SAIC Art Education

Critical. Meaningful. Transformative.

Program FAQs






Q: What kind of student pursues a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) graduate level certification at the SAIC?
A: The MAT program seeks self-motivated students who are interested in developing their practice as educators through active participation in the public sphere. MAT candidates seek to engage young people in critical dialogue about the production of art and other forms of visual culture.  Candidates usually have completed a bachelor's degree in studio art or its equivalent.  A transcript analysis and interview are required of all applicants.

Q: How long does it take to complete the MAT program?
A: Students usually complete the program in four semesters. Students must complete the MAT degree within four years. A minimum of 42 credit hours must be completed at the SAIC.  Up to 6 hours of transfer credits may be submitted for acceptance at the time of application and are subject to approval at that time only.

Q: How much time will I spend in schools?
A: The MAT graduate program offers students over 600 hours of hands-on teaching experience. You will begin practice teaching during the second semester of the program. During the Spring semester of second year, MAT students complete two six-week, full-time Apprentice Teaching placements, one in a high school and one in an elementary school.

Q: What is the MAT thesis process like?
A: During the Spring semester of first year, MAT students complete a written thesis proposal as a requirement for Art Ed 5290 – Thesis 1. The fieldwork for the thesis is completed during the spring semester of second year, in the context of your Apprentice Teaching placement. MAT students make a public presentation of their thesis work to the SAIC Art Ed community at the end of the spring semester in second year, at the annual Graduation Symposium.

The MAT thesis offers students an excellent opportunity to develop a matrix of connections between personal interests and experiences, professional development and praxis, discursive and performative practices, and historical and contemporary scholarship. Students are encouraged to explore innovative approaches to research and documentation including participatory and action research, interactive and collaborative projects, and performative and new media-based presentations. For more detailed information about the thesis process, please refer to the Art Education Graduate Thesis Handbook, which you can download on the MAT program page.

Q: What schools will I teach in?
A: The SAIC Art Education Department has developed an extensive network of schools and co-operating teachers in the Chicago Public School system. During the spring semester of second year, in the context of Art Ed 5290 - Thesis 1, MAT students meet with Jerry Stefl to discuss plans for carrying out your action research project. Jerry will make best efforts to match you with a school that is appropriate to your interests and plans for the thesis. The SAIC Art Education Department makes final decisions regarding student placements.

Q: How will I find a job?
A: The Chicago Public School system posts new positions and other useful information on their Human Resources Website. As a member of the SAIC Art Education community, you will have access information about job fairs, alumni events and other career-related opportunities.

Q: Can I transfer my certification to other states?
A: Many states have reciprocity agreements with the state of Illinois. For specific information about the state you wish to teach in, please contact Isak Applin.


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