University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee


Art & Design MS - Art Education

MS Degree Requirements
MS Curriculum
MS Course Descriptions
MS Opportunities

Master of Science in Art Education

As art communities continually evolve to respond to societal changes, it is essential that art educators and artists remain at the forefront of innovative ideas, while developing educational processes and research methodologies that engage students and audiences in diverse intellectual, cultural, and social pursuits in the arts. The graduate program in Art Education in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee encourages interdisciplinary activity and exploratory models of research that link practice with theory through coursework, cultural resources and partnerships in communities, grant-supported research initiatives, and a visiting artist and scholars program.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Art Education prepares members of the arts community to thrive within 21st century educational environments, including school and community settings; contribute divergent insights; and take on leadership roles in the field. Since its founding, the programs have been a pioneer in crossdisciplinary collaboration with communities in urban settings, producing applied research. Furthermore, the faculty believe that a more diverse student body enhances the quality of our education, research, and scholarship.

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Urban Education with a specialization in Art Education is coming soon! This program is designed to permit students to integrate their particular media and curricular interests in art and art education with theoretical knowledge, research interest, and education practices tied to the contexts of urban education and community studies. For more information contact

Current areas of study include but are not limited to the following:

  • Urban & Community-based Art Education
  • Working with Diverse Populations
  • Arts-based Research Methodologies
  • Curriculum Studies
  • Place-based Pedagogies
  • Histories of Art Education
  • Material and Visual Culture Studies
  • Social Foundations of Art Education
  • Relationship between Art Teaching & Studio Practice


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements and have an undergraduate degree in art education, art history, studio arts, or related field to be considered for admission to the program. Applicants must send completed application form, which includes a statement of intent, and official transcripts to the Graduate School. The following materials are also required and must be sent to the Art and Design Department, Graduate Studies Office, Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201.

  • An example of writing skills. Appropriated examples include: a paper presented at a professional meeting, an art curriculum guide, a research paper, or a published article.
  • A CD portfolio of applicant's original work (minimum 10, maximum 20 images) and, if an experienced teacher, the work of one's students (minimum 10, maximum 20 images) explanatory or descriptive annotations must accompany images.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • For the PreK-12 Art Education Focus only: A photocopy of certification to teach art or proof of admission into the Teacher Certification Program in the School of Education.

To apply for admission to the Master of Science Graduate Program in Art Education, please download the PDF below:

 Admission and Award Application Forms (PDF)

Application deadlines for admission to the program are January 7 for the following fall semester and October 7 for the following spring semester. If applicants are interested in competing for assistantships and fellowships, the January deadline should be used.

Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. Upon admission to the program, the student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The Graduate School and the Office of Graduate Studies in Art and Design monitor the deficiencies. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.

For Further Information

Rina Kundu
(414) 229-4200
Art Building 163


MS Requirements

The M.S. in Art Education is a 30-credit program with advanced work in art education and the studio arts. The M.S. with a major in art education offers two separate program options, a preK-12 focus designed to enhance the expertise of practicing teachers and a community-based focus established for those desiring careers in community art programs. All options require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree in the visual arts or a related field, and to be admitted to the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee Graduate School. Additional background requirements depend on the option the applicant intends to pursue.

Major Professor as Advisor
Immediately upon admission the graduate student must contact the Coordinator of Graduate Programs Dr. Rina Kundu for initial advising and aid in selection of a major professor from the faculty of the Art Education Area.

Upon completion of 9 graduate credits, each student must make arrangements for a graduate faculty member in the Art Education Area to serve as the major professor and must notify the Department of Art and Design Office of Graduate Studies of that professor's willingness to serve in such a capacity. Immediately thereafter, each student, in consultation with the major professor, must organize a thesis committee. This committee should consist of your major professor from art education, one faculty member from art education, and one additional faculty member, supporting your major area of concentration, for a minimum of three total. This faculty member can come from outside of art education, outside of the Art and Design Department, or outside of the university. Members from outside the university community must have credentials that further a student’s research agenda and be chosen in consultation with the major professor.

If the student's major professor takes leave of absence, receives a sabbatical, or leaves the University, the student should contact the Coordinator of Graduate Programs for advice in selecting a new major professor.

Credits and Courses
The minimum requirement for the M.S. in Art Education degree is 30 graduate credits, 6 credits of which must be in foundations, 8 credits in current topics and thematically related studio workshops, and 6 credits in thesis development. The student, in consultation with the major professor, is responsible for also planning 10 additional credits (minimum) in a chosen program of study in art education with a specific focus on Pre K-12 or community environments.

Transfers of Credits
Upon admission, an applicant may be permitted to transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits earned at another institution, or as a non-degree graduate student, taken within five years of entering the graduate program in art education. However, the student must apply to the Graduate School for an evaluation of such credits to determine if they are acceptable for transfer to the M.S. program.

All M.S. in Art Education students must develop, present, and defend a thesis to complete their degree. Two thesis options are available: a written thesis that emphasizes scholarly research, or an applied study that includes the development and implementation of a significant teaching strategy or curricular model that is reported on in a written thesis. Thesis option should be selected by a student and approved by the major advisor before 15 graduate credits are earned. Students must have at least two members of the Art Education Area faculty on their thesis committee and one from a related field of study.

Comprehensive Examination
All M.S. in Art Education students must pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Time Limit
The Department of Art and Design requires that the student complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Click here for the link to the University Graduate School bulletin for further information on the MS degree in Art Education.


MS Curriculum

Graduate study in Art Education at UWM:
a) Responds to the realities of art educators' busy lives, offering evening, summer and intensive courses;
b) Encourages graduate students to draw upon their experiences in the classroom, the community, and the studio to formulate research questions that are personally meaningful;
c) Helps art educators connect their own practice to larger contemporary issues in art education;
d) Connects graduate study to real world contexts and issues.


MS Course Descriptions

Click here for MS course descriptions.


MS Opportunities

Depending on graduate students’ teaching experience, interests, and availability the graduate program at UWM will invite students to collaborate with faculty in research and teaching projects established in both school and community settings. Please note that the area is developing new graduate programs where students can earn a Ph.D. in Urban Education, with an Art Education focus and a Certificate in Community Studies in partnership with Education Policy and Community Studies.