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Overview of a Bachelors in Art Education

As you learn more about bachelor’s degree programs in art education, keep in mind that you may teach any grade level from kindergarten up to the 12th grade or any K-12 classroom. Look for an educational program that helps find art educators employment upon successful completion of their undergraduate art education courses, initial teacher licensure, full teaching certification, and have years of accumulated experience in their the field of art or art education in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools. As you gain experience, you will also gain more rewarding career opportunities and professional development possibilities. A bachelor's degree in education from an approved teacher education program is the minimum requirement for you to earn licensure and a teaching certificate.

Your art education program should teach you how to synthesize knowledge and use the art skills you learned in the studio; you should also be able to do the same with the art history classes you took. Ideally, your program should give you opportunities to take part in art education conferences at both the state and national level and you may also be required to spend some hours volunteering in art-related events in your community. On a related note, try to join education and art clubs while you are in school. An undergraduate art education degree program, whether earned on-campus or taken as an online art education, will cover a variety of subjects, including the following.

  • Classroom Management
  • How to Create Lesson Plans
  • Pedagogy and Effective Teaching Practices
  • Child Development
  • History of Art
  • Contemporary Art Education Theory
  • Various Electives in Your Chosen Subject Matter or a Separate Art Degree
  • And More

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You give yourself several advantages when you sign up for an art education major. You’ll be able to continue learning about art, staying involved in creating your own pieces of art.

Because you can do this, you’ll also be able to use your art in the classroom to highlight current societal and human issues, so you and your fellow teachers can educate your students.

If your university approaches art education from a psychological basis, your student will be able to enhance their creativity and organize the experiences they have had in their young lives.

Those classroom internships (student teaching) aid you as you develop your own unique skill sets that will back you up when you begin your job search. Your coursework should do the same, making you dig deep to learn new education and art techniques. After graduation, your theoretical learning and practical experience will back up your job search.


If you choose to stop with a bachelor’s degree, you may limit your opportunities when it’s time for you to move up the career ladder. You’ll be teaching art to your students but if you are considered for a new position requiring you to have an advanced education going beyond a bachelor’s degree, you won’t be chosen.

Look at all the art- and education-related roles you may hold throughout your career: K-12 art teacher, community arts organization teacher, art teacher at a junior/community college, art therapy, art education curriculum creator, museum educator, art exhibit designer, or art curator. While your bachelor-level classes will give you the material you need to teach lower-level courses, a lot of these careers will be out of reach.

Associate vs. Bachelor's

What Art Education Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Art Education (BS-AE)
    This degree is designed to help you become an art educator. This degree fully trains you as both an artist and educator. In fact, you have to take the same number of studio art courses as students who are majoring in studio art.
  • Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education
    This four-year degree focuses on education and fine art. You’ll learn about teaching children and adolescents how to think visually. You’ll learn how to demonstrate the close relationships between culture, art, and history.
  • Online Bachelor of Fine Arts/Master of Arts in Art Education
    This combined degree focuses on studio teaching as you major on one of several studio disciplines (printmaking, painting, sculpture, or graphic design).
  • Online Bachelor of Art Education in Art Education (BA Ed)
    You’ll be immersed in intern teaching and, when you complete this, a secondary intern teaching block. Coursework will focus on both education and art.
  • Online Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Education
    Once you complete your degree, you’ll be prepared to teach at any level, from kindergarten through 12th grade. After helping to run a Young Artist’s Workshop, you’ll have the skills needed to teach.

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Admission Requirements for Art Education Programs

Students applying for a bachelor’s degree will need to provide a variety of proofs that they are capable of completing a college education. These include: a high school diploma or GED, acceptable ACT or SAT scores, a minimum GPA score might be required for more exclusive colleges, students who completed their secondary educations outside the U.S. must satisfy English proficiency requirements, schools may require letters of recommendation, and you’ll need to complete an application and pay any required fees. If you have already completed an associate art education program, your diploma and GPA will be required.

Teacher education often has additional requirements. You should contact your state’s Board of Education to learn what these are for your major. Even if you complete the admissions process, this doesn’t guarantee a slot for you.

How long does it take to earn a Art Education Bachelor's Online?

Each university has its own required number of credits students have to earn before they can graduate. For instance, you may need to earn at least 120 semester credit hours. If you take 12 credits per semester, you should expect to graduate in 10 semesters or five years. If you take 15 credits per semester, you’ll cut this down, meaning you’ll graduate closer to four years after you start school.

If you accumulate any “I” grades (incomplete), you will have to clear these from your transcript by re-taking the class. Maintain a minimum GPA to pass your courses satisfactorily.

Potential Careers in Art Education with a Bachelor’s

  • Art Therapist:
    Once you graduate with your art education degree, you may need additional education and training to work as an art therapist (master’s degree in psychology, art therapy, social work, or counseling). You’ll work with patients with emotional or mental health challenges. Art therapy helps them to unleash a hidden creativity that allows you and them to explore their feelings so they can begin to make improvements in their mental health and overall life.
    Average annual salary: $44,400
  • Early Childhood Education:
    Expect to work with young children, helping them to improve their educational potential as they get older. You’ll work with children between the ages of 3 and five (kindergarten). Art education allows you to help them learn to express their creativity. You’ll help your students with motor skills, emotional development, writing, and reading.
    Average annual salary: $35,000
  • Counselor:
    You’ll treat and possibly diagnose mental health disorders in your clients. To help your clients, you may choose to use art therapy as a modality. If you have a background in art and mental health, you’ll be able to help your clients face their issues and begin healing.
    Average annual salary: $40,700
  • School Psychologist:
    As the job title implies, you mainly work within a school setting. You’ll work with students, assessing and interpreting testing results as you and the schools work to ensure that they receive the best possible education to which they are entitled. You’ll observe students and their learning environments, diagnose learning disorders, mental health issues, and behavioral problems.
    Average annual salary: $60,200
  • Superintendent:
    You are the lead administrator of an entire school system. The school board supervises your work and decisions; in fact, this body hires you. You hire principals for every school in your district. You have the final decision on teacher dismissal or discipline. You’ll work closely with the school board to develop and maintain the budget.
    Average annual salary: $117,600

Salary by Occupation

Occupations Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
Art Teacher, K-12 $31,000 $44,609 $65,000
Art Education Teacher $31,000 $45,000 $62,000
Art Education Teacher, BFA $29,000 $47,000 $54,000
Art Education Teacher, BFAEd $25,000 $46,000 $66,000
Art Teacher, Secondary Education $32,000 $55,000 $66,000
Art Education Teacher, MA $35,000 $43,000 $64,000

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Additional Education to Advance

If you think you might want to advance after earning your BA, why not consider a combined degree? That is, a combined BA and MA or MS in Art Education. In this type of online program, you’ll be in school for five years. This is about the amount of time you would be in school, taking 12 credits per semester for your bachelor’s in art education.

In this combined online program, you earn a BA in art and an MS in art education. The goal of this type of online program is to help prepare art educators for both private and public-school teaching and for advancement to the next level after that. After earning your degrees, you’ll hold advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in art education, as well as the roles of education inside the more-broad contexts of both society and culture.

Best Bachelor of Science in Art Education Programs

  • Northern Arizona University
    Flagstaff, Arizona

    NAU opened its doors 120 years ago, with the philosophy of “students first.” It still holds this philosophy and strives to meet it daily. The university’s academic offerings are intended to meet the needs of today’s generations.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Art Education, Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Marian University
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    This Catholic university was founded in 1851, by Sister Theresa Hackelmeier. She wanted to establish an American religious congregation in Oldenburg, Indiana, where the German-speaking students would learn. In 1936, the school transitioned into a four-year, state approved institution. Its name changed from St. Francis Normal to Marian College.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Creative Arts: Studio Arts and Education (Art Education)
  • Lamar University
    Beaumont, Texas

    Near Houston, Lamar University is one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas. Lamar offers more than 100 programs for students earning bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is nationally recognized for its high-quality core curriculum and the diversity of its student body.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Studio Art - Art Education
  • West Virginia University
    Morgantown, West Virginia

    Diversity is the word at West Virginia University. Students may hear Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, Italian, or German being spoken on campus. Individuals from the student body have come from all 50 states and more than 100 nations.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education
  • Long Island University
    Brooklyn, New York

    Long Island University was founded in 1926. As time passed, the university bought the Marjorie Merriweather Post estate in 1951, once it knew families of students had begun to move to the suburbs. Today, LIU offers more than 200 programs (certificate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral).

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Art Education

  • Academy of Art university
    San Francisco, California

    The Academy’s goal is to be the first choice for students who want a world-class education. This university also works hard to prepare students who want to be art teachers. In addition to preparing students to teach art, the school teaches art and design.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Education
  • Ohio State University
    Columbus, Ohio

    For more than 149 years, Ohio State University has been a central location for academic achievement. It is also where revelry and rivalries have begun and where friendships have started.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Art Education (BAE)
  • Oral Roberts University
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Oral Roberts University offers more than 77 undergraduate majors. It also offers more than 65 undergrad minors, 14 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs. As a leading Christian university, ORU embraces a global format both at home and abroad.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Art Education Specialization
  • Indiana State university
    Terre Haute, Indiana

    Indiana State University’s mission is to help create knowledge, maintaining its long commitment to inclusiveness and the community. The university is also dedicated to ensuring that access to education is available to all who want it. The entire university melds teaching, research, and activity in ways that support a learning environment for all.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Art Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What grades can I teach with this degree?

The great thing about this bachelor’s degree is that you can choose which grade you wish to teach while you are in school. You can teach any grade level between preschool to 12th grade with a bachelor’s. It’s important to note that you’ll need to earn a master’s degree to teach art at the college level, but that’s true for any college-level teaching role. So, if you think that you’d like to teach art to elementary students and prepare them for artistic futures by getting the basics down early, you can do so. But, if you are more interested in supporting the creativity of older students, then you can earn an endorsement that will allow you to teach art to students attending high school. Either way, you’ll be able to teach what you love.

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