MAT in Art Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education prepares artists to teach in PK-12 schools, after-school programs, or museums as they cultivate their identities and practices as educators, artists, and researchers in our global society. This program will help you develop critical, scholarly knowledge and reflective, pedagogic skills through the lens of multicultural art education while considering the role of art and visual culture in the lives of pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students and their communities. You'll take courses in education, art education, and studio art, taught by faculty from both the Tufts Department of Education and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. The MAT in Art Education is designed and approved to meet only the Massachusetts initial licensure requirements. For information on licensure in other states, see below. 

The hybrid program includes courses taken in-person and online and can be completed full-time in 12 months. Coursework begins in the summer with four courses that are offered remotely.  During the fall and spring semesters, students take studio courses at the SMFA, student-teach in Boston area PK-12 schools, take art education seminars and assist in children's art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, students will explore all art making and works of art through a cultural, historical and socio-political contextual lens. The program emphasizes a highly collaborative environment that fosters social justice, creativity, deep thinking, and reflection around issues of teaching and learning.

Message from Program Director

Susan Barahal
Director, Art Education

Job Placement

Graduates are eligible for a Massachusetts initial teaching license, and post-graduation, 88% of our alumni from the past three years are employed in art education. To learn more about licensure and career information, review the following document.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • The MAT in Art Education is a 30-credit program leading to endorsement for initial teacher license in Massachusetts.
  • Students are encouraged to complete the program as full-time students; the MAT degree is usually completed over 12 months: during two 6-week summer sessions and an academic year (i.e., Fall and Spring semesters).

Course Requirements

Summer Sessions

1 Course in Human Development and Learning

  • ED 130: Human Development and Learning

1 Course in Social, Cultural and Historical Foundations of Education
(choose one)

  • ED 161: Anthropology and Sociology of Schooling
  • ED 162: Critical Histories of U.S. Education
  • EDS 172: Inclusive Spaces

1 Course in Exceptionalities in Learning (choose one)

  • ED 142: Education of the Exceptional Child
  • EDS 270: The Exceptional Child and Art Pedagogy

1 Course in Innovative Methods (choose the opposite of your grade level track)

  • EDS 271: Innovative Methods for PK-8
  • EDS 272: Innovative Methods for 5-12

Fall Semester at the Boston SMFA Campus

1 Course in Art Education Foundation
(choose one depending on track)

  • EDS 175: Art Education Foundations, PreK-8
  • EDS 177: Art Education Foundations, 5-12

1 Course in Field Studies in Art Education
This includes Pre-practicum school site internship in addition to assisting in 5-10 weekend studio art children's classes at the MFA.
(choose one depending on track)

  • EDS 179: Field Studies in Art Education, PreK-8
  • EDS 180: Field Studies in Art Education, 5-12

6 credits in Studio Art

Spring Semester in a full-time student teaching internship with 2 courses at SMFA at Tufts

1 Course in Art Education Curriculum (choose one depending on track)

  • EDS 176: Art Ed Curriculum, PreK-8
  • EDS 178: Art Ed Curriculum, 5-12

1 Full-Time Student Teaching Practicum 
5 days a week and Seminar on Student Teaching (choose one depending on track)

  • EDS 173: Student Teaching in Art, PreK-8
  • EDS 174: Student Teaching in Art, 5-12

Field Placement

With a process that begins as soon as you enroll in the program, we help you find a school site placement that meets your pre-professional preparation needs. Field sites are solidified by the end of June. 

  • Step 1. Think about what grade level you would like to teach and what type of school district interests you
  • Step 2. Once admitted and enrolled in the program, we discuss your thoughts about the field placement and potential supervising practitioner and school sites
  • Step 3. We schedule a visit with the agreed upon supervising practitioner. We recommend that you spend a day visiting the school in order to observe classes, meet with the supervising practitioner, and get a sense of the school culture. If you are not going to be in the Boston area until after the end of the school year, you will be introduced to the supervising practitioner by phone, email, or Zoom.

Disclosure on teacher initial licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

Each state has its own requirements for licensure. It is our duty to disclose our approvals and requirements.

Our MAT program is an approved initial teacher licensure program by the Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE). As such, the program requires that all required practicum hours for licensure be completed in person at a public or approved charter school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  While the required course work is offered online, the program is limited to candidates who can commit to completing their practicum in Massachusetts.

If you intend to teach outside of Massachusetts once you complete the program, it is not determined whether this program meets your home state requirements for initial licensure. It is your responsibility to complete any due diligence for reciprocity with other state licensure requirements.  Please see the following table link for contact information for your home state’s licensure agency to confirm whether this program will meet your home state’s requirement for licensure. (Table)

Program Objectives

  • To develop critical, scholarly knowledge and reflective, pedagogic skills and consider the role of art in the lives of PK-12 school students and their communities
  • To consider art education in a global context and from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • To explore various art education philosophies in order to inform teaching and learning
  • To expand studio art and technology skills that support students’ understanding of the needs and goals of art education for the 21st Century
  • To address the needs of all PK-12 students by means of differentiated instruction and a variety of appropriate art materials and media
  • To learn how to effectively collaborate with museum educators and cultural organizations
  • To meet all program requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the Massachusetts Teacher License in Visual Art at the Initial Level (for either PK-8 or 5-12 grade levels)
  • To be prepared to enter professional teaching communities in PK-12 schools and be knowledgeable of employment opportunities, job search processes, professional portfolios, and interview skills

Program Faculty 

Meet our Art Education Faculty