FAQs

What is your COVID-19 vaccination policy?

All Continuing Studies students who are eligible to receive a vaccine and intend to be on campus for any period of time will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and follow SAIC's evolving policies around masking, social distancing, and submission of vaccine status documents. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine. You, or parents/guardians of students, will need to submit proof of vaccination or a request for a medical or religious exemption. Learn more.

How do I get downtown once I arrive in Chicago?

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from either of Chicago's airports (O'Hare or Midway). We recommend students use Airport Express and call 1.888.2THEVAN or visit airportexpress.com to make a reservation. Airport Express operates beginning at 4:00 a.m. daily from O'Hare, every 15 minutes daily from Midway, and will take students directly to Jones Hall, 7 West Madison Street, from either airport.

Students may also use a taxi service or public transportation from either airport. Cab fare is approximately $40–$50 and public transportation is $2.25–$5.00 one way. For public transit maps, visit transitchicago.com.

Can I live off-campus? 

Living in SAIC’s residence hall is not required, but highly recommended. Prior ECPSI students have mentioned the benefits of living on campus, such as easy access to classrooms and studios, engaging with other students, and partaking in residence life activities

If I choose to live in the Residence Hall, what should I bring?

Students living in the residence hall must provide bed linens and blankets (extra–long twin sheets or any fitted sheet, blanket or sleeping bag, and pillow), towels, toiletries (toilet paper, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.), alarm clock, cooking and eating utensils (plate, fork, knife, spoon, etc.), laundry and dish detergent (as needed), a combination lock if students wish to make use of lockers available in academic buildings to store supplies, and art supplies. Note: All of the above items can be purchased after you arrive in Chicago – Target is steps from the residence hall. Do not ship personal items in advance of your arrival; we cannot hold these items for you. Anything shipped to our office will be returned to sender.

What is expected of me in terms of coursework? 

Each class is different and will have its own requirements. However, all students should expect to get homework during the week and on the weekends. The ECP Summer Institute is an advanced program granting college credit upon successful completion. Students are expected to complete assignments outside of class and therefore should plan to spend approximately two hours each evening in the studios. Students are here first and foremost for an intensive academic experience in the visual arts.

Can ECPSI courses be audited/taken for non-credit? 

ECPSI courses are credit only and cannot be audited.

Is there any tuition assistance available? 

Financial assistance is available in the form of need-based aid and merit scholarships. Need-based aid is available to US residents only. All students may apply for merit scholarships. Learn more about how to apply for tuition assistance.

How large are ECPSI classes? 

It depends on the class. Courses that require specialized equipment like computers, etc., are usually limited to 12–14. Other classes are closer to 14 – 20. Average ratio of instructional staff to student is 1:8 

How much work can I expect to produce during an ECPSI course? 

As with homework, each class is different and will yield its own unique product. However, students should expect to produce several initial projects/assignments in addition to a final project that is self driven.

Is there additional support for international students? 

SAIC has an international affairs office that can help to support international students!

What about supplies for the course? 

Art supplies are the responsibility of the student. Supply lists will be available in late May for Session 1 courses, with Sessions 2, 3, 4, and 5 distributed shortly thereafter. All enrolled students will be emailed the link to the supply lists, so make sure to provide us with an active email. NOTE: Due to the flexible nature of our courses, we do not recommend purchasing all supplies before you leave. Instructors address supplies on the first day of class and a majority of these can be purchased around SAIC’s campus. Certain items should be procured ahead of time, such as digital SLR cameras for photo classes, etc. You are also free to bring supplies that you already have and do not want to purchase once in Chicago.  

How are ECPSI students supervised? 

ECPSI students are allowed free time for lunch, between classes and curfew (curfew is for residential students but the city of Chicago also has a curfew), and on the weekends. Students and parents should discuss self-regulation and self-discipline, and students are highly encouraged to travel in groups in and around the campus area. We do not recommend using the public transportation system (CTA) unless travelling in groups with at least one person who is familiar with the Chicago area. If parents or students are looking for a program with one hundred percent supervision, they should consider the nature of this program thoroughly before registering. Instructional staff supervises use of the CTA system during class and there are also supervised outings coordinated by residence life on evenings and weekends so students may explore the city. ECPSI students are required to check in/out for the times/events listed below.
9:00 a.m., M-F- class attendance taken (all students)
12:00 p.m., M-F- students released for lunch (all students)
1:00 p.m., M-F- class attendance checked post lunch (all students)
6:00 p.m., T/Th- workshop attendance taken (all students)
10:00 p.m., S-Th- curfew in residence hall (residential students only)
11:00 p.m., F/S- curfew in residence hall (residential students only)
7:30 a.m., everyday- students allowed to leave residence hall (residential students only)

NOTE: lunch times may differ slightly if classes are on a field trip, need to alter the time due to a project, etc. Teaching Assistants still keep attendance during these times.   

How does my work get home? 

Students are responsible for getting their work home. We are unable to store, pack, or ship work for students. Instructors and TAs will help students prep to pack up work at the end of the session. Work that cannot be transported home can be photographed and/or videoed. See the ECP Summer Institute Student Information page for a list of packing/shipping suppliers. NOTE: The only exception is if SAIC asks a student to leave their work for extended exhibition purposes, at which time we will discuss shipping the work home for the student or disposing of it properly.