, miniature clothespins, oscillating fan, grow lights on fabric cord with dried gomphrena, eucalyptus, lemons, limes, and fallen acorns

The Application Process

Explore Our Programs

SAIC offers graduate pathways in studio, design, and academic fields, along with post-baccalaureate certificates and a Low-Residency MFA. Explore Our Programs.

Begin Your Application

Complete your two-part application on SlideRoom.

Programs and Application Deadlines

Accepting Applications for Fall 2024:

Master of Architecture: Architecture Track 
Master of Architecture: Interior Architecture Track

Master of Arts in Art Education 
Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy 
Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History 
Master of Arts in Teaching 

MFA Architecture 
MFA Visual Communication Design

Master of Science in Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Certificate

Post-Bacc in Visual Communication Design

Priority Deadline: December 1
Final Deadline: January 10

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling 
Dual Degree: MA Modern & Contemporary Art History AND MA Arts Administration & Policy 
Master of Arts in Visual & Critical Studies

Master of Design in Designed Objects

Low-Residency MFA 
Master of Fine Arts in Fashion, Body and Garment 
Master of Fine Arts in Writing

MFA Art & Technology / Sound Practices 
MFA Ceramics 
MFA Design for Emerging Technologies 
MFA Designed Objects 
MFA Fiber & Material Studies 
MFA Film, Video, New Media, & Animation 
MFA Painting & Drawing 
MFA Performance 
MFA Photography 
MFA Printmedia 
MFA Sculpture 

Post-Bacc Art & Technology / Sound Practices 
Post-Bacc Ceramics 
Post-Bacc Fiber & Material Studies 
Post-Bacc Film, Video, New Media, & Animation 
Post-Bacc Painting 
Post-Bacc Performance 
Post-Bacc Printmedia 

Application Instructions

  • Apply at This form collects basic information, unofficial transcripts, and test scores (if applicable). You will select the program to which you are applying here as well. Please note: in order to be reviewed for admission you will need to complete an electronic portfolio for each program you select. Payment will be collected at the end of this section and will cover the cost of all programs to which you are applying.

    Application fee: $90.00
    Priority Application Deadline: December 1. Application fees will be discounted by 50% before this date.

    Application Details
    SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry. Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline. When you click the "submit" button on your the Graduate Application form, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application form is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information. Under no circumstances will an application fee be waived or refunded. After you submit the application form you will be directed to a dashboard where you can begin working on your ePortfolio(s).

    Official Transcript Details
    A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC. Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

    Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationary and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.

    During the application process an unofficial transcript is acceptable for review pending an Admissions decision. Official transcripts are required upon admission. Include transcripts both official and unofficial from all universities/colleges from which a degree was obtained or prerequisites were fulfilled. You can attach unofficial transcripts as .pdf or .jpg files in the Educational History section of the application form. If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable.

    Transcripts are considered official if sent directly from the degree- or credit-granting institution to the SAIC Graduate Admissions Office. Hard copy transcripts are considered official if the documents remain in the registrar's original signed and sealed envelopes. Official transcripts can be sent both in digital and hard-copy format. Digital transcripts can be sent from the degree- or credit-granting institution to Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:

    SAIC Graduate
    36 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 1201
    Chicago, IL 60603

    Test Score Details
    International applicants are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. You are waived from this requirement if you meet any of the following conditions:

    • Your native language is English
    • You have an undergraduate degree conferred by a U.S. accredited university
    • You have an undergraduate degree conferred by a university whose primary language of instruction is English

    If you do not meet one of these conditions, you must submit official English language proficiency test scores. You are strongly encouraged to schedule a language proficiency test appointment as early as possible in order to receive official test scores prior to the application deadline. SAIC accepts official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Duolingo. The TOEFL Institution Code for SAIC is 1713. Please upload an unofficial copy of your test score results to the International Requirements section of the application form.

  • For each program you selected in the application form, you will need to submit a corresponding electronic portfolio, resume/cv, statement, and references based on the requirements for each program.  Your application is not complete until you have submitted both the application form and the electronic portfolio for that program.

    E-Portfolio Details
    Applicants are required to submit an ePortfolio, though the content varies by department. Please visit your individual program of interest to find details. You must submit a separate ePortfolio for each program or studio department to which you apply. After you pay the application fee and submit the application form, an ePortfolio for each of the programs you selected in the application form will automatically appear in your SlideRoom dashboard.

    Submission Specifications
    Submission specifications:

    • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)
    • Videos: .flv, .wv, .mov (up to 60 MB each)
    • Audio: .mp3 (up to 10 MB each)
    • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

    Statement of Intent Details
    A statement of intent is required for all graduate programs though the content varies by department. Please visit your individual program of interest to find details. You will upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.

    Reference Details
    You are responsible for securing letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of recommendation from current or former instructors. Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via the References section of the application form. In this section you will be asked to provide an email address for each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent from SlideRoom to your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations online. If your references are unable to provide an online recommendation please contact the Graduate Admissions office at

    Resume Details
    A résumé is required for all graduate programs. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section in your ePortfolio.

    Additional Item Details
    Programs in Architecture, Art Therapy & Counseling, and Teaching have additional admissions requirements based on licensure. Please visit your individual program of interest to find details.

  • For programs requiring an interview prior to making an admissions decision, we host an interview weekend on campus in mid-February each year. Keep an eye out for a Save-the-Date after applying! For students at a distance or unable to travel, interviews may be conducted remotely.

  • Most programs will release first round decisions by March 1. Students will receive decisions by mail so be sure we have your updated address. 

  • Students will be automatically considered for merit-based aid during the admissions process and notified at the time of admission. Domestic students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to applying to expedite the Financial Aid Process. You can also find a list of outside scholarship opportunities for domestic and international students at 

  • ​Students will be notified of their deposit deadlines via their admission letter - most programs have an April 1 deadline in order to secure a space with a $500 deposit. Once received, you will work with your department to select and register for classes.