VCU Bulletins

Art Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Special requirements

Undergraduate students admitted to the School of the Arts who have successfully completed the Art Foundation Program (or the equivalent at another institution) are eligible to apply through the Department of Art Education to enter the program.

Transfer students and students currently attending VCU must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to be considered for departmental admission; however, there is a higher cumulative GPA requirement of 2.8 for departmental admission to teacher preparation (see below for more information).

Accepted students
Accepted students are required to attend an orientation session with an academic adviser from the Department of Art Education. Transfer students, second-degree-seeking students, double majors and change of major students are required to meet with the administrative director prior to beginning course work in the department. The name and contact information of academic advisers may be obtained from the Department of Art Education.

Art education policy of reasonable progress
A student majoring in art education who does not enroll in courses in the major for three or more consecutive semesters (not including summers) will be dismissed from the program. To continue in the program, students must reapply to the program, submitting a portfolio and undergoing a grade review. Declared double majors not enrolled in ARTE courses for three consecutive semesters (not including summers) are required to state their intention to continue the major in writing to the chair.

Course failures and withdrawals
All students must successfully complete the courses outlined in the curriculum. Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all ARTE courses. A student who earns a grade of D or F or withdraws from any required course may repeat the course once. If a grade of D or F is earned in the repeated course or if the student withdraws, the student will be terminated from the program. Students with special circumstances who wish to remain in the major must appeal to the chair and receive approval in writing to continue in the program.

Cautionary status
If a student’s GPA falls below a 2.8 or if a faculty member raises concerns about a student’s professional disposition at any point, the student will be put on cautionary status. The chair will review students designated with cautionary status each semester to determine continuation in the program. Students will be notified if they are placed on cautionary status.

Pre-teacher preparation
During the first two semesters in the Department of Art Education, students should complete ARTE 310 during the fall semester and ARTE 311 during the spring semester. Note: ARTE 310 is a prerequisite of ARTE 311.

Students will be required to register for and take the required Praxis I exams (or show proof of exemption by official SAT or ACT score reports) and take the required Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment exam during ARTE 310. Students must successfully pass their Praxis I and VCLA exams in order to be eligible for departmental admission into teacher preparation (see below for further explanation). Any student that has not successfully passed the Praxis I exams by the time they complete ARTE 311 must set up a meeting with the department chair.

It is advised that students complete ARTE 250, EDUS 301 and TEDU 330/ARTE 450 during their first year in the Department of Art Education.

Teacher Preparation Program
All students are required to apply for teacher preparation during ARTE 311. Students who do not have passing test scores at that time will be eligible to reapply in the fall for spring teacher prep admission. Students are granted provisional teacher prep acceptance pending successful second year review.

Applications are due to the administrative director by established deadlines of each semester. If students do not complete their applications on time with hard copies of passing score reports, they will not be guaranteed enrollment in ARTE 401 the following semester.

Requirements for departmental admission to teacher preparation:

  • Submission of completed Application to Teacher Preparation form by established deadline
  • Minimum of 2.8 cumulative GPA
  • Successful completion of ARTE 310 and 311 (6 credits)
  • Passing scores on required Praxis I exams or exemption with SAT or ACT scores (
  • Passing scores on required VCLA
  • No record of a felony conviction
  • Completion of the Dispositions Acknowledgement Form (included with departmental Application for Teacher Preparation)
  • Successful second-year review

Departmental admission to the Teacher Preparation Program is required for enrollment in practicum courses (ARTE 401 and 402) and clinical internship (ARTE 404, TEDU 485 and 486). Note: ARTE 401 is a prerequisite of ARTE 402. Enrollment is granted to ARTE 401 and ARTE 402 through an override from the Department of Art Education.

Second-year review
A review of student work, GPA and dispositions takes place at the completion of ARTE 311. Reviews are rated satisfactory unsatisfactory or provisional. The student must receive a satisfactory or provisional evaluation from the faculty to continue in the program. Students who receive provisional approval will be reviewed by the chair after each practicum to determine continuation in the program.

Students must register for and take the required Praxis II: Art Content Knowledge exam ( before they apply for clinical internship (student teaching).

During teacher preparation, students will continue to complete required art history, studio and general studies course work.

Clinical internship
All students are required to complete a full semester of clinical internship (student teaching). Students must complete and submit an application to clinical internship by the established deadline in order to be eligible. If students do not complete their applications on time with hard copies of passing score reports, they will not be guaranteed acceptance into clinical internship. Students are granted provisional student teaching acceptance pending successful faculty practicum review.

Requirements for clinical internship:

  • Departmental admission into the Teacher Preparation Program
  • Submission of completed departmental application for clinical internship by established deadline
  • Successful completion of all other required course work
  • Minimum of 2.8 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA in art education courses and no grade lower than a C
  • Passing scores on the Praxis I or exemption with SAT or ACT scores
  • Passing scores on the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment
  • Passing scores on the Praxis II: Art Content Knowledge exam
  • Completion of the online Child Abuse Prevention training and certification of successful completion
  • Submission of a tuberculosis screening must accompany the application for clinical internship and must be dated no more than a year from the expected date of completion of clinical internship
  • Successful faculty practicum review

The art education program is an approved teacher preparation program that complies with the professional standards of the Virginia Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is further accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. All of these agencies assure the highest professional program standards. Graduates of the program are eligible for Virginia teacher license to teach art in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Degree requirements for Art Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Students will develop a professional philosophical position about the relevance and importance of art education.
  • Students will implement/acquire a variety of art instructional strategies that
    1. reflect an understanding of the artistic, cognitive, emotional and social development of children as well as
    2. national, state and local curricular standards and
    3. assessment techniques in order to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • Students will be able to create and adapt learning environments that address the needs of all students.
  • Students will be able to design assessment methods to
    1. measure student knowledge and skills,
    2. improve student learning and
    3. further professional practice.
  • Students will teach art in ways that engage traditional and contemporary artists (diverse in regards to gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, social class and other dimensions of identity).
  • Students will seek internships, service-learning positions and local, national and international experiences that lead to research and deepen engagement with diverse communities.
General Education requirements Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional General Education requirements (9 credits)  
EDUS 301 Human Development and Learning 3
Non-Western history 3
Literature elective* 3
Collateral requirements (57 credits)  
Art Foundation Program  
ARTF 131 Drawing Studio 3
ARTF 132 Surface Research 3
ARTF 133 Space Research 3
ARTF 134 Time Studio 3
ARTF 139 Project 2
Art history  
ARTH 103, 104 Survey of Western Art 6
PAPR 205 Painting, Basic 4
SCPT 211 Basic Sculpture l 4
2-dimensional elective* 3-4
3-dimensional elective* 3-4
Ceramics elective* 4
Contemporary art history* 3
Non-Western art history* 3
Photography elective* 3-4
Studio art or art history open electives (from ARTE, ARTH, COAR, CRAF, PAPR, PHTO, SCPT) 7
Upper-level art history (ARTH course at the 300 level or higher) 3
Major requirements (33 credits)  
ARTE 250 Computer Technology in Art Education 3
ARTE 310 Foundations of Art Education 3
ARTE 311 Art Education Curriculum and Instructional Procedures 3
ARTE 401 Art Education Elementary Materials and Practicum 4
ARTE 402 Art Education Secondary Materials and Practicum 4
ARTE 404 Clinical Internship Seminar (capstone) 1
ARTE 450 Art for the Exceptional Student (or TEDU 330 Survey of Special Education) 3
TEDU 485 Directed Student Teaching I 6
TEDU 486 Directed Student Teaching II 6
Total minimum requirement 120


2-dimensional elective
ARTE 408 Two-dimensional Art Experiences
PAPR course numbered 200-499
PHTO course numbered 200-499

3-dimensional elective
ARTE 409 Three-dimensional Art Experiences
CRAF course numbered 200-499
SCPT course numbered 200-499

Ceramics elective
CRAF 240 Introduction to Ceramics
CRAF 241 Ceramics: Handbuilding
CRAF 242 Ceramics: Wheelthrowing

Contemporary art history
ARTH 302 Museums in the 21st Century
ARTH 330 20th-century Art and Architecture ARTH 339
ARTH 340 Art and Architecture of the United States
ARTH 365 Modern and Contemporary Art I
ARTH 366 Modern and Contemporary Art II
ARTH 430 Modern Painting
ARTH 431 Modern Sculpture
ARTH 435 Modern and Contemporary Art I
ARTH 436 Modern and Contemporary Art II
ARTH 439 Studies in 20th-century Art

ENGL 201 Western World Literature I
ENGL 202 Western World Literature II
ENGL 203 British Literature I
ENGL 204 British Literature II
ENGL 205 American Literature I
ENGL 206 American Literature II
ENGL 215 Textual Analysis
ENGL 216 Readings in Narrative
ENGL 236/GSWS 236 Women in Literature
ENGL 241 Shakespeare’s Plays
ENGL/TEDU 386 Children’s Literature I

Non-Western art history
ARTH 207 Introduction to Non-Western Art
ARTH 245 Survey of Asian Art
ARTH 260 Islamic Art Survey
ARTH 261 Islamic Art Survey
ARTH 301 Art and Architecture of Ancient North America
ARTH 311 Islamic Art and the West Before 1200
ARTH 312 Islamic Art and the West From 1200 to 1600
ARTH 335 Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture
ARTH 338 Colonial Art and Architecture of Latin America
ARTH 339 Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture of Latin America
ARTH 350/ AFAM 413 African and Oceanic Art
ARTH 358/AFAM 358 African Art and Architecture
ARTH 440/AFAM 440 Contemporary Art and Architecture of Africa
ARTH course numbered 445-454

Photography elective
ARTE 407 Photography in Art Education
PHTO 243 Photography
PHTO 245 Design Photography I
PHTO 491 Topics in Photography and Film

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