May 30, 2024  
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Master of Art Education (MAE)

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Requirements for those who already have at least an initial license

Students lacking some of the teaching knowledge or studio coursework may be accepted to the 33-credit program with appropriate  assignment of additional coursework to remediate deficiencies.


  • The MAE is a 33-credit, State-approved program leading to Professional Licensure for those who hold an Initial License, or the equivalent in comparable coursework.
  • Candidates for the MAE degree who hold an undergraduate degree in a related field may precede their studies with a one-year, 21-credit post-baccalaureate program in order to obtain Massachusetts initial licensure.
  • The MAE degree may be completed on a full-time (9 credits per semester) or part-time (up to 6 credits per semester) basis.

The graduate Art Education program offers both traditional and innovative opportunities for the professional art teacher.  The program offers choices for graduate studies tailored to individual interests and career goals.  Graduates may earn post-baccalaureate initial license and/or professional license in compliance with Massachusetts state licensure requirements.  The program also offers studies in Art Education for those wishing to teach in community settings such as day care centers, museums, alternative schools, geriatric centers, or vocational rehabilitation centers.  Interstate recognition makes art teacher coursework earned at UMass Dartmouth reciprocally valid in many other states.

The Master of Art Education (MAE) program is dedicated to increase graduates’ capacity to question issues related to teaching, thinking, learning and producing in and through the arts.  To this end, the MAE program offers a sequence of practical, theoretical, and studio-based experiences through which students build on their knowledge, skills, and confidence as arts educators.  The program also emphasizes professional development and lifelong learning for teachers who already hold teaching licenses in the arts or related fields.

For the most up-to-date policy and procedure information, please refer to the Art Education website:

Within five years of employment as teachers in Massachusetts, holders of an Initial License must qualify for Professional Licensure, which can be gained by earning a master’s degree from a Massachusetts state-approved program such as the MAE at UMass Dartmouth.  For students seeking a first-time, post-baccalaureate Initial License and a Professional License concurrently, the Art Education Department offers a 54-credit program for students–21 credits to be earned first in the post-baccalaureate Initial License program and 33 credits to be earned for the Master of Art Education degree.

Post-Baccalaureate Initial License

Students who lack provisional certification to teach can complete 21 credits in specified AED courses to become eligible for an initial Massachusetts license in Art Education. Graduate Student Teaching is taken for 6 credits instead of the 12 credits required of undergraduates. Those who pursue initial licensure must choose PreK-8 or 5-12 initial license or may, with additional coursework, pursue both initial license levels.

Students will not be allowed to take core course work in the 33-credit program (AED 600, 616, 618, 642, and 643/644) until they have earned the 21 credits in the post-baccalaureate.

Because many students will already have taken the psychology courses or their equivalents through undergraduate degree programs, we list these courses as a program prerequisite.

Teacher licensure as an Art Specialist is granted through appplication to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and upon satisfactory completion of the courses numbered 500 through 515 and any prerequisites, and also the Massachusetts Teacher Tests. Passing both the Communications and Literacy Skills and Content (Visual Art) portions of the Massachusetts Test of Educators Licensure (MTEL) are required for admission to the program.

Total Credits: 21

Policy Regarding Progression Through the Thesis

AED 642 Thesis/Proposal includes vetting of the proposed inquiry, IRB review (required in most cases), review of relevant scholarly literature, and the beginning implementation of the study/creative investigation. Students must complete the draft of the first three sections of the Thesis Paper including Introduction and Purpose, Literature Review, and Methodology as outlined in the MAE Thesis Guidebook, before advancing to AED 643 Thesis/Documentation.

Students enrolled in AED 642 who do not complete these requirements by the end of the semester must re-enroll in a one-credit AED 642 for up to three additional semesters in order to complete the Thesis/Proposal. Upon successful completion of AED 642 with a grade of B or higher, the student will enroll in AED 643 Thesis/Documentation where they will complete the final thesis.

The final thesis will detail the purpose and rationale for the study, literature review, methodology, results and conclusion and recommendations as described in the MAE Thesis Guidebook. Revision and editing of the Thesis will begin during this semester under the guidance of the instructor of record for AED 643, who will determine when the draft is ready to be read by the Thesis Committee of first and second readers. Students can expect several more revisions during this committee process. The committee determines when the thesis is publishable. The student prints a hard copy with all front material (see MAE Guidebook) which is read and signed by the committee and forwarded to the Dean and then the Associate Provost  for Graduate Studies for their respective signatures, before being bound and archived in the UMass Dartmouth library in compliance with UMass Dartmouth policy.

If the student is unable to complete the final version of the Thesis during this second semester, the student may elect to receive an IP for the course and enroll in continuation for one semester. If another continuation is required, the student may petition the Dean of CVPA for one additional continuation as consistent with university policy.

On the occasion that the student does not earn a grade of B or higher in AED 642 and therefore is unable to move forward with a publishable Thesis, the student, graduate advisor, and department chair must confer and agree to enroll the student in an alternate section of AED 644 which will require an unpublished documentation of the final investigation. Evidence of such conference and agreement must include signatures of all parties and is required before the student may register for AED 644 (see list of prerequisites). This alternative option (AED 644) will lead to graduation from the program.

Total credits: 33

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