Art Education - Program Details



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UW-Madison Art Department
School of Education
6241 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
MadisonWI  53706

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Program Details

Welcome to UW-Madison's Art Education Program

Endorsed by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), our Art Education Teacher Certification Program provides essential preparation for careers in art education. Graduates of our program earn a Bachelors of Science degree, a Wisconsin teaching license in k-12 art education, and gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to teach the visual arts in public and private schools, at the elementary and secondary levels, and in community settings such as art museums, maker spaces and senior centers. Follow the links below to learn about our program goals and structure, view a sample plan of courses for a four-year degree, and print a worksheet to help you visualize and plan your academic career at U.W. Madison.

Program Goals

Throughout the program, Art Education majors experience teaching art as a creative, contextual process, requiring research, revision, honest self-reflection, and a supportive community. Through studio, art history, and education courses, plus extensive field experiences directly working with children and adolescents, students in our program:
  • Learn to think, solve problems, and see the world as artists and designers by exploring a range of 2D, 3D and 4D artistic processes and media.
  • Research the multifaceted roles art plays in society and in the lives of children and youth, and then use this research to inform curriculum development and instruction.
  • Develop procedural knowledge to plan and facilitate substantive, engaging art experiences for diverse student populations.
  • Utilize a variety of effective teaching strategies, instructional technologies and assessment methods.
  • Examine and discuss art education's historical antecedents and influence its contemporary developments.

Program Structure

Five Components:
  1. During the first two semesters, students work through the Foundations Program, a series of interrelated studio and lecture courses, preparing them for further study in studio art and design. Art Education majors move through foundations with other first-year students, often forming friendships that continue throughout their undergraduate careers. U. W. Madison also offers First Year Interest Groups and The Studio: Creative Arts and Design Residential Learning Community to help transition into college life and establish connections to other like-minded peers and professionals.
  2. Aesthetics work gives students an opportunity to study both the history of art and contemporary developments in the visual arts. As part of its aesthetic programming, the Department of Art Also hosts the fabulous visiting artist series, in which contemporary artists from around the world visit our campus to share their work, provide specialized workshops, and/or critique student projects.
  3. The Art Education program's extensive studio experience provides students a broad introduction to a variety of media and artistic processes, including 2D, 3D, and 4D courses. Once students complete their required studio classes, they meet with the Art Education Program Director to map a focus of study for their remaining 12-15 elective studio credits. For example, depending on the student's personal and professional goals, he/she may decide to take a series of digital media or design courses, concentrate on community-based art practices, or focus on narrative through book arts and comics classes.
  4. Throughout their undergraduate academic career, art education majors make liberal studies selections from a wide variety of humanities, literature, social studies, science, math, and English courses. These provide students wit an incredible opportunity to develop interests and skills outside their discipline and add dimension to their major area of study, preparing them not only for the work world but also to lead interesting and fulfilled lives as educated, creative, engaged citizens.
  5. Education courses and fieldwork include a four semester sequence of classes introducing students to the teaching profession, including child development, learning theories, inclusive schooling strategies, curriculum and instruction, history of American education, and rigorous Art Education methods courses, plus 200 hours of practicum and 18 weeks of student teaching.

Program Timeline


  1. Students interested in pursuing an Art Education degree complete a short Pre-Art Education application to indicate their intent during SOAR or in an advising visit with Julie Ganser or an advisor from Education Academic Services.
  2. Complete foundations courses and make liberal studies selections.

Year 2

  1. Continue taking liberal studies, studio and aesthetics courses.
  2. During the spring of year two, officially apply to the Art Education Program, if all eligibility requirements are met.
  3. Once officially admitted to the program, meet with the Art Education Program Director for advising on studio elective courses, required exams, and extra-curricular art education opportunities.

Year 3

  1.  Begin professional education courses and fieldwork in school and community settings.
  2. Continue taking liberal studies and studio courses.
  3. Take and pass Praxis II Art Content Exam.

Year 4

  1. Take art education methods courses and practicum in the fall semester.
  2. Complete 18 weeks of student teaching in the spring.
  3. Complete and pass the edTPA exam during student teaching
  4. Apply for state licensure in k-12 art education and graduate!

Click here to enter the School of Education website for more specific details on degree and graduation requirements, standardized tests related to the art education program, and application and admission information.

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