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 earn 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.

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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.

Mission Statement for Art & Design Education at University of the Arts

UArts aims to empower emerging artist-educators with the knowledge and skills to be inclusive and inspirational facilitators of active learning and nurturing change-agents through the arts.

Art education in itself promotes imagination and creativity, which is something that you can use in any realm and any aspect in life. Once they come up with an idea, actually turning that idea into an actual creation. Those are two things art education constantly teaches students: To think about something and then put it into the real world.
— Alejandro Camacho BFA ’15 (Illustration), MAT ’19 (Art Education), Art Teacher, Coopertown Elementary

Art Education & Design at UArts

Hands-on Education

Our MAT in Visual Arts Education program prepares you to

  • teach in grades PreK–12;

  • 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 learning communities, including students with special needs and English language learners; and

  • take the Praxis exams needed to earn the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate in PK–12 Art.


About the Curriculum

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 researchers, innovators, design thinkers and 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 corequisite coursework with program requirements, allowing flexibility for those who might have developed a passion for education later in their undergraduate careers, or after graduation.


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 they can gain the breadth of experience necessary to make informed choices about post-graduation teaching placements.

Sample Curriculum

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.

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First Year

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)
Choose One

  • Ed Media A: Teaching & Learning Online (3c)

  • Ed Media B: Planning & Mgmt Online (3c)

  • Interactive Media (3c) 

Second Year

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)

Explore the full curriculum

Teacher Intern Certification Program

UArts is an approved provider of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Teacher Intern Certification Program, an alternate route to PK-12 certification for un-certified art teachers. This accelerated option allows candidates to maintain a full-time teaching position while concurrently completing graduate coursework that culminates in both the M.A.T. in Visual Arts degree and eligibility for Instructional I certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The candidate’s first year of teaching will be supervised by an approved university supervisor with a minimum of one classroom observation each month.

The following are required to be eligible for the Teacher Intern Certification Program:

  • Full-time employment as an Art Teacher (in a public, private or independent school)
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Passing scores on Praxis II exams (5134: Art Content Knowledge AND 5511: Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge)
  • Application to the Teacher Intern Certification Program through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) (may be completed after acceptance to the M.A.T. in Visual Arts program)

Teacher Intern Certification is non-renewable. Once accepted, candidates have 3 years to complete certification requirements.

For additional information, please see the Pennsylvania Department of Education website

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Faculty Spotlight


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.

Contact Art Education Program Director Carolina Blatt at

Carolina Blatt wearing a black shirt and a multicolor necklace and standing outside in front of greenery
Carolina Blatt, PhD, MA

Art Education (MAT)
Director, art educator, arts administrator and scholar who seeks to catalyze the arts within and beyond the classroom
Rande Blank
Rande Blank, MEd

Art Education (MAT)
Teaches graduate courses and mentors students in their practica; Undergraduate and graduate advisor
Robin Brewer headshot
Robin Brewer, MFA, MScEd

Art Education (MAT)
Teaches secondary art for the Garnet Valley School District, Philadelphia; Outstanding Art Educator of the Year, 2021
A headshot of Lynette Brown, with posters and a plant behind her.
Lynette Brown, MEd

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator, School District of Philadelphia; Art Department Art Teacher of the Year
A closeup of Lisbeth Bucci wearing black and smiling
Lisbeth Bucci, MS

Art Education (MAT)
34-year career as an art educator; 2023 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Art Educator of the Year
A headshot of Claudia Eckel Buchanan
Claudia Eckel Buchanan, MFA, MEd

Art Education (MAT)
Artist and educator with 15 years of experience teaching secondary art
Jessica Drass headshot
Jessica Masino Drass, MA

Art Education (MAT)
Co-founder, Wise Mind Creations
Leslie Marie Grace headshot
Leslie Marie Grace, MS

Art Education (MAT)
PAEA 2016 Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year
A headshot of Connie Koppe
Connie Koppe

Art Education (MAT)
Founder and CEO, Command the Room, which empowers business professionals
A closeup of Trish Maunder in a black tee shirt and standing on a street
Trish Maunder, MA

Art Education (BFA & MAT)
Founder and creative director, Philly Touch Tours, which promotes cultural inclusion and accommodations for people with vision loss
A closeup of Lauren Stetz wearing a black blazer and a pink blouse and standing in front of a white backdrop
Lauren Stetz, PhD, MA

Art Education (MAT)
Researcher whose work considers culturally responsive arts pedagogy and artistic approaches to activism to promote healing, community building and societal transformation
Zena Tredinnick Kirby dressed in a white blazer and a bright yellow blouse and a multicolored scarf and standing in front of a white background
Zena Tredinnick-Kirby, PhD

Art Education (MAT)
Research focused on designing a teaching artist residency as a living ethics of care curriculum
Margo Wunder standing against an orange brick wall and wearing a blue art smock over a black tee shirt
Margo Wunder, MFA

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator, Silver-Springs Martin Luther School, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Alumni Spotlight

A headshot of Alejandro Camacho
Alejandro Camacho

BFA '15 (Illustration), MAT '19

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator, Coopertown Elementary School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Alyssa Willgruber BFA '18, MAT '19
Alyssa Willgruber

BFA '18 (Painting & Drawing), MAT '19

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator, the Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Alyssa Clinkscales MAT '16
Alyssa Clinkscales

MAT '16

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator, Montessori school
A headshot of Andres Gonzalez
Andres Gonzalez

MAT '11

Art Education (MAT)
Graphic design and web design educator, Franklin Learning Center, Philadelphia
headshot of Timothy Potts, pictured wearing a black and red checkered collared shirt against a background of a tree in a lush garden. timothy is smiling, and has dark blond hair swept to the side.
Timothy Potts

Art Education (MAT)
Recipient of the Clyde M. McGeary Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association.
headshot of rylee cassel. rylee has long wave hair and sharp eye makeup and a septum ring over a soft smile. she is wearing an olive green graphic tee with her hair covering most of a word, likely reading "tennessee"
Rylee Cassel

BFA ’20, MFA ’22

Game Art (BFA)
Game artist and 3D Animation instructor; double UArts alum.
Steven Mogck MAT '21
Steven Mogck

MAT '21

Art Education (MAT)
Multidisciplinary artist
photo of Abayomi Louard-Moore pictured wearing a light blue denim jacket with a goat skull collar pin and red backpack straps
Abayomi Louard-Moore

MAT '21

Art Education (MAT)
Illustrator and cartoonist
A headshot of Brittany Tucker
Brittany Tucker

MAT '21

Art Education (MAT)

"The MAT program highly prepares students to be true masters of art education by fully understanding psychology of individual students and in a group setting. It well prepared the importance of material management, lesson building and curriculum. It was highly effective in ensuring that all students have a well rounded art background before entering into the classroom."

Alejandro Camacho: Art Education @ UArts


The Art Education program sets graduates up for success in a range of professions and provides students with extensive hands-on experience. MAT graduates will have over 190 hours of experience with students in a wide variety of educational environments before completing their degree. Students completing a Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts degree are able to work at schools, museums, nonprofit organizations and healthcare institutions, and are qualified to teach in elementary, secondary, post-secondary education; community art and cultural centers; art galleries, nursing/drug/daycare centers; or weekend programs.

Other career paths for Art Education graduates include

  • Art critic/writer
  • Art teacher
  • Artist-in-residence/Artist-in-the-schools
  • Arts administrator
  • Freelance instructor
  • Museum curator
  • Postsecondary instructor
  • Recreation specialist
  • Teacher/instructor overseas
  • Teacher of art and recreation

How to Apply

Application Deadline 

Spring 2024 priority deadline: Applications received by Oct. 15 will be among the first considered for admission and scholarship. We will not accept any applications or materials after Jan. 9.

Fall 2024 priority deadline: Applications received by Feb. 15 will be among the first considered for admission and scholarship. We will not accept any applications or materials after Aug. 12.

Review graduate tuition, financial aid and scholarship information.

Start or resume your application.

Application Requirements

  • Start or resume your application.

  • $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.

    • Students must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies to be eligible for the program; this requirement may be waived in cases in which the candidate’s portfolio and experience demonstrate exceptional promise.

  • 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

  • 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. 

  • Résumé

    • 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. 

  • Portfolio 

    • 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. 

  • Interview

    • 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.

NOTE: In order to be eligible for certification in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0. In addition to completing the program requirements, students must also pass the required Praxis II exams to be eligible for certification.

Teacher Intern Certification Program

Students employed in full-time teaching positions may qualify for the Teacher Intern Certification Program. UArts is an approved provider of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Teacher Intern Certification Program. Please review the Teacher Intern Certification Program section of this page for additional information.


International Applicants

University of the Arts’ Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in both Visual Arts and Music Education programs prepare students for Pennsylvania’s Instructional I Certificate to teach PK-12 in the designated subject area. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, when applying for certification, the candidate must: be a citizen of the U.S.; or hold a permanent resident immigrant visa that allows you to live and work in the U.S.; and file a Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen of the United States form. Please see the PDE’s Foreign-Educated Teacher Certification Applicants page for more information about citizenship and certification. 

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. 

      • TOEFL iBT: 79
      • TOEFL essentials: 8.5
      • IELTS: 6.5
      • Pearson PTE Academic: 53
      • Duolingo: 100
    • 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 ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies in the fall semester.

    • 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 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.

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What is the MAT in Visual Arts Education program?

The 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 find 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.

What is the BFA/MAT five-year program?

The BFA/MAT program is for undergraduates applying to the university to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Art in Teaching in Visual Arts, which leads to art certification to teach grades PK–12 grade (and often, higher starting salaries). Undergraduates begin to take coursework toward an MAT degree in sophomore year and conclude the majority of the required courses in senior semester. In the fifth year, they complete the degree.

Do Art and Design graduate programs require GREs for acceptance? 


When do the majority of the Art Education courses take place?

Classes are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6:50 p.m. and 7 to 9:50 pm. Other classes might be held at other days or times.

What type of artwork is best to submit for my portfolio?

It is best to submit a portfolio of 10–15 images that shows the depth and breadth of your art skills.

How many studio classes do I need to be admitted?

The MAT program requires 50 studio credits to meet Pennsylvania Department of Education and UArts requirements. An advisor will review transcripts to determine what studio classes are counted toward this requirement.

What is the teacher intern certification program, and how do I qualify?

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.

Learn more about the Intern Certification Program

What are pre-requisites and co-requisites?
  • Prerequisites 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.
How many contact hours with students will I have before student teaching?

In UArts’ MAT program, you 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-hour field placement
  • Secondary Methods = 24-hour field placement
  • Saturday Practicum Internship (Elementary or Secondary) = 24-hour. field placement
  • Service Learning (Special needs population) = 90-hour field placement
  • Inclusionary Methods = 24-hour field placement
What is Service Learning? How many hours of field work will I need to do?

Service learning is a field experience during which you will work with students with special needs for a total of 90 hours over the course of your program.

Each one-credit is equal to 30 hours in the field, and three credits are required.

What is Saturday School?

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.

What GPA must I maintain?

All graduate coursework must be completed with a B or better, which assumes a 3.0 or better GPA each semester.

If I want another state certification, what are the requirements?

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 fill out that state’s form indicating you completed a teacher preparation program at UArts.

What specific clearances will I need upon acceptance to the program? How do I attain them?

In order for you to participate in service learning, site visits and student teaching, you must have: FBI and Pennsylvannia criminal background clearance, a Pennsylvannia child abuse history clearance and a tuberculosis test.

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