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Artwork by MAE student, Jon Melo

Art Education Online

Earn your MAE at UMass Dartmouth

Increase your capacity to question issues related to teaching, thinking, learning, and producing in and through the visual arts, with a Master of Art Education (MAE) online. Whether you’re an experienced professional or a novice in art education, or a related field, you’ll find educational opportunities that serve many interests and career goals in this online program.

Professional licensure: This Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education-approved program is for those who already have an initial license and are seeking Professional Licensure. If your intention is not to obtain MA Professional Licensure, please check with your state's education licensure board to determine if this program will satisfy their certificate requirements.

We offer flexible selections between research and practice orientations in synchronous and asynchronous online classes. You’ll address broadly conceived themes like:

  • human development and creative expression
  • curriculum and leadership
  • and community partnerships.

We prepare art teachers to be reflective practitioners who use 21st-century technology, national standards, and the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework as they further develop their studio, aesthetics, and pedagogical skills as makers, thinkers, and researchers in the discipline. Our students teach in public or private schools or in community settings. Through the program of study, you will:

  • Increase studio, art history, critical literacy, and evaluation skills
  • Develop reflective praxis of studio inquiry and action research
  • Read and analyze literature in the field of art education and related fields
  • Align curriculum and meaningful assessment to the needs of K-12 learners
  • Implement research skills
  • Collect and analyze data to inform decision making about best practices in art teaching

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Courses in art education, aesthetics/art history/criticism, and studio are enriched by unique experiences embedded in praxis.

MAE progression form

Toward the goal of advancing the reform of education through the arts, the graduate program requires all students to demonstrate off-site partnership and action research experiences. The penultimate course in the program combines studio and research skills as students engage in structured art-based research. The program culminates in a student-directed capstone project and presentation.

Practical, theoretical & studio-based

Through self-directed inquiry, graduate students can tailor the curriculum to their individual interests, teaching, and career goals. The MAE program provides the necessary experience, whether the objective is to teach in public or private schools or community settings—such as daycare centers, hospitals, welfare agencies, museums, alternative schools, geriatric centers, or vocational rehabilitation centers. Opportunities for supervised fieldwork exist in each of these areas.

For those whose objective is to teach in public schools, the program provides theoretical and practical experience. Graduates may earn their post-baccalaureate initial license through the MAE Post Baccalaureate, and the professional license through the MAE program. This is in compliance with Massachusetts state licensure requirements.

The MAE program offers a sequence of practical, theoretical, and studio-based experiences through which students build on their knowledge, skills, and confidence as arts educators. Interstate recognition makes art teacher coursework earned at UMass Dartmouth reciprocally valid in many other states. The program also emphasizes professional development and lifelong learning for teachers who already hold teaching licenses in the arts or related fields.

The overarching learning outcomes for this program of study were developed to meet the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) standards and align with the National Core Standards for Visual Arts as approved by the National Art Education Association (NAEA). This online MAE online is a Massachusetts ESE-approved program and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

  • Strong potential as an artist/educator
  • MAE Professional Licensure requires a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in art education or related field + initial license to teach K-12 art
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative average in undergraduate studies
  • Portfolio which demonstrates capability for advanced work within a chosen discipline
  • 2 letters of recommendation from previous professors and/or employers, evaluating the applicant’s potential for academic success, commitment to teaching, or quality of artwork
  • Statement of professional goals and program intent
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae

Applicants must pass both the Communications and Literacy and the Visual Arts portions of the Massachusetts Test of Educators Licensure (MTELs) before making an application to the MAE program. MTEL scores must be reported to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Applicants to the MAE program who are not seeking Massachusetts licensure (i.e., those holding licensure in another state, international students, or those who wish to work in alternative teaching venues outside of the K-12 system) are required to make a written statement that they will not seek Massachusetts licensure while in residency in the MAE program. The National Praxis Exam or an active teacher license in another U.S. State can be used in lieu of the MTEL scores.

Each applicant's foundation of knowledge from teaching, gained through having at least initial licensure or comparable course content, is evaluated in deciding to offer admission to either the 33- or 54-credit program. A pre-admission interview, sample essay, or research report may be requested of some applicants.



We accept students on a rolling admissions basis. However, applicants are urged to submit completed applications before November 15 or March 15 for consideration for entrance in the following academic semester. 

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Marine Science and Technology (MS, PSM, PhD), Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program deadlines

Art Education faculty

You'll work with and learn from faculty with knowledge and expertise across a range of disciplines, including:

  • 21st-century learning
  • action research
  • adult professional development
  • art-based research
  • art education
  • art integrated curriculum
  • creative process
  • elementary education
  • grounded theory research
  • interdisciplinary curriculum
  • leadership
  • professional development
  • program evaluation
  • secondary education
  • social justice and urban environments

Faculty are also practicing artists, with specializations in:

  • ceramics
  • drawing
  • fibers
  • mixed media
  • painting
  • photography

Learning Style: Online

Online courses are taught by UMass Dartmouth faculty to provide high quality instruction and personal attention. Students have the flexibility to accommodate work and home responsibilities within the structure of defined assignment due dates. The majority of our online courses are taught asynchronously.

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Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

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