Art Education, B.S.

Program Code: AED_BS

Entrance to Major

All candidates seeking entrance to Art Education for Schools option must meet the following entrance to major criteria:

  1. Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA and at least 48 credits completed (at the time of application).
  2. Satisfaction of the ETS Praxis CORE exam, in order to meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education Basic Skills Testing requirement.
  3. Complete 6 credits in Quantification (GQ)
  4. Complete ENGL 15 or ENGL 30
  5. Complete 3 credits in literature (GH) (C or higher required)
  6. Complete early field experience: AED 101S (C or higher required)
  7. Complete education foundation courses: EDPSY 14, PSYCH 100 (C or higher required)
  8. Complete art education foundation courses: AED 201W, AED 211, AED 212 (C or higher required)
  9. Complete art studio & art history foundations: ART 110, ART 111, ART 122Y, ARTH 111, ARTH 112 (C or higher required)
  10. Complete and document a minimum of 80 hours of paid or volunteer work with age appropriate population. At least 40 of these age-appropriate 80 hours would be satisfied by working with "under-represented" learners whose cultural, social, or ethnic backgrounds differ from the candidate's own.

Entrance Procedures

Incoming First Year Students

Incoming first year students must apply to Penn State. Students will enter the AAART pre-major upon successful application for admission. During your studies at Penn State students must then meet the entrance-to-major requirements listed above to be admitted to the Art Education major.

Change of Major/Change of Campus Students

Change of major/Change of Campus students are required to submit a portfolio and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above at the time of acceptance to major. Portfolios are submitted through Slideroom and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Portfolios should include 10-12 images of the applicant’s work and a statement (500-word max) to describe one of the artworks. Upon successful portfolio review students will be admitted to the AAART pre-major. Students must then meet the entrance-to-major criteria listed above to be admitted to the Art Education major.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must apply for undergraduate admissions to Penn State. Undergraduate applications for admission to Penn State must be complete and submitted before uploading the required portfolio. Portfolios are submitted through Slideroom and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Portfolios should include 10-12 images of the applicant’s work and a statement (500-word max) to describe one of the artworks. Upon successful portfolio review students will be admitted to the AAART pre-major. Students must then meet the entrance-to-major criteria listed above to be admitted to the Art Education major.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education a minimum of 134 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 104

12-15 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes; 6 credits of GA courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 3-6 credits of GH courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
AED 101SIntroduction to Art Education3
AED 201WHistory and Philosophy of Art Education in Schools and Cultural Institutions3
AED 211Interpreting Art Experience: Social and Behavioral Perspectives Keystone/General Education Course3
AED 212Interpreting Art Experience: Educational Implications1
AED 225Diversity, Pedagogy, and Visual Culture Keystone/General Education Course3
AED 322Visual Culture and Educational Technologies3
AED 323Visual Culture and Art Education3
AED 401Curricula, Pedagogy, and Assessment in Art Education3
AED 489Advanced Practicum3
AED 490Capstone Course in Art Education3
ART 11First-Year Seminar- School of Visual Arts1
ART 110Ideas as Visual Images3
ART 111Ideas as Objects3
ART 122YCommentary on Art3
ARTH 111Ancient to Medieval Art Keystone/General Education Course3
ARTH 112Renaissance to Modern Art Keystone/General Education Course3
EDPSY 14Learning and Instruction Keystone/General Education Course3
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
SPLED 400Inclusive Special Ed Foundations: Legal, Characteristics, Collaboration, Assessment, and Management4
SPLED 403BEvidence-Based Methods for Teaching Secondary Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 12 credits at the beginning level from the following:12
ART 201
ART 203
Introduction to Digital Art and Design Criticism
Figure Drawing
Drawing: Techniques, Materials, and Tools
Beginning Sculpture
Beginning Printmaking
Beginning Oil Painting
Beginning Ceramics
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Foreign Study--Art
Introduction to Photography Keystone/General Education Course
Photo Studio I
A Chronological Survey of Photography
Select 3 credits in literature (GH) courses3
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Introduction to Language, Culture, and Social Interaction Keystone/General Education Course
The Ecology of Global English Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners Keystone/General Education Course
Select 15 credits of the following:15
Art Education Student Teaching Practicum
and Art Education Student Teaching Practicum
Art Education Student Teaching Practicum
and Art Education Student Teaching Practicum
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 8 credits in Art at the 300 or 400 level8
Select 6 credits in Art History at the 300 or 400 level6

Learning Outcomes

  • Be prepared as knowledgeable, skilled, and caring professional art educators;
  • Generate and disseminate knowledge that leads to new pedagogical understandings, on which more effective policies and practices can be grounded;  
  • Collaborate across disciplines, professions, and constituencies to promote social change that leads to educational improvements;
  • Acquire and apply knowledge of contemporary art and learning theory, and the use of instructional technologies grounded in historical and cultural understandings;  
  • Possess individual skills and dispositions that distinguish them as well prepared, curious, and responsive educators capable of continuing to pursue study in graduate education.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Angela Rothrock
School of Visual Arts Advising Coordinator
211 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
AED 101S (GA; IL)*#†3AED 201W (W)*#3
ART 11*1ART 111*#3
ART 110*#3ARTH 112 (GA)*#†3
ARTH 111*#3PSYCH 100 (GS)*#†3
ENGL 15, 15A, or ENGL 30‡# 3General Education Course (GQ)‡#3
General Education (GQ)‡#3 
 16 15
Second Year
AED 211*#3AED 225 (US)*3
AED 212*#1APLNG 200, 210, or CI 280 (GH)*†3
EDPSY 14*#3ART 122Y (W)*#3
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
Additional Course for Major, Literature for General Education (GH)*#†13General Education Course3
General Education Course3Supporting Course, 300/400-level Art History*23
 16 18
Third Year
AED 322*3AED 401*3
AED 323*3SPLED 400*4
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3Additional Course for Major (see list)*13
Additional Course for Major (see list)*13General Education Course3
General Education Course3Supporting Course, 300/400-level Art *24
Supporting Course, 300/400-level Art History*23 
 18 17
Fourth Year
AED 489*3AED 495A or 495C*7
AED 490*3AED 495B or 495D*8
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3 
SPLED 403B*3 
General Education Course3 
Supporting Course, 300/400-level Art *24 
 19 15
Total Credits 134

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Career Paths

The Art Education program prepares you to become a knowledgeable, skilled, and caring professional art educator, capable of making a difference in the lives of those you have the privilege to teach. In building on your inherent creative and critical capacities as an artist, you have at your disposal a wealth of skills in working with materials and media, accessing multiple visual languages of communication, and challenging what we know about human potential, all of which contribute to your success as an educational leader. Helping others to learn has forever been a basic human activity, and your future in art teaching is assured.


Early in your experience in the Art Education program, you become involved in a variety of observational and participatory experiences in different art learning settings that culminates in an extensive pre-practice internship in schools. Therefore, you learn on the job. This establishes a core characteristic of art teaching, which is that art teachers never retire because there is always another way to express and respond to everyday experiences, and it’s worth sharing. Many of our strongest majors also complete B.F.A. degrees in studio art. Others complete dual degrees or minors in Special Education or other areas likely to increase their marketability.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

You are encouraged to extend your academic and professional opportunities while completing your degree. Upon completion, you are prepared for a career as an educator in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as visual arts educators in museums and community settings. In addition, our students are prepared to enroll in graduate studies to become college and university professors, researchers, and scholars. You are strongly encouraged to join professional networks such as the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) and the National Art Education Association (NAEA).


Professional Societies


  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Middle States Association (MSCHE)


Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.


University Park

210 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802