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Art Education MAE

The Master of Art Education (MAE) program is dedicated to increasing your capacity to question issues related to teaching, thinking, learning, and producing in and through the visual arts. The program serves many interests and career goals. It provides educational opportunities for both experienced professionals and novices in art education and related fields.

The program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer Initial and Professional Licensure.

MAE programs

30-credit MAE program

For those who already have an initial license, the MAE program offers flexible selections between research and practice orientations.

The program is structured to address the broadly conceived themes of human development and creative expression, curriculum and leadership, and community partnerships. Courses in art education, aesthetics/art history/criticism, and studio are enriched by unique experiences embedded in praxis. 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. A written thesis, presentation, and oral defense are requirements for graduation.

54-credit Post-Baccalaureate & MAE program

For those seeking first-time post-baccalaureate initial licensure concurrently with the MAE degree:

  • 24 credits to be earned first in the post-baccalaureate Initial License
  • 30 credits to be earned in the Master of Art Education Professional License

Practical, theoretical & studio-based

Through self-directed inquiry, graduate students can tailor 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 day care 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 course work 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, by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the National Art Education Association (NAEA).


The MAE program goals are to 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, students 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

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements

In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to 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
  • Post-bac + MAE requires Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in art education or related field
  • 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 art work
  • 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 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 may be used in lieu of the MTEL for admission.

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. 

Deadlines and Test Requirements

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

Explore more about Art Education

Program Progress Sheet

Course Catalog

See course schedules and requirements.

Related information



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