Working closely with the Director of the MAAE Program and other faculty, students identify and focus their research interests and career goals to design a curriculum that aligns with their anticipated completion of the program and unique professional pathways. Required core Art Education courses focus on contemporary cultural production, social and civically engaged art practices, curriculum design, social justice pedagogical practices, audience advocacy, museum education, exhibition development and interpretation.
Students may also pursue electives in studio practice, art history, arts administration, architecture, interior architecture and designed objects, exhibition studies, historic preservation, liberal arts, visual critical studies, and writing. Throughout the program, visiting professionals present diverse perspectives representing expanded ideas of art and design education. Each student’s curriculum culminates in a final thesis project.
Balancing Reflection and Action
Engaging contemporary art theory in core program seminars is balanced with opportunities to work in various communities through internships and fieldwork. Thus, students have many opportunities to develop arts-based projects by teaching art and interpretation, developing arts-based curricula, or facilitating cultural programming. Individually designed fieldwork experiences support the research for final innovative thesis projects.Throughout the program, visiting professionals share diverse perspectives and experiences about their innovative strategies for combining arts experiences, community engagement, and social activism.
A key aspect of the MAAE degree is students engaging in significant experiences and research in their focus area. A minimum of one Fieldwork course is required. Fieldwork usually occurs in the third semester of study. Sites for fieldwork include museums, community organizations, arts education organizations, or other related sites. In the Fieldwork course, students gain professional experiences and deepen their pedagogical and artistic practices. These individually designed practicum experiences combined with research form the basis for final innovative thesis projects.
Students may choose between two different types of fieldwork experiences: either independently identifying and choosing a site or area of study in consultation with the Fieldwork faculty or MAAE Director; or working at a site located and approved through the SAIC Career and Professional Experience Office (CAPX) and approved by the MAAE Director.
In Graduate Thesis Fieldwork (6105 001), each student designs their own fieldwork experience; including the area of study or site selection, work plan, and advising schedule. The Fieldwork faculty member works on an individual basis with each student to develop and revise plans and support the student’s progress throughout the semester.
In a Graduate CAPX Elective Internship (6105 002), students are offered supervision of off-site internships by Art Education faculty members in conjunction with SAIC’s office of Career and Professional Experience (CAPX). Students are obligated to meet the requirements of their internship site for course credit. Such requirements may include a minimum number of hours at the site, a criminal background check, drug testing, the submission of immunization records, CPR training, etc. Off-site internships are not a requirement of degree fulfillment but are highly encouraged for candidates who are seeking to deepen their professional experience.
In recent years, students have engaged in fieldwork and internships in various departments at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Art Group, Chicago Public Schools, Chinese American Museum of Chicago, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Harold Washington Library, SAIC at Homan Square, Hubbard Street Dance, LGBTQ+ Center on Addison, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Next.cc, Project Onward, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, South Side Community Art Center, Storycatchers Theater: Yollocalli, Marwen, The Museum of Surgical Science, Youth Development Organization, Street-Level Youth Media, and Young Chicago Authors, as well as many other community cultural organizations and public and alternative schools.
In addition to internships within the greater Chicagoland area, students are also able to coordinate internships in other cities during summer and winter interim semesters.
International students meet with SAIC International Student Services to complete authorization paperwork before registering for off-campus fieldwork.
Fieldwork and internships are the basis of researching, developing and mobilizing a MAAE thesis project.
Students’ course of study culminates in a thesis project that combines a written component with other media or experience-based work. The thesis project proposals are developed through a sequence of courses (Thesis I, Fieldwork, Thesis II). During the first year of the MAAE Program and with the support of faculty, students identify, expand, and deepen their research focus. In their final semester, each student works individually with an advisor to develop their project and written thesis. The completed thesis project is presented in a public forum in which students share their projects and frame the significance of this work for the field and for communities.
Each graduating student works with an advisor and reader to develop the penultimate draft of their completed thesis project and identify any final changes needed to ensure the rigor and accuracy of the work. After final revisions are made, an advisor-approved thesis is submitted to the Art Education Department and the Flaxman Library.
SAIC Art Education theses can be viewed in the John M. Flaxman Library as well as the Ryerson and Burnham libraries. Search for “theses.”
REQUIRED MAAE SEMINARS
ART EDUCATION COURSES
REQUIRED ART HISTORY or VISUAL CRITICAL STUDIES ELECTIVE
|ARTHI or VCS chosen to support research interests, approved during MAAE advising|
FOCAL AREA ELECTIVE COURSES*
Architecture, Interior Architecture, Designed Objects
Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Arts Administration and Policy
Intership/CAPX Elective Internship
Visual Critical Studies
REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL CORE
Total Credit Hours
Additional Graduation Requirements
Professional public presentation, advisor-approved completed thesis, thesis defense panel, and advisor-approved professionally edited thesis submitted to the Art Education department for submission to the Flaxman Library.
* Focal area electives are chosen in consultation with the MAAE program director during advising.
* Undergraduate courses must be at the 3000-level or above. Art History courses must be at the 4000-level or above. Courses at 1000- and 2000-level need permission from the MAAE Director.
Degree Requirements, Specifications, and Courses
- Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree. This includes time off for leaves of absence.
- Thesis in Progress: Students 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 students 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).
- Transfer credits: A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to six transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
- Curriculum: The Master of Art in Art Education program is designed to be a full-time program completed in three or four semesters.
- Enrollment: Nine credit hours constitute full-time enrollment although as many as 15 credit hours may be earned in any semester. A minimum of six credit hours per semester is required of part-time students for continued enrollment in the program. Electives, internship, and thesis are subject to the approval of the MA in Art Education program director.
- Undergraduate courses must be at the 3000-level or above; Art History courses must be at the 4000-level or above. Courses at the 1000 and 2000 level need permission from the department chair.
- Thesis presentation: All MA in Art Education candidates are required to publicly present their completed thesis project to a thesis advisory committee in order to graduate.
- Fieldwork/Internship Requirements: This MAAE program requires students to complete an internship(s). Students are obligated to meet the requirements of their internship site. Such requirements may include a criminal background check, drug-testing, the submission of immunization records, CPR training, etc.
- Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours.