Art Education EdM

The Master of Education 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. It provides students with advanced professional preparation as teachers and curriculum supervisors. It involves coursework but not a thesis.

At the University of 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.

The normal length of study is 2 semesters. 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. For students seeking certification, an additional academic year of coursework is required plus 1 semester of teaching.

Some master's degree students receive funding and support as teaching assistants. Funding includes a tuition waiver, a salary, health insurance, annual conference funding, plus many opportunities to gain competitive grants. Funding is conditional upon students’ academic standing.

The University of Illinois Art Education Program satisfies the educational requirements for the Primary Educator License in the state of Illinois. The University of Illinois has not made a determination as to whether the Art Education Program meets the educational requirements for a Primary Educator License in any of the other 54 U.S. states and jurisdictions. Specific requirements for a Primary Educator License in Art Education vary from state to state. In some cases, you may need to take additional coursework or exams to meet individual state requirements and/or you may need to complete background checks. Please go to to find your state’s teaching license requirements, resources, and contact information.

Note: This disclosure is being made in compliance with federal regulation 34 CFR §668.43 and the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements Manual.


  • 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 EdM 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