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Art Education Degree

An Art Degree prepares recipients to teach a variety of courses, from the kindergarten level through community college courses, and to work in museums and other alternative educational settings. Holding this degree will enhance opportunities for professional advancement in the educational system. The required curriculum usually includes both academic subjects and studio courses, and most programs require either a thesis or a graduate project. Teachers not already certified may be able to combine a certification option with their program of study. Earning the degree will take from 18 to 24 months, depending on the requirements of specific programs. Some programs offer opportunities for specialization in a particular aspect of art education.

University Degree Offerings

  • Boston University Master of Arts in Art Education

    Boston University’s Master of Arts in Art Education provides a fully comprehensive learning opportunity for students with a zeal for enhancing the lives of their own students by showing them the value of a connection with art. Our students can enhance their career and personal growth as effective educators. The convenient online format allows our students to immediately utilize what they learn and develop highly marketable skills in art education.

  • University of Florida Master of Arts in Art Education

    The University of Florida Master of Art Education program offers its student an online learning environment with an emphasis on providing students with a thorough understanding of the ways in which art has evolved and continues to impact all aspects of society and culture. This two-year, 36-credit hour program provides an in-depth, advanced study of the arts and the practical application of knowledge to classrooms.

Art Education

Art education is the process of learning about different types of artistic expression, including different media and formats for artwork and different movements and styles throughout art history. It is commonly taught to students of many age ranges and can be a focus of learning during secondary education such as at a college or university. This type of education is usually taught by art teachers and can include practical understanding, such as how to use different tools to create artwork, or an understanding of how to appreciate artwork. Art education will usually focus on basic types of artistic creation, such as drawing, painting, and sculpture, though specialized classes in subjects such as pottery, digital art, and mixed media can also be found.

Many art education classes will usually be split between practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge, teaching both how to create artwork and an appreciation for the work others create. An art teacher will often be an experienced artist with a background both in different types of artistic creation and teaching pedagogies. While a specialized art class in a subject such as art history could focus primarily on learning through lecture and reading, most classes will allow students to create their own artwork and view the work of others, both students and masters, to better understand artistic expression.

Why an Art Education degree Online

How will an Art Degree benefit you? Here are some of the possible advantages:

An advanced degree is almost always required to teach in community colleges and museum education programs, so this degree can expand career horizons beyond K-12 teaching.

Because Art Education programs usually combine both art study and the development of teaching skills, K-12 art teachers will typically get more professional value from this degree than from a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree or a Master of Education (ME) degree.

You will gain skills and knowledge that improve both your art practice and your professional capabilities in classroom management, curriculum design, and instruction.

You will have the opportunity to meet and work with other artists as well as other teachers.

You will learn more about the history and theory of art, as well as the latest ideas and techniques in art education.

A Master’s degree in education in this field may be a step on the path to doctoral work in art education, for those who are interested in teaching at the university level or pursuing advanced opportunities in educational administration.

Art Education Degree Courses & Areas of Study

Individual Master of Education in Art Education programs generally include some core topics, but also vary substantially in the different courses available. The following topics suggest a sampling of the learning opportunities you might have during your studies. Consult your individual programs curriculum for a detailed list of courses and credit hours.

  • Art History
  • History of Art Education
  • Philosophy of Art Education
  • Art Education in Society
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Teaching Art to Talents and Gifted Students
  • Teaching Art to Special Needs Students
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Mixed Media
  • Contemporary Issues in Art Education
  • Curriculum Development in Art Education
  • Research in Art Education

Art Education Degree Career Opportunities

Since this degree provides credentials in both art practice and teaching, there are a wide variety of opportunities. The following list shows just some of the professional roles that could be available with the Master of Arts in Art Education.

  • Early Childhood Art Teacher
  • Elementary/Middle School Art Teacher
  • Secondary School Art Teacher
  • Community College Art Teacher
  • Museum Education Professional
  • Community Art Education Specialist
  • Talented and Gifted Art Teacher
  • Special Education Art Teacher
  • Arts Administrator
  • Studio Art Teacher

Online Art Education Degrees

Graduate work in Art Education is intended for artist-teachers who want to build studio skills as well as improve their teaching. That means you will be expected to do many of the same things professional artists do, such as showing your work to others, developing an artist statement, and exploring a variety of media. Some programs offer the choice of either writing a thesis or presenting a studio project, while others may require a project.

Although many programs offer opportunities for online study, some period of residence, or periodic onsite visits, may be required for supervision and evaluation of studio work. In programs that include certification, a practicum or period of supervised teaching is usually required. Some programs offer opportunities to study abroad or to gain work experience in the community.

Art Education Degree Education & Admission Requirements

A Master of Arts in Art Education program will have the same admission requirements as any other graduate academic program. That will include a Bachelor’s degree, transcripts from previous colleges, and letters of recommendation. Some schools will require a minimum GPA, and may require a minimum score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In addition, most programs will require a minimum number of undergraduate hours in studio art courses, and many will require submission of an art portfolio as part of the admissions process.

Some schools require that entering students hold teaching certification, but others provide the option to gain certification as part of the degree program.

Art Education Degree Accreditation

Graduate study in an academic field should always be undertaken at an appropriately accredited institution in order for the degree to be fully recognized. Academic accreditation is usually granted to schools by regional accrediting bodies, such as the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, so different institutions will be governed by different accrediting bodies. Consult the accreditation information provided by the institutions you are considering.

Specialized accreditation for art schools may also be provided by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Commission on Accreditation. Further information can be obtained at

Top Ranked Art Education Degrees

Earning an Art Education degree from a highly ranked institution adds credibility and respect for the knowledge implied by the accomplishment. Prominent institutions with Art Education degrees also receive high ranks by such organizations as U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

Art Education Professional Organizations

There are a number of organizations for Art Education. The most predominant organization is:

  • The National Art Education Association (NAEA) which provides a variety of helpful resources. Many states have individual chapters of the NAEA