The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program nurtures a unique kind of art educator who is both professionally grounded in practice and engaged in the larger discourse around contemporary visual culture, social justice, and community-based change.

The 48-credit MAT program prepares candidates to become informed, reflective instructors of contemporary art and culture while fulfilling the State of Illinois requirements for K–12 Visual Arts licensure. SAIC offers training in both elementary and secondary art education.

The MAT program is committed to a vision of art education that supports community engagement and social justice through the development of rigorously informed and engaged teachers. Candidates in the MAT program learn to interpret and teach art and visual culture while fostering empowerment and meaningful participation in a democratic environment for all students. Chicago, as the vibrant base of the program, offers opportunities to interpret and teach art and visual culture in diverse community settings, including schools, museums, and galleries.

The curriculum is grounded in seminars that address ethical and pedagogical issues, the history and philosophy of public education, and cyber-pedagogy, which introduces the use of electronic imaging and communications technologies in cultural production and art education.

To complete their studies, MAT candidates present thesis topics emphasizing their areas of interest and academic and artistic strengths. Previous thesis topics have included self-representation through community mapping, disability studies and critical pedagogy, graffiti-based curriculum, and arts education for chronically ill children.

Fieldwork and Clinical Experience

MAT candidates complement their rigorous academic training with more than 550 hours of hands-on experience in Chicago classrooms. Pre-clinical fieldwork begins with an observation practice that focuses on classroom management, teacher feedback, curriculum development, and diversity issues. Faculty supervisors work closely with MAT candidates during their teaching apprenticeships by visiting their schools and offering extensive evaluations and one-on-one mentorship. This applied education offers candidates a direct view of contemporary public education, along with the experience to interpret and teach art and visual culture in a classroom setting.

MAT candidates enrich and deepen their academic and clinical practices by attending or participating in public educational events, including a yearly Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair, Chicago School Board meetings, community activist events, exhibitions, readings, and film screenings.

Critical Citizenship

A core aim of the MAT program is to teach degree candidates to respond to the needs of contemporary learners through active and reflective interactions with visual culture.

SAIC's interdisciplinary spirit is present in the MAT program; teacher candidates are encouraged to augment their critical and academic work with electives in other fine arts disciplines, such as painting and drawing, sculpture, performance, and filmmaking. SAIC understands that many of its future teachers are also artists and therefore encourages candidates to enrich their courses of study with foundational studio-based practices.

Title II Information

SAIC Department of Art Education Illinois Certification Teaching System (ICTS) reports are provided in accordance with the Title II of the Higher Education Act, section 207(f)(2):

Illinois Certification Testing System Reports

2008-09 ICTS Report [PDF]
2007-08 ICTS Report [PDF]
2006-07 ICTS Report [PDF] 

Institutional Report Cards

2008-09 Report Card [PDF]
2007-08 Report Card [PDF] 
2006-07 Report Card [PDF]

Annual Title II Reports

2009-10 Title II Report [PDF]
2010-11 Title II Report [PDF]
2011-12 Title II Report [PDF]

Interested in learning more?

Please refer to the Master of Arts in Teaching Handbook [PDF] for a comprehensive list of program requirements. Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MAT faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or