Open. Original. Thoughtful.

Blue hair or chinos, first-gen or tenth, international or Chicagoan—whatever your style and wherever you’re coming from, SAIC is a place where you can feel safe being exactly who you are. Bring your identity, your culture, your interests, and bond with people who may share little or a lot with you. What binds you together is a life engaged in the world through art and design. And when you graduate, you’ll take with you a network of friends and potential collaborators who share your values.

Group of students dancing.
Art Connects Us

We’re an International Community

Place shapes our ideas and their expression in our work. SAIC’s students come from more than 60 countries, which means you’ll learn with people whose perspectives and experiences will open you to new possibilities.

Our Diversity Is Key to Our Creativity

It’s a fact: The most creative communities are the most diverse—racially and ethnically, across gender identities and ages and abilities. They’re communities where people swap stories, eat at one another’s tables, and find value in understanding different ways of seeing the world. That’s our model for SAIC—a place where we all come together to make sure that every person has the space to be themselves and everyone feels heard.

Fostering a Sense of Belonging

    Student-Led Groups

    Students’ shared interests, identities, and ideologies are the foundation of SAIC’s affinity- and diversity-based groups. Organizations like BLK@SAIC, Queerspace LGBTQIA+Faith, and SAIC Hillel foster deep connections and a sense of belonging.

    International Students Study Project

    Inclusive Spaces

    Student voices were the force behind many of SAIC’s inclusive spaces, among them the Cultural Oasis—a community hub by and for students of color, gender-neutral bathrooms, and the LGBTQ+ Paper Tour, a self-guided map of LGBTQ+ resources across Chicago.

    A shelf with books, succulent, and three SAIC branded plant pots.

    Creating an Anti-Racist Campus

    Students play a key role in the school’s anti-racism work. We’ve been mobilizing to remove barriers so that everyone here can find their voice and make their work in the space of caring.

    Screen reads “Toward an Anti-Racist Art Ecosystem in the World” with a panel of presenters in front and students in the audience.

    Support for All Abilities

    All students should have equal access to everything SAIC offers. The Disability and Learning Resource Center and the School’s disability justice training series help to create an empowering environment.

    A group of students talking while seated at a large round table.

    Helping Veterans Heal Through Art

    Iraq War veteran and alum Richard Casper (BFA 2012) introduces fellow veterans to the healing potential of the arts.

    CreatiVets Show
    A group of students talking and working in a classroom

    A Place for First-generation Students

    It’s not easy being the first person in your family to go to college, let alone art and design school. But at SAIC, one in five students are first-gen, and the school both supports you and celebrates you.

    A biker bikes down a city street.

    We’re Pushing Past Carbon-Neutral

    SAIC became carbon-neutral in 2020. Today, students participate in the Unplugged competition for residence hall energy reduction, Bike SAIC, and SAIC Surplus, a freecycle for used and unused materials.