Program accreditation
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Program goal

Through engagement with theory, research and emerging technologies, the Master of Art Education program prepares art educators to be mindful professionals who are active in the field of art education.

The program offers two specific options:

  1. One option is for teachers who are already licensed and who wish to deepen their understanding of art education.
  2. The second is for people who hold baccalaureate degrees and wish to earn a master’s degree that may include a teaching license.

The program includes required and elective courses and allows students to pursue an area of interest. All students are expected to work at a high level of independence, be self-motivated, respect peers and instructors and participate in the opportunities that the Department of Art Education and the School of the Arts offer. With the assistance of the adviser, the student determines a viable structure for the content and sequence of a program of graduate study. Such a program can utilize the collective expertise of the art education faculty as well as appropriate community resources. Graduate course work, therefore, could include both on-campus and off-campus involvement.

Opportunities for personal growth through the M.A.E. program also include the rich resources of other graduate departments in the university in the visual and performing arts, education (including supervision, administration and specialty areas), the natural and social sciences and the humanities. Alternative approaches to traditional thesis methods are also encouraged within the program.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Theoretical foundations: Students will demonstrate an ability to analyze varying points of view regarding art education theories.
  2. Research competencies: Students will demonstrate the ability to apply research methods and methodologies to write a realistic proposal.
  3. Skills with and knowledge of emerging technologies: Students will demonstrate knowledge of emerging technologies for teaching, research or art-making.
  4. Command of literature and practice in art education: Students will demonstrate historical and current knowledge of theoretical and practical issues in art education.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.A.E.FallJan 15GRE required if undergraduate GPA is below 3.2; optional if 3.2 or higher.

Special requirements

  • See the School of the Arts admissions page for the specific directions about the portfolio,letters of reference, etc.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Thirty-six undergraduate credit hours of art and art history course work (Students who do not have these credit hours from the undergraduate degree are welcome to take undergraduate courses to earn these credit hours before applying to VCU. These can be taken at any accredited undergraduate institution.)
  • An undergraduate degree in art education, studio art, art history or a related field

It is desired, though not required, for students to have some teaching experience before applying.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the M.A.E. program requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours, including required art education and approved elective courses.

Licensure

For students who also pursuing teaching licensure, there are additional requirements, including:

EDUS   301Human Development and Learning3
ARTE   404Clinical Internship Seminar1
ARTE   550Art for the Exceptional Learner3
or SEDP   505 Theory and Practice of Educating Individuals with Special Needs
ARTE   501Art Education Elementary Materials and Practicum3
ARTE   502Art Education Secondary Materials and Practicum3
A semester of student teaching

The electives in the following curricular requirements account for some of these courses. The M.A.E. plus licensure requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours plus 13-16 of undergraduate credit hours.

Students who wish to be considered for a teaching license are required to complete a series of tests as mandated by the Virginia Department of Education. See arts.vcu.edu/arteducation/mae/testing for additional information.

Written examination

After completing nine credit hours, including ARTE   611, and before completing 18 credit hours, all students are required to submit a written exam. This exam will determine whether a student is approved for degree candidacy and is ready to proceed to the final stages of the degree program. Failure to submit this required exam may result in dismissal from the program. Students who fail the exam will have a second chance the following semester. Students who fail on the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.

Thesis option

A thesis or project option may develop from graduate course work or professional involvement. Projects are those endeavors of thesis proportion that do not fit the traditional thesis format. A thesis or project may be explored by descriptive research, historical research, empirical/statistical research, design of learning packages, philosophical study, curriculum development, action research or other methodologies if deemed appropriate by the adviser and committee.

Comprehensive exam option

In lieu of the thesis, students complete six credit hours of graduate seminar work (ARTE   600 taken twice with different topics and different faculty members) in the Department of Art Education. In addition, students must successfully pass a written and oral comprehensive examination in the later stages of their course work. The examination will pertain to the course work, to contemporary issues in the field and to students’ particular areas of expertise. This option is suggested for students pursuing the track that results in the M.A.E. and simultaneous teaching licensure.

Students who do not pass all portions of the comprehensive exam will have one opportunity to retake the exam the following semester. Students who fail the exam on the second attempt will be dismissed from the program and will not be eligible to graduate from the Department of Art Education.

Curriculum requirements

Thesis option

Core courses
ARTE   611Theory and Literature in Art Education (required first semester)3
ARTE   665Curriculum Development and Evaluation3
ARTE   670Technology in Art Education3
ARTE   690Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education3
Select one of the following:3
Two-dimensional Art Experiences
Three-dimensional Art Experiences
Art for the Exceptional Learner
Seminar: Issues in Art Education
Topics in Art Education
Independent Study in Art Education
Approved electives
Select approved electives at the 500 level or higher and approved by the adviser 115
Thesis
ARTE   799Thesis6
Total Hours36

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 36

Comprehensive exam option

Core courses
ARTE   611Theory and Literature in Art Education (required first semester)3
ARTE   665Curriculum Development and Evaluation3
ARTE   670Technology in Art Education3
ARTE   690Issues and Methods of Inquiry in Art Education3
Select one of the following:3
Two-dimensional Art Experiences
Three-dimensional Art Experiences
Art for the Exceptional Learner
Seminar: Issues in Art Education
Topics in Art Education
Independent Study in Art Education
Approved electives
Select approved electives at the 500 level or higher and approved by the adviser 115
Seminar classes
Take the following course twice: 26
Seminar: Issues in Art Education
Total Hours36
1

ARTE   691, ARTE   799, TEDU   672 and TEDU   674 may not count as approved electives.

2

Taken twice with different topics and different faculty members, after which students are required to take and pass the comprehensive exam.

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 36

Graduate program director
Melanie L. Buffington, Ph.D.
Associate professor
mbuffington@vcu.edu

Program coordinator
Danielle M. Shutt
Program coordinator
artedgrad@vcu.edu
(804) 828-1996

Program website: arts.vcu.edu/arteducation/mae