University Of Chicago

“If the first faculty had met in a tent, this still would have been a great university,” said President Robert Maynard Hutchins, the University’s fifth president, in his 1929 inaugural address. The first faculty assembled on Opening Day, 1892, were indeed an impressive bunch: lured from colleges all over the country, they had been drawn to Chicago by the idea of a community of great scholars. William Rainey Harper, the University’s first president, envisioned a university that was “‘bran splinter new,’ yet as solid as the ancient hills”—a modern research university, combining an English-style undergraduate college and a German-style graduate research institute. The University of Chicago fulfilled Harper’s dream, quickly becoming a national leader in higher education and research: an institution of scholars unafraid to cross boundaries, share ideas, and ask difficult questions. Chicago’s leadership was noted by Frederick Rudolph, professor of history at Williams College, who wrote in his 1962 study, The American College and University: A History, “No episode was more important in shaping the outlook and expec... [ Read All ]


United States


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Our Aims

Our motto is Crescat scientia; vita excolatur - Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched. Our faculty and students are pioneers, discoverers, teachers, scholars, and change agents. We ask tough questions, engage the world around us, and pursue knowledge with rigor because we believe in the transformative power of ideas. Our undergraduate program is known for its emphasis on critical thinking and broad interdisciplinary exposure to the full range of intellectual discovery. Our College classrooms have a reputation for being hotbeds of exhilarating discourse. Discussions that start in the classroom often move to the dormitory hall, to the lunch table, and into the community. A Chicago education is a life-changing experience.

Location and Getting there

The university is located in the community of Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side, just 15 minutes from the city center. Visit this webpage for further directions  

Department and information about the department

he Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago is committed to advancing theory and practice as a unified and sustainable investigation. History, social thought, philosophy, and aesthetics in and outside the field of artistic practice are of considerable influence on thinking artists. This approach investigates the world as it is, and imagines the world as it could be. Located within an internationally recognized research institution, the department fosters both multi-disciplinary and focused visual studies that engage our contemporary world with meaningful questions. Our faculty has made significant contributions to the dialogue of contemporary art. Candidates for a Master of Fine Arts degree, and the undergraduate student alike, benefit from direct contact with that dialogue in critical engagement.  

Academic Staff and Description

The Department of Visual Arts comprises faculty who are recognized in the fields of photography, sculpture, painting, performance, and video, not to mention a robust visiting artist program that provides a constant flow of new ideas. Covering a wide range of disciplines and intellectual interests reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our program, the faculty at the University of Chicago are internationally celebrated artists working at one of the premier research universities in the United States. Along with numerous visiting artists the faculty and staff of the Department of Visual Arts are committed to the rigorous production and investigation of art.  

News and Events

The University of Chicago trustees recently approved the design for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. The state-of-the-art complex is slated to open in Spring 2012 along the Midway Plaisance at 60th and Ingleside. To learn more about this new facility visit our website  

Information For  Undergraduates

While the concentration in the Visual Arts builds on the Chicago tradition of emphasis on critical thinking and the development, testing and revision of ideas, we shift the emphasis to place paramount importance on critical perception in an environment that is now more than ever so dominated by the visual. All of our Visual Arts teaching underscores the fact that perception involves the complex interaction of the senses and the intellect as reflected in art and in our understanding of the larger visual world. Teaching students to see critically through making images is as integral to our practice as textual analysis is central to academic practice.  

Information For  Postgraduates

The University of Chicago offers a Master of Fine Arts degree through the Department of Visual Arts, located at Midway Studios. Our MFA student body is comprised of artists working in sculpture, photography, painting, installation, performance, video and new media. Students are expected to work with all faculty, whose expertise cross a number of disciplines. We admit students to the program based on the quality of their art and their interest in working in an interdisciplinary art program within a university environment. We believe that art should not be an isolating activity and that students/artists benefit from the cross-fertilization of daily contact with people working across different media and dealing with similar sets of issues.  

Information For  International Students

nternational students account for 15 percent of Chicago’s undergraduate applicant pool. The University seeks academically talented, intellectually ambitious candidates from around the globe who possess awareness of and curiosity about the world around them. As an international applicant, you will apply in the same manner as any other first-year applicant. There are two extra application requirements: your secondary school must turn in the International School Supplement to the Secondary School Report, and you may be required to take a test of English as a foreign language.  


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Student Facilities

The graduate and undergraduate studios are located in Midway Studios, the landmark working quarters and residence of Lorado Taft, one of the central historical figures in the artistic life of Chicago at the turn of the century. Although these studios are where most art students spend the greatest amount of time, it is only one of several centers for the study of the Visual Arts on the campus at the University of Chicago. These facilities, which provide an invaluable extension of the Studios, include: The Art History Department, The David And Alfred Smart Museum Of Art, The Oriental Institute Museum, The Renaissance Society and the University Of Chicago Regenstein Library Special Collections amongst others In addition to university facilities, students at the University of Chicago are passionate about the arts, whether writing, dance and movement, music, or the visual arts and there are dozens of student-run organizations, ensembles, troupes, and cultural/ethnic groups that are creatively engaged and ready to entertain you or even to take you on board. In the surrounding area, from spectacular architecture and world-class museums, mu...  [ Read All ]

Student Support

The College has a cadre of full-time, professional staff, led by the dean of students in the College, whose job is to advise and help undergraduates. You'll be assigned an adviser when you enroll and, ordinarily, you'll keep this adviser during your time at the University. Your adviser will help you plan your entire program of study and offer guidance on your major or your future career; may refer you to a tutor; will give you information about application procedures for fellowships, graduate schools, and the like; and will provide all-around encouragement and support. For information on financial support visit our website  

Student Life

Visit our website to learn more about student life  


e are committed to promoting the vitality of residential neighborhoods near campus through a variety of housing programs for students and employees, as well as special initiatives to create affordable housing for all area residents. More than 60 percent of our faculty and some 3,000 staff members reside in the neighborhoods surrounding campus in affordable housing  

How To Apply

Common Application is a tool used by hundreds of member colleges to make the college application process more convenient for students. You can fill out one Common Application and send it to any number of Common Application members. The University of Chicago only accepts the Common Application for admission to the College.  

Visit us (open days)

Follow this link to learn how to come and visit the campus,