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Are you ready to make art — and inspire creativity in young people?

The bachelor of fine arts degree in Art Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver gives you the studio art background you need to thrive as an artist, and the education courses necessary to help others begin their artistic journeys.

MSU Denver offers you two pathways toward earning your K-12 certification in art:

  1. The bachelor of fine arts in Art Education program including coursework leading to licensure. This program is for those of you who have yet to complete your bachelor of fine arts in art degree.
  2. Post-baccalaureate program for those who already have a B.F.A. in art and are seeking licensure.

Why choose to get your Art Education training at MSU Denver?

You will be prepared to bring about creative change in the world through the lives of your students. MSU Denver’s accredited B.F.A. in Art Education program fuses a progressive approach in Art Education with your development as an artist, combining artistic practice, educational studies and field experience as an educator. Learn how to build curriculum to help students in today’s multicultural classrooms become critical, creative thinkers and makers.

Though a master’s degree is not required to teach at the elementary or secondary level, some of our students do go on to graduate school.


Program Options

B.F.A. in Art Education

Choose this degree to prepare to teach art in a K-12 classroom. Combining the extensive artistic training of the B.F.A. with educational theory, methods and field experiences required for teaching certification, this degree gives you the foundation to teach in elementary and secondary classrooms. A portfolio review is required for admittance.

B.A. in Art

Choose this degree if you want a well-rounded education in creative problem-solving through visual art, complemented by a minor in another field. 

B.A. in Art History, Theory and Criticism

Opt for this degree if you want to immerse yourself in the intellectual study of art. This degree gives you a strong background in diverse traditions as well as contemporary theory and art criticism, and prepares you for a variety of careers in the arts as well as potential graduate study.

B.F.A. in Art

Select this degree if you want to develop a creative practice and prepare for a career as an artist, which may include preparation for graduate school. A portfolio review is required for admission into the B.F.A. program after you complete your art foundation courses. A portfolio review is required for admittance.

B.F.A. in Communication Design

Select this degree if you are interested in the communication design profession, whether working freelance or as part of a design team. If you are interested in graphic design, you would select this degree. A portfolio review will be required for admittance into the B.F.A. after you complete your initial courses.

Minor in Art History, Theory and Criticism

Minor in Digital Media

Minor in Studio Art

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

As an MSU Denver Art Education student you will have the chance to: 

  • Complete fieldwork experiences observing and assisting in diverse classrooms.
  • Teach in your own classroom as an art teacher as part of your student teaching.
  • Take part in a capstone experience that includes a senior exhibition and thesis.
  • Work with youth through the educational programming at MSU Denver’s off-campus gallery, the Center for Visual Art
  • Learn from well-known artists through MSU Denver’s Visiting Artist, Scholar and Designer Program.
  • Get involved in art-related student clubs and organizations that include the Art Education Club, the Art Guild, The Elements (for Ceramics), Future Leaders of Design, Metalmorphosis, Vicious Ink and Metrosphere — MSU Denver’s art and literary journal.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images: artists - painting, drawing, ceramics

Graduates from MSU Denver’s Art Education program go on to become working artists and art teachers in public and private schools and in community organizations throughout Colorado.


Rachel Delaney_Art EducationRachel Delaney

Associate Professor Rachel Delaney is the Art Education coordinator at MSU Denver. A seasoned educator herself, she has taught in Boston, New York, Seattle and Boulder.  Her recent work focuses on how collaboration and learning through collective experiences can inform perceptions and the development of meaning.

Anne Thulson_Art EducationAnne Thulson

Associate Professor Anne Thulson directs the School of the Poetic City, a contemporary art camp for Denver children, and she has taught at The Odyssey School in Denver and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colo.  Her expertise and research is in arts integration, local WPA murals, contemporary art education, assessing elusive acts of creativity, visual art standards, social justice art practices, the democratic classroom, Reggio Emilia documentation and Expeditionary Learning art curriculum.



Learn more about MSU Denver Art faculty.

Featured Alumni

“As an Art Education major at MSU Denver, I was challenged to think differently than I ever had about education and creativity. This program cultivated an experience that facilitated my growth as an artist, person and ultimately as an educator. As a first-year teacher, every day I use the ideas, strategies, grit and creativity I developed during my pre-service education at MSU Denver to design a smart and engaging curriculum. I feel blessed to have had such inspirational professors and strive to make the kind of change they made for me.”

Timothy Reagan (MSU Denver ’11) holds a B.F.A. in Art/Printmaking and obtained his Post Baccalaureate Licensure in Art Education from MSU Denver in 2017. He now works as a high school art teacher.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Art Education B.F.A. graduates have recently been hired by Douglas County School District, Jefferson County Public Schools and Denver Public Schools among others.

Sample Classes

painting class

You will begin with foundation studio art and art history courses. Once you’ve successfully passed a portfolio review, you will choose primary and complementary media from ceramics, drawing, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography and sculpture. You will also choose courses from the Art Department’s interdisciplinary integrated media offerings. Side-by-side with your studio art and art history courses, you will also take classes specific to Art Education such as:

  • Introduction to Art Education: History and Philosophy
  • Elementary Art Education: Curriculum and Instruction (with field experience)
  • Secondary Art Education: Curriculum and Instruction (with field experience)
  • Creating an Inclusive Art Classroom: Curriculum and Instruction
  • Student Teaching and Seminar: Art Education K-12

 Learn more about your Art Education program curriculum.


Facilities and Resources

As an MSU Denver Art student you will have the chance to work in our outstanding facilities that include the following:

  • Ceramics Studio is equipped with 18 pottery wheels, six electric Skutt kilns, three glass kilns and one raku kiln.
  • Communication Design Studio features state-of-the-art digital technology, printing and production facilities, design library copy stand for photographing artwork as well as digital equipment available for check-out including video cameras, digital cameras, microphones, tripods and headphones. The program also has a small letterpress printing facility.
  • Drawing Studio has professional-quality drafting tables, mat cutter, computer and printer.
  • Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing Studio provides 18 individual work stations and equipment such as torches, fume exhaust hoods, sandblaster, vulcanizer, lathe and more.
  • Painting Studio is equipped with professional grade Klopfenstein easels, individual lockable taborets (for advanced students) and two computer stations.
  • Photography Studio has traditional wet process labs, individual color darkrooms, alternative process labs and digital photography lab.
  • Printmaking Studio with presses and equipment for intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, relief and the various photo-mechanical processes.
  • Sculpture Studio is a 5,000-square-foot facility with fully equipped wood and metal studios, a state of the art ceramic shell investment room, separate sanding and metal finishing studios and a fully equipped tool room with hand, power and pneumatic tools and assorted supplies. 
  • Coming Soon: Digital Fabrication Lab with equipment for use by students in classes across the curriculum. This digifab lab will have multiple 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, laser engraver and large format printers.
  • Creative Technology Commons at the Auraria Library serves as a creative hub for teaching and learning with capabilities for digitation for image, video and audio content, large-format printing and more.

Learn more about MSU Denver Art program facilities.

Program Accreditation

MSU Denver’s Art Education program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

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