Film and television has gone south, and we support the movement!

Academy of Make Up Arts is a Tennessee State-approved school preparing makeup artists to work professionally in all media. Students can choose to focus on straight makeups, editorial or special effects, though many alumni have opted to complete both programs. 

At AMUA, it is our mission to provide students with the most comprehensive makeup artist training available with an emphasis on professionalism, artistic fortitude, technical skills and entrepreneurship.

Our courses are designed to challenge the artist’s creativity and technical skills. We emphasize the importance of professionalism: punctuality, cleanliness, research and preparation. Our courses are hands-on, giving the artist the opportunity to exercise their skills and learn by actually doing and not just watching. The balance of lectures, demonstrations, and practice moves students from research to directing their own professional photo shoot.

Check out our website to see what all we have to offer. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

  • I want to be able to do my clients own makeup as a photographer.  

    -Madison M.

    Why AMUA?
  • I was able to attend the January open house and absolutely fell in love with the studio setting and the different programs offered.

    -Anna H.

    Why AMUA?
  • The ability to train under professionals who are already in the film industry.

    -Brittany U.

    Why AMUA?
  • I love that its only ten students per program. I feel like I would really be getting my money’s worth and learn so much more because I would get more hands-on time and personal attention from the instructor.

    Roslynne B.

    Why AMUA?
  • Your school has a stellar reputation, and students say it’s the best training.

    Why AMUA?
  • I visited the campus last year, and I was impressed by the instructors and the level of professionalism I saw at the facility.

    – Madeleine B.

    Why AMUA?
  • There is nowhere else I would rather further my training than AMUA and I would be honored to have the chance to attend another program.

    Why do you want to be a makeup artist?
  • I toured the facility and was very impressed with it. The instructors made me feel important. They told me if I had the passion for the art of makeup, I was invited to come learn with them. I have never felt so accepted into an environment like I felt at this school.

    -Mackenzie G

    Why AMUA?
  • I’ve looked into quite a few programs and this special fx program is very advanced. This course is very intense and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been a makeup artist/hairstylist for over 5 years now. I’ve been doing freelance special fx and have been self taught my entire life. I want to take my career to a whole new level.

    -Jamie M.

    Why AMUA?
  • I want to perfect my skills and out of all the places I looked this seems to be the best school.

    -Elizabeth W.

    Why AMUA?

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start?

We use a quarter-based calendar which means we offer classes in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Most programs start in any season. Since the Special Effects Makeup Program and The Art of Wig and Hair Design Program sessions are longer, they start in the winter and summer only.

What is the difference between authorization and accreditation?

Authorization by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission is mandatory, by law, for non-exempt institutions to operate in the State of Tennessee. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation, conducted by the Division of Postsecondary State Authorization, of minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health, safety, and fiscal responsibility.

Accreditation, however, is a non-governmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs. Additionally, accreditation is voluntary and is not required by State law. Only institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible to participate in Title IV programs. See more

Do I need a license to be a makeup artist in TN?

In Tennessee (and most other states except Lousiana), freelance makeup artists don’t need a license. A certificate or diploma from an authorized school is the professional standard set by the IATSE union. Makeup artists wanting to work in Salons and Spa’s need a cosmetology license. Makeup artists who want to be a member of IATSE will need a copy of a school Diploma or Certificate of Completion from makeup school, art school classes, theater or fine arts. Learn more about applying to IATSE.

The union (IATSE) requires hair stylists to have a valid cosmetology license to work on union projects. If your end goal is to style hair and/or wigs for theatre, film or television then you should train at both a reputable licensed beauty school as well as a specialty wig program like ours.

Who is required to be licensed by the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering?

Academy of Make Up Arts is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In order to view detailed job placement and completion information on the programs offered by Academy of Make Up Arts, please visit and click on the “Authorized Institutions Data” button. Click here to view our 2015 Annual Performance Report.

Academy of Make Up Arts does not issue nor guarantee state licensure. We do not prepare attendees for state licensure examinations.