Summer Institute Residency: Overview

We are committed to nurturing the creative development of artists, designers, and scholars and we will continue to be diligent in considering student safety, the health of our campus community, and the well-being of our shared society. For this reason, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Early College Program Summer Institute. Join us instead for the Early College Program Online Summer Institute, launched in 2020.

The Early College Program Online Summer Institute is led by our highly acclaimed faculty of artists and designers. You’ll join peers from around the globe to create portfolio-quality work, deepen your understanding of contemporary art making, and earn college credit. Experience dynamic virtual demos, engage in group critiques, and receive the ideal blend of one-on-one meeting time with faculty and independent exploration. Learn more.

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. We teach you to think and work the way contemporary artists and designers do.

  • In a painting class, but want to experiment with installation?
  • Want to combine animation and text?
  • Passionate about architecture and that is what you wish to do exclusively?

At SAIC, you can do them all.

View the ECPSI 2020 Brochure!

ECP Summer Institute 2020 At-a-Glance

Session Session Dates Move In/ Orientation Exhibition/ Move Out Tuition Housing/ Meals Incidentals/Supplies
Session 1: Two Weeks Rescheduled from June 15–Friday, June 26 to new dates of July 27-August 7  Move In: Sunday, July 26, 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Orientation: Sunday, July 26, 4:00 p.m.
Exhibition: Friday, August 7, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Move out: Saturday, August 8, by 12:00 p.m.
$3,332*—two college credits $985 $300 supplies**
$200 incidentals/personal spending
Session 2: Two Weeks June 29–July 10 Move in: Sunday, June 28, 11:00 a.m–3:30 p.m.
Orientation: Sunday, June 28, 4:00 p.m.
Exhibition: Friday, July 10, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Move out: Saturday, July 11, by 12:00 p.m
$3,332*—two college credits $985 $300 supplies**
$200 incidentals/personal spending
Session 3: Two Weeks July 13–July 24 Move in: Sunday, July 12, 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Orientation: Sunday, July 12, 4:00 p.m.
Exhibition: Friday, July 24, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Move out: Saturday, July 25, by 12:00 p.m.
$3,332*—two college credits $985 $300 supplies**
$200 incidentals/personal spending
Session 4: Four Weeks June 29 –July 24 Move in: Sunday, June 28, 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Orientation: Sunday, June 28, 4:00 p.m.
Exhibition: Friday, July 24, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Move out: Saturday, July 25, by 12:00 p.m
$6,664*—four college credits $1,970 $450 supplies**
$350 incidentals/personal spending

* 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.

Budgeting for Tuition, Housing, and Meal Plan

2-week Sessions
Tuition: $3,332
Housing: $825
Meal Plan: $160
Total: $4,317

4-week Session
Tuition: $6,664
Housing: $1,650
Meal Plan: $320
Total: $8,634

Areas of Study

ECP Summer Institute courses are offered in the following areas of study and reflect SAIC's undergraduate program curriculum.

Animation, Architecture, Art and Technology Studies, Comics and the Graphic Novel, Designed Objects, Drawing, Fashion, Fiber, Film, Video, and New Media, Graphic Design/ Visual Communication Design, Interdisciplinary Studies, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Writing

For specific ECP Summer Institute course titles and descriptions, visit the Course listings.

College Credit

Students must be at least 15 years of age and not older than 18 years of age and have completed their sophomore year of high school to enroll in the ECP Summer Institute. Upon successful completion of a course, students will receive college credit that is transferrable to other accredited institutions. SAIC’s credit/no-credit grading policy prepares students for life as a creative professional where the highest value is placed on the relationship between idea and execution.

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.

Portfolio Preparation—A Head Start

Not only will you receive portfolio feedback from your instructors and fellow students, you may also meet with our undergraduate degree program admissions counselors to receive one-on-one advice about constructing a portfolio that best represents you. They look at hundreds or portfolios and can provide you with expert advice.

Students entering their senior year who successfully complete the program receive the following:

  • Waived portfolio requirement for SAIC undergraduate admission
  • Fee waiver for SAIC's application via the Common Application
  • Priority consideration for merit scholarship

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.

Student Work