Art Education


Why study Art Education?

The Master of Arts in Art Education is a bold summer intensive graduate degree designed to advance the professional careers of artists and educators who are committed to democratizing access to high-quality arts education in various settings that include schools, museums, and galleries, as well as community and cultural organizations.

Leveraging the expertise in creative thought and action at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), the Master of Arts in Art Education prepares today’s teachers and future educators to address ongoing educational challenges.

The program is designed to be completed in four semesters, encompassing two intensive 4-week on-campus summer sessions that are complemented by online courses. Seeking to accommodate the schedule of teaching professionals, this summer intensive format enables deep engagement with studies during the months when educators are typically not teaching.

The curriculum and related experiences promote student engagement with three core aspects of the program:

  • MAKING is foundational in art education research and practice. It’s a process that involves conceptualizing ideas, creating meaningful art, designing learning experiences, and establishing transformative relationships. Students will have many opportunities to practice making in this program, from creating visual reflections of their own learning experiences, and investigating contemporary and traditional approaches to art-making in studio courses, to connecting artistic and research practices through arts-based research (ABR). These experiences are intended to model current, rich, and in-depth ways to learn about and through the arts.
  • CONNECTING refers to creating knowledge and establishing strategic partnerships. One of the goals of the program is to enhance students’ understanding of the possibilities of art education today by expanding knowledge about art opportunities and resources in our community. Students will be encouraged to create new links among ideas, concepts, and art experiences, as well as between organizations and individuals. This process can energize professional practice and have the impact of transforming future art educator careers.
  • LEADING is the intended outcome of completing this program. The transformational learning, mentorship, and professional community students will experience in this program seek to prepare discerning, strategic, and visionary art educators who will shape future art learning. Leading with creativity and imagination, our graduates are uniquely prepared to harness the power of art to address current issues and promote change.

The 30 credit hour MA degree capitalizes on synergistic relationships among teaching, arts-based research (ABR), and partnerships with community, school, and industry collaborators. A customizable curriculum allows students to tailor their studies to pursue specific interests such as museum studies, creative pedagogy, international arts education, arts writing, and more. Connecting art and education theory with experiential learning, the program prepares individuals to be effective teachers, lifelong learners, flexible thinkers, and creative problem-solvers.

Notable features of the Master of Arts in Art Education program include:

  1. Dedicated making and learning space for graduate student cohort DAAP Annex;
  2. Innovative course schedule and summer intensive format conducive to teachers and other professionals’ work commitments.
  3. Graduate students are part of a cohort and mentored by distinguished art education faculty;
  4. Advantageous location within the College of DAAP, situated within Research I University with world-class faculty and state of the art facilities;
  5. Experiential learning emphasis includes connections with our regions’ rich arts organizations and UC’s powerful cooperative education platform.

Ohio Licensure Option

The Master of Arts in Art Education degree may be integrated with the 42 credit-hour Ohio Visual Arts Licensure Program. Some graduate-level licensure courses may be applied toward the requirements for the MA in Art Education degree. 

Admission Requirements

The deadline for application to the Master of Arts in Art Education program and for scholarship consideration is January 10th of each year. The following application materials are required:

  • UC Graduate Admissions Application
  • Unofficial transcripts that indicate at least a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 in art, art education, and related subjects
  • 3 letters of recommendation. Recommenders should be people familiar with your academic and professional abilities. The recommenders you list in your online application will receive information via email about submitting their recommendation letter online. Ask your recommenders to provide the following information:
    • who they are
    • their relationship to you
    • why they think you will succeed in the Graduate Art Education Program at the University of Cincinnati
  • A current resume
  • Statement of Intent. Include a statement (up to 500 words) describing the long-term goal to be met by graduate study. Include the following:
    • a general introduction to your goals for graduate study
    • introduction to the work in the portfolio
    • discussion of previous art education experiences
    • explanation of how you would like to creatively develop in graduate school
    • your professional and educational interests (e.g., arts-based research, teaching, galleries, leadership, community arts)
    • whether you are interested in teaching while in graduate school 
    • What Art Education faculty do you want to work with and why?
  • Portfolio in a single PDF file:
    • Twenty (20) images or a URL to your portfolio;
    • Portfolio Image List. Include the title of work, date of work, dimensions, and materials.
    • Samples of writing. May include poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, plays, graphic novels; professional writing, and other genres, including research reports, blogs, and art criticism.
  • Proof of English Proficiency (International Students only)

*Applicants interested in receiving University Graduate Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships for their first year in the Master of Arts in Art Education program must also submit a letter that describes the applicant’s qualifications and interest in available GA positions.

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Art Education Program will be able to:

Institute Innovative Pedagogy to develop creative ways to teach, not just art content, but integrated visual arts techniques into other fields including the STEM disciplines, and technology. 

Demonstrate Teaching and Research Skills that don’t just translate, but transform the world via arts-based research, collaboration, and reflective practices to actively solve problems and implement real-world solutions.

Establish the Practice of Agency to be critically reflective and responsive educators, designers, artists, directors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and developers.

Exemplify a Collaborative Ethos to create an ‘open-thinking’ mindset to teach and work with varied stakeholders across disciplinary lines, forming innovation teams in industry settings and entrepreneurial situations.

Promote leadership in Creative Teaching and Inquiry. Recognize and establish education and inquiry practices in multiple settings in industry and academia and become thought leaders for organizations.

Generate Spaces of Critical Education Play by creating teaching and learning spaces or ‘laboratories’  (innovation spaces, maker spaces, hackerspaces, etc.) that support the development of creative teaching and research.

Master of Arts in Art Education graduates will emerge from the program as versatile, creative practitioners with the capacity to transform society as drivers and leaders of change (political, social, economic, and technological). Career opportunities include: teaching in public and private schools (PreK-12 - University); teaching in after-school art and design outreach programs; engaging in short- and long-term artist educator residencies; teaching in museums and community centers; leading community engagement and activism projects; teaching the use of cutting edge creative technology; overseeing community maker/hacker spaces as pedagogical and technological leaders; establishing creative community centers to engage in educational projects (e.g. ElementzLeaves of LearningHive 13, etc.); teaching in creative healthcare and aging centers; conduct creative curriculum design for organizations and business; designing websites and online programs; developing and implementing public art projects and many others.

Over 16,000 DAAP graduates have entered the workforce as inventive thinkers and out-of-the-box creators who are making innovative contributions to their respective fields locally and around the world.

Kristopher Holland, Ph.D.
Director, Master of Arts in Art Education Program
4280C DAAP
(513) 556-2120



Program Impact

  • UC Art Education enhances art education in urban schools. Art education students teach urban students as part of their field experiences, with many choosing to teach in urban settings after graduation.
  • UC Art Education collaborates with local museums. Art education students participate in a variety of museum programs and initiatives, expanding museum education opportunities in the community.

Strong community connections with local area schools, museums, and community organizations make community involvement a cornerstone of this program encompassing:

  • Opportunities in classroom settings, and a variety of community sites, including local museums, arts organizations, and galleries.
  • International community experiences to enhance students’ understandings of their local communities, students can take advantage of international and exchange programs in Brazil, China, Germany, Austria, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Successful completion of 30 semester hour credits
  • Successful First-Year Review
  • Successful completion of Master’s Research Project or Experiential Learning Project. 

Application Deadlines

Applications are open for the Summer term only. Completed applications should be received by January 10th for the following summer for scholarship and/or assistantship consideration. Applications are accepted through May 1st, but financial aid packages may not be available for late applicants. Confirmations for admission are due by March 1st. 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Contact Information

School of Art
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-2962

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Program Code: 23MAS-ARTE-MA