Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) fulfill their degree requirements by applying the skills learned in the program to teaching experiences in Chicago’s public school system. Students are required to complete more than 600 hours of preclinical and clinical teaching experience under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and Department of Art Education faculty member.

MA in Teaching students are encouraged to take electives in emphasis areas outside SAIC's Department of Art Education. Situating an academically rigorous professional program within a fine arts context gives students the freedom to enrich their learning experience with various studio-based practices. In addition, graduate students pursue relevant research and praxis that culminates in the production of a master's thesis.

Certification Core 24  
  • ARTED 5011 Understanding Curriculum (3)
  • ARTED 5105 Ethical & Pedagogical Issues (3)
  • ARTED 5120 Histories, Theories, and Philosophy of American Public Education (3)
  • ARTED 5125 Doing Democracy: Pedagogies of Critical Multiculturalism (3)
  • ARTED 5200 Cyberpedagogy (3)
  • ARTED 5211 Curriculum & Instruction (3)
  • ARTED 5220 Psychological, Sociological, and Phenomenological Approaches to Teaching (3)
  • ARTED 6100 Cultural Approaches to Production (3)
Preclinical and Clinical Fieldwork 12  
  • ARTED 6190 Fieldwork: Elementary & Secondary Experiences (3)
  • ARTED 6290 Apprentice Teaching (9)
Thesis Research 6  
  • ARTED 5290 Graduate Art Education Thesis (3)
  • ARTED 6110 Thesis II: MAT (3)
Electives—advanced art/design history, studio, or art/design analysis, chosen from the graduate areas, including studio areas, Art History, Exhibition Studies, or Arts Administration and Policy 6  
Completion of the thesis  
Total Credit Hours48 

Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Teacher candidates have a maximum of four years to complete the program. This includes time off for leaves of absence. Thesis in Progress: Candidates who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All teacher candidates with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 42 credits must be completed at SAIC. Up to six hours of transfer credits may be requested at the time of application and are subject to approval at that time only. No transfer credit will be permitted after admission.
  3. Curriculum: The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is designed to be a full-time program completed in four semesters (two years). Applicants are required to complete all prerequisites before entering the program. See Transcript Self-Analysis in the MAT Handbook.
  4. Teacher candidates applying for certification must be a US citizen or intend to become a US citizen within 10 years of certificate issuance.
  5. Teacher candidates must pass three Illinois Licensure Testing System tests to qualify for certification:
    • Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP)—taken and passed before enrolling in the art education classes
    • Visual Arts Content area test—taken and passed before preclinical fieldwork
    • K–12 Assessment of Professional Teaching test—taken and passed before obtaining the teaching license
  6. Teacher candidates must complete a fingerprint background check before enrolling in the art education courses and again before the beginning of student teaching.
  7. Thesis presentation: all candidates are required to publicly present their completed thesis project to a thesis advisory committee in order to graduate.
  8. Full-time Status Minimum Requirement: 12 credit hours


Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions requirements, Master of Arts in Teaching 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