B.F.A. in Art Education

Art education is a professional, career-oriented program that prepares students for positions as educators and artists in the community. Graduates of the WMU art education program occupy leadership positions in schools, colleges and universities, non-profit arts organizations, art museums and professional associations. By integrating studio skills with knowledge of historical and contemporary arts, critical theory, learning theory and pedagogical practice, the art education curriculum guides students to a deep understanding of the creative process and the personal and cultural value of visual expression. Students engage in pre-internship teaching experiences through the Saturday Morning Art program and service learning in the community. Successful completion of the art education program, including a fifth-year of internship in the schools, can lead directly to K-12 teacher certification and the visual arts education endorsement and/or to graduate studies.


Curriculum: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education

Basic studies requirement—12 credits

  • ART 1040 Object Drawing*
  • ART 1050 Drawing Studio*
  • ART 1070 Form and Surface*
  • ART 1080 Form and Space*

*Prerequisites for all studio art and art education majors and minors

Writing—3 credits

  • ART 3250 Writing About Art

Studio art distribution—21 credits

  • ART 2100 Drawing I
  • ART 2300 Ceramics I
  • ART 2400 Painting I
  • ART 2160 Black and White Photography I
  • ART 2290 Digital Video Concepts or ART 2490 Digital Photography I
  • ART 2310 Sculpture I or ART 2380 Metals & Jewelry I
  • ART 2800 Printmedia I

Studio art concentration—9 credits

Intermediate and advanced level coursework (3000-5000 Level) in one studio area:

  • Ceramics
  • Metals/Jewelry
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmedia
  • Sculpture 

Art history—12 credits

2000-Level Survey Requirement (choose 3)

  • ART 2200 Caves to Cathedrals
  • ART 2210 Modern and Postmodern
  • ART 2220 Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
  • ART 2230 Introduction to Asian Art History

One elective in contemporary art history

  • ART 3900 20th Century Art: 1945–present or other contemporary art history elective upon approval of art education area coordinator

Professional concentration in art education—18 credits

  • ART 3520 Prep. for Elementary Art Education
  • ART 4520 Prep. for Secondary Art Education
  • ART 5520 Art Education Practicum (must be repeated for a total of 12 credits)

Teacher education—9 credits

  • ED 2500 Human Development and Learning
  • LS 3050 Content Area Literacy
  • ES 3950 School and Society

(see the education advisor, 2504 Sangren, for info concerning mandatory Michigan tests)

Intern teaching—24 credits

  • ED 4100 Seminar in Education
  • ED 4710 Intern Teaching: Elementary/Middle
  • ED 4100 Seminar in Education
  • ED 4750 Intern Teaching: Middle/Secondary

Students should consult the WMU catalog for the art education program course descriptions and requirements.


Portfolio Reviews

Portfolio reviews for admission into the B.F.A. in art education program will be held each spring semester and will be applicable for admission in the fall semester of the upcoming academic year. In order to remain in this program students must take their art education courses in their proper sequence. 



With over 3,400 square feet of studio, storage and display space, the art education program facilities are housed in South Kohrman Hall, adjacent to the Frostic School of Art studios and art history classrooms. The fully equipped art education classrooms function as a lab school for pre-service teachers through the Saturday Morning Art Program, offering flexible space and all necessary equipment from heavy work benches to state-of-the-art digital technology. 

Student Group

The art education program works closely with the Michigan Art Education Association—MAEA, the state's professional organization for art educators. The Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association—NAEA—is large and active, providing community-based art instruction to underserved populations in the community, and participating in annual conferences of the MAEA and NAEA. 


The art education program is truly a hands-on program, predicated on research that correlates extensive practice in the K-12 classroom with greater success in the job market and professional life. Throughout the undergraduate degree program, art education majors engage in nearly 100 hours of observation and practice in art classrooms and community education settings, working with mentor teachers and their students, and developing and delivering personalized art curricula through the Saturday Morning Art Program. Students participate in two semesters of student teaching, which provides an additional 1200 hours of supervised professional practice. 

Saturday Morning Art

Saturday Morning Art — SMArt — is the Art Education program's lab school. Designed for young people ages 7 to 15 who enjoy art and wish to develop their talents, SMArt classes explore a wide range of creative approaches, mediums, and techniques. Each fall and spring semester, SMArt classes meet across seven Saturdays, from 9 to 11 a.m., in the Frostic School of Art studios, South Kohrman Hall. Overseen by art education program faculty, classes for children and youth ages 7 to 8, 9 to 11, and 12 to 15 are taught by enthusiastic and experienced upper-level art education majors.

SMArt: Enroll Online