SAIC's Early College Program is a great way to earn college credit and explore your passion for art at one of the most historically significant accredited independent schools of art and design in the nation, in the heart of Chicago!
SAIC distinguishes itself from other art and design schools because we believe that meaning and making are inseparable. That means you begin with an idea and choose the media that best helps you realize your vision. We teach you to think and work the way contemporary artists and designers do.
Not only will you receive portfolio feedback from your instructors and fellow students, you may also meet with our undergraduate degree program admission counselors to receive one-on-one advice about constructing a portfolio that best represents you.
SAIC is known for its faculty, and many of our Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI) instructors also teach in the undergraduate degree program. Our instructors are teaching artists, designers, writers, and scholars, who are passionate about art making and will challenge you to think, question, and discover.
On-campus housing is available at SAIC’s recently renovated Jones Hall, conveniently located a few blocks from the academic facilities. Living on campus is not required, but strongly recommended for easy access to classrooms and studios, engaging with other students, and partaking in residence life activities.
It was faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who founded the Art Institute of Chicago’s museum as a teaching resource for its students. Today, the Art Institute of Chicago is the world’s third largest collection of art in the world, and an integral part of the education of every SAIC student. As an ECPSI student, you have free access to the museum’s collections – nearly 300,000 pieces of art in the permanent collection.
Woven into the fabric of vibrant downtown Chicago, SAIC's campus is your ideal home base for exploring this amazing city. As home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of working artists, Chicago is a city of architecture, innovative public art, and world-class museums and galleries – and our faculty will help you explore it. Artistic resources aside, Chicago in the summer is simply fantastic: bike along the lake front, check out a free concert or film in Millennium Park, attend summer festivals from Blues Fest to Taste of Chicago to Lollapalooza, or go see our World Series winning Chicago Cubs in their home at Wrigley Field! The possibilities are endless. We think you’ll really like it here. We know you will be inspired!
Cost and Session Information
Early College Program Online Summer Institute 2021 Session Dates:
- Session 1: June 21–July 9 (Morning, afternoon, and full day sessions available)
- Session 2: July 12–July 30 (Morning, afternoon, and full day sessions available)
- Session 3: August 2–August 20 (Morning, afternoon, and full day sessions available)
The deadline to apply for a Merit Scholarship or Need-Based Financial Aid is March 1!
- Work with our amazing faculty of practicing artists, designers, and scholars
- Earn college credit that may transfer to any college you attend
- Connect with visiting artists from around the globe
- Collaborate with students from across the United States and around the world
- Prepare a competitive portfolio for college admission
- Participate in a virtual exhibition which will be publicized on SAIC’s main social media channels
Special Benefits for Students Applying to SAIC for Fall 2022
- Robust faculty and admissions application advising, including merit portfolio preparation advice
- The opportunity to receive your admission decision by October 15, earlier than any other SAIC applicant, providing that you have submitted all of your application materials
- An optional workshop focused on preparing a digital portfolio and website
Students must be at least 15 years old and not older than 18 years and must have completed their sophomore year of high school to enroll.
For more information about our costs, session dates, and application deadlines, and more, be sure to check out our website: saic.edu/ecposi!
Participant ReviewsWrite a Review
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“ This course was exactly what I needed to reassure my practice as an artist. The interdisciplinary approach and the idea that not everything you make needs to be a piece (that practice and experimentation is just as valid and essential) is extremely helpful.”
“ The projects were fun but also helped improve your art skills and they could all easily be done at home.”
“ The Design Projects course was amazing, and it really allowed me to understand design and architecture from a new perspective. The content really enriched my design skills helping me learn from my peers and the amazing faculty who taught the course.”
“ This class was excellent! A wonderful blend of both technical skills and creativity and exploration. Goals were achieved by simultaneously teaching students about art in terms of history and through example, as well allowing students to explore and be flexible with assignments. Overall, I came away feeling like a stronger artist, both technically and creatively.”
“ When I found this program I was amazed at how well it suited me. I learned a lot and despite the online [format] I made friends through the art program.”
“The assignments were really well planned and the activities were super fun. I feel like the assignments really challenged the way I think and was really helpful toward pushing my boundaries.”