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M.S. in Art Education (+Dual M.S.)

Shape the future of the field of art education.

Art education at Penn State explores the making of art and curriculum as the making of ideas that matter. In the M.S. program, you’ll delve deeper into the discipline, completing work that prepares you for doctoral study or a range of positions in the field, including teaching at all levels, administration, research, and art supervision.

Program Application Deadline
The deadline for applications for AY 2023–24 is January 15, 2024.

To be assured full consideration, please apply by this deadline. Review individual program descriptions for details on program and admission requirements.

Earn a Master of Science in Art Education at Penn State

Admission Requirements


Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Students who seek admission to the graduate program must make formal application to The Graduate School and admissions committee of the Art Education program. To be admitted without deficiencies, the student is expected to have completed either a baccalaureate degree in art education or a program considered by the admissions committee to provide an appropriate background for the application’s degree objectives. Related programs include work in studio art, art history, art education, education, museum education, etc. Deficiencies may be made up by course work that is not counted as credit toward an advanced degree. Students pursuing graduate degrees may simultaneously take course work leading to teaching certification and art supervisory certification. The students who plan to teach art education at the college level should note that some institutions require professors to hold a public school art teaching certificate and to have had public school teaching experience.

Students with a minimum 3.00 junior/senior grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The most qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Transcripts should indicate high attainment in appropriate academic and creative work. Letters of recommendation should attest to scholarship and ability to work independently. In addition to the above requirements, there are specific requirements for each degree program:


  1. Completed official Penn State Graduate School Application for Admission.
  2. Submit a one- to two-page Statement of Professional Intent which includes:
    1. professional objectives
    2. how these objectives would be furthered by graduate study,
    3. the areas in which research and creative work are planned,
    4. what the applicant hopes to do with the graduate degree he or she is seeking to attain, and
    5. evidence that the applicant is prepared to undertake graduate level work.
  3. Submit an example of scholarly writing.
  4. Submit three (3) letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should attest to the applicant’s scholarship and ability to work independently.
  5. Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  6. Submit a Portfolio (optional). Applicants may submit images of their creative works that represent arts-based research or images that illustrate their conception of art.
  7. Indicate in your Statement of Professional Intent if you would like to be considered for an Assistantship/Fellowship.


  1. Completed official Penn State Graduate School Application for Admission.
  2. Statement of purpose in pursuing the M.P.S. in Art Education.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. Teaching portfolio to include teaching philosophy and a sample of curricular materials developed by the applicant.
  5. A critical reflective written response to an article provided in the GRADS application site. The response should outline the key arguments made by the author(s), a critical evaluation of the logic and assumptions in the article, and a connection to the applicant’s own instructional or professional experience.
  6. Curriculum vitae with evidence of professional leadership and service.
  7. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, including official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended.)
  8. International applicants whose first language is not English or who have received a baccalaureate or master’s degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is not English, please refer to GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students.

Degree Requirements


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Art Education (AED) Course List

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

Explore Art Ed M.S. Theses


Aaron Knochel

Associate Professor of Art EducationPhone: 814.863.7309Email:

Is the M.S. in Art Education right for you?

The M.S. in Art Education is for students interested in building on their current experience in art education through research in the field. Upon completion of the degree, students are prepared for doctoral study or a range of positions, from teaching to research to administration. Penn State’s Art Education program is known for producing well-rounded educators with the background, skills, knowledge, and cultural understanding to positively contribute to the field, whether it be by teaching art, leading others in how they can contribute to the profession, or conducting research that will ultimately impact the discipline as a whole.

BPS showcasing Art Education research exhibition on transdisciplinary creativity.
Art Education student research exhibit on sexual and gender diversity in the HUB gallery.

Degree Options

The M.S. can be undertaken as a dual-title M.S. in Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies degree.

Dual M.S. + Gender Studies

Series of sculptures displayed in foreground and on plinths leaning against a wall; part of “Preservation of Forgetting,” a body of work in which artist Sidney Mullis labors to let go of the topics—gender, sexuality, desire, and intimacy.

The dual-title graduate degree in Art Education + Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is for students who want to focus on feminist and non-binary perspectives and pedagogy in their art education research.

Coursework in art education, gender and sexuality studies, and related disciplines such as philosophy, curriculum and instruction, sociology, anthropology, and other fields provides necessary theoretical and methodological background for thesis and dissertation research.

Faculty for the dual-title degree program bring a range of teaching, research, and administrative experience from across the country and around the world. The international student body provides students with insight into a range of teaching practices.

Graduate Bulletin Links

M.S. Students

Current Cohort

The dual-title M.S. creates a new perspective.

Among the only interdisciplinary research degrees in art ed and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

  • Bring a progressive gender perspective to art education research.

  • Teach in the public schools or in college, pursue research, or take on an administrative role.

  • Enjoy all the resources of a large research university within a close-knit environment.

  • Faculty bring a range of experiences from around the country and the world.

  • Explore non-binary pedagogy, and combine research across art ed and gender studies disciplines.

  • Penn State has sponsored the annual Graduate Research in Art Education (GRAE) conference since 2005.

Alumni Spotlight

While I’m still dreaming bigger and bigger, I always think about the incredible foundation that my Penn State education has provided for me.
Penn State alumnus Devan Shimoyama

Alumni Spotlight

Devan Shimoyama

B.F.A. in Art 2011

Devan’s award-winning art uses painting, sculpture, and photography to challenge gender stereotypes and confront racial and cultural injustice with a vibrant, modern edge. He has exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum and in numerous major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Paris.

Colorful illustration by Devan Shimoyama
Colorful illustration by Devan Shimoyama

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