Degree Program Courses for Credit

Looking to enhance your portfolio? Complete credits toward a degree? Refresh your skills?

Try the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) before committing to a degree program. We invite you to thrive in a creative, supportive community as a Student-at-Large!

Join our degree-seeking students, other college students, artists, and designers from Chicago and beyond in SAIC’s undergraduate or graduate degree program courses. Sparked by the vitality of our urban campus, inspiring peer engagement, challenging instructors, and influential visiting artists, you’ll work harder than ever before in a creative environment second to none.

SAIC offers hundreds of degree courses each fall and spring semester, and the winter interim and summer semester include a variety of short-term courses and intensives. Non-degree seeking students are welcome to join degree courses as a Student-at-Large.

Tuition and fees are aligned with the degree program undergraduate rates. *Students taking six credits or more of for-credit classes are charged a Technology Fee.

Housing for Summer

Housing options are available for students wishing to join us during the summer session. After registration, you will need to activate your SAIC ARTIC account to receive your SAIC ID. Once completed, you can request housing at View rates, contract and pre-payment information.

View detailed Student-at-Large information or see the SAIC Registration and Records page.

Registration, Payment, and Policies

  • Adults not currently admitted into any of SAIC's degree programs may enroll for college credit in degree program courses as a student-at-large (SAL). Students must be 18 years of age or older and have received a high school diploma or equivalent.

    Degree program courses at the 1000–4000 levels are open to SALs on a space-available basis. Courses at the 5000 level are open to students who meet the prerequisites through prior coursework or with approval from the instructor. SALs are not permitted to take undergraduate independent study courses. SALs who are subsequently admitted to SAIC's Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Interior Architecture programs may apply up to 42 credit hours earned prior to their admission toward their degree. These credits must have been earned in the five years immediately preceding admission. SALs may not register for Graduate Projects, an independent study course reserved for Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students, nor can credits earned as an SAL be applied to the MFA program should the student be subsequently admitted.

    SALs who have earned a master's degree and wish to earn additional credit for career-related professional development may apply for graduate-level credit in courses at the 2000 level or above. To apply for graduate-level credit, the student must request permission from the instructor and the graduate division chair. If permission is granted, the instructor and the student must negotiate what will be considered graduate-level course requirements. A graduate-level credit permission form is available in the Registration and Records office and must be completed and returned within two weeks of the beginning of the term for which the student is registered.

    To register for a degree course for credit, complete the registration form and return it to the Registration and Records Office at

    Students taking degree program classes for credit must adhere to the Rights and Responsibilities for SAL students

  • Continuing Studies reserves the right to cancel or alter the fees, schedule, or staffing of courses when circumstances warrant. If a cancellation or change is necessary, students will be notified prior to the first class, and students enrolled in canceled courses will have the option of taking another class or receiving a full refund.

  • All withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing to and include the student's name, ID number, and course information. The date the request is received in writing is the date used to calculate the refund amount.

    • 100 percent tuition refund prior to the end of the add/drop period

    • No refunds will be issued after the end of the add/drop period

    Students may withdraw from a class following the add/drop period. Charges will remain on the student’s account, and a grade of W will be assigned.

    Refer to the degree program academic calendar for add/drop and last day to withdraw with a W. Refunds take four to six weeks to process, depending on payment type.

    Note: Nonattendance does not constitute an official withdrawal, nor a cancellation of tuition and fees. 

  • SAIC welcomes international students to register for degree courses in the student-at-large (SAL) category. International students are those who enter the United States on a temporary nonimmigrant visa (F-1 or J-1) in order to attend another school as a full-time, degree-seeking student. F-1 or J-1 status students who wish to concurrently enroll in a course at SAIC during the fall or spring term may do so with the permission of the host school's immigration advisor. Summer registration requires no special permission.

    If the primary purpose of your visit to the United States is study, you are advised not to enter the country on a tourist (B-2) visa. Please refer to the U.S. government guidelines for Pleasure/Tourism—Visitor Visas (B-2).

    SAIC does not issue the Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) required for the student visa (F-1) to non-degree applicants other than students enrolling in the Early College Program Summer Institute.

    If you are a permanent US resident with an alien registration number, you are not considered an international applicant or student.

Contact Us

Continuing Studies staff members are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. CT at 312.629.6170 or to answer your questions. We are here to help!