Master of Arts in Teaching - Fine Arts

The Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Fine Arts (MAT-FA) is a two-year, primarily online program, with a short on-campus residency. Our program focuses on the development of rigorous pedagogical expertise required to improve the delivery of high-quality arts experiences.

This MAT-FA is appropriate for teaching artists (licensed or not) seeking a graduate level degree that emphasizes advanced coursework and pedagogy regarding teaching in and across the arts. 

At the University of Utah our courses combine traditional online learning – where you study individually at home at your own pace – with interactive learning. Interactive learning increases your engagement with classmates and instructor, as well as with the materials covered. In this manner it improves learning outcomes. Our courses combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways:

  • Through group assignments– where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Through contributions to a discussion forum– where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Through “peer reviews”– where you review and comment upon assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help:

  • Converse directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; and (for some courses) we offer (voluntary) Q&A sessions in a classroom.

MAT-FA from the College of Fine Arts

(this is a college degree not housed in a single department)

 The MAT-FA requires 30 semester hours of graduate-level course work in the teaching content area, the fine arts.

18 credit hours are devoted to two 12-day summer intensives on the University of Utah's main campus and include additional online work to be completed prior and subsequent to the on-campus sessions. Summer intensives provide colleagues opportunities to engage in and contribute to the greater vision and mission of what arts education is and can be, and emphasize methods-based arts teaching techniques.Cutting-edge arts teaching seminars convene local, national, and internationally recognized arts educators to work collaboratively with MAT-FA candidates, campus and community team teaching opportunities, and hybrid online reflective work. 

The additional 12 credit hours required for the degree consist of online work be completed during the fall and spring semesters of each of the two academic years. Online curriculum focuses on the areas of arts teaching theory and application via three individual arts teaching practicums that take place in collaboration with various local and national communities.

Tuition for online courses is based on residency. Online and on-campus courses have identical tuition. Online students pay an additional $60 fee per course to cover the costs of operating online courses. In addition, there is a program differential of $363 per credit hour for the MAT-FA degree program.  

Please visit University of Utah’s tuition rate schedule for more information about tuition and to calculate tuition rates by program.

The MAT-FA will prepare relevant 21st Century professional teaching artists, arts education scholars, interdisciplinary experts, curriculum designers, directors, regional and national arts education advocates and leaders. For licensed educators, a Master of Arts in Teaching - Fine Arts degree would fulfill reclassification requirements providing them a salary increase.

Applicants for admission to the MAT-FA will be recommended by the Arts Education Committee and approved by the Graduate School at the University of Utah. Application deadline will be February 1. We will expect that candidates have a commitment to the demands of graduate study, as well as at least one of the following: 
  1. A bachelor's degree in a specific art form.
  2. A state arts endorsement in theatre, dance, visual arts, or music.
  3. A cognate education degree suitable to the study of arts teaching.
  4. Commensurate arts teaching experience.

In addition to basic information required of all applicants to the Graduate School at the University of Utah, the MAT-FA will require the following supplementary materials of its applicants:

  1. Statement of Purpose: You should use your statement to describe your background, interests, and goals in the study of arts education.
  2. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae listing your educational background and experience. 
  3. Arts teaching portfolio. Portfolio should include: 3 lesson plans (lessons focusing on work in the traditional classroom and alongside community organizations/participants accepted) 3-minute teaching videos (maximum 3), and images of youth work and/or performances conducted alongside various community members. Optional: Additional creative work. Upload portfolio here.
  4. Two letters of recommendation
    • Letters should be written by individuals who know the applicant on a professional and/or academic level, and who have insight into the educational experiences, intellectual abilities, and professional temperament of the applicant.
    • Letters should not be more than one-year old from the time of submission of application.
    • Letters of recommendation should support/highlight: your experience teaching and working with youth, academic and/or scholarly performance, and professional attributes.
  5. **Current background-check: Students must complete a cleared background check prior to recommendation for admission into the Master of Arts in Teaching - Fine Arts Program. 

    Please send proof of a cleared background check to

  6. Top applicants will be interviewed by the Arts Education Committee prior to admittance.

For more information please contact:

Anne DibbleAnne Dibble
MAT- Fine Arts Program Administrator


**Utah background checks can be obtained through the following links:

University of Utah HR for out of state and instate applicants:

Background Checks for Authorized Adults. 

All enrolled students must submit their information for a background check. They may go to this website to order and pay for their background check:

MAT-FA Program Application Deadline

February 1


 Request Info

Online Courses

Several degree programs offer the opportunity to take a portion of your major courses online; this gives you the opportunity to leverage your courses to fit your timeline and your schedule.

*At this time students may not be able to fulfill all University of Utah general education requirements online, but may combine traditional courses with online courses, or work with an academic advisor to create a plan that includes transfer credits from another institution.

Credits Required

30 credit hours

Time to Completion

Students can expect to complete the degree specific coursework in 2 years.

Last Updated: 1/11/18