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MA in Art Education

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The Master’s program in Art Education is not accepting applications for Fall 2023. Please check back for updates.

The graduate Art Education program offers a rigorous and highly regarded master’s degree plan that is distinctive in its options for curricular focus. A comprehensive set of core courses provide a foundation in general arts instruction that is enhanced by focused study in one of three areas: Art Education in Schools (certification/non-certification), Art Education in Museums, or Art Education in Community-Based Programs.

When entering the program, students elect one of these options and explore its professional realm in-depth through specific coursework and at least one professional internship. All students ultimately conduct significant research on a topic in art education that culminates in a written thesis.

Program Handbook

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Scope Newsletter
Check out the latest issue of Scope, the newsletter of the graduate Art Education program!

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Graduate Research
View student presentations from the 2023 Art Education Graduation Research Symposium!


Graduate Advisor
Christina Bain

View Art Education faculty and graduate students.


The 36-credit-hour MA in Art Education is customarily completed in two academic years. When beginning the program, students must choose one of the following tracks:

Option A — Schools (Non-Certification)
For students wanting to enhance their knowledge of art education at the elementary and secondary school levels

Option B — Museums
For students interested in learning about and working in the field of art museum education

Option C — Community
For students desiring to investigate and conduct professional activities in community-based art programs and organizations

Option D — Schools (Certification)
For students interested in gaining experiential knowledge of art education at the elementary and secondary levels leading to Texas P-12 art certification

Coursework Requirements

Completed by Options A, B, C, and D

  • AED 381G — Foundations of Art Education (3 credit hours)
  • AED 381K — Contemporary Issues in Art Education (3)
  • AED 382G — Introduction to Research in Art Education (3)
  • AED 382H — Thesis Proposal and Preparation (3)
  • AED 386 — Internship and Field Study (3)
  • AED 698A/B — Thesis A/B (6) or AED 382L — Applied Project (6)
  • Approved Art Education elective (3)
  • Approved non-Art Education electives (6)

Completed by Option A (Schools: Non-Certification)

  • AED 384 — Art in Public Places (3) -or-
    AED 384 — Curriculum Development in Art Education (3) -or-
    AED 384 — Objects, Spaces, and Meanings (3)
  • AED 388D — Art and the Creation of Meaning

Completed by Option B (Museums)

  • AED 383J — Museum Education: History and Theory (3)
  • AED 383K — Museum Education: Practice and Application (3)

Completed by Option C (Community)

  • AED 387C — Case Studies in Community-Based Art Education
  • AED 387D — Program Development in Community-Based Art Education

Completed by Option D (Schools: Certification)

  • AED 384 — Art in Public Places (3) -or-
    AED 384 — Curriculum Development in Art Education (3) -or-
    AED 384 — Objects, Spaces, and Meanings (3)
  • EDC 331 (3), EDC 332 (3), and EDC 350E (3)

Course Descriptions

AED 381G
Foundations of Art Education

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.

AED 381K
Contemporary Issues in Art Education

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.

AED 382G
Introduction to Research in Art Education
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.

AED 382H
Thesis Proposal and Preparation

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.

AED 382L
Applied Project in Art Education

Applied Project in Art Education does not meet as a regular class throughout the semester. This course is repeatable and it is expected that students will register for this course in both fall and spring of their second year. In AED 382L, students receive credit for work completed on an applied project, which must be approved by their faculty committee. The goals of this course are to determine a reasonable and manageable work schedule and timeline for completing work on the applied project. Students enrolled in this course are expected to complete a one-day thesis research and writing workshop sponsored by the AED faculty and held on a Friday early in the semester. [Required for students in all Academic Program Options if not on thesis track]

AED 384
Art in Public Places

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.

AED 384
Curriculum Development in Art Education

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.

AED 384
Objects, Spaces, and Meanings

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.

AED 388D
Art and the Creation of Meaning

This class centers on meaning-making in the visual arts. Throughout the course, students are engaged in discussion, analysis, and hands-on use of materials, techniques, and processes used to create artwork. Attention centers on the “whys” of studio art instruction and dialog about art, and the utilization of artmaking and critique situations to explore significant and meaningful outcomes within the world of artmaking and responding to art.

AED 383J
Museum Education: History and Theory

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.

AED 383K
Museum Education: Practice and Application

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.

AED 387C
Case Studies in Community-Based Art Education

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.

AED 387D
Program Development in Community-Based Art Education

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.

AED 385
Independent Study in Art Education

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.

AED 386
Internship and Field Study

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.

AED 698A
Thesis A
Students work on gathering data related to their thesis research. Through periodic scheduled meetings with their thesis advisor, students initiate their thesis investigation.

AED 698B
Thesis B

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

Portfolio Programs

Students may also wish to apply to one of the university’s graduate portfolio programs, an opportunity to obtain credentials in a cross-disciplinary academic area of inquiry while completing the requirements for a master’s or doctoral degree in a particular discipline.


File the FAFSA ASAP!

Graduate students from the U.S. (citizens and permanent residents) are automatically eligible for Federal Plus loans as independent students and must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, you should complete the FAFSA even if you don’t intend to take out student loans because doing so may qualify you for need-based funding such as grants and scholarships. Applicants must file the FAFSA by the March 15 priority deadline to be considered for need-based funding.

Applicants should complete the FAFSA as soon as you have submitted your admission application and have filed your federal tax return. You are strongly urged not to wait for notification of admission before filing the FAFSA.


Current tuition for Texas residents and out-of-state and international non-residents, as well as other estimated costs-of-attendance, can be figured using the Cost & Tuition calculator.

The faculty’s goal is to award Tuition Waivers to all out-of-state and international students that forgive the non-resident portion of tuition. Therefore, it is very likely that each admitted student will only be charged resident (in-state) tuition for both years. Accepted non-resident applicants, as well as continuing non-resident students, are automatically considered for this waiver.


A limited number of recruitment fellowships are offered by the Department of Art and Art History, the College of Fine Arts, and the Office of Graduate Studies. All applicants are automatically considered for these fellowships based on their application materials and do not need to apply for these directly.

Additionally, admitted students may be eligible for need-based departmental fellowships. Therefore we strongly recommend that all U.S. applicants apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), thereby making them eligible for consideration for these need-based fellowships.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistants (TAs) provide support to faculty members in classrooms and/or monitor open periods in labs. All students can apply for TA appointments during their second year of study on campus. Appointments are based on institutional need and available funding, and are made on a semesterly basis (rather than annual). The department does not guarantee TA support during a student’s course of study.

Travel Awards

The department has limited funds to support conference attendance and research travel. These grants are awarded in the fall semester of both years of study, based on a written proposal.

Other Funding

Information about other sources of funding is available from the Graduate School.

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