Department of Art and Art History Art Education + Visual Art Studies

Degree Information

2-year / Full-time / In-residence

Course of Study

The degree of Master of Arts with a major in Art Education requires a minimum of thirty-six semester hours of coursework as outlined below in one of three degree plans (Option A, Option B, or Option C). Programs of Course Work for all three options are outlined on the next page, with course descriptions following.

It is intended that full-time students complete the degree plan in two years. Part-time study may be possible, with approval of the Art Education Graduate Advisor, but such opportunity is limited.

Option A: School Focus

For those students wanting to enhance their knowledge of art education at the elementary and secondary school levels (36 semester credit hours).

  • Twelve (12) semester hours in core art education courses, including AED 381G, AED 381K, AED 382G, and AED 382H
  • Six (6) semester hours in Schools Focus courses, AED 384 (Curr Dev) and 388D.
  • Three (3) semester hours in approved AED electives
  • Three (3) semester hours in Internship and Field Study (AED 386)
  • Six (6) semester hours in approved graduate-level or upper-division undergraduate non-AED supporting electives
  • Six (6) semester hours of thesis (AED 698A, AED 698B)
  • Thesis proposal presentation made with the student’s thesis committee

Option B: Museum Education Focus

For those students interested in learning about and working in the field of art museum education (36 semester credit hours).

  • Twelve (12) semester hours in core art education courses, including AED 381G, AED 381K, AED 382G, and AED 382H
  • Six (6) semester hours in Museum Education courses: AED 383J and 383K.
  • Three (3) semester hours in approved AED electives
  • Three (3) semester hours in Internship and Field Study (AED 386)
  • Six (6) semester hours in approved graduate-level or upper-division undergraduate non-AED supporting electives
  • Six (6) semester hours of thesis (AED 698A, AED 698B)
  • Thesis proposal presentation made with the student’s thesis committee

Option C: Community-Based Focus

For those students desiring to investigate and conduct professional activities in community-based art organizations (36 semester credit hours).

  • Twelve (12) semester hours in core art education courses, including AED 381G, AED 381K, AED 382G, and AED 382H
  • Six (6) semester hours in Community-Based Art Education courses: AED 387C and AED 387D.
  • Three (3) semester hours in approved AED electives
  • Three (3) semester hours in Internship and Field Study (AED 386)
  • Six (6) semester hours in approved graduate-level or upper-division undergraduate non-AED supporting electives
  • Six (6) semester hours of thesis (AED 698A, AED 698B)
  • TThesis proposal presentation made with the student’s thesis committee

Course Descriptions

Foundations of Art Education (AED 381G)

This class explores some of the foundational writings and beliefs that comprise the field of art education. Through readings, lecture, and discussion, students are introduced to past literature, perspectives, and understandings that make up this professional area of study.

Contemporary Issues in Art Education (AED 381K)

A variety of current issues within the field of art education are explored, enabling students to recognize the dynamic role art education plays in both education and society.

Introduction to Research in Art Education (AED 382G)

In this introductory course, students explore a range of research methods art educators currently use to investigate art learning. Students gain an understanding of diverse approaches for conducting art education research in a variety of settings.

Thesis Proposal and Preparation (AED 382H)

This graduate course provides the opportunity for students to initiate and complete work on a thesis proposal in art education. Much of the course centers on discussion of the work students undertake as they engage in the process of writing their thesis proposal. Prerequisite: AED 382G

Museum Education: History and Theory (AED 383J)

Museum education practice is framed within a context of culture, history, and theory. This issues-based course examines topics related to the educational mission of the museum. Visits to area museums occur as they provide a lens for examining issues discussed in class.

Museum Education: Practice and Application (AED 383K)

Students in this course explore, through direct experience, the practice and application of museum education within the context of contemporary art museums. Practical assignments in museums give students opportunities to investigate new directions in museum education. Prerequisite: AED 383J.

Art in Public Places (AED 384)

Students investigate the processes involved in the production, acquisition, and display of art in public places. The issues of funding, management, and utilization of art in public spaces are discussed. The social, cultural, and economic significance of art in public places within the micro community and macro society is examined.

Curriculum Development in Art Education (AED 384)

This class is intended for students interested in exploring a range of ways art curriculum can be designed for use within a variety of instructional settings, including elementary and secondary school art classrooms, community centers, and art museums. 

Objects, Spaces, and Meanings (AED 384)

Given the importance of “things” and environments in our lives, students investigate meanings of objects and spaces that surround us, focusing attention on a range of objects residing both inside and outside the museum, and structures and constructed environments that make up our lives.

Case Studies in Community-Based Art Education (AED 387C)

Students review examples of community-based art programs to understand their histories, philosophies, purposes, organization, funding, operation, evaluation, and redevelopment; and discuss issues affecting the successful creation, preservation, and development of such programs.

Program Development in Community-Based Art Education (AED 387D)

Students examine the process of establishing an exemplary community-based art program; conduct ethnographic research and write grant proposals toward the creation of an ideal community-based art program or the improvement of an existing program; and develop operational activities and explore various approaches to art production to prepare for implementing a program. Prerequisite: AED 387C.

Independent Study in Art Education (AED 385)

Student initiated studies are proposed with a specific member of the Art Education faculty. The designated faculty member guides students in their work through scheduled periodic meetings.

Internship and Field Study (AED 386)

This internship is designed to give each student in the program the opportunity to experience and investigate a specific environment of art education related to her or his professional objective, or to explore a site that contributes to the student’s understanding of the range of possibilities available for educating people in the visual arts.

Thesis (AED 698 A)

Students work on gathering data related to their thesis research. Through periodic scheduled meetings with their thesis advisor, students initiate their thesis investigation.

Thesis (AED 698 B)

Prerequisite: Completion of written thesis proposal and oral thesis proposal presentation before student’s thesis committee. Students work on data anlysis and the writing of their thesis.