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The Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education (MAT I) is a pre-service degree program that prepares students with a BFA degree or equivalent for PreK-12 art licensure by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Using a studio-based approach to art education and working closely with area public school systems, the MAT degree consists of 30 credits of graduate art education, school practicum experience, studio work, and pre-service teaching internship and seminar.

Available Concentrations

This degree program has two concentrations: one concentration for those seeking certification (MAT I) as well as a one for licensed art teachers who are continuing education (MAT II). The concentration for licensed art teachers (MAT II) is designed for PreK-12 licensed art teachers who currently hold an undergraduate degree in art education and a current teaching license in Art Education. Applicants should be interested in obtaining a graduate art education degree for further professional development. Students take graduate art education courses, approved graduate level studio art courses, education courses, and complete a capstone project.


In addition to meeting the general university admission requirements for graduate study, admission to this program is contingent on completion of a BFA in visual art or approved equivalent. Candidates must have a minimum 3.00 cumulative undergraduate GPA.


Eligibility for the MAT I in Art Education program may demand additional course work to establish proficiency in visual arts. Students lacking a strong background in the visual arts or pedagogy, or those who earned a BFA or BA at an institution other than Mason, may be required to satisfy prerequisite courses prior to entry into the graduate program. Applicants must complete an endorsement worksheet through the College of Education and Human Development in order to prove that their previous coursework satisfies the prerequisite requirements for Virginia licensure and/or for entry into the Master's program.

Students interested in pursuing the degree with the concentration for licensed art teachers must meet the above with the following exceptions: admission is contingent upon the completion of a BFA or BA in art or art education with a minimum 3.00 cumulative undergraduate GPA, maintaining a current PreK-12 license to teach art education with at least one or more years of art teaching experience.

Application Materials and Deadlines

Applications will be accepted for fall and spring semesters. The deadline for receipt of application materials is October 1 and March 1. Each applicant must provide the following materials:

  • Completed application form
  • Certified copies of all undergraduate transcripts and any graduate transcripts
  • Statement of intent and professional goals for entering the field
  • Three letters of reference from faculty members or individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant's academic or professional capabilities
  • Official scores on Praxis Core or SAT equivalent (MAT I only)
  • Endorsement Worksheet (MAT I only)
  • TOEFL score (for international applicants only)
  • Portfolio Requirement1:
    • MAT I: portfolio must include 15 to 20 images that reflect artistic breadth and depth, including drawing skills of the applicant's art.
    • MAT II:  portfolio must include 10 images of the applicant's personal art that reflect artistic breadth and depth, including drawing skills, along with 10 student art works displaying a variety of 2-D and 3-D media.  Student artwork is to be accompanied by a brief description of the lesson content.

All application materials should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Qualified applicants may be invited to an on-campus interview.  Applicants should visit the School of Art's website for more details.

Diversity among students is another consideration for acceptance into the program. Applicants with degrees in areas other than art are welcome, although they may be required to complete additional undergraduate core, studio, and art history courses.


See College of Visual and Performing Arts for policies specific to the college.

Banner Code: AR-MAT-ARTE

Degree Requirements

Total Credits: 30

Students must earn a B- or higher in licensure coursework.

Required Core Courses

AVT 605Issues and Research in Art Education3
AVT 667Two-Dimensional Art Making and Differentiated Instruction3
AVT 668Three-Dimensional Art Making Across Cultures3
CVPA 600CVPA Graduate ProSeminar (must be taken within a student's first 2 semesters)0
Total Credits9

MAT (I) Required Courses

Coursework meets licensure and Master's degree requirements. The listing below follows the recommended sequencing for licensure.

AVT 615Technology for Art Teachers3
AVT 691Elementary Art Education3
AVT 692Secondary Art Education3
AVT 695Internship in Art Education (Student Teaching) 15
AVT 696Internship in Art Education Seminar 11
EDRD 501Literacy and Curriculum Integration, PK-123
EDUC 511Child and Adolescent Development in Global Contexts3
Total Credits21

MAT (I) Professional Teaching Portfolio

The comprehensive experience for the MAT I includes the following:

  1. a group exhibition, "The Art of Teaching Art Showcase," in which MAT candidates display and formally present works of PreK–12 student art completed during the internship, along with exemplars of the MAT candidate's own artwork, and
  2. a culminating review of the intern's competencies as reflected in a professional teaching portfolio, accomplished during the internship seminar course that accompanies student teaching.

A committee of MAT faculty will determine whether the student has mastered the field of study based on the final portfolio and exhibition. Students who are unable to successfully complete the full student teaching internship in art education and seminar for student teachers will be terminated from the MAT in Art Education program.

MAT (I) Teacher Endorsement

MAT I students originally admitted under provisional status must complete all endorsements and any assigned art education foundational courses (which may include AVT 494 Strategies in Art Room: PK-12 and AVT 495 Introduction to Art Teaching and Learning) by the date indicated on the student's provisional admission agreement and prior to admission to degree status. These courses may be taken concurrently with other MAT courses, but may not exceed a total of 9 credits. All MAT I students should meet all testing and coursework requirements prior to starting their student teaching internship.

Students must have a studio major in the Visual Arts and meet the Virginia Department of Education's required semester credit hours in the following specific areas: 12 hours of two-dimensional media, 12 hours of three-dimensional media, 9 hours of cultural context and art history, judgment and criticism, aesthetics, and 3 hours of related areas of the fine arts.


MAT I students will receive ongoing evaluation reviews by the MAT faculty to determine whether they have achieved satisfactory progress toward their degree.

MAT (II) Concentration for Licensed Art Teachers (LAT) Required Courses

AVT 596Independent Study 14
or AVT 599 Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology
AVT 599Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology (topic: Prints/Paper/Books as Language)4
AVT 606Creativity and Cognition in the Arts and Media3
AVT 615Technology for Art Teachers3
AVT 698Independent Study/Directed Readings1
EDUC 537Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners3
Select 3 credits of graduate education courses from the following:3
Child and Adolescent Development in Global Contexts
Foundations of Secondary Education
Foundations of Education
Children, Family, Culture, and Schools, 4-12 Year Olds
Special Topics in Education
Education and Culture
How Students Learn
Designing and Assessing Teaching and Learning
Educational Change
Or other course as approved by director
Total Credits21


LAT concentration students must complete a Capstone Project. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will select a topic in a personal area of interest in art education pedagogy, carry out in-depth research, and prepare a capstone final project in the form of a written report and visual presentation.

Student Teaching Placement Requirement

All MAT students must pass Praxis II and Virginia Communication and Language Assessment (VCLA) to receive placement for student teaching in the final semester.

Art and Visual Technology, BFA/Art Education, Accelerated MAT


Undergraduates in art may apply to the accelerated master's degree in Art Education. If accepted, students will be able to earn an Art and Visual Technology, BFA and an Art Education, MAT after satisfactory completion of 144 credits.

Students choosing the accelerated option must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. The regular designed timeframe would be a start in the Fall and the completion in the Fall semester five and a half years later, but longer time frames may also be available.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to accelerated master's programs must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits at Mason) and no more than 100 credits. Applicants should submit an Accelerated Master's Program Application, available from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Academic Affairs Office. It includes the proposed conferral date for the undergraduate degree and the two graduate courses that are to be applied to the undergraduate degree.

In addition to meeting the general university requirements for admission for graduate study, applicants must submit:

  • Statement of intent and professional goals for entering the field
  • Three letters of reference from faculty members or individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant's academic or professional capabilities
  • Official score on Praxis Core or SAT equivalent
  • MAT (for BFA students) portfolio must include 15 to 20 images that reflect artistic breadth and depth, including samples of work with ample attention to drawing and painting from observation. These works must be submitted through SlideRoom.  All pieces must include the title of the piece, date, medium, and size of each work. Incomplete portfolios will not be considered.

Teacher Endorsement

Students for the MAT (for BFA students) must complete ALL endorsements, as well as the Praxis Core Exam and the PLUS art education foundational courses:

AVT 493Teaching Visual Thinking Through Media, PK-123
AVT 494Strategies in Art Room: PK-123
AVT 495Introduction to Art Teaching and Learning3
Total Credits9

Students must meet Virginia Department of Education's required semester credit hours in the following specific areas:

12 hours of two-dimensional media12
12 hours of three-dimensional media12
9 hours of cultural context and art history, judgment and criticism, aesthetics9
3 hours of related areas of fine arts3
Total Credits36

Students should work closely with their advisor to ensure they complete these course requirements through the BFA in Art and Visual Technology and MAT degrees.

Accelerated Option Requirements

As an undergraduate, the accelerated master's student is required to complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated on the application, candidates submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form (which shall incorporate all of the Graduate Admission requirements of the university) and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing and must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) completed as undergraduates. Students will begin their master's program in the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree, and they may also begin in the summer term.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high-achieving undergraduates with permission of the School of Art. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 credit hours of graduation and must be approved by the Dean's Office.

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.