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

MA with Certification

Master of Arts in Art and Art Education
with Initial Teacher Certification

Minimum Credit Point Requirement: 40
2 Years Minimum
Degree level: MA
Major code: ARTE-INIT

Degree Description
This program is designed primarily for individuals with undergraduate or graduate degrees in studio art, art history or museum studies who wish to gain Initial Art Teacher’s Certification (PK-12). Work towards certification entails the equivalent of one year and one summer of structured coursework, followed by two terms (Fall and Spring) of a full-time supervised practicum (student teaching). Students may complete the coursework component of this program on a full-time or part-time basis. However, the supervised practicum or student teaching demands one year of full-time commitment, starting in the fall.

In order to receive an MA degree with Initial Teacher Certification, students must complete 40 credit points at Teachers College.

Course Work – 34 credit points
Student Teaching – 6 credit points

Required Courses

Art Education Required Courses

Breadth (“Out of Program”) Required Courses
Students in the MA with Initial Teacher Certification must fulfill TC’s breadth requirement by taking three (3) courses offered outside Art and Art Education at Teachers College. Any course that does not start with A&HA qualifies as an “out of program” or “breadth” course. Students working to earn certification must earn 3 credits in a Special Education course (required by the NYS DOE for certification) as part of the breadth requirement. The other two breadth courses must be taken for two (2) credit points.

Supervised Practicum (Student Teaching): 6 credit points
Student teaching entails two terms of full-time supervised practicums in school settings--one secondary and one elementary. Each term of student teaching is worth 3 credit points.

  • 3 student teaching credit points are considered full-time for financial aid purposes.
  • Students should plan to student teach during the last two terms of study for the degree.
  • The first term of student teaching must occur in the fall and the second in the spring (no exceptions).
  • In order to begin student teaching, students must have completed and received a grade for all required courses and a total of 34 credit points.
  • The student teacher advisor will meet with students prior to their first practicum and work with them to determine their placement.
  • All student teachers must complete Certificate of Equivalency forms for 9 credits each term. Advisors will guide students through this simple administrative process.
  • During the two terms of student teaching, students will meet weekly as a group in a seminar held at TC.
  • The practicum requires full commitment. Therefore, no courses may be taken during student teaching (exceptions may be made for Studio courses and the 1 credit point Conversations Weekend Workshop).

Course Load And Program Timeline
Students must plan their schedules carefully, as some courses are only offered in the Fall (F) term and others in the Spring (Sp). Some courses are offered in Summer (Su) session A and/or B as well. A full-time course load at TC is considered to be 12 credit points but most financial aid packages accept 6-credit point course loads (3 credit-points during student teaching).

Students attending TC full time will need to complete one Fall term, one Spring term, and at least one Summer session before they student teach. (There are two sessions each Summer: Summer A and Summer B. There is a 9-credit point maximum course load per summer session).

Following is a sample timeline (individuals’ timelines are likely to vary):

There is a five-year limit for part-time students to complete the MA degree requirements. Part-time students should select courses in consultation with their advisors.

Certification Information
To gain Initial Teacher Certification students must adhere to the following:

  1. In accordance with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and as outlined by the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI), all students seeking Teacher Certification, must have completed (3) three undergraduate credits in English, Math, Science, History and Foreign Language. If you have not completed these courses as part of your undergraduate education, you may do so while in the Program, or you may choose to take a College Level Examination Program test (CLEP) in addition to your program coursework. (If you have foreign language proficiency, as a result of personal experience, you will be required to document this proficiency through a language CLEP test or through being tested by a Language Professor working within a Language Department of an accredited college or university). For more information on meeting the Liberal Arts & Sciences Core requirements, please contact the Office of Teacher Education (OTE) at Teachers College.
  2. Complete all degree requirements, including two terms of student teaching and 3 credits in Special Education.
  3. Get fingerprinted through the New York City Department of Education.
  4. Provide proof of negative TB status.
  5. Take NY State examinations and fulfill portfolio requirements:
  6. Complete online tutorial: Child Abuse and Violence Detection (see below).

Students will receive all pertinent information to complete items 1-5 in the Supervised Teaching seminar.

Child Abuse and Violence Detection
The Child Abuse and Violence Detection tutorials are for no credit points. These tutorials may be accessed at Students may complete this work anytime while at TC, and should make sure to print out all relevant certificates and other documentation.

NCATE Requirements
To satisfy NCATE standards, students in the Teacher Certification program are expected to complete a series of assessments during the course of their program. All of these assessments are built into required courses and are thus part of students’ coursework. Art Education NCATE assessments are:

  • Artistic Development of Adolescents: Interview Paper and Sequential Lesson Paper
  • Curriculum Design: Curriculum Design Group Project
  • Supervised Teaching Seminar: Student Teaching Observations, Reflective Journal and Integrative Paper

Students who do not have enough studio credits prior to admission to TC may be required to complete between 3 and 12 credits of studio coursework before graduation, in addition to the three studio courses required for the Program. When this is the case, students will receive a letter outlining this requirement at the time of admission.

Students can fulfill pre-requisite courses before or during their time at TC. The courses can be taken at TC but may also be taken at other credited institutions, at the undergraduate or graduate level. Please note that continuing education credits do not fulfill this requirement. (Schools in the CUNY and SUNY system, as well as in the State University of New Jersey are popular choices for studio pre-requisites).

Transfer Credit
Credit points from other institutions may not be transferred into the MA program in Art Education.

Statement on Satisfactory Progress
Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements. Program faculty will review each student’s progress annually. Where there are concerns about satisfactory progress, students will be informed by the Program faculty. If a student is performing below expectations he/she may be required to complete additional course work. The Program will provide a plan and timeline for remediation so students know the expectations for their continuance in the program. If satisfactory progress is not maintained a student may be dismissed from the program.


Standard policies and procedures

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