School of the Art Institute of Chicago



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.


Foremost, SAIC is about students. We are dedicated to providing a complete liberal arts as well as the arts and design education that will serve our alumni throughout their multifaceted careers. We are delighted by your interest and sincerely hope that you will add your voice to the SAIC dialogue at such a critical point in the history of Chicago, the nation, and the world.


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 2021

GSSA 2021

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2021. Universities with a score above 4.0 (out of 5) in any of the 8 award categories, receive Badges of Excellence. Congratulations!

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

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has an active campus fueled by our student groups, organizations, and leadership opportunities. With more than 60 student groups and organizations and a full schedule of events, SAIC’s Campus Life office offers countless ways to get involved in the SAIC community. From school-wide events such as the Halloween Ball to the Eye and Ear Clinic's film screenings, and from weekly Latin dancing and yoga classes to philosophy discussions and art critiques, you can indulge in almost any interest.

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

Nurturing Education
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

Studying at SAIC helped me better understand myself as an interdisciplinary artist. Although my predominant practice is in printmaking, SAIC provided me the opportunity to explore various disciplines and approaches rather than be married to one medium for the entirety of my attendance.

SAIC is for fine arts kids
Anonymous rated 2 out of 5 stars

The school is very expensive, and now coming to think about it the price is a nonsense. If you can pay for it and you feel eager for the prestige, it can still be an option. But I wouldn't suggest this school at all if you're going for any major with design-- the school doesn't really support design departments, and most resources and funding is dedicated for fine arts...

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

I just have been admitted but not attending yet

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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