Master of Arts in Art Education

The Master of Arts in Art Education is a boldly designed Master’s degree in creative thought and action in 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 social change.

Our mission is to educate artists, designers, architects, and creative practitioners to teach visual arts and design in diverse settings that include public and private schools (kindergarten through university-level), museums, community programs, corporate settings, hospitals, long-term care facilities and rehabilitation centers. Professionally trained creative educators can facilitate transformative experiences for all learners, activating connections between art & design in the everyday and harnessing the power of imagination to address current issues.

The 30-36 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 through 12 credit hour certificates in focal areas of study. 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) Advantageous location within the College of DAAP, situated within Research I University; Work with world class faculty and resources

(2) Experiential learning emphasis and UC’s powerful cooperative education platform;

(3) Leading-edge, transdisciplinary research and collaborations: i.e., Urban Futures, Digital Media, Livewell Collaborative.

(4) Customizable curriculum that supports creative approaches for addressing emergent and unscripted challenges across cultures.

Ohio Licensure Option

The Master of Arts in Art Education degree may be integrated with the 36-39-credit-hour Ohio Visual Arts Licensure Program. Some graduate level licensure courses may be applied toward requirements for the MA in Art Education degree. 


Graduates of the Master 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.  This addresses a currently identified need.

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 via design, art, and architecture.

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 to become thought leaders for organizations.

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


Career prospects


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. Elementz, Leaves of Learning, Hive 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.


NASAD Accreditation


Additional Opportunities


Student Teaching Abroad: Students have the options of student teaching abroad. Students have in the past fulfilled their student teaching practicum in China, Singapore, France, Germany, Malta, and the U.K.

Experience-Based Learning:  Co-op Program at The University of Cincinnati


Study Abroad at The University of Cincinnati

  • Reggio Emilia, Italy: Arts-Based Reflective Practice
  • Dubai: Art & Culture 
  • Studio Inquiry in Berlin
  • Studio Inquiry: Basel - Dusseldorf - Amsterdam


Studio Inquiry in Berlin: Research as Theory & Practice is a seven-week course that links arts-based research methods with studio practice. Students can earn 3 or 6 credits at the graduate level from the University of Cincinnati Department of Creativity in Education & Architecture.

This course will cultivate working relationships between German and American students, artists, community organizations and exhibition sites to assist in the effective development of student's individual studio/arts-based research projects. Through self-directed inquiry, research and collaboration students will conduct research in a studio-based environment that reflects contemporary practices in the visual arts and theory production. Studio visits, theoretical discussions, and experimental studio applications will be integrated throughout the course.

A large studio space is provided as well as housing, museum trips, and artist studio visits. A culminating exhibition of works will be held in Berlin.



DAAP Alumni

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.


Arts-Based Research (ABR)

Arts-Based Research (ABR) is a methodology that responds to the fact that humans construct knowledge through multiple sensory experiences, not only through intellectual processes.  Arts-based researchers study artistic processes and objects with the objective of answering questions, solving problems and generating new understandings.

Utilizing qualitative and ABR methods that connect academic disciplines such as architecture, design, community planning, art history, the humanities, medicine, and fine art, Master of Arts in Art Education Program is reframing the value of teaching and learning beyond the classroom.


Arts-Based Research at DAAP


Chris Luessen, MA, 2013, with Flávia Bastos, Vittoria Daiello, Kristopher Holland Walking Spaces for Socially Engaged Arts-Based Research: Reflections and Disruptions in Practice.  In the published proceedings of the 1st Conference on Arts-Based and Artistic Research: Critical reflections on the Intersection Between Art and Research, Barcelona, Spain.

Christopher Luessen’s arts-based master’s research project involved a series of walking tours in Cincinnati’s Over-the Rhine neighborhood in 2012-2013. This endeavor realizes the possibility of arts-based research practices for promoting socially-engaged knowledge that can resist the commodification or over-simplification of a neighborhood. The walking tour, as social practice art, creates a rich set of unpredictable texts or ‘maps’—visible data of participants’ personal walking tours that can be analyzed and discussed. These texts serve as reminders and provocations for participants and others to question and rethink their subjectivities in relation to social issues raised by, and documented within, the mapping experience. In this way, Luessen’s project seeks to empower residents and citizens to affirm the value of public rights and gain awareness of often unspoken issues—such as the boundaries of race, class, and power in a neighborhood.


Samantha J Charek, MA, 2016; Three Voices. Installation book spine view. From Arts-Based Research Master’s Project: Un/Reasonable Accommodations: Exploring the Experiences of Teaching Artists with Disabilities in Art Education.

Within the field of art education, the voices of teachers and researchers with disabilities are largely absent. This inclusive art-based research case study attempts to address this absence by exploring the experiences of three people with disabilities in their roles as art teachers, and adding their personal stories to the existing literature. 


Brian Lewis, MA, 2016; Nourishing the Senses. Arts-Based Research Master’s Project. Sashimi platter prepared by Chef Dan Stoltz presented on ceramic plate created by artist Bethany Kramer. 

Positioning culinary arts within the broader spectrum of fine arts, visual culture, and socially-engaged art education, this arts-based research recognizes everyday social acts of food preparation and consumption as nuanced, aesthetic and embodied experiences. Nourishing the Senses brings attention to the creative possibilities of food as aesthetic experience and as curricula in art education.  


Julie Drout, MA, 2017, An Emergence. Honey, ink, vellum, prose. Artifact from performance of Arts-Based Research exegesis.

Investigating the transformative potential of arts practices for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and discovering her own history in the process, Drout’s arts-based inquiry, Emergence, performed the “stickiness” of the researcher’s affect. 


Fatimah Ali Alyami, MA, 2016; My Mother’s Honey and Thyme Bread. Performance from Arts-Based Research Master’s project: Writing the self into research: An arts-based autoethnographic study of a Muslim female artist.  

Master of Arts in Art Education

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