Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

Students in class with camera

Master of Arts
Teaching Art
Grades K–12, Initial Certification

Get Certified to Teach Art Grades K–12

Focus on contemporary art, social justice education, and critical multiculturalism as you prepare for initial teaching certification. Our course work combines readings and discussions of education, art, and cultural theory with practical experience teaching in elementary and secondary settings including student teaching in public and private schools, and our NYU Visionary Studio Saturday Workshop for high school students.

Request Info
Art Teacher with Students

Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Art Education, Teaching Art, Initial Certification

Licensure or Certification
Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

Art and education are places to wonder, question, and build new knowledge. This degree provides opportunities to enact teaching and art-making as creative and performative practices inspired by contemporary artists who serve as creative role models for investigating and responding to the concerns of our time.

Our courses connect theory and practice, focusing on a progressive social justice approach to teaching and learning in and through the arts. We provide teachers with tools to be persuasive advocates for the importance of the arts in schools and society, as well as to encourage the next generation of citizens who will transform society.

You will participate in two types of fieldwork: serving as a learning partner and then a student teacher, working with elementary and secondary students in schools and through our NYU Visionary Studio Saturday Workshop

You will graduate eligible to apply for New York State initial certification in Visual Art: K–12. 

Explore the Certification Program Blog to learn more about this program.

Personal attention is given to each student throughout the duration of the program. Fieldwork experiences are mentored by a team of NYU faculty. Classes are small, and special projects and guest speakers offer additional professional opportunities and experiences.

Students in this degree join us with a wide range of educational and professional experiences including commercial art jobs in graphic design, advertising, art production, film production, fashion, activism and community organizing. Most students hold a BFA or BA degree in fine art, art history, design in order to fulfill New York State certification requirements. Students are not required to have previous teaching experience but often come with summer camp, after school, teaching artist, or tutoring experience. 

Faculty and Staff

Student Project Blog

Course work in the initial certification degree is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate-level training and initial certification. Our students go on to teach in public, private, charter, and independent schools in the US as well as internationally. Many teach in museum education or not-for-profit and community-based organizations and well as serving other educational roles such as curriculum consultants and on curatorial projects. Some pursue further study in PhD or EdD programs.

The NYU Steinhardt Teacher Education Program is fully accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. For initial certification, students must take all required coursework and successfully complete the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and Assessments

Currently, all candidates seeking certification in Visual Arts, All Grades (PreK–12) are required to take the following exams: Educating All Students (EAS) and Visual Arts Content Specialty Test. 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. Learn more about teacher certification.

If you have any additional questions about our degree, please contact

Students at Freedoms Exhibit

Information Sessions

Drawing of graph on wall

Art+Education Program Goals

  1. Examine the ways that art making and the teaching of art are grounded in power structures situated within social, political, and cultural institutions and history. 
  2. Understand that art and education are forms of knowledge production that allow us to make meaning about the world based on our experiences of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability; this knowledge can help us represent the world, as well as transform it.
  3. Design methods for teaching art and enacting artistic interventions that support critical thinking, creative inquiry, and social change inspired by contemporary approaches to art making, analyzing works of historical and current art, and social activism.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to be reflective practitioners and effective researchers who understand that theory informs practice and practice must be theorized.
  5. Empower persuasive cultural advocates and community leaders able to articulate the importance of art in schools, institutions, and society at large.

Related Degrees

Master of Arts
Art, Education, and Community Practice

Join a community of artists, educators, activists, and community organizers working together to create critical art interventions that inspire dialogue and catalyze social change.

Read More

Take the Next Step

Advance your personal and professional journey – apply to join our community of students.

Apply Now