Art Education (MAT)
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Visual Arts is an art education teacher preparation program. Upon completion of this master’s degree program, you’ll be eligible to receive certification from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education to teach art in grades PreK–12. Candidates for the MAT in Art Education program have completed undergraduate studies in the fine arts, either in illustration, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking, graphic design or another area of study that is approved by the director of the program.
Teachers of art are, first and foremost, artists. University of the Arts’ Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Visual Arts Education program is a teacher preparation and certification program in which students pursue advancement in art and design education through the development of their practice as both educators and artists.
The MAT in Visual Arts Education program offers hands-on experience in teaching, along with coursework in practice, current theory and research—all in a supportive community of students and faculty who are leaders in the field.
Our MAT in Visual Arts Education program prepares you to
use reflective practices in teaching and learning;
use technology as a vehicle for advancing creativity, innovation and learning;
seek collaborations and connections among and across disciplines and diverse learning populations;
provide safe, supportive, and inclusive environments for diverse communities of learners including special needs and English language learning; and
take the Praxis exams needed to earn the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in PK–12 Art.
The MAT in Visual Arts program provides you with a thorough grounding in concepts and methodologies of art theory and education, as well as the practice of making art. In addition, program faculty are committed to supporting the development of your professional careers as a researchers, innovators, design thinkers and an education leaders.
Faculty also offer opportunities to co-present with students at a number of national conferences and workshops, such as at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Conference, the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) Conference and the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) Conference.
Most program candidates have completed undergraduate studies in the fine arts; however, students may simultaneously take co-requisite coursework with program requirements, allowing flexibility for those who might have developed a passion for education later in their undergraduate careers, or even after graduation.
Mission Statement for Art & Design Education at University of the Arts
To empower emerging artist-educators with the knowledge, skills and sensibilities to be effective and inspirational facilitators of active learning in the arts.
From the program’s very first semester, you will be immersed in the practice of teaching, completing observations and fieldwork assignments in schools throughout the greater Philadelphia and tristate area. In addition, a service-learning component is incorporated into the program, allowing you to meet Pennsylvania certification requirements while you learn and apply the strategies needed to work successfully with students with special needs and English language learners.
The student-teaching practicum takes place during the last semester of the program and places students in schools for 14 weeks—seven weeks in an elementary school and another seven in a secondary school—so you can gain the breadth of experience necessary to make informed choices about post-graduation teaching placements.
Duration: four semesters (may be completed in three semesters based on previous coursework)
Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts: 42 credits
Note: Students might be required to complete specific prerequisite or co-requisite courses to supplement their undergraduate study, which fulfills certification requirements such as
Introduction to Visual Arts Education (2c)
Presentation Skills (1c)
Professional Writing Intensive (2c)
Aesthetics and Art Criticism (3c)
Other courses may be required to fill needs in Art History, Psychology, Sociology or Studio areas.
Semester 1 (9–14 credits)
Presentation Skills (1c)
Introduction to Visual Arts Ed (2c)
Professional Writing Intensive (2c)
Creative and Cognitive Development (3c)
Meeting Needs of ELL Learners (3c)
Program Design & Methods: Elementary (3c)
Semester 2 (11–14 credits)
Aesthetics & Art Criticism (3c)
Program Design & Methods: Secondary (3c)
History of Ideas in Art & Museum Education (3c)
Service Learning (2c)
Ed Media A: Teaching & Learning Online (3c)
Ed Media B: Planning & Mgmt Online (3c)
Interactive Media (3c)
Semester 3 (13 credits)
Art & Inclusionary Education (3c)
Service Learning (1c)
Saturday Practicum (3c)
Research in Education: Methods & Trends (3c)
The Art of Teaching (3c)
Semester 4 (9 credits)
Student Teaching: Elementary (4c)
Student Teaching: Secondary (4c)
Student Teaching Seminar: Elementary/Secondary (1c)
UArts is a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)–certified provider of teacher intern certificates.
Teacher Intern Certification Program
UArts is an approved provider of the teacher intern certification program. Pennsylvania’s teacher intern certification is a professional certificate that entitles the holder to fill a full-time professional teaching position during the student teaching practicum. So if you are already employed as an art educator, you have the option to continue teaching in your respective school if all requirements are met—including passing the required Praxis test before student teaching. For more information, see the FAQ below, or contact the MAT in Visual Arts program director.
MAT in Visual Arts Education faculty are nationally recognized leaders, passionate and celebrated educators and artists who work closely with students to foster a supportive and challenging learning environment.
Alumni of the program currently teach in schools throughout the nation in public, private, charter, cyber and museum school settings. For example, Elizabeth Giles MAT ’10 teaches art at William Penn Charter in Philadelphia; Andre Gonzalez MAT ’11 teaches graphic design and web design at Franklin Learning Center, Philadelphia; Allyson Gallagher MAT ’17 teaches art at Wayne Elementary School, Radnor, Pennsylvania; and Noa Denmon, MAT ’19 is a teaching artist in residence at a museum in Pittsburgh.
Some alumni have even founded their own schools: Ginger Huebner MAT ’03 is founding director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design in Asheville, North Carolina, and plays a key role in providing quality arts education to school-aged children and adults in her community. She applied for the MAT because she “wanted to learn how to teach,” and throughout the program was able to hone her teaching ability while maintaining a prolific and successful career as a professional artist.
BFA '15 (Illustration), MAT '19
BFA '18 (Painting & Drawing), MAT '19
How to Apply
Spring 2022: Applicants who submit the application and all required supporting materials before Dec. 4, 2021, will be prioritized for scholarship funding opportunities from the university. Students may continue to apply on a rolling basis after the priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis.
Fall 2022: Applicants who submit the application and all required supporting materials before Feb. 15, 2022, will be prioritized for scholarship funding opportunities from the university. Students may continue to apply on a rolling basis after the priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis.
$60 nonrefundable application fee
If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.
Official undergraduate transcript
Official transcripts must be sent directly from the college where you have earned, or will earn, your undergraduate degree by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service.
If you have earned, or will earn, your undergraduate degree outside the U.S., see our transcript requirements for international graduate applicants below.
Two letters of recommendation
Two letters of recommendation from professors or professionals in your field, who are familiar with your capabilities, are required. In the case that these recommenders are not available, you may request letters from colleagues, collaborators or peers, if necessary.
Applicants must enter contact information for their recommenders on the application. An email will be sent to recommenders providing a link for them to upload their letter. Letters of recommendation may also be submitted by the recommender via email to email@example.com.
Statement of intent
Statements should be a minimum of one to two pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. What do you hope to gain in your studies at the graduate level?
Your statement of intent may be uploaded during the application process or added after submission via your applicant status portal.
Your résumé should highlight all your professional accomplishments, including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
Your résumé may be uploaded during the application process or added after submission via your applicant status portal.
MAT applicants should include up to 10 to 15 examples of work that demonstrate the breadth of their studio experience with diverse media.
The portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission.
After your application has been processed, you will be contacted for a personal interview, conducted by the program director. Interviews may be conducted on campus, or by phone or Zoom.
In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit
Official undergraduate transcripts
Applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside the U.S. are required to provide original, attested or certified true copies of academic records from the institution where they have earned, or will earn, their undergraduate degree. These records should be in the original language in which they were issued.
For postsecondary school records that are not in English, applicants must also submit an official translation of all their academic documents. Translations must be a complete, literal, word-for-word translation in the same format of the original academic document. Transcripts cannot be translated by the student or any members of their family. Acceptable translators include English teachers or other school officials, professional translators, or a local EducationUSA office.
Admissions might request that students obtain a course-by-course credential evaluation if we are not able to confirm the equivalent level to a U.S. undergraduate degree.
Proof of English proficiency
For international applicants whose primary language is not English, and who have not completed two semesters of college-level English in a college/university where the language of instruction is English, proof of English proficiency is required.
Recommended minimums for English proficiency exams are as follows.
Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study might receive an offer of conditional admission that requires enrollment in the university’s English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.
In special circumstances, applicants who do not have access to the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English tests can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and might require an interview.
I-20/F-1 international student visa information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by University of the Arts’ International Student Programs office, regarding visa counseling and all materials required to create an I-20 in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, director of international student programs, with any questions regarding your I-20 or F-1 visa.
MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) in Visual Arts is a 42 credit program with a 14 week student teaching practicum and leads to PK-12 Certification. Graduates have found the MAT in Visual Arts relevant to careers in teaching at public, private and charter school settings. This degree can be completed in 2 years.
The newly designed BFA/MAT program is for undergraduates applying to the university to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters in the Art of Teaching-Visual Arts which leads to art certification to teach PK-12th grade. Undergraduates will begin to take coursework towards their MAT degree in their sophomore semester and conclude with the majority of the required courses in their senior semester. In the 5th year they will complete the degree.
It is best to submit a portfolio of 10 -15 images that shows the depth and breadth of your art skills.
The MAT program requires 50 studio credits to meet the PA Department of Education and UArts requirements. An advisor will review transcripts to determine what studio classes are counted towards this requirement.
Students that graduate from the Department of Art and Design Education are qualified to teach in elementary, secondary, post-secondary education; community art, cultural centers; art galleries, nursing/drug/daycare centers; or weekend programs. Other possible jobs include:
- Art Critic/Writer
- Art Teacher
- Arts Administrator
- Freelance Instructor
- Postsecondary Instructor
- Recreation Specialist
- Teacher/Instructor Overseas
- Teacher of Art and Recreation
Pennsylvania’s teacher intern certification is a professional certificate that entitles the holder to fill a full-time professional teaching position. The teacher intern certification program is an alternate route to certification through an approved Pennsylvania program provider. To qualify, you must
Be of good moral character.
Be at least 18 years of age.
Be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident holding a valid green card.
Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Enroll in a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)–approved intern program (a minimum 3.0 GPA is required to enter the program).
Secure a full-time or long-term substitute position in your content area(s).
Meet all testing requirements.
Submit an online application through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). The PDE-approved intern program provider must then verify program enrollment through TIMS.
- Pre-requisites are courses needed to be admitted into the MAT program. These courses can be completed simultaneously while taking program required courses if permitted by UArts advisor*.
- Co-requisites are additional courses that are completed simultaneously while taking program required courses. Students may be given credit for some of these courses if taken in undergraduate coursework.
In the MAT program, students will have over 190 hours of experience with students before student teaching! Your experience will be with a varied population of elementary, secondary, special needs and ELL (English Language Learners) students. The breakdown for each class is as follows:
- Elementary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
- Secondary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
- Saturday Practicum Internship (Elementary or Secondary) = 24 hr. field placement
- Service Learning (Special needs population) = 90 hr. field placement
- Inclusionary Methods = 24 hr. field placement
Service Learning is a field experience where students work with students with special needs for a total of 90 hours over the course of their program.
Each 1-credit is equal to 30 hours in the field, and 3 credits are required.
Saturday Arts Lab is part of a required course in Art Ed. The course is listed as Saturday Practicum and usually takes place prior to the student teaching in your last semester. For 8 weeks you will assist a lead teacher in one of the arts classes (K-8th grade) on Saturday mornings from 10 am to noon approximately. Lecture part of course is from 1 pm to 3:30pm approx.
Classes are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday from 4–6:50 pm and 7–9:50 pm. Other classes many vary in day/time.
All graduate coursework must be completed with a B or better, which assumes a 3.0 or better GPA each semester.
This class should be taken prior to Research in Education: Methods and Trends (AEDU 606).
Yes. Students are given a written exam on the first day of class and must pass with a score of 80% or higher.
The UArts Department of Art + Design Education strongly suggests that the Praxis II be taken prior to student teaching.
If you want another state certification to teach art (K-12) you would need to contact that state’s department of education to determine the requirements. Typically you would have the certification officer at UArts fill out that state’s form indicating you completed a teacher preparation program at UArts.
In order for you to participate in Service Learning, site visits, and student teaching you must have: FBI, PA Criminal Background, PA Child Abuse History Clearance and TB test.
Chapter meetings will be held at the beginning, middle and end of each semester to provide detailed information. Highlights include, graduate art exhibition, art auction, travel to national and local conferences, studio presentations and workshops.
Rande Blank—associate professor and director of the MAT in Visual Arts Education program since 2012—teaches graduate courses, mentors students in their practica and is an undergraduate and graduate advisor.
When I am not lecturing here in the Art and Design Education Department, I teach art to students at Silver-Springs Martin Luther School in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. MLS is a small licensed private school that provides an individualized education program designed to meet the special education needs of emotionally disturbed students and students with autism in grades K-8. I hold an MFA degree in sculpture from UArts and a BFA in sculpture and painting from Ohio Wesleyan University. I received my teaching certification with a Focus on Special Populations from Moore College of Art and Design and it is truly a joy and a privilege to share what I know with aspiring Art educators at my alma mater.
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