Master of Science in Art Education

Rigorous and flexible, our graduate program in art education provides high-quality teacher preparation geared to the needs of working professionals.

The MSAE Program is a 30-credit program (taken over two years including two summers) that prepares K-12 educators for their professional licensure in Art Education. In the first year, students are exploring theories of art and education and working on their studio practice. In the second year students refine their research and create a written document, a final thesis exhibition, or a combination of both.

The MSAE curriculum is a sequence of art education courses in theory, history, policy and socio-cultural contexts of pedagogy, curriculum, research methods, aesthetics, and new media-all to develop a common core of concepts, language, and understanding. Complementing the pedagogical courses are intensive studios, which help students acquire a refined ability to express their ideas visually and verbally at a professional academic level. The program culminates in a final written thesis and defense, and/or a thesis exhibition and defense of a mature body of artwork.

The MSAE degree serves two populations:

1. Students who are K-12 practitioners, who hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, who have a strong studio background, and who are interested in preparing for professional licensure according to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

2. Students who hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, who have a strong studio background, and who are interested in educational theory and practice in the visual arts, for application in non-school settings

Students seeking professional licensure to teach in K-12 public schools must obtain the DESE's initial license prior to applying to the MSAE program. Art education or cross-disciplinary professionals who do not require professional licensure from the DESE, such as those who work in museum, community or other settings, are welcome to apply without an initial license.

As the home to the first-in-the-nation department dedicated to the teaching of art, our innovative courses are based in contemporary studio practice and cutting-edge pedagogical theory, addressing issues of curriculum, research strategies, social justice, equality and access, at the forefront of contemporary art and design.

MassArt's Art Education Department is a leader in the field, with a curriculum that reflects core beliefs that dynamic art teachers have a commitment to their own art making, and that art making and teaching carry a broad social responsibility which extends beyond the classroom into the wider community. The mission of the program is to develop an understanding of learning, studio, and teaching practices and how these interact and inform one another in dynamic, messy ways so that the students become reflective, resourceful, socially-committed artist-educators.

Visit the Art Ed website for more information.


Pete Curran '09


Inspired by his work with children with Aspergers Syndrome, Curran films strangers navigating busy intersections, construction sites, and revolving doors. He seeks to reveal the "hidden curriculum"--the set of rules for a culture that go unsaid but everyone knows. Mastering this curriculum, Curran notes, can pose a particular challenge for people with certain disabilities.