She studied at St. Aloysius Senior Secondary School, in Bwanda, Kalungu District for he O-Level studies (1967-1970). For her A-Level education, she attended Mount Saint Mary's College Namagunga, in Mukono District (1971-1972). She attended Makerere University, Uganda's oldest public university from 1973 until 1976, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
She is the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in the Ugandan Cabinet. She was appointed to that position in the cabinet reshuffle of 15 August 2012. Previously, from 2011 to 2012, she held the portfolio of Minister of Water and Environment.
She also holds a Diploma in Computer Programming, from the ICL Computer School, in Nairobi, Kenya, obtained in 1980 and a Certificate in Executive Leadership, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, obtained in 1997. She served as a banking officer, with Bank of Uganda, between 1976 and 1980. She served as a Director of the Bank of Uganda, from 1991 until 1999.
She was a Constituent Assembly delegate between 1994 and 1995. Between 1999 and 2000, she served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Democratic Party. In 2000, she was appointed Minister of State for Water Resources, a position she held until 2006 when she was appointed Minister of Water and the Environment, a position she held till 2012, when she was assigned her present portfolio.
Other responsibilities that Maria Mutagamba has include the following: (a) President, African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), (2004 to 2012) (b) Coordinator, Global Women Leaders Forum for Water and Sanitation (2005 to 2012) (c) Member, Nile River Council of Ministers (2001 to 2012) (d) Vice Chairperson, United Nations Task Force on Integrated Water Resource Management (e) Proprietor, Green Point Enterprises. Maria Mutagamba is a widow. Her late husband Tarsis Matthew Mutagamba, died at the age of 70 due to heart failure, on Friday 2 January 2004.
She also serves as the elected Member of Parliament (MP), for Rakai District Women Representative.