Art Education MA

The Master of Arts in Art Education degree is designed for students who want to engage in a broad and critical intellectual exploration of contemporary questions and debates in arts and education.

At Illinois, faculty and graduate students build a vibrant community of inquiry within the context of a Research 1 university. This community, including faculty whose breadth of interests span topics including contemporary art and visual culture in education, formal and informal learning, cultural policy and urban studies, and teacher training and identity, provides an intellectually stimulating environment for graduate students to stretch themselves intellectually and prepare for the possibility of future doctoral study.

Some master's degree students receive funding and support as teaching assistants for the normal length of their program, which is 3 semesters. This funding, which is conditional upon academic standing, includes a tuition waiver, a salary, health insurance, annual conference funding, plus many opportunities to gain competitive grants. Students complete 4 art education courses and have the opportunity to elect courses from studio art, art history, and any program offered at the university that is complementary.


  • At our major comprehensive research university, students have access to the broadest possible range of elective courses.
  • Visual Arts Research is a scholarly, refereed journal and has been published through the art education program for over 40 years. It is edited by faculty, with the help of graduate students.  
  • The Everyday Arts Lab offers an excellent local site for graduate research for those interested in arts and social practice.
  • With a total of 14 million titles the University of Illinois Library houses the largest collection of any public university in the world. The Ricker Library of Architecture and Art has 120,000 titles and 33,00 serials.
  • The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory is a program that promote conversations among a range of departments in the humanities, social sciences, and performing arts by organizing lectures, panel discussions, and conferences, as well as the Modern Critical Theory lecture series.
  • The Krannert Art Museum includes an archive of over 8,000 works of art and rotating exhibitions of traditional and innovative art works.
  • The Spurlock Museum highlights the diversity of cultures around the globe.
  • Illinois is host to the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. Our students and faculty host a large contingent of art education scholars during their visit for the ICQI.
  • Regular visiting speakers from other institutions including Kevin Tavin, David Darts, Olivia Gude, Luis Camnitzer, Matthew Goulish, Marjorie Manifold, and Stephanie Springgay.
  • Devoted room for Art Education PhD students including carrels for your use.
  • Art Education MA Handbook (PDF).

Faculty Interests

  • Arts-based research
  • Community arts education
  • Conceptual art practices and theory
  • Creative cities
  • Cultural globalization
  • Emerging curriculum theory
  • Performance studies
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Social practice
  • Socially engaged art
  • Teacher identity
  • Urban education
  • Visual culture
  • Youth studies   

Meet Art Education faculty