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Today’s Top Master’s in Art Education Online

Author: Mikala Lugen

Editor: Kari Scare

The arts enhance many aspects of our lives, and teaching others to appreciate and even perform them brings value to a community as a whole. An online master’s program in art education prepares you for schools, museums, and art organizations.

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A person wearing a denim shirt and a yellow headband is holding a paintbrush in one hand and a paint jar in the other, with a focused expression. Their hands are stained with paint, indicating active engagement in painting. There is a colorful canvas in the background.

Are you passionate about art and education? Consider pursuing a master’s in art education online. The median annual wage for art educators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is around $93,440 with a projected job growth rate as fast as the national average for all other occupations. Enrolling in an online master’s program also allows you to earn your degree at your own pace through affordable, flexible course scheduling that enables you to work and advance your career on your own time.

It’s normal to have questions about earning a master’s degree online, including how much it will cost, what you’ll learn, which schools are best, and others. This guide answers those questions by detailing some online master’s degrees in art education programs, projected costs, course examples, and more.

A Closer Look at Three Online Master’s in Art Education Programs

Looking to advance your career in art education? Explore these best-in-class master’s in art education programs offering affordability, flexibility, and accreditation. These programs meet the needs of working professionals by providing a high-quality, accredited education that fits their schedule and budget. Check out the top three school spotlights below.

Boston University

A red rectangle with a white border contains the text "Boston University" in capital white letters.

Boston University’s online Master of Arts in Art Education is specifically designed for working educators who want to enhance their skills and advance their careers. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the 32-credit online program can be completed in 18 to 24 months and offers two faculty-designed focuses, Arts Education Leader and Artist Teacher. This online program features a unique, contemporary approach to art education with courses spanning Contemporary Issues in Art Education, Advocacy and Policy, Special Populations, and more.

While the program can be completed fully online, students have the option to participate inSummer Studios for intensive, hands-on instruction or enroll in the program’s Venice Studio Arts study abroad program. Boston University’s master’s degree in art education online costs $997 per credit hour and has a range of financial aid available. Online students also receive extensive support services that include academic advising, career counseling, and access to library resources.

University of Florida

University of Florida’s Master of Arts in Art Education is accredited by NASAD. The completely online program – which can be completed in two years – focuses on providing students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to advance their careers in multicultural and intercultural applications. Coursework spans the history and ongoing evolution of art education, individual studio practice, and more.

The 36-credit program emphasizes active learning and collaborative projects and has no testing. Students typically take one course at a time and two courses per semester. Additionally, applicants have easy admission requirements with no GRE test scores required and the opportunity to use UF’s graduate research award to pursue conferences and fieldwork. The program is also highly affordable at just $600 per credit hour.

University of Nebraska at Kearney

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Master of Arts in Education is a standout online program tailored for working professionals in museum education careers or those teaching art in K-12 school systems. The 33-credit online program has two concentration areas, Classroom Education Emphasis and Museum Education Emphasis. Graduates are prepared for careers as art directors, creative directors, art museum curators, art gallery managers, art program directors, children’s museum educators, and more.

Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the program includes coursework related to research methods, history and theories of art education, art methods for young children, experimental art practices, and more. Enrollment for this online program requires a K-12 art education certification or state teaching licensure as well as an accredited BA or BS degree in art education or a visual art degree program. The cost of this online program is $326 per credit hour for in-state graduate students and $522 for non-resident graduate students with the university offering a range of financial aid opportunities.

Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Art Education Online

Earning a master’s degree in art education online offers numerous benefits. Those benefits include the flexibility of earning a higher education degree on your own time, more affordability than a traditional master’s degree program, the potential for higher-earning positions within the field, and more.

Access to Diverse Community

One of the many advantages of earning a master’s in art education online is access to a diverse community. Because art is composed of a global community of artists and educators, enrolling in an online master’s program gives access to different learning styles, cultural backgrounds, and perspectives from a global network of students and professionals. Online programs bring a larger global community of learners together, allowing them to naturally enhance and work with a diverse set of peers and experts within the field.

Professional Development

Enrolling in a master’s in art education online often leads to increased professional development. Many online master’s degree programs in art education focus on students already working in the field of art education, and online coursework enhances their skills and progresses their teaching with industry trends. Additionally, online programs have a larger global network of students and faculty that promotes professional connections and career opportunities.

Convenience and Flexibility

Earning a master’s degree in art education online is also convenient and flexible. Many online master’s in art education programs are tailored for working professionals, allowing students to progress through coursework on their own time and pace. This allows the full benefit of earning your degree on your own time from anywhere in the world while maintaining your work and personal schedule.

Affordability

One of the many advantages of earning a master’s degree in art education online is its affordability. Traditional, in-person master’s programs have additional costs like housing, commuting, meal plans, and more. Because of this, the average cost of a traditional master’s degree in education is $42,010, while many online programs are half that price. Online programs also have access to an institution’s ongoing financial aid opportunities for graduate students.

Higher Earning Potential

Teachers with a master’s degree, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), can earn an additional $2,760 per year on average compared to those with just a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, many employers offer tuition assistance to fund their teachers earning their master’s degrees and gaining additional skills within the field of teaching. They often also offer increased pay.

Online Art Education Graduate Programs Curriculum

In a master of art education online program, expect a comprehensive curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills. Courses are similar to and may overlap with other master’s in education courses while also focusing on art education theory, history and theories of art education, art methods for young children, experimental art practices, and more.

The pacing of online programs may differ from on-campus programs and come with more flexibility for completing coursework, whether full-time or part-time. Online programs – like those offered at Boston University, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney – can be completed in as little as two years with full-time online enrollment.

Popular Courses

While combining education and art, courses within an online master’s in art education are fun, yet practical. They deepen your understanding of art education theory, enhance your practical skills, and inspire innovative teaching approaches within your classroom or workplace.

History Of Art Education

In a history of art education course, you learn about the Western origins and ongoing development of visual arts education in the U.S. along with invisible histories and non-Western influences. You explore some key historical developments, influential educators, and significant movements that have shaped the field and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural, social, and philosophical contexts that have influenced art education practices.

Curriculum Planning & Teaching

In a curriculum planning and teaching course, you learn how to develop effective art education curricula and implement innovative teaching strategies. Additionally, you develop an understanding of various theories and approaches to structuring art curricula, including integration of state learning standards, contemporary approaches to art, learning and conceptions of art, and considering students’ stages of development and comprehension.

Inclusive Diversity in the Art Classroom

Through a course focused on inclusive diversity in the art classroom, you learn to create inclusive and culturally diverse art education environments. Whether you plan or are already working in a school setting, museum, or other location, it’s important to know strategies for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the art classroom for students with physical, intellectual, and cognitive special needs as well as other underrepresented student groups. This course enhances skills in curriculum adaptations, instructional accommodations, classroom management techniques, and more.

Art Education Research Methods

Often a required course, art education research methods teaches how to properly and effectively conduct research in the field of art education. This prepares you for your capstone research project and its hefty research and writing requirements. This class explores different research methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches, and teaches you how to design and implement research studies, and effectively present your research findings.

Contemporary Issues in Art Education

In this course, you explore ways in which contemporary issues in art, education, and society influence theories and practices in art education. You examine topics like the impact of technology on art education, the role of art in promoting social change, and challenges faced by art educators in diverse educational settings. At Boston University, the course focuses on investigating the popularity of masks in global contemporary art while the University of Florida gives a broader overview of issues at large.

Art Education Specialization Options

With art education blending both education and art, the career possibilities are broad and endless! If you know what direction you want to take in your education and career, many schools offer concentration and program specialization areas for more focused coursework.

Classroom Education

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a classroom education emphasis within its Master of Art Education online program. It’s designed for educators already teaching art in K-12 schools to enhance their knowledge of current trends and theories for use within the art classroom. This specialization allows working master students to maximize learning effectiveness for students while advancing their careers.

Museum Education

The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a museum education emphasis within its master of art education online program. This concentration allows students to implement effective and engaging art programs, activities, and exhibits in collaboration with artists, educators, and communities at museums for a variety of audiences, including both adults and children. Students learn about museum education theory and practice to prepare them for careers in museum education departments.

Arts Education Leader

Offered at Boston University as one of its two faculty-designed focuses, the Arts Education Leader concentration focuses on developing leadership skills specific to the field of art education. Courses span curriculum development, program evaluation, and advocacy in art education for K-12 students. This concentration prepares graduates for leadership and management roles in schools, museums, community organizations, and other educational settings.

Accreditation for Arts Education Master’s Program

The accrediting organization for a Master of Education (MEd) in Arts Education program is typically the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). NASAD accredits undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design disciplines, including art education. Accreditation from NASAD ensures that a program meets high standards of quality and prepares students for careers in the field of arts education.

How Much a Master’s in Art Education Might Cost

It’s important to understand the financial commitment of earning any master’s in education before you enroll. Some employers help fund a student’s tuition to earn an MEd to specialize in skills they can bring back to their workplace.

The cost of an online master’s in art education varies depending on the type of school –private or public – and if you’re paying as an in-state or out-of-state student. Don’t let the cost of earning an online master’s degree in art education prevent you from enrolling, though, since there are plenty of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, fellowships, work-study programs, and more, specifically for graduate students.

Examples of Online Master’s Tuition Costs

School No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Tuition

32

$997

$31,904

36

$600

$21,600

33

$326 – $522

$10,758 – $17,226

Career Opportunities with a Master’s Art Education Degree

There are various career paths available to those with an MEd in art education. Graduating with a master’s in art education online qualifies you for prosperous careers like art teacher, museum and exhibit educator, art professor, and more.

Art Teacher

One of the most common and promising careers resulting from earning a master’s degree in art education is becoming an art teacher. A master’s in art education gives you the skills required for advanced teaching positions and to teach various art forms. The median annual wage for art teachers, according to the BLS is around $77,280. Additionally, according to Zippia, over 60,000 new jobs for art teachers are projected to open up in the next decade.

Museum Educator

With schools like the University of Nebraska at Kearney offering a museum education concentration in its online masters of art education, becoming a museum educator is a prosperous and fulfilling career. Museum educators develop and lead educational programs for adults and children when they visit the museum and may also help curate and set up specific exhibitions. The median annual wage for archivists, curators, and museum workers, according to the BLS, is $53,420 per year with a projected job growth of 10% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Art Professor

Similar to that of an art teacher, an art professor is also a prosperous career. Instead of teaching K-12 students, an art professor works with college-level students in advanced art courses. Art professors teach various art disciplines, conduct research, and may work and publish their own form of art. With a master’s degree, you can typically teach at community colleges or as adjunct faculty at universities. The BLS places the median annual wage for postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers at around $94,070. Additionally, Recruiter gives art professors and postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers a projected job growth rate of 3.85% over the next few years.

Frequently Asked Questions: Online Master’s in Art Education

What are the prerequisites for admission into a master's program in art education?

Most online master’s in art education programs are designed for those who already have a teaching license. Because of this, most require prospective students to submit their state teaching licensure for acceptance. These programs also usually require:

  • Program application
  • Application fee
  • State teaching licensure
  • Transcript from an accredited BA or BS degree in art, education, or a related field
  • Minimum GPA ranging from 2.5 to 3.0
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV highlighting relevant experience
  • GRE scores, though many schools don’t have this requirement

Is teaching experience required for an online graduate art education program?

Most online master’s in art education programs are designed for those who already have a teaching license. However, teaching experience is not always required for admission to an online graduate art education program. Programs like the one offered at Boston University offer a non-licensure program designed for students who simply want to learn more about art education but do not desire licensure to teach in American primary and secondary schools.

What is the typical length for completing an online program?

The typical length for completing an online master’s in art education program is 18 to 24 months of full-time study. However, program lengths vary depending on credit requirements and full-time or part-time status. Part-time enrollment extends the completion date but may allow more flexibility for working and busy schedules. Most online master’s degree programs in art education are 30 to 35 credits, and many students continue working while in school.

Is it possible to get an art education master's exclusively online?

Many universities offer fully online or hybrid programs that allow students to complete all or most of their coursework online. Some online programs – like the one at Boston University – offer optional on-campus and study-abroad experiences that can be beneficial for online students should they want a temporary immersive learning experience.