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Bachelor's Degree in Art Education (Teacher Certification)

If you love children and have a passion for art, UC’s degree program in Art Education prepares you for career opportunities that combine both. An art education degree offers the perfect education, and credential, for your future and career goals. From the traditional to the innovative, you’ll challenge yourself with media and technique as you work with faculty members who are accomplished artists in their own right. It’s the art teacher degree you need to develop a solid art education built on a quality liberal arts foundation for the certification you need to pursue art education opportunities.


What is an Art Education Degree?

An art education degree provides the training and qualifications that educators need to pursue a career in teaching art to children. Coursework for these certification programs explore a variety of media and methods for artistic expression, especially those age-appropriate for P-12 classrooms, in combination with lessons in classroom management, assessments, planning, and more. 

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What Can You Do with an Art Education Degree?

When you complete your art education program with P-12 certification, you’ll be well-prepared to begin your career teaching art in school settings. Start teaching art at a high school level, where teachers—including art teachers—averaged $61,820 in 2030, according to the U.S. Bachelor of Labor Statistics. Or use your art teacher degree to pursue opportunities in elementary school settings where teachers averaged $61,350.

Some art teacher degree graduates develop careers in fine art producing, exhibiting, and selling their work, often furthering their formal instruction by pursuing graduate degrees. These craft and fine art professionals averaged $49,960 in 2030. Other potential careers with an art teacher education can include:

  • Art Teacher
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Advertising Professional
  • Art Therapist

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How to Become an Art Teacher

Aspiring teachers will want to check with the certifying board in the state they wish to teach, as each one has slightly different qualification requirements. But some things are almost universally required.

The first step is to gain an education by earning a relevant degree from an accredited institution for higher learning. To teach art in P-12 public school systems, you must attend a recognized bachelor’s degree program that explores artistic expression and how to teach to younger age groups. These programs will likely have a student teaching obligation for completion, which is a requirement for certification in most, if not all, states.

From there, new educators will likely need to pass a state test and apply for teaching certification. After that, it’s a matter of applying to art teaching positions. 

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Why is Art Education Important?

There are a number of reasons why art is essential to our culture and our way of life. Art is the act of creativity realized. Art evokes feeling, shines a light in the darkness, demonstrates skill, offers hope, and sparks joy. You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate art. Its impact has a far wider reach than that.

Art in education is equally important. It can actually have an impact on other areas of study. It is linked to academic achievement, motivated students, teamwork, and building confidence. It also has a beneficial impact on math, reading, critical thinking, reasoning, verbal skills and more. Like education itself, integrating art into curriculum is an investment in the development and progress of our youth. 

Likewise, training education professionals to teach, guide, and develop relevant art curriculum is an investment in our collective futures. 

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Experiment with different techniques through UC's curriculum that includes a broad range of media as well as art history. Expand your horizons in the University’s collection and through organized trips to art museums in nearby cities like Louisville, Cincinnati, and Knoxville. Discover what it means to be a working artist by presenting your best pieces for exhibition. (In the past, work by faculty and students has been featured in solo and group exhibitions and has been reviewed in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and catalogs.)

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science with a Teaching Major in Art – 45 semester hours

Core requirements for a major in Art (24 hours) 

6 hours from one of the following sequences: 

9 hours of Art electives at the 300 or 400 level. 


*Students seeking secondary certification must also take 42 hours of professional education courses. 

Bachelor of Arts with a Teaching Major in Arts

Completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree plus a world language through the intermediate level.

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information. 

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below. 

KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.

CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level.  CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement.  UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077

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Click here to view a list of the art faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone:  606.539.4240
Toll-Free:  877.713.8767
Fax:  606.539.4303

Visit Us In Person

6178 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769

CAEP Accreditation


 The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands complies with all CAEP standards across programs at the initial and advanced levels.