StudentsReview :: School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Total Grad Surveys 8
Females 5
Males 3
Avg years at University 2.0
Research Quality B+ (7.8)
Research Availability B (6.9)
Research Funding C+ (5.3)
Graduate Politics B- (5.8)
Errand Runners A (8.9)
Degree Completion A (9.4)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C- (3.9)
Sufficient Pay D (2.1)
Competitiveness C+ (5.2)
Education Quality C+ (5.4)
Faculty Accessibility B- (6.4)
Useful Research C (4.3)
"Individual" treatment C+ (5.2)
Friendliness C (4.6)
Safety B (6.9)
Campus Beauty B- (6.4)
Campus Maintenance B+ (7.6)
University Resource/spending B (6.7)
Extracurriculars D+ (3.1)
Success-Understanding B- (5.9)
Surrounding City A (9.2)
Social Life/Environment C- (4.0)
Sufficient PayD
Degree CompletionA
All I can say as that there wereNov 16 2013Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
All I can say as that there were a few teachers within my program that inspired me to dig deep and produce genuine work. I can't actually say I regret going...because I never would have met these two people if I hadn't gone.

What I want to focus on is how SAIC pretends to award experimental and boundary pushing work, but, to satisfy their investors, they in fact only rewards students that pay lame lip service to modern art, and glib conceptual suggestions...seriously their fellowship program is a JOKE. They throw literally hundreds of thousands of dollars at graduating hipsters that don't have real commitment, and don't take their work seriously. With a few exceptions, most of the people that recive these fellowships are scenesters who don't really need the money- they're more interested in out smarting each other than creating geniune work. Real avant guard artists of the past are turning in their graves when they see who SAIC chooses to support. These students do NOT take any risks, and then they are rewarded. One guy seriously poured a tube of oil paint onto a shelf and called it 'oil on wood".This was his MFA THESIS. What? Is this supposed to be challenging and new? the philosphical notion of calling attention to weak and smart ass gestures has been WELL trodden (Duchamp did it first, which makes him a genius- you doing it second makes you desperate), and not that insightful. This student recived a fellowship. Other students in my program literally did not make anything for 2 years (other than 'party') and then 2 weeks before the grad show threw something together with vacant content and unresolved form. Ugh, again these students recieved fellowships.The SAIC grad program is supposed to be one of the top programs in north america- this is sad- They are obviously paying people to rank them. In this program you are supposed to have 2 committed advisors that guide and critique your work. There is absolutely no quality control- With a few exceptions, often they don't show up- leave early, or are checked out during your 45 min.Case in point- if i was one of the advisors to the students I mentioned who received fellowships for doing nothing- than I would have noticed and felt obligated to say 'hey, you haven't actually made anything in months- you're thoughts aren't precious or brilliant enough to excuse from making real work. I will be forced to fail you if you don't reach the benchmarks for your degree.' I actually feel embarressed that I share my status as SAIC graduate with these baffoons...Anyway, pls seriously consider NOT going to this school. I'm 80 000 in the hole, I knew what I was getting into, but I wasn't expecting so much bullshit.Don't let their 'lucrative' fellowship program lure you- chances are if u are actually a genuine artist, you won't get one. I am actually still in therapy after graduating...I needed to rediscover why I love making art again...after being surrounded by douche bags for two years.Please read other student reviews- they are much more reliable than macleans magazine..because they don't have anything to loose

Do NOT come here for an MFA WritingApr 18 2010Other
Do NOT come here for an MFA Writing degree. Most of the classes are about NOTHING and/or EVERYTHING and thus, there is no frame to talk about student's work. I am in a class right now where the students can bring anything in like (and I am serious as a heart attack here), photographs of a building, a movie (NOT made by the student, or any student for that matter... just a movie, just because)and my all time favorite: dreams. Actual dreams. So the student recounts a dream and then after the teacher asks the class, "So what did you think about that dream?" "What did you think about the ending?" "Do you think the ending could be different in any way?" IT'S A DREAM, PEOPLE! The person went to bed, had a dream, then told us about the dream. Why, in. the. hell, are we critiquing a person's actual dream? Why. Why. Why am I here?

This is just one of my classes. This place is great for dream analysis (not really), but if you are serious about writing, go somewhere else. Also, NO chance for TAship, so if you are attending graduate school because want to get some experience in that area to get a job teaching, go somewhere else. Basically, just go somewhere else, unless you like to spend a whole lotta money for no particular reason. kill me. dead. biggest, most expensive mistake of my life.

Having just finished my MFA here, I feelJun 06 2003Architecture
Having just finished my MFA here, I feel profoundly ambivalent about the School and my experience at it. Some of the faculty have been absolutely amazing & have changed my life & the way I look at design; others have been absolutely dreadful. A quick warning about the Dept. of Architecture, In Arc & Designed Objects: the MFA program is in many ways EXTREMELY limited in scope, in the sense that the faculty is quite limited and most of them will refuse to work with you if they do not share your interests. In this sense the School is geared mostly to satisfying the faculty , not the students. However, if you can muddle along long enough you will meet some wonderful educators here, and if you DO manage to find something you're passionate about, you will almost doubtlessly locate faculty who will support you 100%-- you just have to LOOK hard! Overall I do not regret having come here, but it has been a rocky road. Know what you are in for-- keeping reasonable expectations will help tremendously! Like anyplace else, the School of the Art Institute has its share of wonderful, creative people as well as arrogant insubstantial a-holes.
Research Topic(s): The New School
Jan 24 2003Architecture
Great school.
Research Topic(s): Design is Political
The School of the Art Institute of ChicagoDec 27 2001Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is an MFA factory where students essentially buy their degrees. The majority of the faculty are consumed with their own creative work and career, caring little about the students. The school is ridiculously overpriced and there is little financial aid offered. The TA positions pay between $8-$11.25 with no stipend or tuition waiver given; students are able to work 6 hours/week at these jobs. The equipment is unreliable and poorly maintained. Often students are forced to invest in their own because they cannot rely on the film and video cameras working properly. If you can get the *one* merit scholarship that is offered then it might be worthwhile because at least you didn't pay for it. Otherwise I recommend saving your money to buy a house or travel the world for a few years, since attending SAIC will be a frustrating waste of money. Teaching jobs are so scarce and low paying that taking out 50k in loans for an MFA is not a good investment.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
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