rtwork by Agnes Hamerlik. Several mannequins clothed in floral garments and surrounded by dried flowers hanging upside down and large sculptural objects suspended from the ceiling.

artwork credit: Agnes Hamerlik, 2022

Post-Baccalaureate Overview

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment program provides students who have an undergraduate degree with an opportunity to further develop their work in a large, professional fine arts school environment. The program is designed to advance your practical and creative skills and position you for entry into a master's level program in fashion.

Applicants to the program may be:

  • Individuals with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science who need an additional year of foundational work to prepare a portfolio
  • Individuals with an undergraduate or graduate degree in art who wish to pursue work in fashion design
  • International students requiring a year of intensive studio work typical to the U.S. educational system before beginning a master's-level program in design

The curriculum offers the formal course work of an advanced undergraduate program with methods- and materials-oriented labs, studio research and development, and art and design history courses. The course-based, three-semester intensive advances students' skills in engaging with cloth as a medium and guides each student through the creation of a personal design statement.

Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body, and Garment does not guarantee admission to SAIC's Master of Design program. Credits taken while a Post-Baccalaureate student cannot be counted toward a master's degree at SAIC.

Application and Admissions Information

  • Application Deadline: Accepting Applications - $90 Application Fee
    Priority Deadline: December 1 - $45 Application Fee
    Apply online via Slideroom

  • 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 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 

  • 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 gradmiss@saic.edu. Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:

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

  • Write a 500- to 700- word statement that describes your artwork. Discuss how you came to focus on the body of work that you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also, discuss future directions or goals for your work, and finally describe how the SAIC program(s) to which you are applying is/are suited to your professional goals. Save your statement as a PDF and upload it as an attachment.

    A statement of intent is required for all graduate programs though the content varies by department. You will upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your E-Portfolio.  

  • Two Letters of Reference are required.

    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 gradmiss@saic.edu.

  • A current résumé is required.

    A resume is required for all graduate programs. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section in your E-Portfolio.

  • Your portfolio should include samples of your recent work documented in 15-20 still images, or up to 10 minutes of time-based work, or a combination of the two in which one image is equivalent to approximately 30 seconds of time-based work.

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

    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)

  • TOEFL: 85 

    IELTS: 6.5 

    DUOLINGO: 120

    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.

  • Although no interview is required, applicants are welcome to contact the Department of Fashion, Body, and Garment to request an informational interview with the department chair at 312.443.3732 or fashion@saic.edu.


  • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment is a 30-credit hour program that helps students who already have a bachelor's degree develop a portfolio for the fashion design field. Read on for the coursework required to complete this certificate.


    Credit Hours

    Summer Intensive 


    • FASH 5101 Design Studio I (6)


    Fall Semester 


    • FASH 5110 Design Studio II (6)
    • FASH Elective (3)
    • ARTHI (3)


    Spring Semester 


    • FASH 5130 Design Studio III (6)
    • FASH Elective (3) OR
        FASH 3021 Fashion Intensive Portfolio (3)
    •   ARTHI Elective, suggestion (3)


    Participation in two Graduate Critiques 


    Total Credit Hours


    Certificate requirements and specifications

    1. Curriculum: The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fashion, Body and Garment program is designed to be a full-time, three-semester program. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the program/department chair and will only extend to one full calendar year.
    2. Full-time Status Minimum Requirement: 12 credit hours

Two fashion mannequins in exhibition

Danielle Grouse (Post-bacc 2019)

Post-bacc Fashion Gallery

Take the Next Step

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 312.629.6100, 800.232.7242 or gradmiss@saic.edu.

Multiple fashion models posing

Post-bacc Certificate in Fashion Program Brochure

INVISIBLE CHARMS. photo by Yitong Zhao, F/W 2021 Fashion Collection Lineup

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