M.S. Art and Design Education


Our master's degree program in art and design education will prepare you to thrive as an art educator. You'll be ready to be a leader, scholar and risk-taker in many settings, including K-12 schools, colleges, universities and cultural institutions. We'll show you how to create diverse programs that appeal to both students and communities. Our program will also help you develop your personal strengths and learn to advocate for art and design in schools.

You'll have access to:

  • Assistantships and other financial support.
  • Research opportunities.
  • Our strong professional network.
  • Plentiful art and design education resources.

Our Philosophy

We're dedicated to preparing competent, knowledgeable art educators. We believe that art should be a part of everyone's general education. Program learning objectives are based on national and state standards for art teacher education. You'll learn methodologies for encouraging K-12 students' individual expression, visual discrimination and critical judgment skills.

Program Requirements

You can enroll in this program if you're seeking educator licensure, or if you're a professional or educator in-service candidate. You should have an art-related undergraduate degree.

Read more about program requirements.

Program Highlights

We offer many opportunities for financial support, including scholarships, travel funding, tuition waivers and assistantships. A teaching assistantship will provide experience working with undergraduate students. A research assistantship will build your skills in areas such as faculty research and managerial work.

You can apply for an assistantship by filling out a form when you apply to the program.

Our accomplished faculty members will mentor you as you conduct and present your research. They will also provide guidance as you learn about conference planning, editorial experience, program planning and other areas.

You'll enjoy being a part of the collegial community our faculty members ensure. They also work to build connections with potential employers. This network can help you find employment after graduation. You can also build your professional network at conferences. Some of the conferences our students have been involved with include:

Thanks to our close proximity to Chicago, you'll have access to major museums and other important resources. You can also make use of NIU's art and design education resources, including library facilities and the NIU Art Museum.

We'll also give you many opportunities to connect with the extended art education community. You can build your professional network at events such as our scholar/speaker series, which brings leaders in the field to campus.

Our talented faculty members are known around the world for their excellence in scholarship, as well as teaching and service.

Douglas Boughton
Professor of art education
Area of focus: Assessment and curriculum

Kerry Freedman
Professor of art education
Area of focus: Visual culture and curriculum

Kelly Gross
Assistant professor of art education
Area of focus: Disability studies and technology

Kryssi Staikidis
Professor of art education
Area of Focus: Multiculturalism

Shei-Chau Wang
Professor of art education
Area of focus: Studio pedagogy/cross-cultural curriculum

Application Information

We welcome you to apply for admission.