UIC - School of Art + Design
industrial design
graphic design

studio arts
moving image
electronic visualization

The programs of the School of Art and Design provide students with the aesthetic and critical perspectives vital for professional careers in art and design. Central to the UIC approach are studio courses which engage students in the development of significant creative works as well as independent research utilizing the interdisciplinary resources of one of the world's great cities and a major research university as a base for learning.

The first year program introduces students to a wide range of possibilities for creative expression and problem-solving. After completion of the first year program, students will participate in an all-School portfolio review to gain acceptance into one of seven areas of concentration. The majors in the School of Art and Design are: Electronic Visualization, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Moving Image, Photography, Studio Arts, and Art Education. By the senior year, students in the programs based in Art and Design Hall: Moving Image, Photography and Studio Arts are working together in an advanced interdisciplinary program. Likewise, students in the programs based in the Art and Architecture building: Electronic Visualization, Graphic Design, and Industrial Design are encouraged to collaborate in interdisciplinary projects and to share an advanced Design Colloquium. Areas of collaborative study include the UIC Interdisciplinary Product Development program, which teams design students with students in the College of Business and the College of Engineering. Senior level professional practice courses offer additional opportunities to engage in projects with industry and government.

Studio Arts

Studio Arts is a unique program, set in a research institution within a vital urban environment, which prepares students for a career in contemporary art practice or for advanced graduate study. Students may concentrate in painting or sculpture within the context of current art disciplines. In addition to studio courses, students participate in seminars on the practice and theory of contemporary art. Seminars and advanced studio classes are interdisciplinary in nature and include students from Photography and Moving Image. Before graduating, each student is required to produce and document a final BFA thesis exhibition held in the galleries of Art and Design Hall.


Photography is a medium for recording, communication, and personal expression. Students are expected to explore the social, cultural, and aesthetic possibilities of the medium within an interdisciplinary art program. Study leads to professional careers in a variety of disciplines that constitute contemporary photographic practice including art, documentation, and education. The program includes production courses that develop needed skills in both analog and digital photographic processes, interdisciplinary seminars that explore the cultural, theoretical and aesthetic potential of the medium, and advanced critique courses leading to a BFA thesis exhibition.

New Media Arts

New Media Arts educates artists and designers in the technologies of advanced computer and video interactivity and empowers students with a solid knowledge of the history and theories of responsive arts. Program curriculum introduces responsive technologies and their basic application processes in an incremental, lab-based approach. Students become effective programmers, using computer technology to create new visual statements and electronic forms of communication. Audio-visual tools are used as a vehicle for personal and aesthetic expression with applications across a wide range of professional career opportunities including Responsive Environments/Media Architecture, Web Design/Data Visualization/Algorithmic Design, Gaming/Real-time Interaction/Virtual Reality, 3D Modeling/Animation/Special Effects, Physical Computing/Interface Design/Robotics/Mechatronics, and Electronic Stage and Set Design.

This program was formerly known as Electronic Visualization.

Moving Image

Moving Image places focus on creative and alternate approaches to both experimental and documentary forms in the filmmaking process. The program includes production courses, seminars and independent study in film, video and digital animation. Video courses encourage the use of electronic media as a tool for personal expression. Animation is considered in the broadest sense of single-frame motion design, synthesizing multiple approaches and techniques. Screenings of work by nationally and internationally recognized artists introduce students to a wide variety of formal and conceptual concerns. On the introductory level, basic production and editing skills are emphasized, while the advanced students can deepen their experience through directed projects.

Innovation Center

Industrial Design

Industrial Design emphasizes the development of concepts and prototypes for a range of product design applications. Curriculum focuses on design process and research and materials and methods for a wide range of design applications that focus on improving people's lives. Students experience a unique learning opportunity that takes advantage of the University's interdisciplinary programs in a dynamic urban center. Ties to Chicago area industry allow for experience with collaborative and practical research and development. Collaborating area organizations include: Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Copco, Design for Democracy, Rehco, Motorola, and Whirpool.

The UIC Interdisciplinary Product Development program is a two-semester curriculum for advanced Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, and Business students who work together in cross-functional teams to research and develop new product concepts. The program integrates the latest technologies and best practices of all three disciplines.

HGK Basel

Graphic Design

Graphic Design can be described as the process of visually communicating ideas and information through the use of signs, symbols, and images. The graphic design curriculum prepares students for professional careers in a variety of disciplines that constitute contemporary practice. Through structured practical and theoretical exercises, the program seeks to develop in its students a broad visual vocabulary and wide range of analytical, organizational, and technical skills that encompass the entire scope of visual communications. The program utilizes contemporary technology in print and digital media to expose students to a wide range of design possibilities.

The UIC MFA in Graphic Design is a globally-oriented graduate professional degree addressing the evolving applications of graphic design and visual communication and their relationship to international practice and academic research. The MFA program in Graphic Design is offered in two locations: Chicago and Basel, Switzerland.

Learn more about the International Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design UIC / HGK Basel

Electronic Visualization Laboratory

Design Writing


Art Education

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education has been suspended effective Fall 2010. No new students are being admitted to the program. Those students already admitted to the Art Education major through spring 2010 review will not be impacted. Students admitted to the Pre-Art Education major through the spring 2010 review may apply for admission to the Art Education major.

Art & Art History