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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Art and Design

Art Education, BFA

Use your knowledge of art, art history, methods and materials to foster the imaginations of grade school students and empower them to embrace their talents and explore themselves and the world around them through art.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education is a nationally accredited, professional track degree. Students typically take four-and-a-half years to complete the required studio concentration and certification to teach art in pre-K through grade 12. Our graduates are well-rounded artists and teachers, and our program has a high job placement rate.

Supported by experiences in the studio arts, art history and education, you will engage in various types of teaching and related activities while still having the full studio art-making experience in a concentration of your choice. You'll observe teachers in public schools, work with them on special projects and conclude with a semester practice teaching with carefully selected elementary and secondary school teachers.

Acceptance to the Art Education Program requires admission to WVU and a successful portfolio review.

Your Degree Plan


Student leading a classroom art activity.

The BFA in Art and Design is nationally accredited and constantly updated to provide students with the most current training and technology to prepare for a career in today’s growing creative professions.

We combine the benefits of a small studio program with the resources and facilities of a major research university. Our graduates are certified to teach grades pre-K through 12 and have a high job placement rate.

Tailor this major to your interests by focusing your coursework in one of these areas:

  • 2D Studio Painting, Photography, Print Media

    Explore creative exploration in both traditional and experiential 2D media including painting and photography. Painting courses provide training in traditional and experimental oil and acrylic media and the creation of both figurative and abstract imagery. Photography courses focus on the production of contemporary art through digital and traditional photographic processes. Students have access to the naturally-lit painting studio located on the top floor of the Canady Creative Arts Center, a traditional darkroom and a digital imaging lab.

  • 3D Studio and Public Art

    Pursue coursework in sculpture, ceramics or ceramic production methods. WVU is one of the few schools in the nation to offer a ceramics production line, bringing student productions to the general public. Ceramics courses focus on technical expertise, design and conceptual approaches. Sculpture courses encourage experimental approaches to art-making including mixed media, mold making, installation, community based and environmental work. You’ll gain a thorough introduction to many different materials and processes to enhance your ability to solve structural, spatial, formal and conceptual problems.

  • Digital Art and Animation

  • Graphic Design

    Study in Graphic Design begins with learning a foundation in typography, color, symbolic drawings, design for small and large formats and design thinking. In addition to computer graphics and web design, tactical elements of design are explored hands-on through paper engineering, book arts courses and access to a letterpress studio.

    The Graphic Design area runs a model design studio, Studio 2453, that serves up to 30 clients per year. Students work as project directors with clients to produce designs that often benefit a particular community.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Classroom experience provided by assisting and observing middle and high school teachers.
  • State-of-the-art studios for hands-on learning experiences in silkscreen and lithography printmaking, ceramics kiln firing, metal and bronze casting pours and lead-type and relief printing.
  • Nearly 100 percent job placement rate.
  • Global Positioning Studies (GPS) courses focus on making creative responses to a specific environment in local, national and international locations
  • Generous funding is available for student travel for GPS courses and study abroad experiences.
  • Annual series of visiting artist lectures and gallery exhibitions in WVU Art Museum and Mesaros Galleries features nationally recognized artists and scholars.
  • Volunteer opportunities with local organizations, such as Friends of Deckers Creek and North Elementary.
  • WVU has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1977.
  • Annual Juried Student Exhibition held in the Mesaros Galleries with cash awards.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Art, Drama and Music Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in drama, music, and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture, or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $80,360

Possible job titles include: Art Professor, Music Professor, Professor, Theatre Professor.

Explore Career

Craft Artists

Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, pottery and needlecraft.

Median Salary: $36,600

Possible job titles include: Artist, Designer, Furniture Maker, Glass Artist.

Explore Career

Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators

Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.

Median Salary: $57,560

Possible job titles include: Artist, Fine Artist, Painter, Sculptor.

Explore Career

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

Teach students basic academic, social and other formative skills in public or private schools at the elementary level.

Median Salary: $63,680

Possible job titles include: Classroom Teacher, Elementary Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, Teacher.

Explore Career

Middle School Teachers

Teach students in one or more subjects in public or private schools at the middle, intermediate or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable laws and regulations.

Median Salary: $61,810

Possible job titles include: Language Arts Teacher, Math Teacher (Mathematics Teacher), Science Teacher, Teacher.

Explore Career

Secondary School Teachers

Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics or social studies, at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

Median Salary: $62,360

Possible job titles include: English Teacher, Math Teacher (Mathematics Teacher), Social Studies Teacher, Teacher.

Explore Career


Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers and photojournalists.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $40,170

Possible job titles include: Commercial Photographer, Photographer, Photojournalist, Portrait Photographer, Advertising Photographer, Sports Photographer, Studio Photographer, Photo Editor, Portrait Photographer, Graduation Photographer, Newspaper Photographer.

Explore Career

Where our grads are working

Our reputation, student teaching program and quality faculty open many doors for you to find employment or continue your learning in a graduate program.

Graduates have a high job placement record in schools throughout the state and beyond. Recent graduates have found employment in several West Virginia counties (Monongalia, Harrison, Jefferson and Kanawha), as well as Fairfax County, Virginia.

Further your education

Keep going right here at WVU. Consider furthering your education in:

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
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Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Art Education major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Art Education at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees


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Net Price Calculator

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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Art Education major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

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