The Department of Visual Art has been authorized by the University and the Kansas Board of Regents to offer the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Visual Art Education. The Visual Art Education graduate program strives to advance students’ understanding of art education with a complement of courses that explores historical studies of art education, art criticism, studio work, and aesthetics. An important goal of the curriculum is the development of a broad perspective of art education through multicultural studies, cognitive approaches in teaching and learning, assessment in teaching, and technological issues that arise in contemporary society. Students’ programs are tailored to their interests for specialties in areas such as studio, art history, evaluation, and others.

The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The entrance and graduation requirements in this catalog conform to the published guidelines of those organizations.

Graduate Admission - M.A. Visual Art Education

Application deadlines:

December 1 - Spring admission

May 1 - Fall admission

Admission requirements for regular status:

  1. Entrance into the M.A. degree program requires a bachelor's degree, from an accredited institution, which encompasses a minimum of 40 semester hours in fine arts studio (courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, design, printmaking, ceramics, metalsmithing/jewelry, weaving, lettering, commercial art, graphic design, constructive design, etc.), 9 hours in history of art, and 8 hours in visual art education. Applicants must have an overall undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  2. 1 official transcript.
  3. A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation from former or current instructors and/or those able to recommend the applicant on the basis of professional experience (e.g., principals, supervisors, or former employers). The letters of recommendation must address the applicant’s potential to take initiative as a graduate student and ability to be a self-starter.
  4. Completion of the Graduate Student Information Questionnaire, available in the Visual Art Education M.A. handbook, is required.

Submit your graduate application and fee online, then print a copy and send it along with

  • 1 official transcript of all college and university coursework,
  • Graduate Student Information Questionnaire,
  • 3 letters of recommendation,
  • Graduate Licensure applicants only, Praxis I test scores
  • statement of financial resources (international students) and
  • proof of proficiency in English (international students)

in one envelope to the department:

The University of Kansas
Visual Art Education
Director of Graduate Studies
Art and Design Bldg.
1467 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 300
Lawrence, KS 66045-7531

M.A. in Visual Art Education

The graduate program includes advanced professional and scholarly study for art educators and teaching licensure for those with baccalaureate degrees in other fields who wish to enter art education licensure typically also requires collateral undergraduate study) and advanced study for individuals in related disciplines. Details may be found in the Visual Art Education M.A. handbook, available from the Department of Visual Art.

M.A. Degree Requirements

At least 15 and no more than 18 hours in visual art education are required. The remainder of the coursework can be in related fields such as history of art, education, psychology, etc. This emphasis is appropriate for the student desiring to improve his or her fine arts knowledge and research skills in art education.

Thesis Option

The student completes 9 credit hours of core courses (VAE 800 , VAE 869 , and VAE 875 ), additional elective hours, and an independent experimental, descriptive, historical, or philosophical investigation of a topic related to visual art education. A total of 30 credit hours is required.

Project Option

The student completes 9 credit hours of core courses(VAE 800, VAE 869, and VAE 875), and additional elective hours. A substantial application of theory, principles, and/or products of visual art education in a pedagogical setting must be documented. A total of 30 credit hours is required.

Examination Option

Students take a total of 37 credit hours in required core courses (including VAE 875 Research in Art Education) and elective courses with 36 credit hours in regularly scheduled classes. Students also take a 1-credit-hour course, VAE 890 Preparation for the M.A. Examination, devoted to preparing for a written final examination. Preparation for the examination occurs during the first half of the semester and provides the basis for the course grade. The written examination, taken during the second half of the semester, requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of current issues in the field. If the written exam is deemed unsatisfactory by a majority of the student’s committee, the student will be required to retake the exam. The exact content and format of the second examination will be determined by the student’s committee members.

Graduate Licensure in Art Education

Students who seek to be art teachers in public schools (PreK-12) may obtain licensure as part of the M.A. degree. The licensure track is for individuals with especially strong academic and artistic backgrounds who have completed baccalaureate degrees in studio art, design, art history, or other art-related fields. Coursework is taken at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Upon completion, individuals are recommended by the university for PreK-12 art licensure in Kansas and have earned a significant amount of credit required for the M.A. in Visual Art Education. Prospective students must meet all application requirements for the master’s degree to be considered for licensure in art. For further information, contact the Department of Visual Art at 785-864-4401.