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Art Education (PK-12), B.F.A.

About the Program

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
Accredited National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Accredited

Enrollment in all teacher education programs follows the guidelines for "Admission to Teacher Education Programs" found in this catalog. Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

The BFA in Art Education program prepares students for initial certification to teach visual arts to pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (PK-12) in New York State schools. The program develops art education professionals who:


  • understand contemporary art and culture and are committed to teaching students in meaningful and critical ways.
  • consider teaching to be a dynamic and continuing process utilizing current media technology.
  • are sensitive to issues of diversity, capable of adapting their teaching strategies to meet individual needs.
  • are active in the professional, cultural, and art communities.
  • have a depth of experience in at least one art making medium, with a solid breadth in several.


Requirements of Major

  • For students to enroll and remain in the art education program, they must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • A portfolio review is required for admission to upper level courses of the program.
  • Students complete a total of 12 studio electives beyond the studio foundations courses, including a concentration in at least one studio area. This requires careful advisement to complete courses in a timely manner.
  • Students are expected to assume the costs of materials they use in art education courses, and there may be an additional instructional charge for materials used in classes.
  • Students are expected to work a minimum of two additional hours each week outside of class for each credit granted for that class.
  • Students are responsible for any additional certification requirements established by the New York State Education Department, Teacher Certification Division, including the NYS Teacher Certification Examinations and mandated seminars.
  • Studio (FAR and DES) Electives Selected by Advisement 12 courses
  • 100 hours of observation with a certified teacher, as required by New York State, are built into required courses.
  • Applicants who do not yet meet all admissions criteria should consult with the department.

Student Teaching


  • Eligibility for student teaching is determined by the Art Education Department.
  • Placement is arranged by the art education coordinator of student teaching.
  • Student teaching experiences are provided in cooperating elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Transportation to/from the student teaching assignment is the student’s responsibility.
  • Students enrolled in the student teaching semester devote full time to their practicum assignment.
  • Prior written approval must be obtained from the chair of the Art Education Department for a student to enroll for any other coursework during a student teaching assignment except for AED 400: Student Teaching Seminar.
  • All students anticipating a student teaching assignment must show proof of having a test for tuberculosis within three months of the assignment.


Transfer Students

  • Students transferring to the art education major as juniors should follow the SUNY Fine Arts transfer path.
  • Those who wish to complete their programs in a timely manner should plan their schedules of coursework in art education with great care, and with an academic adviser.
  • Art teacher certification is a function of the Office of Teaching Initiatives, NYS Education Department, Albany— highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ For information, contact the Buffalo State Teacher Certification Office—teachercertification.buffalostate.edu
  • Post-baccalaureate (Certification-Only) Program (see below):

This program is for students who have already earned a B.S./B.A./B.F.A. degree in a studio area and are interested in earning art teacher initial certification.

Program Requirements

Intellectual Foundations Requirements
33-39 credit hours 33-39

Art Education Major Requirements (36 credit hours)
Required Courses (24 credit hours)
AED 200 FUNDAMENTALS OF ART INQUIRY 3
AED 300 FOUNDATIONS IN ART EDUCATION 3
AED 301 THEORETICAL CONSTRUCTS IN ART EDUCATION 3
AED 302 FUNCTIONS AND PRACTICE IN ART EDUCATION 3
AED 315 ARTS IN LIVING 3
AED 398 ART, SOCIETY AND NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES FOR ART EDUCATORS 3
AED 400 STUDENT TEACHING SEMINAR 3
ATS 325 ART FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL LEARNING NEEDS 3

Required Field Experience (12 credit hours)
AED 303 ELEMENTARY STUDENT TEACHING IN ART 6
AED 304 SECONDARY STUDENT TEACHING IN ART 6

Fine Arts and Design Major Requirements (57 credit hours)

Required Fine Arts Courses (15 credit hours)
FAR 101 DRAWING I 3
FAR 102 DRAWING II 3
FAR 104 THEMES AND ISSUES IN THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS 3
FAR 250 ART HISTORY I 3
FAR 251 ART HISTORY II 3

Required Design Courses (6 credit hours)
DES 101 INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN TWO DIMENSIONAL I 3
DES 103 INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN THREE DIMENSIONAL I 3

Studio (FAR and DES) Electives Selected By Advisement
Select 36 credit hours 36
Total Credit Hours 126

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Art and Design Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Upton Hall 402 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6032 •  Fax: (716) 878-4231   artdesign@buffalostate.edu