Master’s in Art Education Degrees & Schools Guide

Master's Degree in Art Education Career Options & Salary

Why Earn a Master’s in Art Education?

Earning your master’s degree in art education gives you the potential to become a leader in the art teaching field, no matter what level you may teach. You could even choose not to work in an educational institution, instead, working in a cultural art setting. You may realize that an art education degree gives you what you need to move ahead in your career.

Should you apply and do you have the required qualifications to be considered? If you are already a Pre-K to 12th grade art educator who plans to earn professional development credits, you should be able to find a program that meets your goals. Once you graduate, you’ll be able to find work as a college teacher, art center teacher, arts administrator, educational media consultant, as an educational text author, a curriculum director, gallery consultant, museum educator, or you could return to your previous role as a PreK-12th grade teacher.

Education Degrees & Career Paths


A degree in art education blends theory and practice in visual arts, community arts education, and knowledge of art in museum settings. You can’t help but benefit from such a degree.

Even more, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in art education, it will be easier for you to return to school and pursue your MS degree in art education at the same time as you work toward licensing.

You may also be offered a graduate assistantship, which will provide additional and needed financial support. You’ll also gain needed professional development in this role.

If you aren’t sure that returning to school is the right thing for you to do, take some time and give it some thought. If you aspire to work in an art setting, even if it isn’t a classroom, a master’s in art education will help you do so.

You can earn your master’s even as you continue to teach, by using your required continuing education credits (CEUs) to work toward your graduate degree.


Returning to school is never easy, especially if you have to keep working full-time. If you went straight into teaching from graduation, you may find that your income is more important than school.

If you are happy at your current teaching experience and level, then why make drastic changes? If you already have a consistent career and your supervisors are happy with your work, why leave?

If your employer provides internal training and fosters a positive learning environment, why return to school? If you stay where you are and begin to develop expertise in the content areas in which you teach, you’ll be able to make yourself even more valuable to school administrators.

Next, it is never easy or cheap to return to school. Even with scholarships, grants, graduate assistantships, and student loans; having enough money for bills could become difficult, especially if you have had to cut back on work.

Overview of a Master's in Art Education

What Art Education Master’s Degrees are Available?

  • Master of Arts in Art Education:
    This degree allows you to enhance your education practice and move your career forward. By teaching your students how to express themselves artistically, you’ll change their lives for the better.
  • Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed) - Art Education:
    This degree meets your needs if you are already teaching art within a K-12 school district. If you already hold your BS or BA degree in Art Education or your BFA, BA, or BS in a Visual Arts degree program, Museum Studies, or Art History it will benefit you. It will now, however, give you the needed teaching certification that allows you to teach.
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Art Education:
    This degree program provides an education to exceptional artists, teachers, designers, educators, activists, and teachers as it helps contribute to creating a culture that places value in creativity, diversity, and social justice.
  • Master of Science in Art Education:
    Visual communication is strongly emphasized in this degree program. In today’s world, communication through images, videos, and photos has made it easier to communicate and express ideas. As an artist, you know the world is a huge stage that enables you to make yourself and your artistic talent known. As an educator, you teach these principles to your students.

Admission Requirements

Complete your admission application—many are now found on each university’s website. With your application, include the application fee, your official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from every university you attended previously. You’ll also write and submit your personal statement. submit your General Record Examination (GRE) scores—these must be less than five years old, and submit your art portfolio straight to the Art Education departments of each university you are interested in attending. If you are a student for whom English is a second language, you will have to submit your official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

How long does it take to earn a Art Education Master’s?

Most master’s degree programs require you to complete between 30 and 36 credit hours. Because of the intensity of your required study, you won’t take as many credits as you did in your undergraduate program. Instead, expect to take between six credits (part-time) and nine credits (full-time) per semester in your master’s program.

By the time you complete all of your credits and your capstone project, you will have been back in school for two academic years. You may also be required to choose a specific track which should reflect the area of art education in which you are most interested.

Potential Careers in Art Education with a Master’s

  • Art professor:
    You’ll use different skills and approaches as you teach college students. Art programs and fine arts programs at the university level are actually a training ground for students who aspire to be artists or art teachers. Expect to work as either a part-time lecturer or full-time tenured faculty.
    Average annual salary: $86,400
  • Museum Educator:
    You should be comfortable interacting with the public every day. You’ll have to engage in public speaking and know how to connect to people of all ages. You’ll also have to be comfortable with flexibility, because you may give a tour of an ancient Egyptian art exhibit to young students; the next day, you may be interacting with school teachers, discussing classroom best practices. You may also train docents for upcoming exhibitions.
    Median annual salary: $35,700
  • Community Arts Organizer/Program Staff:
    Your role may also fall under education coordinator. Your work will be similar to museum educators; you’ll work with several audience types and media. You won’t have to make use of artwork or artifacts from the museum collection. Instead, you’ll be connecting families, students, and schools with opportunities your organization has arranged. You may bring students to your location, manage teaching artists, provide residencies at other art-oriented locations, or provide art workshops.
    Average annual salary: $39,400
  • Curriculum Coordinator:
    As either an individual or a member of a team, you’ll be in charge of school programming, instruction, and assessment for art teachers throughout your school district. While you no longer teach, you continue watching how art instruction works in combination with other education areas, such as English or math. You may also reach out to other institutions to develop partnerships.
    Average annual salary: $49,300

Options to Advance

Earn a Master of Education (MEd) degree. With this, you’ll be able to advance to a principal’s position in a school district or an administrator in the arts for your school district. If you have ever used your art for an art therapy position, then a school or career counselor may be a natural next step for you. In a school counselor role, you’ll assist students with mental or social issues. As a career counselor, you’ll help students with college choices.

Consider returning to school to earn your Doctor of Education. In this program, you’ll be eligible to apply for an Advanced Certificate in Creative Technologies, which will help you as an art teacher or administrator. This certificate is worth 15 credits. For this certificate, submit your digital portfolio and one recommendation letter. You’ll also have to submit your portfolio when you submit your application for admission.

Best Master of Science in Art Education Programs

  • New York University
    New York, NY

    Albert Gallatin declared his wish to establish a “system of rational and practical education fitting for all and graciously opened to all.” Today, it is one of the largest private educational institutions in the entire United States. Enrollment has risen from 168 in its first semester to more than 50,000 students.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts, Education and Community Practice
    • Master of Arts, Teaching Art, Initial Certification
  • Lesley University
    Cambridge, MA

    Edith Lesley began a school to train teachers in 1909. Because of her forward-thinking ideas, today’s Lesley University was made possible. Faculty members work to engage every student in transformative education, using active learning, diverse forms of artistic expression, and scholarly research.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Art Education
  • California University of Pennsylvania
    California, Pennsylvania

    California University of Pennsylvania, located in California, PA, was founded in 1852. Students benefit from best-in-class housing opportunities, recreation facilities, an on-campus farm, and lots of green space. This public university has a small student-to-faculty ratio, providing students with even more benefits.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) Art
  • St. Joseph’s University
    Philadelphia, PA

    In 1851, several young men gathered outside St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia. After High Mass, the young men were sent to their assigned classes in a building near the church. This was the humble beginning of the university.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Art Education K-12
  • George Mason University
    Fairfax, Virginia

    George Mason University is classified as a public, comprehensive research university. It was established by the Commonwealth of Virginia, as an innovative, inclusive academic community. A large part of its mission is to create a more just, free, and prosperous world.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Art Education

Traditional Schools Offering an MS in Art Education

  • Boston University
    Boston, MA

    Boston University educates more than 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 130 countries. More than 10,000 faculty, staff, 17 schools and colleges offer more than 300 programs of study. The university recently committed almost $490,000 to research funding.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Art Education
  • University of Missouri (Mizzou Online)
    Columbus, Missouri

    Mizzou Online offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates for its students. The university is proud to highlight its Mizzou Online staff, which has more than 600 years of collective service in online and adult education services.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Art Education
  • Eastern Illinois University
    Charleston, Illinois

    Eastern Illinois University ranks high in the list of Midwest universities, as reported by U.S. News and World Report. Faculty and administrators work hard to bring a large menu of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to its students.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Art Education
  • University of Central Florida
    Orlando, Florida

    The University of Central Florida’s online division wants to see everyone who wants to reach their fullest potential get that opportunity. UCF works to provide educational access to every student seeking a high-quality learning experience.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Art Education
  • Kent State University
    Kent, Ohio

    Kent State University welcomes students from every area of the world to gain the education and skills they need so that, once they graduate, they will be able to make our world brighter and better.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Art Education