Teaching Art - Professional Certification

About the Program

Our program in Art Education is inspired by the work of contemporary artists and radical educators who help us see ourselves and the world in new ways.We believe that every artist educator is a cultural worker, researcher, public intellectual, and activist. As artist educators we explore the making and teaching of art as a social act, and consider its historical, political, and cultural contexts.

Designing their own course of study, our students select classes from across the university’s offerings including courses that focus on culturally responsive pedagogy, media and visual literacy, visual research methods, socially engaged art, and social justice pedagogy. Our classes model how theory & practice are integral to teaching and making art. We also prepare students to be persuasive advocates for the importance of the arts in schools and society through their writing, speaking, and teaching.

Our faculty includes internationally renowned contemporary artists and scholars as well as actively engaged artist/educators working in diverse contexts across the city. Special partnerships with museums, non-profit art organizations, and educational initiatives provide students with a wide range of opportunities to gain practical and professional experience in the field. Special projects and guest speakers offer additional professional opportunities and experiences.

Classes are small and personal attention is given to each student throughout the duration of program, from initial advisement through completion of the master's final project.


Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including studio art, community-based organizations, graphic design, and a variety of teaching experiences and contexts. Enrolled students are interested in working in the public sector in schools as well as community-based, non-profit, and for-profit educational contexts.

The professional certification program prepares teachers and curriculum specialists in visual art for positions in elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City, nationally, and internationally. Our graduates also work as educators in museums, community-based programs, and arts organizations, and some pursue doctoral study in art education, curriculum, and instruction.

The program can be completed in as little as 3 semesters as a full-time student, or over two years as a part-time student.  

The NYU Steinhardt Teacher Education Program is fully accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. The 30-credit MA program meets the academic requirements for New York State professional certification and is designed for students who already have an Initial Teaching Art certificate and wish to pursue graduate training.

For Examples of Student Work

See our Art + Education blog.

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