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Art and Art Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Art and Art Education


INSTEP: Summer Intensive
Master of Arts in Art and Art Education

3 Years Minimum
Minimum Credit Point Requirement: 34
Degree Level: MA
Major Code: ARTE

Degree Description
The Art and Art Education Program offers a summer program that aims to address the needs of teachers who are interested in extending their professional practice as teachers, artists and researchers by offering them the opportunity to acquire their master’s degree in a concentrated experience. The INSTEP program is guided by artistic and critical perspectives that are used to investigate pedagogical, philosophical, and theoretical issues informing educational theory and practice. Particular efforts are made to integrate students’ theoretical inquiries and studio-based investigations as a way to explore educational outcomes.

The 34-point MA degree is specially designed for individuals seeking in-service opportunities, or who need the Master's degree to complete state Professional Certification; the degree can be completed over three summers. Each summer students take no less than four (4) courses for a total of 10 credit points. A final Independent Study for 1-4 credit points is taken towards the conclusion of the program for finalization of a master's project.

Required Courses

Art Education Required Courses

Course Load And Program Timeline
Courses for Summer Master's students are offered in Summer (Su) session B for approximately 5 weeks. During the Fall and Spring academic semesters, students develop and conduct research projects in their own school settings, and correspond with faculty. During the Summer, a full-time course load is considered to be 10 points (students qualify for most financial aid with 6-point course loads). Additional credits are earned for Out-of-Program courses, and Master’s thesis advisement.

Required Courses Beyond Art Education (“Out of Program”)
As in all Teachers College programs, INSTEP students are required to take three (3) courses offered outside of Art and Art Education at Teachers College. Any course that does not start with A&HA qualifies as an “Out of Program” course. These course may be taken during Summer (Su) session A or online during the Fall and Spring academic semesters. Each of these courses must be taken for at least two (2) credits.

Summer Master's Graduation Requirements

1. Special Project (Thesis)
Students in the 34-point MA Program must complete a Special Project (Master’s Thesis) to graduate. Therefore, students are required to enroll in the Master’s Seminar, where they develop a proposal for their Special Project. The Special Project is completed over the course of the term(s) following the Master’s Seminar under the advisement of a faculty member.

2. Personal Portfolio:
In order to graduate from the Summer INSTEP program you are required to submit a personal portfolio representing your accomplishments. The Portfolio is envisioned as an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning, to bring a variety of materials together in one place, and prepare a professional presentation that will be useful to you in your teaching or future academic work. The portfolio should have six sections:

Section 1) Record of your experiences in New York

Keep a record of your experiences in New York from your personal vantage point as either a resident or as a visitor. This can be constructed as a photo essay, journal notes, long poem, a compilation of materials collected while in the city, blog, website or a combination of several of these.

Section 2) A synoptic overview of your Master's Thesis, including the bibliography

This should consist of four or five pages that identify your problem, research question, limitations, methods, findings, discussion of findings, and implications for education.

Section 3) Two writing samples

Choose two papers written in the program that you think are particularly successful and represent your best work.

Section 4) Examples of your professional practice

This might combine selected examples of your own artwork and your students' artwork.

Section 5) A video/DVD of your own teaching

For successful completion of the degree, the State requires that you produce evidence of your classroom practice. Thus we are requesting to see at least one full lesson of your choice, to be included with the portfolio; this will be reviewed by our teacher education faculty.

Section 6) An updated CV

Graduation Deadlines:
Students should anticipate the submission of their portfolio and Special Project (Thesis) on the following deadlines for the three graduation options: for the October graduation, no later than September 15; for the February graduation, no later than January 15; and for the May graduation, no later than April 15.

Credits from other institutions may not be transferred into the MA programs in Art Education.

For more information on our different master’s level degree programs, please download the Master’s Handbook.