MA Online Courses

Students complete at least 7 courses and at least 32 credit hours. Courses run in seven-week intensives where students take one course at a time. Students typically complete two courses per semester and can complete the program in 18-24 months.

Click on a course name below to read the description.

Core Courses

(16 credits, all required)

AR600 (4 credits)

Examines current trends in practice and theory as well as artists of the past and present who express contemporary personal, social and global concerns in their work. Discussions are focused on how the course content can influence classroom curriculum and instruction. Students conduct library research to find related articles on a topic relative to the course content. Assignments are written, visual and digital.

AR620 (4 credits)

The study of contemporary techniques for implementation of goals in planning curricula and programs of study for all levels Pre-K-8 and 5-12. Instruction includes consideration of scope and sequence in relation to stages of development, and community and individual needs. A substantial terminal written project is required.

AR890 (8 credits)

The purpose of the Master’s Research Project is to demonstrate the research, scholarly writing skills and acquired knowledge necessary for the advanced professional degree. This project will provide students with an opportunity to utilize the information gained in graduate study to connect learning and theory to best practice. Students will focus on choosing a topic specifically applied to applied/action research. The final product will include the following components: a review of relevant literature, an appropriate research design, a methodology that defines techniques for data gathering, analysis of findings, conclusions and developing implications and suggestions for future research, as well as implementation of the results of the study in the classroom.


(16 credits, select four courses)

AR610 (4 credits)

Provides an examination of approaches to the education of children with special needs. Designed to help the art specialist integrate special youngsters into heterogeneous school settings; coursework includes the study of behavior, assessment, linguistic needs, classroom management, and different modes of interdisciplinary and intercultural learning.

AR690 (4 credits)

This course is intended to enrich art educators’ understanding of the origins and on-going development of Visual Arts education in the United States. It will acquaint students with the rich history of their field through discussion, research and writing a historical paper. Beginning with the emergence of art education through an early apprenticeship model and progressing through the centuries to a Contemporary understanding of what Visual Art Education means and is, grounds the content of this course.

PS630 (4 credits)

This course employs personal art making, discussion, qualitative research, presentations and written reflections as the various forms students use to demonstrate their understanding of the psychological, cultural and artistic development of children and adolescents. The theories of foundational developmental psychologists Gardner, Piaget, and Vygotsky are considered as well as the theories of artistic development put forth by Burton and Lowenfeld, Hurwitz and others. The contributions of art educators Eisner and Malaguzzi are also discussed.

Specifically, the course will examine the role of the senses, emotions and intellect in shaping artistic development, and of the layered integrations they form over time. Artists-teachers need carefully consider the nature of those who will learn; what is to be taught; and the values of the society in which education takes place. The course will offer opportunities to reflect on the various conceptions of the learner that will guide educational practices, from behavioral psychologists to artists and educators.

ME548 (4 credits)

To model real-world arts-integration implementation, students will engage in team-based learning and project development between arts and non-arts subjects, and/or between the arts disciplines. Collaborative projects will be informed by the histories, theories, philosophies, approaches, and exemplars of arts integration programs in North America.

AR670 (4 credits)

This course is intended to address policy issues and advocacy strategies for leaders in the arts. Local, State and National Arts Education policies and advocacy programs will be addressed. Students will research agencies, partners and other organizations beyond the schools that serve as sources for advocacy and often influence policy. Students in this course should develop the knowledge and expertise in understanding needs for change and developing plans for advocacy.

AR680 (4 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint and prepare in service art teachers with the basic skills and organizational strategies of leadership and management that are needed to serve within school systems and arts educational organizations. Our goal is to prepare in-service art teachers for insightful and strategic leadership within arts educational settings and to be effective agents of change along with being effective teachers and researchers. The course is grounded in theory as well as practice and brings together a community of art educators who will come together ‘ virtually’ through collaborative exercises as well as will have opportunities to work with their own school leadership teams. This course will also bring in guest speakers, exemplary practitioners, researchers and policy makers from academia, public schools and school districts, charter schools and education management organizations, private and independent schools, business, and other organizations to share their experience, research, and insights about effective leadership practices.

AR870 (4 credits); Held on campus at Boston University

Week long residency during which morning and afternoon studio sessions will be attended in addition to trips to museums and social events. Students will be required to keep a visual journal-sketchbook and to complete a final assignment prior to Fall I semester.


The MA in Art Education offers students elective choices along with two optional faculty-designed focuses as described below. This will give students the ability to custom fit a degree tailored to their individual educational goals and professional needs.

Your creative spirit can add an entirely new dimension to educational leadership. The best leaders are creative problem solvers, and have access to a diverse skill-set that enables them to be effective in many roles. Discover how your gift for managing a classroom and developing innovative learning strategies is of great value in building an educational community grounded in the arts. A student who graduates with this focus will be ready to assume an administrative role as a curriculum designer or Fine Arts program director, a professional development organizer, and an advocate for their institution and the value of arts education.

Core Courses + Required Electives:

  • AR680 Insightful and Creative Leadership (4 credits)
  • AR670 Advocacy & Policy (4 credits)
  • + 2 more electives of your choice.

Great art teachers are informed and inspired in their teaching by possessing a strong personal relationship with art. Artist Teachers believe that art holds a valuable place in the fabric of our culture which is why they take their role as educators so seriously. They feel an obligation to transfer their passion and love for the creative process to the students whose lives they touch. It is this strong belief that encourages many prospective students to seek new methods for instruction and delivery that serve as the impetus for creating a new generation of artists in our world. As a student who graduates with this focus, you’ll be exposed to the educational techniques and the artistic inspiration that will empower you as an educator to encourage more students to begin a relationship with art.

Core Courses + Required Electives:

  • AR870 Summer Studios (4 credits); delivered on campus at Boston University
  • AR690 History of Art Education (4 credits)
  • + 2 more electives of your choice.

Core Courses + 4 electives of your choice:
*Choosing this option means there is no studio requirement and that the program may be delivered 100% online. You may, however, take Summer Studios as one of your 4 elective choices.