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MA, Art, Education, and Community Practice

Earn Your MA in Art Education

Our community of socially engaged artists/designers, educators, activists, and community organizers work together to create critical art interventions that inspire dialogue and catalyze social change. This intimate and interdisciplinary program connects art and social justice, grounded in a pedagogy of hope and possibility.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

MA Art, Education, and Community Practice

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline
Start Date
Application Deadlines
Extended Deadline for International Students
Extended Deadline for Domestic Students

The MA Art, Education, and Community Practice Degree balances theory and practice through classroom projects enacted in public spaces and in partnership with local organizations.

In courses such as Art and Ideas: What is Social Practice Art? and Critical Pedagogy, Artists, and the Public Sphere, you will explore the history and political context of socially engaged art and popular education, as well as creative strategies for activism and organizing.

Throughout the program, you will work with community organizations in an effort to enact social transformation. Your capstone project will provide an opportunity to design, implement, and document an artistic intervention in diverse sites around the city including schools, community organizations, museums, and the streets.

Our program is intimate and flexible, encouraging you to take courses within our department and with faculty from across the different schools at New York University. You will take one required foundational course in each of our program modules⁠ – Contemporary Artistic Practice, Educational Theory, and Social Activism⁠ – and can choose additional electives according to personal and professional interests.

The Contemporary Artistic Practice module addresses the expanding field of socially engaged art in the US and Internationally. You will examine the history and practices of artistic activism and its relationship to the public sphere and democracy.

The Education Theory module provides a firm grounding in social justice education inspired by Paulo Freire. The module envisions the activist artist-educator as one who can apply pedagogical practices to artistic endeavors.

The Social Activism module applies artistic and educational practices to social activism and community engagement. Course work explores the history, politics, and ethics of working in local, global, and virtual contexts.

Throughout the program we leverage our unique location in the Lower East Side and New York City, home to artists and activists, by inviting activist artists to work with students and explore how art can be used as a tool to open dialogue about a community’s  history, culture, and social needs.

Faculty and Staff list

View student projects on the Program Blog 

Our graduates go on to work as artist-educators and administrators in museums, community-based organizations, cultural institutions, and not-for-profit organizations as well as K–12 schools and colleges. Students have also gone on to get advanced degrees⁠ – PhDs or EdDs in universities in the US and overseas. Some enter the program working for organizations, and our degree allows them to move up to a higher professional position in the organization, such as moving from being an educator to managing the program.

If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact Meghan Wilcox at

Related Degrees

MA, Teaching Art, Grades K–12, Initial Certification

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MA, Teachers of Art, Grades K–12, Professional Certification

Become an artist-educator with the skills to change the landscape of art education, while working toward your professional teaching certification.

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