FAQ - Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact artofc@tc.columbia.edu for any additional help or questions. 

DEGREE PROGRAMS

The Master of Arts with Initial Teacher Certification or M.A. Init (40 credit points) is designed for students who wish to teach art in school settings (Pre-K-12). It is the only art education degree designed to prepare art teachers, and the only one that leads to Initial Teacher Certification (Pre-K-12). This comprehensive, 2-year program is designed very carefully to meet State requirements--and to help you become a fantastic art teacher!

 

For full-time students, the M.A. Init involves one year of coursework (fall, spring, and summer), and another year of student teaching (fall and spring). In their coursework, students learn about the artistic development of children and adolescents, about culturally-responsive teaching, and about creative curriculum design and lesson planning, among other essential areas. Studio courses are another key component--we believe it is indispensable for art educators to continue to develop their art practice, and to draw upon their artistry in their teaching. In addition, the first year involves observations of education programs in schools and other settings (museums, afterschool, etc.).

 

 In the M.A. Init, student teaching takes place after all the coursework is completed. It involves two semesters of a full-time practicum in schools, alongside experienced art teachers. Each student teacher completes an elementary and a secondary student teaching placement--a tremendous asset when searching for jobs after graduation. During their practicum and post-graduation, student teachers have the full support of a Teachers College peer group and TC mentors.

 

The coursework portion of the M.A. Init may be completed part-time; however, the two semesters of student teaching involve a full-time commitment (student teaching always starts in the fall semester). The maximum timeline to complete the entire program is five years. Upon completion of the program, students receive their New York State License to teach Pre-K-12 art in public schools (most states have reciprocity agreements with New York). If you wish to teach in an elementary and/or secondary school that does not require certification (e.g. some independent schools or schools outside the U.S.), we still urge you to consider this program: It will equip you with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience that will best position you for the job market, and empower you to become a fabulous art teacher of children and adolescents.

 

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The Masters of Arts or M.A. (34 credit points) is characterized by its flexibility. It is designed for students who want to pursue their own interests, strengthen their theoretical background, conduct research, and develop special projects in the field of art education. Students in the M.A. include current and prospective museum and community educators, teaching artists, school-based art teachers, and others. 


The M.A. has a relatively small number of required art education research and studio courses, and offers lots of room for students to select courses beyond these requirements. Students in the M.A. may thus decide to take one of our optional concentrations: Museum Education, Art Pedagogy and Teaching, Community Arts, or Creative Technologies. Alternatively, students may develop their own path of study, without a predetermined concentration, in consultation with their advisors. The M.A. may be completed part- or full-time. The minimum timeline to complete the program for full-time students is two years; the maximum for all students is five years. The M.A. does not lead to Initial Art Teacher’s Certification, and does not offer the full scope of theoretical knowledge or practical experience required to teach art in schools. (If you wish to teach in schools, please refer to the M.A. Init).

 

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The Master of Education or Ed.M. (60 credit points) is characterized by its flexibility and depth. Like the M.A., it is designed for students who want to pursue their own interests, strengthen their theoretical background, conduct research, and develop special projects in the field of art education. Students in the Ed.M. include current and prospective museum and community educators, teaching artists, school-based art teachers, as well as students who are seriously considering doctoral studies. 

 

The Ed.M. requires the completion of 60 credit points (vs. the 34 credit points of the MA). As such, this degree involves higher levels of accomplishment in research and deeper specialization. The Ed.M. is a good fit for students who already have a master’s degree and are intent on furthering their learning. It is also suitable for those who are considering doctoral studies but are not quite ready for this step. Successful Ed.M. applicants typically hold a previous master’s degree or have solid professional experience in art education.


Similar to the M.A., the Ed.M has a relatively small number of required art education research and studio courses, and offers lots of room for students to take elective courses beyond these requirements. Students may thus decide to take one of our optional concentrations: Museum Education, Art Pedagogy and Teaching, Community Arts, or Creative Technologies. Alternatively, students may develop their own path of study, without a predetermined concentration, in consultation with their advisors. The Ed.M. may be completed part- or full-time. The minimum timeline for completing the program for full-time students is two years; the maximum for all students is five years. The Ed.M. does not lead to Initial Art Teacher’s Certification, and does not offer the full scope of theoretical knowledge or practical experience required to teach art in schools (if you wish to teach in schools, please refer to the M.A. Init).

The Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of Art (Ed.D.C.T.) is designed for practicing artists with an M.F.A. who hope to be involved in the education of professional artists. Students who join the Ed.D.C.T. are typically interested in teaching studio art courses in higher education, or in pursuing administrative positions at art schools or art departments in colleges and universities. Some of our Ed.D.C.T. students are already teaching in higher education when they join us; they come to the program looking to strengthen their practice and the thinking that informs it. Scholarly educational research and high-level art practice are essential components of the Ed.D.CT. Students in this degree may decide to focus on one of our optional Concentrations: Museum Education, Art Pedagogy and Teaching, Community Arts, or Creative Technologies. Alternatively, students may develop their own path of studies, without a predetermined concentration, in consultation with their advisors. This degree does not lead to Initial Art Teacher’s Certification.

 

The Ed.D. prepares scholar practitioners in art and art education who conduct research, provide leadership, and teach in a variety of art education contexts, hoping to serve a range of populations. High-level educational research is an essential component of the Ed.D. Students are also expected to maintain their art practice. Our graduates become administrators and professors of art education in colleges and universities, and provide leadership in art education in museums, school districts, non-profit and community organizations, and governmental agencies, among other settings. Students in this degree may decide to focus on one of our optional Concentrations: Museum Education, Art Pedagogy and Teaching, Community Arts, or Creative Technologies. Alternatively, students may develop their own path of studies in consultation with their advisors. This degree does not lead to Initial Art Teacher’s Certification.

 

 

 

You can learn more about our optional concentrations by visiting this link.

 

No, the choice of a Concentration is entirely optional for M.A., Ed.M., Ed.D., and Ed.D.C.T. students. Instead of focusing on a Concentration, you may decide to develop your own plan of study in consultation with your advisor.

 

Typically, M.A. Init students do not select a Concentration--the M.A. Init program is designed carefully and tightly to meet State requirements, and therefore offers minimal room for electives. However, M.A. Init students may select a concentration, understanding that this will involve significantly more credits than their required 40 and postpone their graduation timeline.



M.A. Init (40 Points): Full-time students complete the M.A. Init program in two years, including one summer. Part-time students may take up to five years to complete this program. Students in this program must be enrolled full-time during their last fall and spring semesters, when student teaching takes place (student teaching always starts in the fall).

 

M.A. (34 Points): Two years minimum; five years maximum.

 

 

Ed.M. (60 Points): Two years minimum; five years maximum.

 

Ed.D. and Ed.D.CT. (90 Points):  Timelines can vary depending on students’ pace and on the specifics of their dissertation research project. Full-time students who maintain a steady pace often complete their program in about five years. There is no maximum number of years stipulated for the doctoral degrees, assuming students progress steadily through their program.

Yes, many of our students have jobs and other life responsibilities, and therefore complete their degrees part-time. 


Exception: Students in the M.A. Init must be enrolled full-time during their last fall and spring semesters, when student teaching takes place (student teaching always starts in the fall).

Students enrolled in the M.A. (34 points) and M.A. Init (40 points) are not eligible to transfer credits from previous degrees.

 

Students enrolled  in the Ed.M. (60 Points) can transfer up to 30 graduate level credits into their degrees, following a review. Exception: Students in the Ed.M. taking the Creative Technologies Concentration may only transfer up to 25 graduate level credits, following a review. 

 

Students enrolled in the Ed.D. and Ed.D.CT. can transfer up to 32 graduate level credits into their degrees, following a review.

 

Requests to transfer credits can only be reviewed once students are enrolled in the Program. 

 

 

Students enrolled in the Ed.M., Ed.D., and Ed.D.CT. programs can take graduate-level electives at Columbia University.


Ed.D. and Ed.D.CT. students may also take courses in schools affiliated with the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium under certain circumstances (Ed.M. students are not eligible for Inter-University Doctoral Consortium courses). 

 

M.A. and M.A. Init students must take all their electives at Teachers College.

For information of how TC s adjusting to the COVID-19 crisis, visit this link: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/preparedness/

 

At this time, we do not offer low-residency master’s or doctoral programs. Our students are required to attend their courses in person at Teachers College. There is a relatively small number of online courses offered by programs other than Art Education at Teachers College. In some cases, Art Education students may take such courses as electives. You may also be interested to know that a large number of courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate students who work during the day. 

Unfortunately we do not offer the option of a joint degree. Most of our degrees offer some sort of flexibility, in order to allow students to pursue their own interests (the M.A. Initial Certification degree does not offer much flexibility in terms of course selection due to state compliance).

SEEING THE PROGRAM FROM WITHIN

Yes, we would be happy to schedule a time for you to visit our Program. Once you are here, you can  greet our faculty, students, and staff, and visit our studios and The Macy Art Gallery. Please email artofc@tc.columbia.edu to make arrangements. If you are interested in touring Teachers College (not just the Program in Art and Art Education), please arrange a tour through the Admissions Office by visiting this webpage.

 

For information of how TC is adjusting to the COVID-19 crisis, visit this link: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/preparedness/

Yes, prospective students  may sit in on one session of one of our classes. Please email artofc@tc.columbia.edu to make arrangements.

 

For information of how TC is adjusting to the COVID-19 crisis, visit this link: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/preparedness/

Yes, we would be happy to help you connect with one of our current students. Please email artofc@tc.columbia.edu if you are interested.

 

To find out about upcoming events in the Program in Art andArt Education, please visit our program website. If you would like to remain informed of relevant events for prospective applicants, we encourage you to fill out the "Request More Information" form at the bottom of the TC Admissions Homepage. 

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Teachers College offers various forms of aid to incoming and continuing students. Please visit these links through the Office of Financial Aid for more information on how to apply for aid and the types of aid available to students. 

 

We strongly encourage applicants who want to be considered for scholarships to meet the priority application deadlines. We also urge applicants to thoughtfully complete the Scholarship Application embedded in the application. This is a one-time requirement that will remain active for the duration of a student’s enrollment at TC. If you are an eligible domestic applicant, submitting the FAFSA can result in eligibility for the Federal TEACH Grant (M.A. Init students only), student loans, and/or work-study.   

 

Doctoral students are often awarded some funding based on merit upon admission (doctoral students are not guaranteed full-funding). For the 2020-21 school cycle, newly admitted M.A. Init students can expect generous financial support. 


Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@tc.edu if you have any additional questions.

 

Yes, Teachers College offers different types of assistantships such as Research, Course, and Teaching Assistantships; Administrative Fellowships; and Doctoral Research Fellowships. For more information on these assistantships, please visit this link through the Office of Financial Aid. 

 

To search for currently available assistantships, visit TC’s Jobs and Careers homepage. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@tc.edu if you have any additional questions. 

 

Within the Program in Art and Art Education, doctoral students are eligible for studio and gallery fellowships. Incoming doctoral students are strongly considered for these opportunities when openings are available.



 

APPLICATION PROCESS

There are different admission requirements for each of our degree programs. To review detailed information, please visit this webpage. If you have further questions regarding admission requirements, please email our Office of Admission at admission@tc.columbia.edu.



 

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is not required for the  M.A. (non-certification), Ed.M., and Doctoral programs.


However, individuals who are interested in applying for the M.A. Init are required to take the GRE.

Information for International Applicants can be found on this webpage through the Office of Admission. If you have any further questions or need further clarification, please email our Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at tcintl@tc.columbia.edu.



Please refer to this webpage through the Office of Admission.







Please include work that best represents you as an artist and that makes you proud. We are not looking for specific styles, art forms, media, or genres--we want to get a sense of who you are as an artist.


High resolution, good quality photos are definitely preferred.

 

If you do not have an art practice and have not taught art, please upload to your portfolio any materials that represent you as a practitioner/educator. For example, you may include lesson plans, documentation of programs you have conducted, grant applications, etc.

 

No, you do not. In our program, prospective doctoral applicants are not accepted by individual faculty, as is the case elsewhere. All applications and admissions decisions go through the Office of Admission and involve a faculty committee review. Once in the program, students take courses and research seminars with a variety of faculty during their first couple of years. Dissertation sponsors are identified after that period.

 

An earned MFA is a requirement for applying to the Ed.D.CT. program--there are no exceptions. The rationale is: The Ed.D.CT. is designed for practicing artists who wish to be involved in the education of artists, and teach studio art courses in higher education (vs. art education courses). The MFA typically focuses on furthering artists’ own practice and does not address issues of teaching and learning in depth. This is what the Ed.D.C.T. provides. Nevertheless, in the United States, the terminal degree for teaching art in colleges and art schools is still the MFA. Therefore, graduates of the Ed.D.CT. without an MFA would stand at a clear disadvantage in their search for jobs.

Application deadlines can be found on this webpage through the Admissions Office. If you have any further questions or need further clarification, please email the Office of Admission at admission@tc.columbia.edu.

 

 

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