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

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

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.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

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

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

Initial Certification Blog

The MA programs in Art+Education at NYU engage a radical approach to visual art education and artistic practice with a special focus on contemporary art and artists.

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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

Information Sessions

Art + Education Recorded Information Session

View a recorded information session, where our advisors review the program curriculum, discuss the student experience, review application requirements, and end with a Q&A session!

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Art + Education Program Goals

  1. Examine the ways that art making and the teaching of visual art is grounded in historical context and power structures, including social, political, and cultural institutions. 

  2. Build a teaching philosophy based on the understanding that visual art and education can create new knowledge and make meaning about the world in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. This knowledge helps us represent the world in unique ways, as well as transform it as we strive towards equitable and inclusive teaching. 
  3. Develop and implement discipline-based curricula, lesson, and unit plans that are coherent and use experiential learning and culturally relevant pedagogies to support critical thinking, creative inquiry, and social change inspired by contemporary approaches to art making and analysis.
  4. Facilitate clear, creative, and innovative teaching strategies that are student-centered, appropriate to a specific sociopolitical and historical context, and effectively use technology to support student learning.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to be reflective practitioners and effective researchers who understand how to integrate theory/research with pedagogical and classroom practice.
  6. Build relationships with students and families with the goal of fostering student learning, engagement, and well-being and serving as persuasive cultural advocates and community leaders able to articulate the importance of art in schools, institutions, and society at large.
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