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School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois, United States
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of the world’s most prestigious art schools with a long and successful history of educating artists, designers, and visual scholars from around the globe. We recognize and deeply value the ways our international students enrich the SAIC community with their fresh viewpoints and global perspectives. 



1866, A group of Chicago artists meet in a block building on the southwest corner of Dearborn Avenue and Madison Street to discuss the formation of an institute of art; the artists intend to run a school with its own art gallery, laying the foundation for the Chicago Academy of Design.


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is governed by the Board of Governors and has an active Faculty Senate. The leaders of SAIC are dedicated to advancing the school’s mission and supporting its objective as outlined below.


To assemble a diverse body of intelligent and creative students and faculty in an environment designed to facilitate and encourage the discovery and production of significant ideas and images and to provide for the development of individual excellence in undergraduate and graduate programs in the visual and related arts.


SAIC currently enrolls 3,221 students in 15 studio departments and 8 academic departments. There are 150 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and visiting artists, and 500 adjunct and part-time faculty supported by 300 staff.  

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

International Affairs provides advising, advocacy, and resources in support of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) international education and exchange programs and objectives. We represent the offices of International Student Services and Study Abroad/Off-Campus, working with the school community to offer the strongest possible complement of programs and services to the SAIC academic experience.

Housing services

The Art Institute of Chicago, including both the School and the Museum, is committed to making reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified employees and applicants with disabilities and pregnant employees, as defined by law. 

Library services

Chicago Public Libraries are located in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. All that you need to apply for a library card is a photo ID and proof that you reside in Chicago.As the flagship library of the Chicago Public Library system, the Harold Washington Library Center is enormous.

ICT services

Each room is equipped with a hard-wired Ethernet connection that gives students direct access to the Internet through SAIC’s network. In addition, students may use the wireless Internet connection in the residence halls. 

Medical services

SAIC requires that all full-time students have insurance coverage while enrolled at SAIC. As such, all SAIC F-1 international students are automatically enrolled in and charged for SAIC’s student health insurance plan.

Health insurance coverage for international students’ dependents is available at an additional cost upon request once they arrive in the United States.

Student Life

Campus life

Resident Advisors (RAs) are an essential part of the Residence Life team. They actively collaborate with Residence Life professional staff members and the Office of Student Affairs to achieve the mission of the department. RAs have the opportunity to create and maintain a strong community that positively influences students’ growth and development. 

Sports facilities

Offers exercise facilities, classes, lounge area and tennis courts. 15 visits for $25 or $2/class. The Chicago Park District operates indoor pools across the city. Check their website to find a location near you and hours of operation.

Student clubs

With more than 70 student groups and organizations and a full schedule of events, there are many ways to participate in the SAIC community.

Benefits of being involved in a student group at SAIC include:

  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • Learning new skills
  • Serving the community
  • Mentoring new students
  • Having a voice in activities on campus
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Getting the most out of your time at SAIC
  • Creating a greater sense of community at SAIC


The Art Institute of Chicago is a private, nonprofit corporation. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a professional college of the visual and related arts, accredited since 1936 by the Higher Learning Commission and as a charter member since 1948 by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Student Reviews

Waiting for the wonder of my life
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

I just have been admitted but not attending yet

My experience at SAIC as a BFA student- Pros & Cons
Anonymous rated 3 out of 5 stars

I studied at SAIC for only two years as an undergraduate transfer student before graduating in May 2020. As a transfer student, I felt there were many resources that I was not made aware of and it was difficult to speak with academic and financial aid advisors. In my last year, I felt my education was finally taking a turn for the better, however, my final year was cut...

Sobreviviendo al Socialismo
Anonymous rated 3 out of 5 stars

the university is subject to the socialism in which we live, the ideology that we are all equal according to aspects that only other people know, in the university the power goes out, there is no power plant, transportation is not so effective, the the university really does not work and the administrative is confusing. Teachers do not demand much because they know the...

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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