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About the Program

UAB music students singingWelcome to UAB where students become skilled, reflective teachers through an innovative program in arts education. Students can earn a degree and teacher certification at the bachelor's level in music (choral and instrumental).  At the master's level, students can earn degrees and teacher certification in visual arts and music (choral and instrumental). After earning master's level certification in art or music, teachers can then pursue an educational specialist (EdS) degree in Teacher Leadership.

UAB's arts education program embodies a three-fold purpose. Its first purpose is to train educators in meeting the evolving needs of learners in grades P-12 within today's rapidly changing society. Its second purpose is to deliver cutting-edge instruction through a standards-based, inquiry-focused approach that prepares educators to use state-of-the-art instructional strategies in their own classrooms. Its third purpose is to ensure that a quality program is available to pre-service and in-service teachers who may be unable to attend class during traditional class hours. UAB's teacher education program is unique in how it combines online support from Blackboard with a variety of delivery formats:
• blended courses (online alternating with face-to-face evenings)
• flexible summer programming
• totally online platforms
• Saturday classes

art student paintingThese program purposes become expanded and enhanced through the Teacher Leader EdS program. This advanced degree program infuses an inquiry-focused approach that prepares teachers for assuming leadership roles in curriculum development and instructional delivery. It also provides experienced teachers with collaborative skills and mentoring techniques for serving as reflective practitioners to guide change and positively impact student achievement and school improvement.

Information about music courses and faculty is available at the Department of Music. Information about art courses and faculty is available at the Department of Art/Art History.

If you wish to pursue a degree in arts education and earn initial or advanced teacher certification, you have come to the right place! We look forward to hearing from you and to helping you reach your goal.

Susan Spezzini, Ph.D.,
Program Director and Associate Professor
Department of Curriculum & Instruction (205) 934-8357


The following undergraduate degree is offered:

BA in Arts Education with Class B certification in Music (choral or instrumental)

At UAB, students can obtain a bachelor's degree in Arts Education and Class B certification in music. They choose a concentration in either choral or instrumental. UAB's Arts Education program is comprised of two teaching fields—music and visual arts. The following graduate degrees are offered:

MA in Arts Education with alternative Class A certification

Prospective teachers who have finished an undergraduate degree program in either music or visual arts, have obtained a passing score on the corresponding Praxis II exam, and have passed departmental proficiency exams can seek admission to the alternative master's program (AMP) and obtain alternative Class A certification in this teaching field. Detailed information is provided in the AMP Information Packet.

MA in Arts Education with Class A certification

Teachers with Class B certification in music (choral or instrumental) or in the visual arts obtain Class A certification in the same teaching field by pursuing a traditional master's degree program. Detailed information is provided in the MA Information Packet.

EdS in Teacher Leadership with Class AA certification

Teachers with Class A certification in arts education (music or visual arts) can pursue Class AA teacher certification by pursuing UAB's new Teacher Leader EdS program. Through this EdS program, music and art educators become teacher leaders while enhancing their knowledge and skills within the arts. Detailed information is provided in the EdS Information Packet.



If you are seeking admission to an undergraduate degree program, you should follow the guidelines at this link: UNDERGRADUATE

For information on admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP), select the 'Advising' tab.


If you are seeking admission to a graduate degree program, you should follow the guidelines provided below. Whenever you have any questions during this application process, be sure to contact the Program Director for Secondary Education and Single Subject K-12, Dr. Susan Spezzini at

(1) Learn about your targeted degree program at UAB. Read all parts of this website and attend an information session for prospective graduate students. Information sessions for prospective students in the alternative master's program (AMP) usually take place on Mondays at 5:00pm in EB 100. Information sessions for prospective students in the traditional master's program take place on Thursdays at 4:00 pm in EB 100. Be sure to confirm your participation by sending an email to Dr. Spezzini, .

(2) Obtain an acceptable score on the admission exams for your targeted degree program. The traditional master's and the EdS program require either the MAT or GRE:
Miller Analogies Test (MAT): minimum of 388 scaled (35 raw)
Graduate Record Exam (GRE): minimum of 850
The alternative master's requires the AECTP Basic Skills and the Praxis II in the teaching field. Detailed information about all of these exams is provided in the AMP Information Packet.

(3) Go to the ApplyYourself website. Create an account, write down your username and password, and log out. Then log back in and proceed with submitting an application. NOTE: If you submitted another type of application to UAB in the past, you will need to create a new ApplyYourself account.

(4) Make plans to submit all required application materials by the admission deadline:
April 1st for summer admission
July 1st for fall admission
November 1st for spring admission

(5) Submit a Degree-Seeking Application to the Graduate School for admission to your targeted graduate degree program. Select from among the following:
Traditional Master's Program
• Education-Arts Education (MAE) and select one of the following concentrations:
     o music-choral, music-instrumental, visual arts
Alternative Master's Program (AMP)
• Education-Arts Education 5th year (MAE) and select one of the following concentrations:
     o music-choral, music-instrumental, visual arts
Educational Specialist (EdS) Program
• Education—Educational Specialist (EdS) and select the concentration called Teacher Leader

(6) Pay $45 ($60 for international students*) online with a credit card.
NOTE: Mailing a check will severely delay your admission.

*International Students should contact UAB's International Recruitment and Student Services (IRSS) for additional information.

(7) Request official transcripts from all colleges attended (even if just for one course and that one course was during high school). Ask these other colleges to send official transcripts to each of the following addresses:

UAB Graduate School

1720 2nd Avenue South-LHL G03
Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

UAB School of Education, Office of Student Services
1720 2nd Avenue South-EB 100
Birmingham, AL 35294-1250

(8) If you have any questions or concerns, please ask Dr. Spezzini: . As the Program Director, Dr. Spezzini will be able to find answers for your questions. If you do not receive a response within two or three days, please follow up with another email. NOTE: Going from office to office searching for answers is not a productive approach to the admission process.

(9) Periodically check the status of your application by clicking here: Check Admission Status You may also inquire about your status by calling the Graduate School at 205-934-8227 or by emailing at Once you receive confirmation that all of your application materials have been received, it will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks for your application to be processed. If you are experiencing difficulties in confirming the receipt of your application materials, you should contact Dr. Spezzini: .

(10) You will receive a letter from the Graduate School congratulating you on your admission as a degree-seeking student. You will probably also receive an email from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) at the School of Education (SOE). This email will probably provide information about your major and your advisor.

(11) As soon as you can, please follow through with all instructions provided in the letter from the Graduate School especially with respect to processing your BlazerID and UAB email.

(12) After you have processed your student ID and Blazer email, you will be able to register for classes. Depending on when you register, there will be a deadline for paying the first half of your tuition. Failure to meet this deadline will cause you to be automatically dropped from your courses, and you will need to pay a reinstatement fee.

(13) If you have any questions, send an email to Dr. Spezzini at .

Non-Degree-Seeking Application
If the deadline has already passed for submitting a degree-seeking application for admission to a graduate program, you may still be able to take courses in the targeted semester by submitting a non-degree seeking application to the Graduate School. To do so, please follow the instructions listed below.

NOTE: If you have recently completed a certification program and are still waiting for your certificate from the Alabama State Department of Education, you should first receive your new certificate and then submit your non-degree seeking application. It is a state regulation that you must first have the prerequisite certificate (e.g., Class B) in hand before you can start taking courses towards a higher level certificate (e.g., Class A).

(a) Attend an information session in EB 100 for prospective students. 
--Alternative master’s program: Mondays at 5:00 pm
--EdS and traditional master’s: Thursdays at 4:00 pm
Be sure to first confirm your participation by sending an email to Dr. Susan Spezzini, Program Director, at .

(b) Go to the ApplyYourself website. Create an account, write down your username and password, and log out. After that, log in and complete the non-degree seeking application.

(c) Submit your non-degree seeking application and pay $40 online with a credit card. (The non-degree application process is only available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.) NOTE: Mailing a check will severely delay your admission.

(d) About two days after you have submitted your non-degree application, you will be contacted by the Graduate School indicating your admission as a non-degree graduate student.

(e) Follow the instructions from the Graduate School for processing (or reactivating) your student ID and your Blazer email. Once you have completed this process, you will be eligible for taking up to 12 credit hours of coursework that can be used towards your degree.

(f)  Based on instructions that you will receive in the Information Session, you may enroll in courses as a non-degree seeking student.

(g) If you have any questions or concerns, please ask Dr. Susan Spezzini: . As the Program Director, Dr. Spezzini will provide answers for your questions. If you do not receive a response from Dr. Spezzini within two or three days, please follow up with another email.

(h)  Prepare for submitting a degree-seeking application. Immediately make plans to take the admission exams that are required for your respective degree program. You should also immediately request transcripts and letters of recommendation. NOTE: You must complete the degree-seeking admission process by the end of your first semester of coursework.


Whenever students have a question or concern, it is their responsibility to seek advising from an advisor.

Undergraduate Students

Before being admitted to the SOE's Teacher Education Program (TEP), undergraduate students should seek advice from advisors in the School of Education's Office of Student Services (EB 232). After students have taken the designated pre-TEP courses for their targeted teaching field, they must submit a TEP application to the Office of Student Services

After being admitted to the TEP, students are assigned to an advisor in the SOE's OSS. If they are dual majors, they will also have an advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). When being advised by the CAS advisor, students must make sure that everything is on track towards certification. They may also seeking academic mentoring from faculty mentors in their subject discipline.

Undergraduates must meet with their assigned advisor at least once a semester or else seek advising by email or phone. It is the advisor who provides undergraduate students with the code for course registration.

All students should get the latest copy of the School of Education TEP Handbook. This is used in EDU 200, Education as a Profession. This handbook outlines the steps and requirements for the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

If you have not yet been admitted to TEP, you should seek advising about the program through the Office of Student Services, EB 232. Your academic advisor will be happy to talk with you about specifics of your course requirements.

For those admitted to TEP, here are some key reminders:

    1. Keep your GPA up to standard - 2.75 required in your program courses.

    2. Apply for student teaching in the January preceding the academic year in which you want to student teach .  All students must apply for student teaching. Student teaching applications may be acquired in the Office of Student Services, EB room 232. For more information, call  934-7530.

    3. Apply for your degree (in EB 232) at least 2 full terms before you intend to graduate. See specific deadlines posted outside of EB 100 or call 934-7530.

    4. Apply for your teaching certificate (in EB 232) at the beginning of the term in which you are student teaching.

    5. Portfolio - You are required to keep, and update, a Teaching Portfolio throughout your program. You begin working on this in EDU 200. This will be screened at various points, including TEP admissions and at the end of student teaching. A successful portfolio is required for a recommendation of certification from the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

    6. A good place to start looking for a teaching job is: UAB Career Services

Graduate Students

While in the process of seeking degree-seeking admission, prospective graduate students are advised by Dr. Susan Spezzini, Program Director (


After being admitted to the AMP or MA in Music, students are advised by one of the following faculty members:
     Choral – Dr. Brian Kittredge
     Instrumental – Dr. Denise Gainey

Visual Arts

After being admitted to the AMP or MA in Visual Arts, students are advised by Dr. Tommy Smith

Teacher Leader

After being admitted to the EdS Teacher Leader program, students are advised by Dr. Susan Spezzini

It is recommended that graduate students meet with their advisors at least once a year. Such advising can also take place by phone or email.

Programs of Study

At UAB, teachers and prospective teachers complete degree programs to obtain teacher certification issued by the Alabama State Department of Education. UAB offers certification degree programs at the undergraduate level (Class B), master's level (Alternative Class A for prospective teachers and Class A for already-certified teachers), and educational specialist level (Class AA). Students in a certification degree program should carefully follow the ALSDE-approved certification checklist for their teaching fields.  The corresponding certificaiton checklists can be found at the website for the Office of Student Services.

Programs of Study/Checklists are available on the Office of Student Services website.


Class B Music - Choral
Alternative Class A Music - Choral
Class A Music - Choral
Class B Music – Instrumental
Alternative Class A Music - Instrumental
Class A Music - Instrumental


Class B Visual Arts
Alternative Class A Visual Arts
Class A Visual Arts


Class AA Teacher Leader


Information and photographs about the faculty and staff in Arts Education are posted on the following websites:

Department of Art and Art History

Department of Music