COE: BFA: Art Education (K-12)
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Discover the Artist in Everyone

Art Education is a professional preparation program for those who wish to enter the exciting and creative career of art teaching. Students are immersed in a broad range of 2D and 3D studio art media and methods so that they will be versatile in the classroom while continuing to work as artists. Courses will provide the knowledge and experience needed to prepare and implement an effective curriculum for any elementary or secondary school grade level. Extensive field experiences allow developing art teachers to work directly with children and adolescents to apply and refine what they have learned about teaching strategies and classroom management appropriate for a variety of school settings serving diverse populations. The Art Education program stays up to date and guides students through the many requirements necessary to be awarded a Missouri K-12 Art Specialist certificate. Prospective students may enroll in Art Education via one of three routes: Undergraduates will complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art degree concurrently with the certification program. Students who already hold undergraduate degrees may choose to pursue certification as non-degree students, or opt to apply for admission to the Master of Education degree and take courses required for certification that may also apply toward the graduate degree. Whichever route is chosen there will be plenty of opportunities to become involved in a Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association and attend local and state workshops and conferences. As with most education professions the job market for art teachers will vary from year to year and from region to region, but consistently there are numerous openings across Missouri each year.

Educational Opportunities and Scholarship Information:

The Art and Art History department sponsors a variety of community internship opportunities with local arts institutions, including The Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Artists’ Guild and Laumeier Sculpture Park. In addition, each spring the Ferring Art and Art History Travel Study Program awards a select group of students majoring in Studio Art, Art History, or Art Education with a trip to visit private collections, artists’ studios, internationally acclaimed galleries, and major art museums.

Scholarship Information:

Marie L. Larkin Scholarship in Art Education: The Marie Larkin Scholarship Fund was established at UMSL in 1999 to provide financial support to students who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing K-12 art teaching as a career. Awards are made on an annual basis and are designed to cover educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Up to five students may be awarded the Marie Larkin Scholarship each year. Awards are approximately $2,000, but may vary from year to year.

Des Lee Scholarship in Art Education: Des Lee Scholarship Fund in Art Education was established by E. Desmond Lee to provide financial support to students who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing K-12 art teaching as a career. One award is made each year in the amount of $750 per semester or $1500 per academic year.

Logo for Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)

To review this program’s national accreditation, please follow this link to review our AAQEP accreditation report.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Contact Advisor:

Kate Nuelle

144 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5939


Slide 1 Meet Jacob Lewis, BFA alumnus, teacher and aspiring entrepreneur with Rasa Easels
"That’s where I’m most fulfilled is teaching. I knew I needed to teach something I knew."

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The College offers the B.F.A. degree in studio art.  A foreign language is not required. Students choosing an emphasis in drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking or general fine arts must take at least 75 credit hours in studio art (including 30 hours in the foundation art program). Students seeking K-12 art teacher certification take a minimum of 50 credit hours in studio art (including 30 hours in the foundation art program) and must fulfill the General Education Requirements in both the College of Education and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. 

Slide 1 Art Education teacher candidates apply the theories in art education and child artistic development to create relevant and meaningful art curricula and supporting art making experiences within the curriculum.
Slide 2 Development and facilitation of student relevant, cross-curricular lessons infused with Common Core standards provide Art Education teacher candidates with opportunities to improve their practice and prepare them for the realities of teaching in public school settings.
Slide 3 Elementary and secondary students engage in innovative and exciting studio lessons developed and taught by Art Education teacher candidates during Practicum 1 and 2.
Slide 4 During field experiences art education teacher candidates learn characteristics of good teaching practice and are awarded opportunities to better understand the day-to-day challenges and responsibilities of being an art educator in public school contexts.
DESE Art (Grades K-12) Certification
The College of Education will recommend you to the Missouri Department of Elementary/Secondary Education for teacher certification in Art Education K-12 at the completion of this program if you have met all state requirements. To ensure that you have met all state requirements, please contact your advisor.