Study Art Education at UNE

Fuse your passion for art and your desire to work with young people as you embark in the field of art education.

Combining courses from UNE’s School of Arts and Humanities and School of Professional Programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Art Education major introduces you to the theory and practice of education while developing your skills in both traditional arts. Some of these skills include drawing and painting, digital arts, animation, and photography.

You’ll graduate with a teaching certificate, on-the-job experience, and the artistic skills you’ll need to be a successful K-12 visual arts teacher.

Why UNE for Art Education

Because of UNE’s strong relationships with local schools, you’ll benefit from continuous fieldwork, beginning your first semester. The hours you spend working directly with students prepare you to be the best visual arts teacher you can be and often open the door to opportunities for permanent employment.

  • Work closely with faculty who are professional scholars and nationally renowned artists
  • Studio work that culminates with your own art exhibition
  • Study abroad options, including overseas student teaching opportunities
Testimonial Place Holder
At UNE, unlike most schools, we start observing public school classrooms in our first year. It’s a great opportunity to make sure this is what you want to do after graduation, and you also learn great tricks from teachers who have done the job before.
Art Education K-12

What will you study? Art Education Degree Curriculum Overview

Examples of Available Courses

There are many ways you can navigate the Art Education major. The following are some examples of the inspiring courses that you can take:

  • Methods of Art Education
  • Diversity Issues in Schools
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Exceptionality in the Classroom
  • 21st Century Learning Through Technology
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Three Dimensional Fundamentals
  • Graphic Design
  • Scientific Illustration


CAS Core Requirements Credits
Total 42–26
Required Art Courses Credits
ART 104 – Painting I Credits included in Core Requirements
ART 110 – Ceramics I 3
ART 113 – Three Dimensional Fundamentals 3
ART 114 – Printmaking 3
ART 118 – Drawing & Design Fundamentals 3
ART 200 – Advanced Drawing 3
ART 395 – Studio Concentration Seminar 3
ARH 210 – Art History Survey I 3
ARH 211 – Art History Survey II 3
ARH 260 – Renaissance & Baroque Art or ARH 270 – Art in the Modern World 3
One (1) Elective Course from List A 3
One (1) Elective Course from List B 3
Total 33
Required Education Courses Credits
EDU 105 – Exploring Teaching Credits included in Core Requirements
EDU 110 – Supporting 21st Century Learning/Tech 3
EDU 202 – Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment 3
EDU 382 – Reading/Lang/Child Lit: Adolescents 3
EDU 385 – Diversity Issues in Schools 3
EDU 441 – Methods in Art Education 3
EDU 484 – K-12 Internship (Art) 12
EDU 488 – Secondary or Art Ed Practicum 3
SPE 220 – Exceptionality in the Class 3
SPE 405 – Inclusive Methods and Data Based Decision Making 3
Total 36
Open elective courses (needed to reach 120 credits) Variable
Minimum Required Total Credits 120

Elective Course Options

List A Elective Course Options Credits
ART 101 – Watercolor 3
ART 102 – Photography 3
ART 106 – Two-Dimensional Design 3
ART 108 – Boatbuilding 3
ART 109 – T-Shirt Design 3
ART 111 – Scientific Illustration 3
ART 124 – The Painted Book 3
ART 199 – Topics in Art 3
LIL 120 – Introductory Arts & Humanities Seminar 3
List B Elective Course Options Credits
ART 206 – Expressions in Clay 3
ART 207 – Landscape Painting 3
ART 214 – Color Digital Photography 3
ART 230 – Graphic Design 3
ART 234 – Digital Animation 3
ART 299 – Advanced Topics in Art 3
PSY 430 – Intro to Art Therapy 3
WRT 211 – Creative Writing: Poetry 3
WRT 212 – Creative Writing: Short Fiction 3
WRT 304 – Read & Write in Digital Environments 3
WRT 317 – Proposal and Grant Writing 3

Field Experience

The faculty in the Department of Education is committed to ongoing and frequent observation and involvement in schools. The teacher education programs at UNE have a specific competency-based focus to meet the Maine standards for teacher certification. All students engaged in teacher preparation will spend time in a field setting in each of the semesters for which they are registered for professional education courses. Involvement in the schools will be connected to specific, course-related tasks (e.g., observation, teaching lessons, conducting experiments, administering assessments, etc.). Transportation to and from schools is the responsibility of the student.


Without specific permission from the Education Department Chair, courses may not be taken during the internship semester, so all required coursework must be completed the semester prior to the internship. Admission to the internship is not guaranteed (see section on “Admission requirements and successful progression in the program”). In addition, the student should have:

  • Sufficient knowledge regarding the components of effective instruction.
  • Sufficient knowledge of appropriate grade-level content and teaching methods.
  • Sufficient knowledge of the developmental needs of students.
  • Sufficient knowledge of how to establish and maintain effective cooperative relationships with school personnel, students, and parents.
  • Understanding of and empathy for working with students.
  • No serious reservations identified on the Student Assessment of Professional Attributes (SAPA) instrument.

The selection of individual internship sites will be made by the Certification and Placement Officer. Geographical location relative to UNE is a consideration. UNE has a collaborative relationship with many districts and selects both schools and teachers based on their interest in and ability to assist interns in demonstrating mastery of the Maine Common Core Teaching Standards. Placement in an internship is not guaranteed. The Department of Education, through its Certification and Placement Officer, will make a good faith effort to negotiate an appropriate placement. Schools have the right to refuse placement requests. The 15-week student teaching experience must be done in a local Maine Public School that is in an established internship protocol with the University of New England.

Professional Educator Review Board

All students enrolled in the internship must demonstrate their teaching competence with respect to Maine Common Core Teaching Standards before the Professional Educator Review Board (PERB). The Board is comprised of professional educators from area schools as well as UNE faculty. Students are required to develop a presentation reflecting their proficiency in meeting these state standards and present and defend the presentation in front of the Board. Passing PERB is a requirement for completion of the certification program and subsequently being recommended to the Maine State Department of Education for teacher licensure.

To learn more about the program visit the Academic Catalog.

Changes were made to this program in an addendum to the 2022/23 academic calendar. Please see the 2022–2023 Catalog Addendum (PDF) for the most recent information. As always, it is recommended that students seek the guidance of Academic Advisors for course and program planning. In this way, you will be able to access all the most up-to-date information available.

K-12 Teaching Certification

Successful completion of the major meets all requirements of the Maine State K-12 Visual Arts Teacher Certification Program.

Meet our faculty and professional staff

Discover UNE's Art Programs

Career Paths for Art Education Majors

While becoming a visual arts teacher is the goal of most Art Education majors, there are other fascinating careers that you may choose to pursue with your Art Education degree, including:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Digital Animator
  • Private Art Studio Instructor
  • Photographer
  • Web Designer
  • Fine Artist

Career Advising for B.A. in Art Education Students

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Arts Building

Experiential Learning in the Bachelor's Degree in Art Education Program

As an Art Education major, you’ll develop a wide array of expertise that includes more than knowledge of theories and principles. Through studio work and frequent teaching experiences, you’ll master artistic techniques and gain the confidence you need to share your love of art with a classroom of students.

Fieldwork in the Schools

  • Support a visual arts teacher
  • Help to run an after school program
  • Lead art activities at family and community events

Student Teaching Internship for Art Education Majors

Your hands-on learning culminates with a 15-week student teaching internship.

  • Refine skills acquired through coursework and fieldwork
  • Become comfortable and confident in your teaching abilities
  • Form close working relationships with students and school personnel
  • Network and make connections that will increase your employability

Art Opportunities

Art Gallery

The Art Gallery on UNE's Portland Campus houses a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by nationally and internationally renowned artists. It mounts six exhibitions each year in a variety of media that ranges from contemporary fine art to photography, to international themes, to works by women and by Maine artists.

From June through October, the gallery presents an Annual Sculpture Garden around its exterior. On occasion, different exhibitions are arranged at other locations on our Portland and Biddeford campuses.


The Office of Student Affairs collaborates with our Art programs to bring a variety of arts events to the Biddeford Campus, ranging from lunchtime concerts at the Alfond Cafe to poetry readings, to gallery exhibits at the Campus Center and Engine gallery in downtown Biddeford.

Portland Art Scene

Portland's art scene includes the Portland Museum of Art, SPACE Gallery, and numerous private and nonprofit art galleries.

Apply Today

Ready to begin your future in UNE’s B.A. in Art Education degree program? Get started today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree do you need to be an art teacher?

Becoming an art teacher requires a bachelor's degree, with specifics varying by state. The most direct route is a bachelor's in art education, blending art and education courses for K-12 teaching. In Maine, a state-approved teacher preparation program is essential, often integrated into a bachelor's degree program in education.

UNE provides a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art Education, encompassing the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Core Curriculum, required art and education courses, elective choices, field experience in art education settings, and an internship. This ensures students graduate with practical experience and the artistic skills needed for success as a K-12 arts teacher in Maine.

UNE's teacher education programs emphasize competencies to meet Maine's teacher certification standards. Completing the Art Education major satisfies all requisites of the Maine State K-12 Visual Arts Teacher Certification Program.

What are the requirements for a degree in art education?

Requirements for an art education degree vary by school. Generally, an art education major teaches you about education theory and practice while enhancing your skills in visual arts. Most colleges and universities will also require core academic classes that provide a foundation for your college education. Art education majors will usually also need to complete the required field experience and a student teaching internship.

At UNE, students must meet the following requirements for a degree in art education:

  • Complete CAS Core Requirements
  • Complete required Art and Education courses plus elective course options
  • Complete field experience in art classrooms of various grade levels
  • Complete Advanced Standing requirements at 60 credits
  • Complete a 15-week student teaching internship experience at a local Maine Public School
  • Demonstrate their teaching competence with respect to Maine Common Core Teaching Standards before the Professional Educator Review Board (PERB)

At the completion of their bachelor's degree, UNE art education students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the Maine Common Core Teaching Standards
  • Demonstrate professionalism through accountability and engagement
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral formats
  • Demonstrate appropriate dispositions as defined by professional expectations
  • Demonstrate expertise in a wide variety of modes and methods of creating in art

What can you do with an art education degree?

Many art education majors aim to be visual arts teachers, but there are other career paths you can follow with an art education degree. These encompass roles like graphic designer, digital animator, private art studio instructor, photographer, web designer, educator in an art museum setting, and fine artist.

As an Art Education student at UNE, you will have the ability to work with our Academic and Career Advising Center. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear career goal or just a general interest in a field.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

Are there scholarships or financial aid for art education majors?

There are scholarships available for art education majors. You will need to invest time and thought in seeking opportunities, crafting your portfolio, and managing your submissions. To aid in your search, ask the art department at your current school, reach out to local publications, or contact your top college choices to see what is available.

UNE offers merit-based scholarships independent of whatever degree path you choose. We are committed to affordability in education. Here are some relevant statistics:

  • 98% of undergraduates receive merit-based scholarships
  • The average total award package for our students is $24K
  • $42M awarded annually in institutional scholarships

Learn more about grants and scholarships available for students at UNE

Student Financial Services at UNE comprises the Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices. Our comprehensive program makes the most of the institutional and federal monies available to you. To help you and your family find the financial means to achieve your educational goals, contact us at or (207) 602-2342. Our office hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

What is the best art education program for me?

Below are a few factors to consider when choosing the best art education program for you.


Identify your priorities as a student and learn more about your potential teachers. Discover what kind of connections you can make there that will further your career.

At UNE, Arts programs are led by nationally recognized professional artists, while Education programs are taught by faculty combining real-world experience, teaching dedication, and scholarship. The UNE Arts Education program aims to foster individual growth, development, and expression, guiding students toward successful careers.

Meet faculty and professional staff in the School of Arts and Humanities
Meet faculty and professional staff in the School of Education


Learn about the types of classes you’ll be taking and the amount of field experience plus internships and student teaching opportunities. Ask about things that matter to you including class size and learning environment.

UNE’s Art Education K-12 program allows students to graduate with a teaching certificate, on-the-job experience, and the artistic skills they’ll need to be successful K-12 visual arts teachers. Program highlights include hands-on learning experiences. Students benefit from continuous fieldwork beginning in their first semester and a 15-week student teaching internship.

UNE actively participates in experiential learning. Through in-depth study in the studio, students master artistic techniques that culminate with their own art exhibition.

Learn more about UNE's full Arts Education curriculum including examples of available courses

Career goals

Determine if the program offers career advising and qualifies you for the art education career you want including the right accreditation and licensing or certification requirements you'll need to meet for professional practice. UNE has strong relationships with local schools which means our School of Education students benefit from continuous fieldwork, beginning their first semester. The hours spent working directly with K -12 students prepare graduates to be the best visual arts teachers they can be and often open the door to opportunities for permanent employment.

There is a need for general elementary school teachers in Maine. The Maine Department of Education reports a shortage for the 2023-2024 school year. Students will leave UNE’s Art Education Program as skilled and confident advocates for the arts with Maine state teaching certification (levels K-12) in the visual arts.

Overall, UNE offers Career Advising to help Art Education graduates plan their next step. 93% of bachelor’s degree graduates are employed or continuing higher education within six months to one year of graduating.

Location and environment

Ask yourself what kind of environment suits you best. Figure out if you want to stay in your state or if you wish to move. See if you will be inspired or challenged by your fellow students.

UNE School of Education students study on UNE's scenic Biddeford or historic Portland Campus. Portland's art scene includes the Portland Museum of Art, SPACE Gallery, and numerous private and nonprofit art galleries plus the Art Gallery on UNE's Portland Campus. Also, the Office of Student Affairs collaborates with our Art programs to bring a variety of arts events to the Biddeford Campus.

There are also study-abroad options available for UNE students. In addition to opportunities to spend a semester abroad, you may choose to enroll in our education-related or another short-term travel course.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities at UNE

Additionally, UNE boasts small class sizes. Overall, we have a 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an average class size of 20.

Learn more quick facts about UNE

Financial aid

Does the school you are considering offer financial aid or scholarships to help you in your education? A UNE undergraduate education is very affordable. Our tuition is 16% below the average tuition for private universities in New England. Plus, all incoming full-time undergraduate students at UNE will receive Merit Scholarships in amounts from $5,000 to $22,000 per year.

Learn more about grants and scholarships available to students at UNE