Master of Arts in Art Education Curriculum

Outlined below is the composition of the 36-hour comprehensive online Master of Arts in Art Education program.

- 9 credits of art education foundations, curriculum theory, and contemporary issues
- 3 credits of Methods of Research and Bibliography
- 9 credits of advanced studio
- 3 credits of art history or criticism
- 6 credits of approved art or education course
- 6 credits of individual research and capstone project

Individuals can complete the curriculum in as little as two years.


One of the unique characteristics of the University of Florida online Master of Arts in Art Education program is its emphasis on immersive, hands-on art making experiences, through the inclusion of advanced studio courses. This includes on-campus summer studio courses during the Summer term in Gainesville, Florida, as well as online studio courses involving new and traditional media. Studio experiences are available on a rotating basis and include such courses as Sketchbook, Printmaking, Digital Photography, Digital Video, Design and Painting.

Course Listing


ART5930C The Digital Image

This course introduces aspects of digital imaging as tools for creating artwork, emphasizing how our relationship to images (how they’re created, perceived, and circulated) is implicated within our digital culture. Through projects, readings, writing assignments, and critique, we will explore the unique imagemaking possibilities provided through digital media, gaining an understanding of its context within histories of art, culture and technology, as well as its contemporary practice. Projects will include use of images sourced from the web, scanned imagery, digital photography, and their manipulation primarily using Adobe Photoshop.

ART5930C Digital Video

This course invites you to explore the potential of digital video. You will learn about how to create video art in a variety of contexts and how to be resourceful using a medium that generally involves high-end often, expensive equipment. Topics include stop motion animation, sequential art, sound, social media, and documentary.  The emphasis will be on the conceptual and experimental, rather than conventional narratives. As part of the studio component for this course, you will also read theoretical texts associated with the practice of video art and screen online videos that contextualize the work of this course with in a contemporary art milieu.

ART5930C Ceramics

This course will cover a range of ceramic hand forming and surface treatment techniques, while focusing on personal idea development. Demonstrations and examples of basic 3D concepts and clay-forming techniques will provide a platform for the advancement of skills and individual artwork. White and Red low fire clays will be used to explore firing options using electric kilns. Students will practice safe clay studio habits as well as kiln loading and firing.

ARE6933 Perspectives on Artistic Development

This course examines current research about artistic learning and development, identifying connections between artistic/aesthetic behaviors and other domains of human development. We consider perspectives derived from varied disciplinary lenses as they inform our own understandings about ways in which artistic learning takes place in the 21st century. Disciplinary perspectives include socio-cultural learning theory, complimented by studies from psychology, anthropology, art education, and art criticism. Art, in this context, is an expansive term that refers to a diverse array of creative visual, aesthetic, and symbolic expressions and cultural productions. Course activities and assignments are set forth in a fast-paced but thoughtful examination of the nature and relevance of artistic learning today.

ARE6148 Curriculum in Teaching Art

This course is structured to assist graduate art education students in developing an understanding of various theories and approaches to structuring art curricula. Emphasis will be on identifying the basic elements of curriculum construction as well as linking contemporary theories and curricular practices in art education with their historical antecedents. At the completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of:

  • the basic elements of curriculum construction (i.e., intent, content, organization, and management).
  • state learning standards in the visual arts and the various art competencies required.
  • contemporary approaches to art curriculum development and their historical antecedents.
  • various theories of learning and conceptions of knowledge, and how they relate to curricular development in art.
  • approaches to assessing the knowledge and competencies required in an art curriculum.
  • print and online resources that support art curriculum development and implementation.

ARE6933 Art Education in Alternative Settings

This course is intended for graduate students who are interested in teaching art outside of traditional K-12 school settings. The course is also useful for art educators interested in connecting their classrooms with their communities. Through study and observation, you will explore the role art educators play serving various interest groups including but not limited to people with disabilities, the elderly, LGBTQ youth, hospital patients, prisoners, homeschoolers as well as those with general interest in the arts at museums, libraries, summer camps, community centers, artists’ studios, and online. The field is truly limitless with new doors, literally, opening every day. Field observations at sites in your own communities will complement course readings and online research to inform critically reflective discussion and writing. 

ART5930C Digital Studio—Mapping and Place

This course introduces you to mapping and exploration as a potential methodology for your own art practice, interpreting and situating their work with a physical and/or virtual context/place. You will interface with the local landscape conducting experiments and interventions with their surroundings as pedestrians and cyclists with the intention of developing strategies that inform your pedagogy and personal art practice. This class looks for the connections between art, your art practice/work and geography, landscape architecture, critical theory, anthropology, literature, social studies and natural resources. Many of the questions and projects that we explore in this class are relevant to the teaching of art, but also to social studies, science, and geography. We will read selections by Jonathon Stilgoe, Michel deCerteau, Denis Wood, Rebecca Solnit, and Lucy Lippard to name a few. We will also examine the work of other artists who use mapping as part of their practice or as content themes in their work.

ARE6746 Research Methods

This course is designed to facilitate the development and writing of the Capstone Research Proposal. In conversation and consultation with peers and the instructor, students will select and focus their capstone research topics, goals, and questions; identify and read scholarly texts that inform their topics of inquiry; learn and apply appropriate research methodologies; and write their Capstone Research Proposals. Students will complete a significant amount of the work required in this course independently. This includes making decisions, identifying, retrieving, and examining texts that inform their research projects, and writing in a scholarly and professional way. Through a series of both graded and ungraded weekly assignments, students will shape their capstone research projects, and by the end of this course they will turn in their written Capstone Research Proposals for evaluation. Student enrollment in this course is based on the assumptions that: (a) students are ready to select and focus their capstone research projects; (b) students have adequate writing skills to complete the Capstone Research Proposal in accordance with University of Florida Graduate College Standards; and (c) students have adequate time to complete the work required in this course.

ARE6049 History of Teaching Art

This course is structured to assist graduate art education students in developing an understanding of the philosophical foundations of art education.  The emphasis will be on linking personal and cultural belief systems about the nature of art education to their historical antecedents and roots. At the completion of this course, students will be able to explain:

  • their own personal belief systems upon which their art teaching practices are based.
  • the historical bases for their own beliefs as well as other contemporary art education theories and practices.
  • how certain persons, events, and issues have shaped the field of art education over the years

ARE6641 Contemporary Issues in Art Education

This course explores ways in which contemporary issues in art, education, and society influence theories and practices in art education. Through weekly reading assignments, discussions, and individual research projects students will examine scholarly writings, creative practices, and contemporary issues as they shape art education. Topics covered in the course include (but are not limited to) contemporary issues in art education, post-modern and critical social theory, multicultural/intercultural education, visual culture theory, new media/technology, creativity, and more. As an issues-oriented course, topics for consideration in ARE 6641 are grounded in practices that foster the personal creative potential for every human being and that envision art and education as a form of critical public engagement based on democratic values.

ARE6933 Globalization, Art, and Education

This course explores connections between globalization, art, and education. Themes and questions examined in this course include ideas about the nature of creative cultural expressions (aka “art”) in diverse global contexts; the dramatic impact of transcultural and transglobal interaction on local peoples and communities; and how all of this impacts personal, cultural, professional, and public policies, practices, and institutions. We will read scholarly texts, examine contemporary art, discuss texts and art, conduct independent research, create original art, share our research and art, play with digital media, explore and utilize online social networking sites, establish our own online presence, and self-assess our work.

ART5930C Sketchbook Development

This course is designed to activate sketchbook development as an instrument for making creative connections. Investigations into drawing, collaging and collecting will stimulate curiosity, inform experiments and expand creative habits. Students will explore image making, rehearse non-linear notation and seek creative associations from their quantity of evidence. Through learning lessons on the dynamics of drawing, students will discover habits of the mind by enlisting creative practice. Online demonstrations, exercises, readings, quizzes and self-identified site-specific fieldtrips are required to extend these skills.  Students will make mixed media sketchbooks and post to online forums to examine the possibilities for creative sketchbook research—making connections to their developing drawing ability.

ART5930C Contemporary Approaches in Painting

This course uses a studio-based approach to explore the diverse methods and practices within contemporary painting.  Topics include conceptual approaches to representation, unconventional processes and materials in abstraction, and the moving image in the creation of stop-motion painting animation.  Upon completion of this course, students will gain a broad understanding of contemporary painting, build a distinct visual vocabulary, and develop a cross-disciplinary mindset to thinking about painting.

ART5930C Design Thinking

In ART5930C, a previous class declared: “We make ideas, not things.” Design thinking is not about the final product but the process of originating ideas and creative investigation. By its very nature, design thinking is cross-disciplinary, collaborative, iterative, and human-centered. Core concepts involve curiosity, imagination, empathy, and observation.  During our intensive one-week course we will do two projects (one individual, one collaborative), a set of design thinking exercises, a book discussion and a post-class assignment. The week will also include design case studies, sketching, brainstorming, and presentations.

Do you want to know more? Here is a Capstone Project from a former student, Laurie Myers: Design Thinking as Collaborative Learning in Education (2013).

ART5930C Big Color Monotypes

This course involves the study of color theories in conjunction with print studio problems. This approach allows the student to investigate the physical, perceptual, psychological, and organizational properties of color via collagraph, monotypes and pressure print outcomes.  Individual print experiments will lead to common vernaculars for group collaborations and large installations to take shape.  Strategies with color vocabularies will enlist experiences with digital applications and color separations from commercial printing through non-toxic constructions.

Color is explored as a phenomenon of light, pigment, and as an expressive and symbolic element. In addition, students will strive to develop critical thinking and research applications.  Printmaking provides a forum where new ideas and mediums are discovered and explored; where learning is experienced through discussions, site visits and demonstrations to collaborative techniques and student experiments and sharing. You will be introduced to new visual mediums that will expand your expressive potential for color at a large scale.

Back to Top