Teaching Art - Professional Certification

Welcome to Art + Education at NYU!

At NYU Steinhardt's Art + Education program, you have access to:

  • Greenwich Village and New York City, the cultural capital of the world, including world-renowned museums such as The New Museum, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum, along with nearby galleries in the Lower East Side and Chelsea
  • an internationally renowned and dedicated faculty of artist/educators working in diverse artistic and educational contexts across the city
  • studio courses taught by leading contemporary artists
  • a comprehensive and balanced curriculum in visual art and pedagogy that combines theory with teaching practice
  • a flexible program of study that can be tailored to your interests
  • a richly diverse and multicultural community committed to social justice

Coursework in the professional certification program is designed for students who already have an initial teaching art certificate and wish to pursue graduate training that positions the artist-teacher as cultural producer, intellectual, and activist.

Grounded in contemporary art and critical pedagogy that fosters social transformation, students explore the making and teaching of art as a social act, and consider its philosophical, historical, political, economic, and sociological contexts. Students develop a pedagogical foundation through courses in education, art education, and research methodologies while continuing their work as artists in graduate-level studio courses.

The program is tailored to student interests, allowing them to take courses in the various schools and programs at New York University. Special partnerships with museums, non-profit art organizations, and educational initiatives provide students with a wide range of opportunities to gain practical and professional experience in the field. Special projects and guest speakers offer additional professional opportunities and experiences.

The 30-credit MA program meets the academic requirements for New York State professional certification. To fulfill the total requirements for professional certification, a candidate must additionally complete three years of school experience as a full-time paid teacher. This requirement can be fulfilled while taking courses toward the master’s degree.

Classes are small and personal attention is given to each student throughout the duration of program, from initial advisement through completion of the master's final project. 

The program can be completed in as little as 3 semesters or 12 months, as a full-time student. The program can also be completed as a part-time student in two years.

The NYU Steinhardt Teacher Education Program is fully accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Certification Requirements

In addition to completing all coursework, students must successfully complete all required New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and Assessments. Scores must be submitted to the New York State Education Department before it will consider issuing a certificate to teach in public schools in New York State.

Currently all candidates seeking certification in Visual Arts, All Grades (Pre-K-12) are required to take the following exams: LAST, Elem or Sec ATS-W (not both), Visual Arts Content Specialty Test.

The NYSED anticipates that candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014 will be required to take new exams, please see details on the NYSED website here and from the NYS Teacher Certification Examinations website.

For more information about the certification process please see the NYU Steinhardt Timetable for Certification.


Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including studio art, community-based organizations, graphic design, and a variety of teaching experiences and contexts. Enrolled students are interested in working in the public sector in schools as well as community-based, non-profit, and for-profit educational contexts.

The professional certification program prepares teachers and curriculum specialists in visual art for positions in elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City, nationally, and internationally. Our graduates also work as educators in museums, community-based programs, and arts organizations, and some pursue doctoral study in art education, curriculum, and instruction.

Students can complete the Professional Certification program in as little as 3 semesters of full-time course work. Students begin the program in the Fall semester and complete their coursework the following Summer semester.  The initial and professional certificate programs enroll a total of 15-20 new students each year. Students may participate in the program on a full-time or part-time basis.  

For Examples of Student Work

See our Art + Education blog.

More Information

Information sessions for the Art + Education MA programs will be offered throughout the Fall semester.

Information Session details & schedule.

Or, contact Julia Olson, Graduate Professions Adviser, at juliaolson@nyu.edu.