Early College Program Summer Institute

Intense. Rigorous. Life Changing.

Enroll in the Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI) for ages 15-18 at the Nation's Most Influential Art and Design School! Students must have completed their sophomore year of high school by the time of the program.


Registration is Open!
Merit Scholarships and Financial Aid are Available!

Summer 2023 Session Dates:
Session 1: 2 weeks, June 19-30
Session 2: 2 weeks, July 3-14
Session 3: 2 weeks, July 17-28
Session 4: 4 weeks, July 3-28
Session 5: 1-week, July 31-August 4

View all courses and register today!

Why Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI)?

  • One of the key things that distinguishes SAIC from other art and design schools is our belief that meaning and making are inseparable. That means you begin with an idea and choose the media that best helps you realize your vision. Students are free to combine materials and disciplines, or focus in a single medium. 
  • Study with our amazing faculty, passionate teachers and acclaimed practicing artists, designers, and scholars, many of whom teach in the undergraduate program.
  • Make use of our state-of-the-art facilities and resources including our museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the third-largest collection of art in the world.
  • Live in our incomparable residence halls in the heart of downtown Chicago.
  • Explore Chicago in the summer — vibrant, exciting, and friendly.

Ideal Preparation for a Creative Future

  • Earn college credit (1 credit hour for 1-week session; 2 credit hours for 2-week session; 4 credits hours for 4-week session) that may transfer to any college you attend.
  • Prepare a competitive portfolio for college admission and receive expert guidance from our undergraduate degree program admissions counselors.
  • Successful completion of the program waives the portfolio requirement for admission to SAIC's undergraduate program
  • A large number of ECPSI students receive top merit scholarships to our undergraduate degree program.


Ideas Matter Here

Which is why we empower you with the freedom to work in multiple media. With us, you can incorporate text into paintings, combine performance and sculpture, and explore the relationship of sound to architecture. The possibilities are truly limitless. And, you will leave our program with higher confidence and innovative, portfolio-quality work.

"We want our students to be able to master not just one medium, but to have the freedom to move and explore throughout different disciplines; to experiment; to take risks; to find the right solution for each individual problem. Our interdisciplinary philosophy, accomplished by excellent, enthusiastic faculty, the third largest collection of art in the world, and one of the most exciting cities in the country, make SAIC the whole package." —Rafael Vera, ECPSI instructor

Faculty and Instructional Support

SAIC is known for its faculty, and many of our ECP Summer Institute instructors also teach in the undergraduate program. Our instructors are teaching artists, designers, writers, and scholars who are passionate about art making and will challenge you to think, question, and discover. In addition, each ECPSI class has at least one SAIC undergraduate or graduate student Teaching Assistant (TA) working with our faculty. With an average class size of 12–18 students, this allows for an average teacher/student ratio of 1:8.


Rigorous Classroom Experience

Like our undergraduate degree programs, you will be working in the studio all day—allowing you to really experience what it is like to be a practicing artist, designer, or writer. Classes meet from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. And, of course, there is time for lunch and breaks.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00–8:00 p.m., you will participate in exciting workshops designed to help you gain new skills and explore new ideas. A few examples of previous workshops are: a field trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA), a photo studio lighting tutorial, 3D printing and laser cutting instruction, working as part of a video crew, building and stretching canvases, and collaborative projects between students. All workshops are created for each specific class and are run by the teaching assistant(s).

Critique-Based Assessment

SAIC's credit/no credit grading system demands self-motivation and self-direction and encourages exploration, experimentation, and risk-taking. This doesn't mean we are not rigorous—our expectations are high and our faculty will motivate you to excel.

Our Community

Enrollment: Approximately 150 students per session
Students living on campus: 90%
International students: 17%
Countries represented: Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela
Instructional staff to student ratio 1:8

International Students

SAIC welcomes international students from abroad and those already in the United States with a student visa to enroll in all of our Continuing Studies programs including ECP and ECP Summer Institute (ECPSI). However, SAIC is not certified to issue immigration documents for international students participating in Continuing Education programs except for our ECPSI program.


Summer Institute Residency Program

View Program Brochure


ECP Summer Institute 2023 At-a-Glance

Session Course Dates Move In Exhibition/ Move Out Tuition Housing/Meals Incidentals/Supplies
Session 1: Two Weeks June 19-June 30, 2023 Move In: Sunday, June 18
Exhibition: Friday, June 30 at 2 p.m. CT
Move out: Saturday, July 1 by noon
$3,570*—two college credits $1,015 Supplies: approx. $300
Incidentals: approx. $200
Session 2: Two Weeks July 3-14, 2023 Move In: Sunday, July 2 Exhibition: Friday, July 14 at 2 p.m. CT

Move out: Saturday, July 15 by noon
$3,570*—two college credits $1,015 Supplies: approx. $300
Incidentals: approx. $200
Session 3: Two Weeks July 17-28, 2023 Move In: Sunday, July 16 Exhibition: Friday, July 28 at 2 p.m. CT
Move out: Saturday, July 29 by noon
$3,570*—two college credits $1,015 Supplies: approx. $300
Incidentals: approx. $200
Session 4: Four Weeks July 3-28, 2023 Move In: Sunday, July 2 Exhibition: Friday, July 28 at 2 p.m. CT

Move out: Saturday, July 29 by noon
$7,140*—four college credits $2,030 Supplies: approx. $450
Incidentals: approx. $350

NEW! Session 5: One Week  
July 31-August 4, 2023 Move In: Sunday, July 30 Open Studio: Friday, August 4 at 3-4 p.m. CT
Move out: Saturday, August 5 by noon
$1,785*—one college credit $510 Supplies: approx. $150
Incidentals: approx. $100

Note: *Includes $100 nonrefundable tuition deposit. Supply costs and incidentals are projected and will vary for each student determined in part by individual projects, material choices, and personal spending.

Classes are Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00–8:00 p.m.