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Art Education/Teaching (K-12)

Bachelor of Arts


Students who complete this major and other state requirements are eligible to apply for a Minnesota teaching license for Grades K through 12 Visual Arts. The Art Education program emphasizes hands-on development of creative skills in at least six studio areas, as well as having a broad knowledge of world art history, through close mentorships with faculty. Students also learn teaching skills and content appropriate for all age levels. The 83-88-credit major features core studio and art history requirements supplemented by educational course content design to prepare the student to teach art and design as visual language. Students take foundational drawing and digital design courses and choose additional areas from painting, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, photography to develop a broad knowledge of the discipline. All Art Education majors complete filed work in K-12 art classes to complete their preparation.  Coupling those experiences with other educational experiences required by the State of MN, students will be prepared to apply for a license to teach K-12 art. As an Art Education major, you will be taught by an experienced faculty of active professionals with close ties to the vibrant Twin Cities art community. You will have complete facilities for ceramics, photography, digital art, printmaking, sculpture, as well as painting and drawing. Studio majors have free and safe access to the department facilities during and outside of classes.


Course Length

83-88 Credit Hours


On Campus

Career Introduction

The Art Education major is a professional degree with direct career applications, and fueling further economic benefits as a result. The arts in total represent nearly 15% of the American economy according to compiled data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Quality arts education, therefore, is necessary to help fuel innovation in a healthy economic environment.
The study of art education equips a person to positively contribute to a balanced educational system in America. It involves helped students learn to communicate effectively through visual as well as verbal media. It helps teachers teach cultural sensitivity, seeing the world from a variety of perspectives and the flexible thinking needed for creative problem solving. It also teaches students how to manipulate materials and tools in the real world that can be applied well outside of the arts areas.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector contributes $12.2 billion to Minnesota’s economy, representing 3.5% of the state’s GDP—a larger share than some other industries in the state. A new study, Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector found that 1269 nonprofit arts and culture organizations support the equivalent of 33,381 full time jobs.
Art Educators can teach classes at any level in public and private school settings, but also in community education, camp and church settings and workshops.
Most art educators will pursue a Masters Degree in Art Education, or a related educational field in ordrer to advance their career and income. Some art educators may choose to leave the field in order to pursue advanced degrees in the arts such as a Master of Fine Arts. This qualifies an artist to teach at a college level, and also prepares for a more competitive art career, with income opportunities like grants, residencies, museums exhibitions and galleries. Other advanced degree opportunities include Art Therapy, Art Conservation, and Arts Management, etc.
The skills any student learns in Art Education or Studio Art prepare a student in general for careers that value problem solving, creativity, planning and management, manual expertise, and visual literacy. Many art students go on to careers in management and operations.