MA in Teaching Admissions Information

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program educates graduate students to become teachers of art, design, and visual culture while strengthening their own artmaking practices. The SAIC Art Education community supports students in becoming engaged and reflective teachers/artists whose pedagogical work fosters the emergence of more just and joyous individuals and societies. The program fulfills the requirements to become a licensed PK-12 Visual Arts teacher in the State of Illinois. SAIC's teacher preparation coursework contributes to (and may meet) the teacher licensure requirements for other states and countries.

Educating and Empowering Through Art

The MAT program connects contemporary practices of art and design with contemporary education theory and practice. Interwoven throughout the program is the belief that the everyday experiences and concerns of youth and communities are the basis for identifying themes and subjects that can be explored through creative and critical artmaking. SAIC Art Education Department is committed to developing practices of art education that support community engagement and engage the complex work of fostering social justice.

Vibrant Curricular Structure

SAIC MAT core curriculum balances art-making with learning and practicing teaching strategies. The program encourages critical reflection on traditional and cutting-edge theories and practices of art, design and education. MAT curriculum addresses aesthetic, technological, cultural, and political implications of schools and curriculum. Students choose electives to enrich their artistic and teaching practices in such areas as contemporary art, craft and design, new technologies, art history, and visual critical studies. Learning to be a teacher/artist at SAIC is greatly enhanced by participating in the exciting art and culture opportunities afforded by an internationally famous art school with a world class museum, located in a thriving and diverse city.

Apprentice Teaching in Schools with Inspiring Mentors

MAT students experience teaching in urban and suburban, public and private, elementary and secondary schools throughout the Chicago area. The Art Education Department identifies mentor teachers and placement schools whose teaching practices and educational climate exemplify innovative and effective learning environments. SAIC faculty supervisors and mentors work closely with apprentice teachers, providing one-on-one tutorials in developing a teaching style uniquely suited to each apprentice teacher and school situation.

Art Education as Research

Situated in a world-class art school, the curriculum of the MAT program is taught by a faculty of artists/educators whose own artistic practices and scholarly writing provide vivid examples of curriculum as imaginative research into new roles and possibilities for 21st century art and art education.

Each MAT student develops a curriculum project that connects learning art-making techniques and approaches with investigating significant social and cultural concerns. This multi-week project is taught during Apprentice Teaching. The elementary or high school students become co-researchers with their teacher, learning to use their art-making and cultural investigations to engage big ideas, thus empowering students and teachers to use the arts as an avenue of meaningful participation in shaping democratic cultural communities.

Jobs Upon Graduation

MAT students have a high rate of securing well-paying teaching jobs upon graduation. (Starting pay for an art teacher with an MAT in the Chicago Public Schools is $55,000+) We receive more requests for referrals of recent graduates than we can meet. Our graduates build art education careers in schools and other educational settings throughout the United States.

Teacher Licensure Disclosures [PDF]

See Title II Information

Application and Admissions Information

  • Priority Deadline: December 1 - $45 Application Fee
    Application Deadline: Accepting applications - $90 Application Fee
    Apply online via SlideRoom

    SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry.

    Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline. When you click the "submit" button on the Graduate Application form, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application form is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information.

    Under no circumstances will an application fee be refunded. After you submit the application form you will be directed to a dashboard where you can begin working on your ePortfolio(s).

  • A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC. Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

    Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationery and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.

    During the application process an unofficial transcript is acceptable for review pending an Admissions decision. Official transcripts are required upon admission. Include transcripts both official and unofficial from all universities/colleges from which a degree was obtained or prerequisites were fulfilled. You can attach unofficial transcripts as .pdf or .jpg files in the Educational History section of the application form. If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable.

    Transcripts are considered official if sent directly from the degree- or credit-granting institution to the SAIC Graduate Admissions Office. Hard copy transcripts are considered official if the documents remain in the registrar's original signed and sealed envelopes. Official transcripts can be sent both in digital and hard-copy format. Digital transcripts can be sent from the degree- or credit-granting institution to Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:

    SAIC Graduate
    36 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 1201
    Chicago, IL 60603

  • Applicants must submit two statements of 500 to 1,000 words each:

    • An autobiographical statement describing formal and informal education in the arts; work experience in the arts; commitment to education, humanitarian, and/or arts advocacy; and artistic accomplishments.
    • A statement of career goals and reasons for applying to the program.

    A statement of intent is required for all graduate programs though the content varies by department. You will upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your E-Portfolio.

  • Two Letters of Reference are required. You are responsible for securing letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of recommendation from current or former instructors.

    Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via the References section of the application form. In this section you will be asked to provide an email address for each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent from SlideRoom to your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations online.

    If your references are unable to provide an online recommendation please contact the Graduate Admissions office at

  • A current résumé is required. A resume is required for all graduate programs. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section in your E-Portfolio.

  • Your portfolio should represent your area of highest achievement in an arts profession. For example, studio-based work accompanied by descriptions; creative or scholarly writing; or documentation of art education projects in schools, museums, or community-based settings.

    Your visual portfolio should consist of up to 20 images, or up to 10 minutes of time-based work, or a combination of the two in which one image is equivalent to approximately two minutes of time-based work.

    Applicants are required to submit an E-Portfolio, though the content varies by department. Please visit your individual program of interest to find details. You must submit a separate E-Portfolio for each program or studio department to which you apply. After you pay the application fee and submit the application form, an E-Portfolio for each of the programs you selected in the application form will automatically appear in your SlideRoom dashboard.

    Submission specifications:

    • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)
    • Videos: .flv, .wv, .mov (up to 60 MB each)
    • Audio: .mp3 (up to 10 MB each)
    • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

  • TOEFL: 100 
    DUOLINGO: 120

    International applicants are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. You are waived from this requirement if you meet any of the following conditions:

    • Your native language is English
    • You have an undergraduate degree conferred by a U.S. accredited university
    • You have an undergraduate degree conferred by a university whose primary language of instruction is English

    If you do not meet one of these conditions, you must submit official English language proficiency test scores. You are strongly encouraged to schedule a language proficiency test appointment as early as possible in order to receive official test scores before the application deadline.

    SAIC accepts official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Duolingo. The TOEFL Institution Code for SAIC is 1713. Please upload an unofficial copy of your test score results to the International Requirements section of the application form.

  • Admission to the MAT program requires that students have at least 27 hours of studio coursework demonstrating competency in a minimum of five artistic mediums. These 27 semester credits must include 9 semester credits of upper division (junior, senior, or graduate-level) studio coursework.

  • The department conducts interviews by invitation only. Applicants who pass the preliminary review will be invited to schedule an interview in Mid-February. Notification will be sent by late January. For students at a distance or unable to travel, interviews may be conducted remotely.

Take the Next Step

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 312.629.6100, 800.232.7242 or

A large group of students looking at a presentation.

MA Teaching Program Brochure

Art Education Graduate Symposium 2017