What Are the Requirements to Be a College Art Teacher?

Read about the degree options and curricula for master's degrees and doctorates that prepare you to teach studio art, art history or art education at junior colleges and universities. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Do I Need to be a College Art Teacher?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most 4-year colleges and universities hire art teachers who have a doctoral degree. Earning a master's degree may qualify you for work at a 2-year college. In many graduate programs, you'll spend some time as a teaching assistant in undergraduate classes, giving you valuable experience as a college-level teacher.

Required Education Master's degree or doctorate
Degree Fields Art education, art history, studio art, fine art
Online Availability Online programs may be available at master's level (some on-campus work may be required)
Common Courses Regional art history, art theory, photography, drawing, art movements and styles

What Degree Programs Are Available?

You could earn a Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Art in Art History, Studio Art or Art Education. You could also pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Fine Art or Art History. Some graduate programs might require periodic portfolio reviews and a public exhibition of your works. Ph.D. candidates may need to pass written and oral tests and complete a dissertation.

Art education master's programs are often designed for current elementary or secondary school art teachers. Some of these programs are available online. In an online program, you'll need a computer with Internet access in order to view streaming video presentations or download assignments. Because art is a hands-on discipline, online master's programs may require completion of some campus-based classes.

What Courses Will I Take?

As a studio art student, you might take courses in painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture or drawing; much of your time will be spent in an art studio. Art history students spend less time in the studio; coursework could be heavy in topics like art theory, regional art history and modes of art. You might learn about Greek sculpture, Gothic art and the Renaissance. Additional classes may include impressionism, post-impressionism and post-modernism. Students in an art education program study curriculum planning techniques, teaching methods and the history of art instruction.

In addition to your coursework, you might have the opportunity to apply for a teaching assistant (T.A.) position. As a T.A., you could lead undergraduate discussion groups, teach courses, give tests and grade papers under the guidance of a professor.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Colorado State University Global

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    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Saint Leo University

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    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Master

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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