Share your artistic spirit with an art degree

Become a transformative art educator with your BFA in Art Education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. As the only undergraduate art degree of its kind in the area, you’ll combine educational theory with an intensive studio and visual art experience. Develop your artistic expertise along with the skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s K–12 classroom. Our art BFA will ignite your passion for art and help you share it with future generations while opening doors to exciting art careers beyond the classroom.

Why get an art education degree?

As a reflection of the human experience, art helps us make sense of our own lives and better identify with the lives of others. Art is a fundamental human language that encourages us to question, interpret and critically engage with the world around us.

Leverage your art education degree to cultivate the next generation of creative thinkers and artists. With our intensive art BFA, you’ll get the hands-on experiences with art and education that’ll prepare you to teach art in Missouri schools upon graduation.


Program type:

Major, BFA



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Postsecondary Art Teacher showing students how to paint.

Why earn your art education degree at UMSL?

The BFA in Art with an emphasis in Art Education prepares students for a career in art education. Upon completion of your art BFA, you’ll be fully certified to teach art to grades K–12 in the state of Missouri. Enter the classroom with confidence with your art degree from UMSL thanks to our:

  • Award-winning faculty. Learn from art education experts like Jennifer Fisher, winner of the 2021 Missouri Art Educator of the Year and 2022 Western Region Higher Educator of the Year awards.
  • Intensive studio art experience. Unlike other types of art degrees, you’ll pair your education degree with intensive studio art training at UMSL, preparing you for the classroom and beyond.
  • Expansive alumni network. Access unrivaled mentorship and professional development opportunities with the largest art education alumni network in the Greater St. Louis area.

What can you do with an art degree?

We’re often asked, “What can you do with an art degree?”

At UMSL, the BFA in Art Education isn’t just about mastering paintbrushes and palettes. With your art education degree, you’ll unlock a world of possibilities, allowing you to delve into the rich history of art and design and analyze visual phenomena with a critical eye.

Your art degree will challenge you to become an extraordinary problem-solver who can tackle challenges in the studio, digital spaces and the classroom. Imagine engaging in lively discussions about the ever-evolving landscape of art and wielding a variety of artistic tools from traditional mediums like canvas and oils to cutting-edge technology like augmented reality. You’ll even develop a discerning eye to refine your own work and push creative boundaries.

So, what can you do with an art degree? With your BFA in Art Education, you’ll learn more than artistic skills. You’ll cultivate a powerful toolkit for critical thinking, problem-solving and communication, empowering you to shape the future as you inspire the next generation.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Art Teacher
  • Art Museum Program Director
  • Professional Teaching Artist
  • K-12 School Arts Administration
  • Higher Education Art Educator


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan Download 4-Year Academic Map

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the UMSL state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as an art education major. 

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.