Art & Design Education (BFA & MAT)

Art isn't just about you - who's a better artist. It's about how we can all work together to do something beautiful.
— Alejandro Camacho BFA ’15 (Illustration), MAT ’19, Art Teacher, Coopertown Elementary
Being an artist is a mindset - it’s not really about what you make. It’s a way of seeing the world differently and a way of thinking.
— Allyson Gallagher BFA ’16, MAT ’17, Art Teacher, Wayne Elementary, Pennsylvania

Being a strong art teacher starts with being a strong artist.
UArts can prepare you to be both.

  • Major in any BFA program in the School of Art, Design or Film (except Creative Writing and Screenwriting) and minor in Art Education.

  • Complete your BFA in four years.

  • Complete your Art Education graduate degree in one additional year.

  • Leave UArts with two degrees in five years.

  • Become eligible for PreK–12 Art Education certification.

Our students expand their careers and professional skills. 

Students benefit from professional development opportunities offered every semester and required teaching practica built on our vast network of practicing art educators.

Students participate in annual Educator Professional Development Conference hosted at UArts. Over 100 educators attend each year.

Art Education & Design at UArts

Faculty Spotlight

Program faculty are passionate and celebrated educators and artists who work closely with students to foster a supportive and challenging learning environment. Small class sizes offer students personalized experience with faculty who are active practitioners in the field.

Carolina Blatt wearing a black shirt and a multicolor necklace and standing outside in front of greenery
Carolina Blatt, PhD, MA

Art Education (MAT)
Director, art educator, arts administrator and scholar who seeks to catalyze the arts within and beyond the classroom
Rande Blank
Rande Blank, MEd

Art Education (MAT)
Teaches graduate courses and mentors students in their practica; Undergraduate and graduate advisor
Robin Brewer wearing a purple and red and white floral print blouse and standing in front of greenery
Robin Brewer, MFA

Art Education (MAT)
Secondary art educator secondary art, Garnet Valley School District (Glen Mills, Pennsylvania); Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Art Educator, 2021
A headshot of Lynette Brown, with posters and a plant behind her.
Lynette Brown, MEd

Art Education (MAT)
Senior lecturer, Program Design and Methods: Secondary in Art Education
Jessica Drass headshot
Jessica Masino Drass, MA

Art Education (MAT)
Board-certified, registered art psychotherapist; arts-based researcher; former high school art teacher
Leslie Marie Grace headshot
Leslie Marie Grace, MS

Art Education (MAT)
Art educator at George W. Nebinger School, Philadelphia; president of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association
A headshot of Connie Koppe
Connie Koppe

Art Education (MAT)
Founder and CEO of COMMAND THE ROOM; Founder and visiting artist for The Living Bookshelf
A closeup of Lauren Stetz wearing a black blazer and a pink blouse and standing in front of a white backdrop
Lauren Stetz, PhD, MA

Adjunct Professor

Art Education (MAT)
Researcher whose work considers culturally responsive arts pedagogy and artistic approaches to activism to promote healing, community building and societal transformation
Margo Wunder standing against an orange brick wall and wearing a blue art smock over a black tee shirt
Margo Wunder, MFA

Adjunct Professor

Art Education (MAT)
Special needs art educator, Silver-Springs Martin Luther School, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania




Duration: With careful planning, students can complete both a BFA in a major of their choice and the MAT in Visual Arts Education in just one additional year.

Note: Additional prerequisite/co-requisite coursework may need to be completed to meet certification requirements.

This program is designed to enable a student, through carefully planned coursework, to earn any BFA in the School of Art, Design or Film (except Creative Writing and Screenwriting) with a minor in Art Education in four years and a Master of Arts in Teaching Visual Arts in one additional year. The MAT is a professional degree program that incorporates preparation for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate, including a 14-week student teaching practicum. The program offered by the department of Art and Design Education is designed to permit a student majoring in an art or design field to use his or her undergraduate years as a key step toward certification (licensure) as a PK–12 Art or Design teacher. The university awards the degree, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education awards the teaching certificate on successful completion of Praxis exams.

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Courses Completed as an Undergraduate

Presentation Skills (1c)
Introduction to Visual Arts Education (2c)
Creative and Cognitive Development (3c)
Professional Writing Intensive (2c)
Art and Inclusionary Education (3c)
Program Design & Methods: Elementary (3c)
Aesthetics and Art Criticism (3c)
History of Ideas in Art & Museum Education (3c)

Courses Completed as a Graduate

The Art of Teaching (3c)
Meeting Needs of English Language Learners (3c)
Saturday Practicum (3c)
Student Teaching: Elementary (4c)
Student Teaching: Secondary (4c)
Student Teaching Seminar: Elementary/Secondary (1c)
Research in Education: Methods and Trends (3c)
Art and Inclusionary Education (3c)
Service Learning (1c)
The Art of Teaching (3c)
One elective in subjects like Online Teaching and Learning or Interactive Media (3c)

Explore the Full Curriculum

Alumni & Careers

Alumni of the program currently teach in schools throughout the nation, at charter schools such as the William Penn Charter School and Young Scholar Frederick Douglas Charter School, at public schools such as M.H. Stanton Elementary School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Pennsylvania, and in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, and have even founded their own schools. For example, Ginger Huebner MAT ’03 is the founding director at Roots + Wings School of Art and Design in Asheville, North Carolina, and is playing a key role in providing quality arts education to school-age children and adults in her community. She applied for the MAT, she says, because she “wanted to learn how to teach,” and throughout the program, Huebner was able to hone in on her ability to teach while maintaining a prolific and successful career as a professional artist.

Allyson Gallagher BFA ’15 (Fine Arts), MAT ’17 (Visual Arts Education)
Allyson Gallagher

BFA ’15, MAT ’17

Art Education (BFA & MAT)
Art Teacher, Wayne Elementary, Pennsylvania
Morgan penza headshot
Morgan Penza

BFA ’16, MAT ’17

Art Education (BFA & MAT)
Art Teacher for Adults and Children with Special Needs

Alyssa Willgruber: Art Education @ UArts

Alejandro Camacho: Art Education @ UArts


Frequently asked questions about the Art Education BFA & MAT programs. 

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Why is art education important?

Art education is important because it fosters creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and cultural appreciation among students. It promotes self-expression, enhances visual literacy, and contributes to overall cognitive and emotional development.

What can you do with an Art Education degree?

An art education degree will equip students with the skills and professional resources to pursue careers as educators in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle or high schools. You can also explore opportunities in community centers, museums, art studios or work as an art education advocate or a curriculum developer.

Are art degrees worth it?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for art, drama and music teachers in postsecondary education is roughly $83,220, and is predicted to grow over the next 10 years by 3 percent. Pursuing an Art Education degree can be worth it if you have a passion for teaching and a desire to make a positive impact on students’ lives through the arts.

Are there online options for completing this Art degree?
There are no online options for completing the Art BFA degree at UArts.

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