Frequently Asked Questions


JULY 8-11, 2019

Closing reception for the 2018 AP Summer Institute at Columbia College Chicago.

Closing reception for the 2018 AP Summer Institute at Columbia College Chicago.

I am totally new to the Advanced Placement Program, is this institute for me?
Yes. For Art and Design, we have a specially designed course just for teachers who are new to teaching AP Art and Design. Our other APSI courses are combined level courses for both new and experienced AP* teachers, which allows those with no or minimal experience to learn from those more seasoned AP* teachers, and more experienced teachers to learn about recent updates to the Advanced Placement Program.*

I am only able to attend part of the Institute. Can I still register?
Participants must attend all 30 hours of the institute in order to receive a certificate of completion. Attendance is monitored. Courses typically begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. each day.

Where will the APSI classes be held?
All of our 2019 AP Summer Institute classes will be held in the Columbia College building at 623 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL. Specific classroom assignments will be communicated to APSI participants in their welcome packet about two weeks prior to the start of the program.

What is the best way to get around Chicago? Should I rent a car?
Chicago has an inexpensive and reliable public transportation system, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). For just a few dollars, you can take the CTA train from the airport to Columbia. Once you are downtown, this is also a good way to see the city as much of the train system is above ground. Taxis are another good way to get around. A trip from the airport runs about $40, and trips around town will run somewhere between $5-$10. Car rental is not recommended as it is expensive and generally turns out to be more hassle than it is worth. Uber and Lyft are also excellent choices for getting around town. There are also a number of Divvy bike sharing stations throughout the downtown area if you prefer to get around by bicycle, and it's only $10 a day to rent a bike. The best plan is to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes as everything is within walking distance from Columbia's campus.

Is there parking on campus?
Neither Columbia nor the University Center Chicago have parking facilities. There are various pay parking lots nearby. Generally, prices start at around $10 per day but can be up to $30 or more per day. To find out more about parking in the South Loop check out and

There are two airports in Chicago. Which should I fly into?
Both Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) are convenient ways to fly into Chicago. Both have CTA trains that will transport you downtown and plenty of cabs ready to take you where you need to go.

What is the weather like?
July is one of the warmest months in Chicago. Temperatures ordinarily reach anywhere between 75 and 95 degrees with occasional thunderstorms. It can also be rather humid. We suggest you bring summer weather gear plus an umbrella.

What should I bring?
Plan on bringing a laptop or tablet, and once enrolled in the institute, you will receive the instructor's syllabus which will tell you what else is necessary for you to bring to class. There are large, well-stocked art supply stores within walking distance of Columbia's campus. 

I have friends or relatives that live in Chicago. Can I stay with them and still attend the institute?
You are welcome to do so. It is not mandatory that you stay at the University Center or any other hotel near campus. You're welcome to stay anywhere you prefer.

Can I receive a graduate credit for the courses offered during APSI?
Unfortunately, we do not offer graduate credits for the APSI courses.

Do you accept purchase orders?
Please visit our How to Register page for detailed information on our Purchase Order and Invoicing policy.