SAIC BFA Majors

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The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Undergrad Programs

Students may choose an interdisciplinary or concentrated course of study within the following studio departments:

Students may choose a fine arts or design emphasis. In the design arena, students can choose a pathway in:

  • Architecture
  • Designed Objects
  • Fashion
  • Interior Architecture
  • Visual Communication Design

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REGISTER TODAY 

Portfolio Requirements 

  • Show us 10–15 of your best and most recent works.
  • Use your portfolio to showcase your interests, skills, and creative potential.
  • You may show us work created across media or focus entirely in one medium.
  • Work can range from observational to abstract.
  • We have no media-specific limitations nor do we present portfolio assignments.

SlideRoom ePortfolio:

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago requires that all applicants upload their work electronically through SlideRoom. You may access your SlideRoom account through SAIC’s member screen within the Common Application under the Portfolio section. Please make sure your web browser has been updated to its latest version.

Visit Portfolio Requirements by Degree Program for more detailed information regarding portfolios.

 

Ashcan Art’s Pre-College Summer Program 2016

Your portfolio is THE MOST critical component to a College application

Discover your Unique Creative Vision & start/complete an Outstanding Portfolio this Summer

Ashcan Art‘s Pre-College Summer Program 2016

REGISTER TODAY

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Drawing for BFA admissions – DRAWING CLASS Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11-3 & 4-8

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Sculpture for BFA admissions – SCULPTURE CLASS Wednesdays & Thursdays  11-3- & 4-8

 

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Design for BFA admissions – DESIGN CLASS Mondays & Tuesdays  11-3- & 4-8

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Model for BFA admissions – ARCHITECTURE Class Saturdays 4-8

 Fashion Design for BFA admissions, FASHION DESIGN Class Mondays 11-3 & 4-8

REGISTER TODAY

 

 

SAIC BFA Programs

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 12.21.06 PMSAIC Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio

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 SAIC Student work by Jeff Austin

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 11.38.51 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 11.38.38 AM  SAIC Student work by Hyungjin Kim

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 SAIC Student work by Jae Ra Lee

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 SAIC Student work by Jby Beomyoung Sohn

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Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 11.50.12 AM SAIC Student work by Hazel Baek 

The Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a place where students can explore design activities and ideas which regularly cross the boundaries between design and nondesign disciplines.

The unique structure of design pathways at SAIC enables students to combine their interests in the fine and/or media arts—painting, performance, sculpture, film, video, and new media—with their primary studies in design, which follow three pathways: interior architecture, architecture, and designed objects.

Design studios form the core of the undergraduate curriculum. These studios are supported by labs, critical seminars, and research courses focused on current cultural and social conditions. A unique combination of courses in design, technology, materiality, theory, history, and visualization expand students’ awareness, understanding, and ability to design for human needs and desires. “Midday Musings” noontime lectures by faculty, students, and Chicago architects and designers, along with visiting guest lectures and professional partnership opportunities, offer stimulating insight and discussion into current practices.

Bachelor of Interior Architecture

SAIC’s Interior Architecture and Architecture courses recognize that the study of human habitation and experience is a lifelong undertaking and critically essential to achieving a new balance in the way we live. Students interested in rethinking how we build, inhabit, and transform our environment explore ideas about materials and construction with sustainability as a goal.

Studio work reconfigures definitions of habitation integrated with complex biological, technological, and cultural systems. Students negotiate between the natural, the artificial, and systems of global development and develop an ethical imagination in working in the public sphere.
SAIC offers a Bachelor of Interior Architecture (BIA) degree. The four-year BIA is an academic qualification that provides a rounded competency and deep understanding of the field. The degree allows students to enter professional practice as interns or proceed toward graduate studies in architecture or a wide range of specialized design fields. As such, past students have entered practice, top graduate programs in architecture, the fields of installation and set design, lighting design, and more entrepreneurial design opportunities.

This curriculum sits alongside the undergraduate Architecture Pathway and the Designed Objects Pathway. The three curricular options are highly articulated, especially during the initial five semesters of study. The integrated curricula mimic the professional graduate programs in Architecture and Interior Architecture at SAIC and invite unique intersections between art and design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts—Architecture Pathway

The Bachelor of Fine Arts—Architecture Pathway allows students to develop an understanding of conditions within the urban environment that calls for a more holistic, systemic, and redirective approach toward the role that architecture can and should play in society. The knowledge threads that inform the core design studios integrate an ethical concern with the promise of technological inventiveness and an understanding of design history and theory with spatial explorations that look toward the future without ignoring Chicago’s great architectural heritage.

The four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is not a terminal professional degree, but provides students with an excellent opportunity to enter the top graduate programs in architecture.

Bachelor of Fine Arts—Designed Objects Pathway

The Designed Objects Pathway focuses on the critical and creative rethinking of the systems, tools, furnishings, and products that we use or interact with in our everyday lives. Investigations into how objects extend human potential and inspire imagination are balanced with studies in the responsible and imaginative use of new technologies, materials, and production processes. A concern for sustainability provides an opportunity to explore alternative visions of how we live, work, communicate, and play.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts—Designed Objects Pathway embraces elements from product design, systems design, furniture design, speculative design, and interaction design. The program envisions designers as agentive, social citizens, and maintains an expansive understanding of the object. The curriculum immerses students in the most critical approaches to contemporary object design—experience design, co-design, and on-demand manufacturing—while grounding them in the material world, with a focus on designing and making.

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SAIC Student work by Karen Chui 

Interested in learning more?

Learn more about undergraduate degree program requirements by visiting our BIA web page.

SAIC BFA Admission Requirements

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 12.21.06 PMChecklist:

  • Application Form
  • Application fee
  • SAT or ACT test scores
  • TOEFL / IELTS
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Portfolio

Deadline: February 1

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

36 South Wabash, Suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 800.232.7242; Toll free 312.629.6100
Fax: 312.629.6101
Email: admiss@saic.edu

First-time Freshmen Application Deadlines*:

You can apply for either the fall or spring semesters.

Deadline Fall Spring
Early Action and Priority Merit Scholarship December 1  NA
Final Merit Deadline February 1 November 1
Final Application Deadline May 1 January 15

Transfer Application Deadlines

You can apply for either the fall or spring semesters.

Deadline Fall Spring
Early Action and Priority Merit Scholarship December 1 NA
Final Merit Deadline March 1 November 1
Final Application Deadline June 1 January 15

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Common Application

You may submit your application via the Undergraduate Common Application. The Common Application allows you to apply to any of its 456 member schools by inputting your general information only once so you can focus your time on the individual requirements for each school application.

In addition to the Common Application’s general questions, you MUST submit SAIC’s supplement to be considered for admission to SAIC.

Submitting the Common Application provides you access to an ePortfolio link within 48 hours of completing the entire application (including supplement and fee).

Fee Payment

When submitting an application, you must pay the nonrefundable application fee as a credit card payment. If you do not submit the fee, your application cannot be processed.

International applicants: $85
U.S. applicants: $65

TEST SCORES 

If you will graduate from high school in the year in which you are applying for admission, you must submit standardized test scores to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

If you are a U.S. resident or English is your first language, you are required to submit scores from either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). You may select to have your scores sent to SAIC when you are taking either test or send us scores via an official transcript.

Minimum scores required by SAIC:

SAT Verbal or Critical Reading: 500
ACT Reading: 21

Applicants who score below the minimum SAT or ACT requirements may not be offered admission to SAIC.

As a transfer or prior degree student, you may be exempt from the standardized test requirements if you have successfully completed English requirements and/or a significant amount of liberal arts coursework at an accredited college. Contact the Admissions office atugadmiss@saic.edu or 800.232.7242 for more information.

4ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SAIC Admissions by Hira 

For transfer students needing to submit test scores:

If you are a U.S. resident or English is your first language, submit scores from either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). You may select to have your scores sent to SAIC when you are taking either test or send us scores via an official transcript.

Minimum scores required by SAIC:

SAT Verbal or Critical Reading 500
ACT Reading 21

Test scores may be sent to:
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Undergraduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

SAIC’s ACT Code: 1136
SAIC’s SAT Code: 1713
SAIC’s TOEFL Code: 1713

International Students

If you are not a native English-speaking applicant, please visit the International Admissions: International Applicant Test Scores section for information about test score requirements.

Summer English for International Students (EIS) program:

It is STRONGLY recommended that international students admitted to SAIC with an Internet-based TOEFL score below 96 or an IELTS score of 7.0 enroll in an intensive summer English for International Students program. Each July, SAIC provides an opportunity for students to get an early start on their EIS requirements, as well as to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to fully take advantage of SAIC’s challenging academic environment.

Through the Summer EIS Program, students register for two EIS classes, begin living in the residence halls several weeks before other students arrive, and become familiar with SAIC and Chicago through a set of planned activities.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 

Writing is an important component of being an artist. As part of your application, you will be required to upload a statement of purpose, which we will use to assess your ability to compose an essay, as well as the manner in which you use text as a tool.

Use your statement as your way to represent yourself and your work. We are interested in finding out more about you, your art-making practices, and why you are a strong candidate for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) undergraduate program. Please also include information about community service projects, exhibitions you have participated in, or any other activities that contribute to the making of your work.

If you are applying to the Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Writing, your statement needs to also address how you imagine a studio arts environment will impact your writing practice.

If you are applying through SAIC’s application, you will upload your statement of purpose with your ePortfolio. If you are applying through the Common Application, you will upload your statement of purpose in the Common Application.

Transcripts

You will need to submit one official, sealed high school transcript from each high school you attended or your General Educational Development (GED) transcript.

Transcripts should be mailed to:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Undergraduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

If your high school diploma(s), certificate(s), or transcript(s) are in a language other than English, please include officially translated transcripts.

If you are transferring to SAIC without a bachelor’s degree, you must submit a high school transcript. Students with a prior degree are exempt from submitting high school transcripts.

To request that transfer credit from previous study be applied toward a SAIC undergraduate degree, you must submit an official transcript from each college attended.

Only those courses in which you have earned a grade of “C,” or better are eligible for transfer. If your diplomas, certificates, or transcripts are in a language other than English, please include official translations. Please note that Physical Education and Nutrition courses will not transfer.

Letter of Recommendation 

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) requires one letter of recommendation written by an instructor or other professional that can evaluate your motivation, commitment, maturity, and potential to succeed at SAIC.

An official letter of recommendation must include:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth

Select a professional reference, preferably a studio art or academic instructor who is qualified to write a letter of support on your behalf. If you are currently not in school and cannot locate an instructor or guidance counselor, you can ask an employer or an individual capable of assessing you from a critical perspective.

Your recommender may submit in the following ways:

  • If you are applying through SAIC’s application, you will provide your recommender name through the ePortfolio
  • If you are applying through the Common Application, you will provide your recommender information through the Common Application

Fax to: 312.629.6101

Mail to:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Undergraduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL  60603

References may contact the Admissions office at ugadmiss@saic.edu, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100 with any questions.

15ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SAIC Admissions by Hira

Portfolio

Your portfolio should be a collection of 10-15 pieces of your best and most recent work and should reflect your interests, skills, and willingness to explore, experiment, and express yourself. We are most interested in how you communicate ideas and demonstrate your use of processes and materials. We encourage you to take risks and be inventive.

ePortfolio:

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) requires all applicants to upload their work electronically. You will receive a secure link to SlideRoom, our ePortfolio provider, once you complete and save the first page of your SAIC application OR have submitted the Common Application in its entirety (including the supplement and application fee). Please make sure your web browser has been updated to its latest version.

Guidelines for submitting work:

  • Each digital image file must be saved as a JPEG and must be smaller than 5MB each.
  • Film, video, and animation and/or sound portfolios may not exceed five minutes. You can include multiple clips of different projects within this five-minute limit.
  • Original work portfolio—Actual work should be brought with you only when you are interviewing in person at the SAIC Admissions office, Immediate Decision Option (IDO) Days, SAIC Days, or National Portfolio Days. Do not mail portfolios of original work to the Admissions office.
  • Do NOT upload PowerPoint presentations of your work.

We strongly encourage you to meet with us at one of our events or on campus for individualized feedback about your portfolio.  

Visit Portfolio Requirements by Degree Program for more detailed information regarding portfolios.

Interviews are required for Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies applicants only and can be scheduled by contacting Admissions at 800.232.7242 or 312.629.6100

Interviews are strongly recommended for all other undergraduate applicants, and admissions counselors are available throughout the year to conduct interviews and portfolio reviews and to assist with the application process. Portfolio reviews held at any of our events are also considered interviews.

Undergraduate Merit Scholarships

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) awards merit scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional levels of thoughtfulness, skill, conceptual capabilities, and academic groundedness. Scholarships are financial awards that do not need to be repaid.

SAIC annually awards a substantial number of undergraduate, merit-based scholarships to new students. Students are considered for these scholarships when they first apply to the school, and there is no separate application. Recipients are selected through a holistic review of each student’s academic history, portfolio, and statement of intent.

Students considered for a merit scholarship may receive one of the scholarships listed below.

  • Presidential
  • Distinguished
  • Honors
  • Recognition
  • Incentive
  • Enrichment

If you are awarded a scholarship, and you defer admission to a later term, you forfeit the scholarship and will need to resubmit an updated portfolio, statement of intent, and recent transcripts to be considered for future merit-based scholarships.

Please contact the Office of Admissions at 800.232.7242 or by email at admiss@saic.edu for more information about merit-based scholarships and the scholarship review process for new students.

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ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SAIC Admissions by Hira